Roberto Mancini looking to make statement of intent as Italy face Poland in UEFA Nations League

Chloe Beresford by Chloe Beresford / 07 September 2018, 11:30

Since former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini took the vacant Italy post last May, it has been clear that he is ready to break the mould.

This is a side that were glaringly absent in Russia during this summer’s World Cup, former Coach Giampiero Ventura responsible for their failure to qualify for the first time in 60 years.

For too long, the Azzurri’s most talented players were overlooked by Ventura and indeed Antonio Conte before him, in favour of selecting the “old favourites” that were never going to be capable of taking the nation forward. In contrast, Mancini has named a squad full of talented youngsters and unfamiliar names that have not exclusively come from the traditional Italian powerhouses of Juventus, AC Milan and Inter, the stage is now set for this rebuild to bear fruit.

It will not be an easy process as many elements within the Italian Football Federation need to be revolutionised, however this week has once again proven that “Mancio” is unafraid to speak his mind.

The new Commissario tecnico has waged war on the clubs from which his players originate, blasting them for failing to give these deserving candidates enough playing time at a domestic level.

“Our use of Italians has never been so low, so we have to try something different. That’s why I’ve called up certain players,“ Mancini declared at an Azzurri press conference.

“Having said that, I believe there are some very good Italians around, certainly better than many of the foreigners who play in their place.”

Indeed, AS Roma’s 19-year-old midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo has received the call to the full international squad before he has even made his Serie A debut. I’m surprised to have been called up but enthusiastic about it,” he admitted during Thursday’s press conference. My journey at the European Championship with the Under-19 National Team helped me a lot, I’ve always believed in my dreams and they have come true.”

The Ct has also been present at many more Serie A matches than other bosses from the recent past, his appearance in the stands at Fiorentina-Udinese last Sunday consistent with surprise maiden call-ups for Cristiano Biraghi and Marco Benassi.

In a clear attempt to lighten the atmosphere during training at the team’s Coverciano base, Mancini has also introduced a playlist full of upbeat and inspiring songs, leading many to believe that a super-strict atmosphere is very much a thing of the past.

Perhaps Roberto Mancini wasn’t many people’s first choice for the Italy job, but the fact that he is willing to stick his head above the parapet makes him stand out above the rest.

UEFA Nations League - Italy vs. Poland.

Kick-off time: 19:45

Where to watch: Sky Sports Mix/Sky Sports Football

Predicted Lineup: Donnarumma; Zappacosta, Bonucci, Chiellini, Criscito; Benassi, Jorginho, Pellegrini; Bernardeschi, Balotelli, Insigne

Prediction: This is still a developing Italy side, but based on Poland’s poor showing in the World Cup, a win for the Azzurri is on the cards here. A 2-1 victory seems likely.

sackrace

Managers Departed

Last man down

David Wagner
David Wagner
(Huddersfield Town)
14th January
VIEW ALL CASUALTIES
Next in firing line Hottest Manager Markets

Premier League

Next Manager to Leave

Arsenal

Next Manager

Barcelona

Next Manager

Bayern Munich

Next Manager

Chelsea

Next Manager

England

Next Manager

Huddersfield Town

Next Manager

Leeds United

Next Manager

Leicester City

Next Manager

Liverpool

Next Manager

Luton Town

Next Manager

Manchester United

Next Manager

Newcastle United

Next Manager

Real Madrid

Next Manager

Valencia

Next Manager
x
Bet £10 & Get 6 x £5 FREE Bets for the Premier League

New customer offer, place a single €/£10 Sports bet on Wed, Thu or Fri and get a €/£5 free bet for every 3pm EPL game taking place on Sat 19th of January. Deposits using credit/debit cards or PayPal only. Free bets are only valid for the specified matches and are awarded at 10am on Sat 19th of January. Free bet stakes not returned with winnings. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.

BET HERE
x
£20 Risk Free First bet
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is  £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a  £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of  £10+. T&Cs apply.
BET HERE
We use cookies to provide statistics that help give you the best experience of our site. By continuing to use the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more
Got It