Azzurri: Totally Not Playing For a Tie, So Shut Up AlreadyBy: Martha | November 14th, 2007
Just like his (temporary) boss Roberto Donadoni insisted earlier this week, Luca Toni sternly informed the press today that the Azzurri would not go to Scotland looking for a tie, not no way, not no how. Thanks, Luca, that’s good to know.
The funny thing is that all of this has stemmed not from anything anyone in Italy said, but from crazy Raymond Domenech’s constant stirring, specifically his recent assertion that what Italy “are good at” are draws, so they’re sure to get one in Glawgow, just as they did against the French in Milan. It’s amazing how strongly everyone reacts to everything that man says, but it’s hard to tell how much of it is defensiveness and how much is just the media’s constant, unavoidable questions about Ray Ray’s criticism; probably a healthy dose of both. (Oh and just to keep you up to speed, if Ray Ray has anything say about it, his team will be either out partying or busy “playing cards,” so they won’t be able to watch the Scotland-Italy match.)
When they’re not defending themselves to the press or addressing calcio’s current crisis, the Azzurri squad — all of them, now that Canna and Zambrotta have turned up — are training, and waiting for The Don to figure out who is in his first 11. The good news is that everyone is mostly healthy: Zambro had an exam on the injury from which he recently recovered this afternoon, but is apparently ready to start on the left side of the Azzurri defense. There is question, though, about who will play opposite him, with Oddo and Old Man Panucci competing for the spot. The other position over which there is a battle is in the midfield, where Daniele De Rossi supposedly has a chance to usurp Massimo Ambrosini’s starting spot; if Ambo is actually healthy, though, it’s hard to imagine Donadoni leaving one of his Rossoneri midfield loves on the bench.