In the Wellington storm, women’s Italy loses compass, match and World Cup.
Bertolini’s Italy already returns home in the group stage, as in Euro 2022. With the same perplexities surrounding both the manager and the group and its generational turnover, with perhaps an even greater feeling that reaching the second round was a goal range. Especially with an inside-out match where the Azzurri presented themselves with two results out of three available, against a South Africa, although continental champions last year, who had never won a match in the World Cup;
Italy comes out with an attitude that can be revised as well as with the usual difficulties of tactical disposition and mental reaction. After the lead, Italy was unable either to impose itself on the game level or to freeze the game, suffering the reaction of South Africa who, with luck, put the game back on a draw and with skill went forward twice. No order, no security: the blues left, again, the tremendous feeling of being a team in disarray;
The They are children, they are children they had their merits, first of all that of playing a proactive and fast-paced game, albeit with confusing moments and with certain technical limits. That of the South Africans was a fair victory in terms of what was seen on the pitchjust as it was more than ever deserved for Kgatlana to have put his signature on the historian match-goal. The centre-forward was a constant thorn in the side for the Azzurri rearguard, and her speed and skill in 1vs1s was cleverly exploited by CT Elliss;
To try to put together the pieces of Italy was once again Girelli, yet to take over. His spit propitiated Caruso’s hip goal, the one that seemed to be worth qualifying. Yet, even the 10 blue contributed to the collapse of Italy, with an opportunity devoured at 2-2 against the goalkeeper Swart, very good at blocking with her foot. In short, the flop of the national team cannot find an alibi in underutilized saviors of the homeland, but rather in an individual and overall performance, not up to par not even what was shown throughout the season. Think of Giugliano, Roma’s metronome in the league and in the Champions League, lost among the waves of the diluted Italian midfield;
The twenty-five minutes against Sweden before the collapse remain the only real moment in which Italy showed self-confidence and with clear ideas on what to do on the pitch. In the end, the problem seems to be all in this “detail”, in the absence of solid shared game principles. The criticisms of Bertolini’s technical and training choices – who in any case never questioned his 11 of reference, ineffective in practice – seem out of focus, even more those on the “state of health of the movement” (a title of example: look at the numbers of members and level of professionalization of Japan, a national team which is not without its emblem). The blues return home simply confirming all the doubts that have hovered over this group, and this coach, for at least a year.