Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lippi II

It felt a bit like welcoming your father back home after a lengthy summer holiday. Relaxed, tanned and with a wide grin - Marcello Lippi got back to work on Wednesday. Everything is right in the world.

The 2-2 draw with Austria seemed almost incidental. The Azzurri went two goals behind and looked shaky in defence. Then they got the bit between their teeth and - thanks to a dreadful goalkeeping blunder by the Austrian goalie - salvaged a draw. It took Lippi's undefeated run to 26 games.

In pre and post-match press conferences the mighty Tuscan made you wonder why he had ever been away. To continue my earlier analogy, it all made you feel a bit sorry for your step-father Roberto Donadoni. He tried, bless him, but he just wasn't your dad.

Lippi batted away the sneaky, loaded questions the Italian media likes to pose with ease. A smile, a shrug and a suitably straight answer were just what the tifosi ordered.

Of course, there is work to be done. While Italy's qualification group for the next World Cup looks none too difficult, there are problems with a leaky defence and a generational change of players. The good news was that Roma's bra-size brothers AA (Alberto Aquilani) and the more ample DD (Daniele De Rossi) looked in fine shape. And Alberto Gilardino got one of those strange, flukey goals which always does a striker's confidence good.

Everything felt right again. That may wear off in the weeks to come but in the meantime let's enjoy it. Bentornato Marcello!


patcook said...

I would have liked to see a few more fresh faces in the squad. The side for south africa obviously cant be the same one he took to germany and i thought it would have been a good opportunity to give some fringe and young guys a go and warn the established players that their spot isnt assured.

Still hard to be too tough on the guy, he did win a world cup.

Aussie Romanista said...

Why can't we play like Spain? Their goals v Denmark were delicious. Italy knew nothing about our goals v Austria. But anyway, 2-2 is an improvement on 0-2 v Iceland. So World Cup #5 should be on the way!

ginkers said...

Pat, I think the new faces will come. In the short term, however, he was bound to go with the tried and tested.


We will probably never play like Spain but, then again, we are four World Cups ahead of them...