Italy’s Luigi Di Biagio puts on
Italy’s footballers will not play in Russia this summer but for the man in charge of their national team, visits to the Etihad Stadium and Wembley represent the next best thing. Speaking at the start of this international break, Luigi Di Biagio likened the Azzurri’s friendlies against Argentina and England to a “mini-World Cup”. He was clutching at straws, yet few would fault him for doing so. As the caretaker manager of a football team still recovering from their first failure to qualify for the real tournament in six decades, Di Biagio needed, at a minimum, to bring a little fresh optimism to the role. Even after a 2-0 defeat against Argentina at the Etihad on Friday, he continued to see his glass half full. Di Biagio insisted Italy were unfortunate not to have taken the lead and pointed out that he had http://www.chiefsshop.us.com/WOMENS-MITCH-MORSE-JERSEY.html given several players their international debuts. “This is the start of a new era,” he asserted. Is it truly, though? Or is this nothing more than an awkward interlude? Di Biagio’s role has not been confirmed beyond these two games, with the Italian Football Federation openly courting more high-profile individuals. Any lasting impact of these friendlies was most likely to be felt by the interim manager himself. Promoted into this role after a combined seven years coaching the under-20s and then under-21s – whom he steered to the European Championship semi-finals http://www.packershopnfl.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_RICHARD_RODGERS_JERSEY.htmllast year – Di Biagio has been granted the briefest of windows to prove himself in his first coaching role with a senior team. His desire to grasp that opportunity was apparent from his team selection against Argentina. If his experience with the youth teams left him well-positioned to introduce fresh faces, then in practice Di Biagio still kept faith with much of the old guard: 18 of the players called up to his first squad had featured in the two-leg defeat against Sweden. Debuts were granted to Federico Chiesa and Patrick Cutrone, along with second caps for Bryan Cristante and Lorenzo Pellegrini, but only the first of those made it into the starting XI. Meanwhile, Di Biagio called Gigi Buffon out of international retirement. He spoke about the positive influence such a player could have on a young team but also acknowledged Matt Duffy Youth jersey that he wanted to field his strongest side possible. Perhaps we will see a more experimental lineup against England. Despite warm reviews from within the football federation, it was always a long shot that Di Biagio would make this job his own. The likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Mancini, Claudio Ranieri and, reportedly, Antonio Conte are being sounded out for the role. Whoever it is, the need for rejuvenation will remain. Buffon’s return will be short-lived, with a friendly against the Netherlands in Turin this June expected to serve as his farewell party. At the other end of the pitch, a jolt is required to restore attacking potency to a side who have scored only three goals in the http://www.panthersfootballofficialproshop.com/Daryl-Williams-Jersey.html past seven games. Italy can boast potential in abundance up front but that is not the same thing as proven talent. Chiesa, Blidi Wreh-Wilson Jersey son of the much-loved Parma and Sampdoria forward Enrico, is a versatile James Shields Womens Jersey and technically gifted player who has started 26 Serie A games for Fiorentina this season despite only turning 20 in October. But he is not yet a prolific scorer and still has other flaws to his game, including a tendency to dribble with his head down. http://asmap-inform.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=762697
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