Wales last beat Italy in 1988, a game played at Brescia. Wednesday's match may have greater repercussions though. It's impossible to be too critical of Italy. Wales are distinctly average but gli azzurri never looked like winning.
Sure, you can blame the players but it is like watching Rangers in the latter stages of the Advocaat regime. There is no heart, no cohesion and, with the exception of Del Piero, it looks as if they are all waiting for something to go wrong. Trap has completely lost it, two wins in ten games and he still picks players who shouldn't even be in Serie A, let alone the national team. Step forward Doni and Zauri.
The substitution of Gattuso highlighted the fact that the man has lost it completely. Rino came on in the 64th minute for Di Biagio and was replaced in the 84th by Marazzina. Madness, especially as Marazzina is a dud. Sure, Italy were missing Vieri, Totti, Inzaghi etc but if they can't put together a team to beat Wales, the coach has to go. Bring back Zoff. Trap has been criticised for being too defensive. That's rubbish, Italy don't look as if they can defend (Nesta - what are you playing at?), under the catenaccio style of Zoff, Italy came within a minute of winning Euro 2000. That was defensive football at its best. When will the change be made? Trapattoni insists he is staying, the Federation insist they won't sack him. However, the groundswell of opinion that wants him to go may prove decisive. Other than Zoff who could the new coach be? Possibly Capello, although it's unlikely he'd want to leave club football. Eriksson, a foreigner in charge of Italy? Hope not. There is talk of installing a young manager, perhaps like Vialli. he'd command respect but is he ready, I don't think so.
It's time to steady the ship, Italy can still win this group and I think Zoff is the man.
After the disappointment of the internationals, league action returns this weekend. The big game is in the San Paolo where Napoli play Livorno but some people will be keeping an eye on Inter v Juventus, saturday night's game.
Moratti has fired the first shots, again alluding to referee's favouring Juventus. Sounds like sour grapes and it is. Inter have a 100% record this season and this game will be a test of their scudetto aspirations. Vieri should be fit but Inter will miss Materazzi and Conceicao. For Juventus, Di Vaio is still recovering from concussion, Trezeguet still has a knee problem, Montero is out and Alessio Taacchinardi is suspended. Milan, who are away to Atalanta, will hope this game ends in a draw but I think Inter have a chance to win this game. Juve are without key players and Del Piero's international exertions may hinder him. It would be nice to see Juve win but it will be difficult. Two amazing Seedorf goals ensured a point for the nerazzurri in the corresponding fixture last season and this will be another close game. If pushed, I'd go for an Inter win as Juve's form has been sluggish of late.
Don't expect anyone to beat Omar Sivori's record of six goals in one game, which happened in a 9-1 Juve victory in 1960/61.