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Italy on the Brink -- Russia 2018 WCQ

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You suspect they will find a way but they are 1-0 down after the first leg in Sweden, in their home and away UEFA play-off. Loser goes home.

Have Italy ever failed to qualify for the World Cup before? I don't think so.

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Italy didn't enter the first World Cup (there was no qualification), and failed to qualify in 1958. They were in a group with Portugal and Northern Ireland, and NI is the team that won!

I think Brazil is the only team to have attended 20/20 WCs so far.

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5 hours ago, grande said:

Italy didn't enter the first World Cup (there was no qualification), and failed to qualify in 1958. They were in a group with Portugal and Northern Ireland, and NI is the team that won!

I think Brazil is the only team to have attended 20/20 WCs so far.

First time since 1958 then. That would be the end of a pretty good run!

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Ventura has been absolutely terrible. I don't like to put all the blame on coaches but this time it's completely deserved. Any manager who would start Insigne on the bench, then sub him in as a CM, has completely lost their mind. '

3 hours ago, matty said:

Should italy miss do chile and the us missing turn into less of a big deal?

I don't think it's as bad as the USMNT because Italy was drawn into a group with Spain. It meant that at least one of them would have to play in the knock out rounds, but by no means should Italy have a tough time getting past Sweden.

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6 hours ago, matty said:

Should italy miss do chile and the us missing turn into less of a big deal?

How about the Netherlands, Ghana, Ivory Coast?  

I do think this one overshadows most for sure though.  Italy isn't just a team that qualifies they compete in the dance typically.  Netherlands does as well but they missed the past euros and that makes this less shocking.

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1 hour ago, dsqpr said:

Sweden about to get screwed out of a World Cup place by the referee. The only question is what minute their red card will be given.

You may call me a cynic. :)

I take it back. Ref was fair and consistent, which is about all you can ask in the modern game.

Ciao!

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I've been trying to pick sides with all these knock-out qualifiers, but I can't. I've just decided that whoever goes deserves to be there, that is it. In fact the only team I really wanted was Argentina since I'd like to see if Messi could win it as that would be a legacy hard to deny. But that is about it. 

Italy was very flat, have noone with real talent going forward and no one to break down a defense,  no killer striker. And then a player most outside Italy think has a bit of something extra, doesn't even rate enought to get off the bench (Insigne). Verratti, as they say, is still a project on its way. When Italy was killed by Spain in September, it really made Spain look good, but it was basically the same team vs. Sweden, with hardly any brilliant flashes, poor character, going through the motions, really lost when it came to attacking ideas. 

Amazing that Sweden is through and Ibra will be healthy to play when he had no part in getting them there.

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9 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

I've been trying to pick sides with all these knock-out qualifiers, but I can't. I've just decided that whoever goes deserves to be there, that is it. In fact the only team I really wanted was Argentina since I'd like to see if Messi could win it as that would be a legacy hard to deny. But that is about it. 

Italy was very flat, have noone with real talent going forward and no one to break down a defense,  no killer striker. And then a player most outside Italy think has a bit of something extra, doesn't even rate enought to get off the bench (Insigne). Verratti, as they say, is still a project on its way. When Italy was killed by Spain in September, it really made Spain look good, but it was basically the same team vs. Sweden, with hardly any brilliant flashes, poor character, going through the motions, really lost when it came to attacking ideas. 

Amazing that Sweden is through and Ibra will be healthy to play when he had no part in getting them there.

This is the best part of it. I'm excited for this team to have done it without him. I pray that he makes comments about coming back to the team and he's denied. 

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16 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

 

Italy was very flat, have noone with real talent going forward and no one to break down a defense,  no killer striker.

I agree they don't have a killer striker but that's a bit harsh no? Insigne, Bernardeschi, Belotti, Candreva and sometimes El Shaarawy are all great players. Insigne in particular is one of the top wingers in the world. Italy not qualifying is not due to lack of talent, it's because of Ventura. The guy wouldn't give shots to Giovinco, Balotelli and only now called up Jorginho (the best player tonight). He's going to be crucified these next few weeks. 

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On 12/11/2017 at 3:07 PM, grande said:

Italy didn't enter the first World Cup (there was no qualification), and failed to qualify in 1958. They were in a group with Portugal and Northern Ireland, and NI is the team that won!

I think Brazil is the only team to have attended 20/20 WCs so far.

Funny, just checked this. Brazil all 21. Other teams like Germany qualified for every one they tried for, excluding first, and when they couldn't in 1950.  

Panama and Iceland will be the only newcomers this time.

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9 minutes ago, Chad_Impact said:

I agree they don't have a killer striker but that's a bit harsh no? Insigne, Bernardeschi, Belotti, Candreva and sometimes El Shaarawy are all great players. Insigne in particular is one of the top wingers in the world. Italy not qualifying is not due to lack of talent, it's because of Ventura. The guy wouldn't give shots to Giovinco, Balotelli and only now called up Jorginho (the best player tonight). He's going to be crucified these next few weeks. 

For me Italy does not have one player I would put in the best, second best, or even third best 11 in the world. Or maybe even fourth best. Maybe Buffon, based on rep more than strict performance in the last 6-8 months.

In any case, if they are "great" players as you say, they have to step up. If they don't, they aren't. But I will agree with what you imply: Italy cannot break down Sweden, clogged in the middle and Insigne does not play. 

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12 minutes ago, Chad_Impact said:

I agree they don't have a killer striker but that's a bit harsh no? Insigne, Bernardeschi, Belotti, Candreva and sometimes El Shaarawy are all great players. Insigne in particular is one of the top wingers in the world. Italy not qualifying is not due to lack of talent, it's because of Ventura. The guy wouldn't give shots to Giovinco, Balotelli and only now called up Jorginho (the best player tonight). He's going to be crucified these next few weeks. 

Regarding this, I was watching different feeds (bad streams) online and the Spanish feed, which I think was from Spain by the accents, were talking about Giovinco, about 10 m from the end there. Asking: really is there no place on this team for a player like Giovinco?

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19 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

For me Italy does not have one player I would put in the best, second best, or even third best 11 in the world. Or maybe even fourth best. Maybe Buffon, based on rep more than strict performance in the last 6-8 months.

In any case, if they are "great" players as you say, they have to step up. If they don't, they aren't. But I will agree with what you imply: Italy cannot break down Sweden, clogged in the middle and Insigne does not play. 

Really? Bonucci and chiellini would have to be in top 3 elevens. 

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