After a disjointed and unappealing Italy fell 1-0 to Sweden last night at Friends Arena, manager Gian Piero Ventura and his Azzurri now have their backs against the wall heading home for Monday’s return leg in Milano.
As the Azzurri departed Sweden last night, fans and various members of football media were quick to pin the blame on Gian Piero Ventura for the loss. His 3-5-2 looked devoid of ideas and creativity throughout, notably in the ‘centrocampo’ where Marco Verratti, Daniele De Rossi and Marco Parolo each failed to deliver anything worthy of an applause.
Because of their inspired performances in the central park, strike pair Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti – who did not help the cause either with a distinct lack of movement and runs – resulted in the Blues returning home with their backs against the wall.
Insanity, in Ventura’s case, is running out the same players, and implementing the same ideas, but expecting different results. The Italian coach must tinker, make the necessary adjustments on Monday, and utilize the unused talent in his squad in order to avoid the humiliation of missing out on the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.
Here are five players who could make a difference for Ventura and Italy in the return leg at San Siro.