Putting the blame solely on the coach is wrong. Or do you want to imply that Italy only has about a dozen of talented players, so if half of them can't play for whatever reason, then the team is worth nothing? What Italy has shown in their three matches falls pretty much in line with their usual performance in the group phase of a big tournament. This time they just didn't have their usual luck, so they got eliminated.
Against Paraguay, they weren't good, they played lousy. Against New Zealand, they looked helpless, barely able to get close to scoring a goal. Against Slovakia, they did nearly nothing and only started to play football after the wake up call that was the 2-0. Out of possible 270 minutes, Italy showed what they are capable of for roughly 15 minutes. Good riddance I say.
When was the last time that Italy went through a major tournament and people said "Wow, they are playing great, who's possibly going to stop them at this rate?" Maybe that happened before I was born, but not during my lifetime.
The coach even blamed it fully on himself in an interview.
World Cup 2006, I think they played great. A team doesn't win a world cup, or even advance into the last 16 unless they are doing something good. Doing what they did ended up in a fourth world cup, world champions.
Nobody expected Italy to go far at all this year, because the coach's poor choice of players.
Marcello Lippi is done anyways, there will be a new coach for 2012 euro cup and 2014 world cup. Hopefully he makes some good choices to get Italy back.
Regardless of whatever you say, four stars.
And Cannavaro said that Lippi always wants to protect the team in an interview shortly afterwards. Lippi is taking the blame on him, but according to Cannavaro the team very well knows that their poor performance was the main reason that sent them home after only three matches.
In 2006 their first match was so unlike themselves. It was one of the rare cases where they dominated their opponent, in this case Ghana. Then they went downhill big time against the USA and played at least solidly against the Czech Republic. They eliminated Australia with a lot of luck. Their goals against the Ukraine happened just at the right time, 2-0 right after the Ukraine had three big chances to tie the game. They played lousy against Germany for 90 minutes and then surprised the Germans by playing football in the overtime. The final was horrible, because they played against France who want to be just like Italy.
In the end, Italy is a tournament team like Germany who happens to have the necessary luck a lot of times. The biggest difference is that Germany plays good football more regularly.
Sure, four stars. But come on, two of those were in the '30s when a lot of things were fishy. When I read about Italians punching Spanish players without getting penalized for that, yeah...
Well that's your opinion on them, so it's fine. Stuff that you call "luck" may be called skillful, or tactical playing to others. Again, a world cup doesn't win itself, certainly not four times.
Because they didn't have a good team all around, there's so many guys on the team that shouldn't be on. So yeah, it's partly the team's fault, but the team doesn't control who get's put on the team or not.
But whatever, imo, not including this year, they are one of the best team's in Europe most definitely, and they are up there worldwide.
Azzurri will always be my favorite, win or lose.