Friday, 12 October 2012

Keep Calm and Forza Azzurri

With another set of World Cup Qualifiers on the horizon for Cesare Prandelli's re-vamped Azzurri squad, we as fans of the Nazionale, need to keep calm and trust in the project. As good as the run through the Euro 2012 was, one thing was very evident in the squad, the need for youth.

The first excuse used for the 4-0 drubbing in the final of the Euro was fatigue. Not for anything but Spain had to play the same amount of games, so why were the Azzurri so much more tired than 'La Roja'?

One thing is forsure Cesare Prandelli has recognized the need for a new influx of youth and is giving many youngsters a fair chance at making a name for themselves. Marco Verratti, Angelo Ogbonna, Mattia Destro just to name a few. If Italy is to be successful they will need these guys to be integral parts of the squad.

As great as Andrea Pirlo is, and how he has been able to continue playing at such a high level despite his age, he struggles when playing a lot of games in a short amount of time. Moving to Juventus last season was the best thing that could have happened for the midfield maestro. They had only the Serie A to worry about, it was their lone goal for the season, to return as Italian champions. Pirlo was able to stay fresh and was one of the main reasons, if not the reason Juventus was able to win the Scudetto. But in the Euro, and now in Juventus' Champions League campaign, he struggles when having to play a lot of games in a short amount of time. It's not that he becomes a horrible player, he is just not as good. This is where Marco Verratti comes in, at least for the Azzurri, Prandelli knows that it is time to start grooming the 19 year old to be the 'Regista' of the Azzurri midfield with Pirlo on the decline. We won't know how much Pirlo will be able to give the Azzurri come 2014, and with a talent as bright as Verratti it is a no-brainer that Prandelli should start to expedite the process of replacing Andrea Pirlo as the midfield maestro of the Azzurri.

Marco Verratti is not the only Italian youngster on the rise. Mattia Destro, Angelo Ogbonna, Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile, Luca Marrone, Stephen El Shaarawy, are just some of the names that have been getting Calcio fans excited over the last year or so and are all names that could and maybe should be on the 2014 World Cup Squad if they continue at their current rate of progression. That means a lot of the casual Azzurri fans won't know who the heck these guys are, and might be all up in arms when the time comes. Well I'm here to say Keep Calm and Forza Azzurri. We must trust in the project and trust in Prandelli building this squad.


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