Italy, and return to travel

This victory is a return to the future. Because there is all the syntax of the European expressed with new words. There is the short team that presses to the end and keeps the center of gravity high, there is the game between the lines, the changes and the verticalizations that make the Azzurri unpredictable, there is the geometric order in midfield around the diligent direction by Cristante. And, finally, there is the movement of Raspadori who seems to be the only striker capable of resolving the incompleteness of Mancini’s center forward. As long as his forces allow it, he is always in the maneuver, or to make the bank, or to make room for the raids of his teammates, as the coach wishes.
The attack of three brevilinear, Politano and Gnonto in addition to the Sassolese one, is a mobile and never predictable frontier, capable of marrying Pellegrini’s creativity. It is a three-three-four gamble that the blue coach allows himself against a modest Hungary, forcing it to play almost always with his back to the goal, and breaking the Hungarian counter-attacks in the bud, thanks to the doubling of marking that the short distance between the departments makes it easier.
The Azzurri have different ways of percussion, but the one that turns out to be decisive is precisely the left wing, where even in the last few races they have shown an enormous effort to sink. What has changed? Spinazzola is back, not yet at his best, but already capable of making a difference: unmarking, receiving, triangulating, aiming at the opponent with one on one and providing Barella with an enviable ball for a left-handed. Except that the Cagliari player, who is not left-handed, allows himself a stop to follow that eludes the naive marking of the Hungarian defender, and is forgiven for the delay with a right neck from the film library.
It is the return to the future. And in the future there is certainly also the eighteen-year-old from Verbania, whom he had already impressed in the draw against Germany, and to whom Mancini wanted to grant ninety whole minutes of precious running-in. Gnonto responded with excellent mobility and some understandable hesitation in the final phase. But in any case with flying colors.
To say that a new cycle has begun would be a sound lie. For this to happen, too many things have to change in the relationship between the clubs and the national team. And yet we are not even at the right promises, since football has not made any concrete commitment with respect to the need to launch and promote a sufficient number of Italian talents to absorb injuries and uncertainties in the championship and to guarantee Mancini an adequate choice.
But it is true that a new climate has returned to the blue clan. Not only and not so much for the Nations League standings, which since last night sees Italy in the lead in the group, ahead of the defeat Hungary, Germany and England. But above all for the confidence that the blue game was able to convey in some phases of the match. In the first fifteen minutes of the second half the national team even seemed overwhelming, even if the crossbar and some mistakes in the final phase denied the Azzurri the third goal. In the speed of certain insightful exchanges there is all the genius of the best Italian school, of which the technician from the Marches is one of the most modern masters. His new team has some ingenuity, but a decent class, and an enviable empathy, which has always seemed Mancini’s greatest contribution to this feat. We are waiting for England with the well-founded hope that something has started again. Yes, travel …

Italy, Pellegrini still decisive: 2-1 against Hungary

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Italy, Pellegrini still decisive: 2-1 against Hungary

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