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.

In contrast, our backline was looking far from robust. They were caught out by a simple ball over the top for the first goal, and a pass-back by De Rossi was jumped on for the second. And Mexico could have had more.

Marcello Lippi didn't enjoy the post-match press conference, but had his excuses lined up..

"We spent 10 days in the mountains and came down today to face a side that has already played seven friendlies, so was obviously in better shape,” he said of the 2-1 defeat in Brussels.

“The game should only be read this way. I know these players very well and this really wasn't their true form, it was not the real Italy.

"They had heavy legs and it's not important to be in good shape now, but rather in about 10 days. If we too had played seven games without training or focusing on fitness work, then we'd be playing well right now too.”

What does all this mean? Well, hopefully not a lot. Having just been playing in the mountains, and not played a competitive friendly in a while, we should have expected a poor performance, especially against a Mexico side that impressed against England.

The defeat in itself doesn't concern me, but the manner of it, and the lack of creativity even when playing with four attacking players doesn't seem to bode well.

We'll have to hope for better on Saturday (against Switzerland).