Archive for September 6th, 2007

Preparing for Italy-France: of mind games, provoking, and psychological warfare

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

It’s a slow news day, there’s little activity to report except for the pre-game preparations that Italy and France are undergoing, waiting for their big clash on Saturday. So here goes, not in any particular order:

Luca Toni, age 30Luca Toni is slowly getting back to optimum conditions after his injury, and there’s every chance that he will be in the starting lineup. Considering his form with Bayern as of late, the Azzurri have every reason to hope he recovers in time. He doesn’t even have to play the whole game, just enough to score a couple of goals. :mrgreen:

Lassana Diarra, age 22Meanwhile, the mind games have started on the French side. After Domenech two weeks ago, it’s now Lassana Diarra‘s turn to open his mouth, and it’s not to be catching flies. Apparently, “Italians are cheats and provokers“, and “the important thing is not to fall into their traps”. If Mr. Diarra wasn’t so desperate for playing time in the French team and in his club, one could actually even pay attention to what he has to say. I guess the bloke finally understood his role in Domenech’s squad: sit on the bench and poke at the opponents with a stick. Oh by the way, did I tell you that Domenech lost his appeal on the UEFA decision that sees him banned for the Italy game, and that therefore he’s going to have to sit the match out? Mmmh, maybe things aren’t so desperate for France after all.

Gianluigi Buffon, age 29Good thing those folks in the Azzurri shirt know better, such as Gigi Buffon: “Let’s wait for the end of the match to see who is laughing.” On his impression of French coach Raymond Domenech, Buffon said: “He seems like a strange character, I can’t say I dislike him because I don’t know him. But if he really said all those things, I don’t think that’s really part of his job. He has to educate, not instigate.” Amen to that Gigi.