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.

Anti-Football? When was this? At the last World Cup, when we played our part in some thrilling games against Australia and Germany, and scored 12 goals along the way?

The state of Italian football on and off the pitch remains rotten. Attendances are appalling and Serie A is rife with terrace violence.

On the pitch - have you ever heard of Internazionale?
Off the pitch - average attendance is 25,000 (not great, but certainly not appalling!), and violence isn't rife!

The Azzurri players deserve respect for the way they won four years ago against the backdrop of the country's match-fixing scandal. But was everyone involved really oblivious of the bribe culture in their own country? And has it really been eliminated?

Difficult to say. What does this have to do with the World Cup squad though?!

One thing that hasn't changed is their dull, boring style of play as witnessed as they eventually overcame the Republic of Ireland to win their group.

More research needed instead of sticking to your lazy journalistic stereotypes - we won 7 and drew 3, finishing unbeaten in our group, socring 18 goals along the way!

The defence will be dour, the midfield will press and cover and the attack will most certainly be the first line of defence.

The defence will be well-organised and happy with the ball at their feet. Obviously the midfield and attack will press and cover, but thats the same as Wayne Rooney does!

As four years ago, Italy will be reliant on the odd moment of magic up front, although one wonders exactly who is going to provide it. Alberto Aquilani is regarded as one of their most talented midfield players but look how unimpressive he has been for Liverpool this season. In attack, Giuseppe Rossi is no Paolo Rossi. He didn't make it at Manchester United and now plays for Villarreal in Spain. Neither Antonio di Natale of Udinese nor Juve's Vincenzo Iaquinta are world class forwards either.

Aquilani didn't ever stand a chance of getting in the squad, unless this review was written about three years ago. Rossi isn't in the final squad.

Di Natale scored 29 goals for a lowly Udinese, to finish as Serie A's top scorer, ahead of Milito, Eto'o, Pato, etc. I agree about Iaquinta though.

Midfield playmaker Andrea Pirlo is a class act but opponents will soon suss out that if they stop him they stifle Italy.

We're not really as dependent upon Pirlo anymore. Now if we were talking about the team from four years ago...

Paraguay are good enough to beat them and Slovakia could hold them to a draw.

We'll see...

The four-time winners have a history of going all the way by grinding out results. But there are too many vastly better teams this summer - possibly even in Group F.

And the final dig.

Great review NOTW. Must have taken all of 5 minutes to research!

Comments

With Ronaldo and Adebayor up front, Real Madrid can finally beat Barcelona! Casillas, Kaka and Ramos are absolutely immense!

Top teams that should be at the World Cup:France, Germany, Italy, Serbia, Uruguay

Rubbish teams that shouldn't: Australia, Chile, Ghana, Honduras, New Zealand, Nigeria, Paraguay, Slovakia, Switzerland

Do any of you guys seriously believe that Liverpool, Tottenham or Man City can topple Man Utd and take the Premier League trophy? Even if Liverpool had Kuyt and Mascherano back I can't see it!

Can someone please explian to me what is the point of Walcott, especially when we have just sold someone like Eduardo. Does Arsene Wenger have any idea what he is doing?! If I could go back to the days of Anelka, I totally would!

Are Barry and Given some of the most under-rated footballers ever? If they werer playing at Man Utd instead of City then they would be getting comapred to the Ronaldo's of this world. As it is, its like they play Soccer like a bunch of donkeys. Add Friedel to the under-rated list too!

How did Russia end up with the World Cup. You would have thought the England bid was the best, closely followed by the Spain one. But Russia? Seriously!?

Are Newcastle fans supposed to support Celtic or Rangers? AC or Inter? Its difficult to tell!

Here is my 'Bright Future XI'. Cech is in nets - hes not THAT young, but still got about 10 years left at the top! Ivanovic, Ramsey, Kompany and Young would be in defence. Milner, obi Mikel, Aquilani and Tevez in midfield. Santo and Sturridge would be a class front two.

What is is with Chelsea these days - they never seem to give youth a chance? Yes we have youngsters like McEachran and Kalou coming through slowly, but when are we goping to replace the 30-somthings - the likes of Cole, Carvalho, Ballack, Malouda, Bosingwa and Ferreira???

My dream Man United XI would be Foster in nets, with Gallas, Gibbs, Clichy and Vermaelen in defence. Fletcher would lead a midfield made up of Essien, Babel and Cole, with youngsters Welbeck and Macheda up front. How awesome a team would that be?!

My favourite team is Arsenal. With Fabregas, Arshavin, Nasri and van Persie we have the makings of an amazing team.

Did you see the goals that Saha scored? Golacccccciooooo! Love it when you Bet on football and it all comes off :) Buying some new Soccer Boots with my winnings :)