Napoli riding high

It may well be that a close-run game against Inter that ended up with Napoli dropping out of the Coppa Italia, turns into one of the greatest pieces of luck for them all season.

There is no disgrace in losing to the champions of Italy and Europe on penalties, even if you would have expected Ezequiel Lavezzi to have buried his chance to put Napoli ahead in the shoot-out.

In truth, Maradona's heirs created the best chances, and should have won the game long before the final whistle of extra-time went, with Cavani and Hamsik both going close to sealing a famous victory for the Azzurri.

Anyone want to be the Star Striker?

With just days to go before the tournament kicks off, it's still too difficult to predict which strikers will play. Injuries and the formation Lippi chooses to play will obviously have an impact, but right now, none of the strikers seem to be doing much to push their cause.

Where England have at least one guaranteed starter in Wayne Rooney, Italy don't have anyone who stands head and shoulders above his competitors. All have their own merits, and all know that the role of star striker is up for grabs, IF they can put in the right performances.

Italy stumble...

It looks like Italy will be making their traditional slow start to the World Cup, though coach Marcello Lipi doesn't seem too concerned by their defeat to Mexico.

If I was looking for excuses, I could tell you all that it was only a friendly, that we started the game in a completely new formation (though we switched from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2 after half-time), and that we were missing some key players.

However, the facts remain that we had a good number of the first-teamers playing (including Buffon, Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Pirlo , De Rossi, Di Natale and Gilardino), and we were convincingly outplayed. Mexico dominated possession (with 65% of the ball), and created the better chances, without ever looking too shaky at the back.

News of the World Starts Us

And so to the very first post, and this is to give you all an example of the dross us Italy fans are up against over here in the 'Home of Football' TM.

I know I should have better things to do than read the News of the World, and I know they are probably trying to dress-down all Italy fans because we're generally better looking / more sophisticated than the average NOTW punter, but still...

NOTW ITALY REVIEW
THE defending champions could well be brought back down to earth with a nasty bump this summer. Let's hope so.

Oh.

If Italy should prevail again, maybe their anti-football style will be copied by more and more coaches.

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