Italian Fans React Angrily After Watching Their Side Fail to Qualify for the World Cup
Italian fans packed out the San Siro on November 13 and provided a wall of noise in a bid to help their side overturn a one-goal deficit against Sweden, but it proved inconsequential as the Azzurri couldn’t find a way past a dogged and determined backline.
Their elimination shook the sporting world as the four-time champions failed to make the World Cup for the first time since 1958 with home fans left in stunned silence following the final whistle.
Despite reports that coach Gian Piero Ventura had resigned shortly after watching his side shoot blanks in the final third, he is still in charge and is set for showdown talks with the Football Federation on November 15th. Supporters have been calling for his head after some underwhelming performances leading up to goalless draw in Milan. Calls for former coach Antonio Conte to return had been heard throughout the game with Ventura’s position seemingly untenable following his failure to guide a hugely talented side to the World Cup 2018.
Italy aren’t the only high-profile side to miss out on qualification for the tournament with Chile, USA and the Netherlands all missing out and many other sides can learn from the mistakes made by the Azzurri. Ventura’s point-blank refusal to utilise Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne from the bench upset legions of fans with the in-form attacker capable of unlocking defences and creating a moment of magic. He opted for more predictable alterations instead.
It’s back to the drawing board for the Italian Football Federation as the inquest continues. The decline of the national side is a huge concern for supporters and with the loss of iconic goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Barzagli, who all announced their retirement following the game, it is likely to trigger a seismic shift both on and off the pitch.