The phrase ‘shot with your own gun’ is one I like to reserve for the Italian national team, or their club sides. And that is what happened to Italy today as they crashed out of the world cup with a 3-2 defeat to Slovakia.
Yes, the behaviour of the Slovakians at the end wasn’t great. Their play acting and gamesmanship was bad viewing and is not a great advert for the world cup and football in general. It is however, an art that the Italians have mastered over the years and that is why I have little problem seeing Italy on the receiving end of it.
I for one am not going to lose any sleep over Lippi and his team of anti-football divers and shirt pullers getting knocked out, as you might have guessed I am no fan.
It is nothing against the nation of Italy, I just don’t like their negative brand of football.
Continuous shirt pulling in the box, diving around and feigning injury, waving of imaginary cards, all issues of gamesmanship that push the rules to the limits.
Then we have the defensive negative tactics. Ok, they are brilliant at defending, but do we really want to see a world cup of defending? If they had got through the group it would have been more of the usual stuff throughout the knock out stages, playing for penalties, etc.
With the exception of the 1982 team, and the 1990 team at stages of the tournament, I can’t remember seeing an entertaining Italian team, it has generally always been boring crap.
Can anyone remember thinking what a great team the 2006 winning side was? No, I can’t either.
Was it entertaining? No.
If I remember rightly, Cannavaro, the central defender was named player of the tournament. Cannavaro or Messi this year, who would you prefer?
To finish bottom of their group and behind New Zealand is embarrassing. To do this as defending champions is even worse.
Like the French, but for differing reasons, I am glad they are gone. Lets hope for some entertaining games now.