Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Time for La Nazionale

OK, we know Totti won't play until September at the earliest. We have our reservations about Donadoni. But, still, it is time to get the old Azzurri strips back on again as Scotland travel to Bari to face the world champions.

Alex McLeish's men, of course, have the little matter of Georgia to get out of the way before them. Whatever happens, however, they will be ahead of Italy when they meet them and that makes it a must-win home tie. Looking at the respective squads, there is no way anything less than three points is acceptable but football can teach some cruel lessons.

New faces are Max Tonetto and Fabio Quagliarella. Both have been doing well this season. Tonetto has been around the block a few times and looked like being one of those nearly men. However, his form with Roma is such you could not argue with the call up. Quagliarella is a bit more exciting. He is a regular scorer of spectacular goals and a genuinely tricky customer. He is unlikely to get the nod ahead of the likes of Toni and Gilardino but, still, he has the potential to come on and be a match winner. So, all eyes on Bari next week...


Anonymous said...

If we don't win this 4-0 like the Wales game in Milan when Pippo scored a hat-trick, then it will be vergognoso.
ADP to rip a free kick from outside the box.
- Aussie Romanista

Brian said...

Oh I pitty you when you have to face the might of Miller and Boyd up front ! May the best team win, or if we're lucky Scotland .....

Scott said...

If you're Italian/Scottish, why are you supporting Italia?!

We couldn't wish to play Italy at a better time. A lot of their players are not on top form, they don't have the abundance of creative/flair players like their squad normally does and not only have they barely played a match under Donadoni but they also haven't played a game for a few months...

But in saying that, although we are the 16th best side in the World we are missing 3 key players, have a new manager and a pretty poor squad of players to pick from (especially strikers wise).

I predict a 2-0 victory for Italy.

ginkers said...

Aussie Romanista

I never like to predict big wins but anything other than three points would be disastrous.


It is a mighty duo right enough although Nesta did pay tribute to Kenny Miller the last time the teams met!


I was brought up taking a lot of stick when Italy got beat because of my Italian name so I have always stood up for them since.

It is hard to go against form, Scotland have never managed even a draw in Italy. I also don't rate McLeish much as a manager. A lot will depend on how the team comes out of the game with Georgia. A win would give a bit more confidence.

martinobhoy said...


You know my love of all things Italian but for this one it's (and I never thought I'd be saying this 2 years ago)

Come on Big Eck's boys!

Scott said...

Well I don't really rate McLeish either but international management is very different to club management ;) McLeish did initally very well with Motherwell, Hibs and Rangers. It was only when he brought in his own players that problems arised. So hopefully this means he has the characteristics to be a good international manager. His record in the CL and Uefa Cup is pretty good too.

Anyway, the main problem with Scotland is we only have Kris Boyd as our only decent striker and he has little to no experience of playing at the level of the Italian backline. We also have a lack of creativity and against one of the strongest defences in the World, it will take a miracle to score a goal.

You've got to fancy the Italians to score at least one goal. I imagine Toni or Gilardino will put away at least one of the inevitable many chances that you create ;) However a 0-0 isn't out of our capabilies, if the Italians have an off day (prays).

TrentToffee said...

...and, the Italian under 21's have the dubious honour of playing the first competative match at the new Wembley stadium. If the papers are to be believed, it's a sell out of ~ 60,000 (which seems to be rather a lot for an under 21's match).

Spangly Princess said...

Tonetto certainly deserves his call-up, he's been a big part of our successes this season and Italy have not been over endowed with left-sided players of recent years.

I wonder whether the burden of being Campioni del Mondo has weighed on the ragazzi a little, we really need to stop slipping up and secure our qualification asap.

The Italian Spot said...

Hi Giancarlo, enjoy your articles in Calcio Italia Magazine, awesome. Check out sometime also.

martinobhoy said...

Looks like Big Eck has brought his tactical genius / luck (depending on your point of view) to the national team.

Watch out Italy........

ginkers said...


Even with your love our food, grappa and women I couldn't expect you to turn your back on the country where you were born - even though I have!


I think I always say this but the longer it goes goalless, the better Scotland's chances become. If they could sneak a goal even better. Although I find it a little ironic that McLeish will probably send out a side set up to seek a 0-0 draw against a nation so often depicted as the most defensive in the world.


As you will see in my latest post I loved the first game at Wembley.


It has been a slow start so Wednesday is definitely a "must-win" encounter.

The Italian

I will be over to visit shortly...