Italian Fans Blame Ventura for Their Side’s Failure to Qualify
Italy surprisingly crashed out of the World Cup Play-offs on November 13 as they failed to break down a dogged and determined Sweden side who manfully clung on to their slender goal advantage from the first leg. It’s been a poor few months for the Azzurri, who dropped points at home to Macedonia and narrowly squeezed past both Israel and Albania during the latter stages of the qualifying campaign.
Gian Piero Ventura has come under significant pressure from Italian media and supporters for his perceived negative tactics and slightly outdated approach. It’s a far cry from the halcyon days of Antonio Conte’s tenure where they reached the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 before going out on penalties to Germany.
There was mutiny on the bench as Ventura watched his side squander numerous chances across the two legs with many of the home fans demanding the introduction of the in-form Lorenzo Insigne. Daniele De Rossi was told to warm up midway through the second half and appeared to angrily question his coaches integrity suggesting the need for more attacking players on the pitch.
De Rossi was one of three players who announced their retirement following the disappointment with Gianluigi Buffon calling time on his glittering career alongside experienced defender Andrea Barzagli.
Ventura refused to vacate his position following the disastrous outcome and is set for talks with the Italian Football Federation on November 15 to discuss his future and the direction of the team.
Despite having featured in each and every staging of the competition since 1958, Italy will play no part in the World Cup which gets underway on June 14, 2018, in Moscow. Many pundits see Ventura’s position as untenable with a new lease of life required to give the squad a lift ahead of the Euro 2020 qualification campaign.
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