Donadoni: “Winning in Kiev”

Roberto Donadoni, age 44The Azzurri coach commented on his team’s performance in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against France, and outlined the objectives for Italy’s match in Kiev Wednesday. Roberto Donadoni, who recently turned 44 just today, would have perhaps liked a different birthday party than the single point obtained at San Siro this week-end, although perhaps the best gift came from Georgia’s late equalizer against Ukraine in the other match of group B Saturday. What follows is a translation of the article by Gaetano Di Stefano.

The day after, the Azzurri team coach reiterates views already expressed in Coverciano, and skilfully avoiding criticism, tries to erase the past and looks forward to the future: “Nothing is decided”, “The boys have given everything they could”, “I have no regrets”, the coach declared. Now we must only think about Kiev because “it’s pointless to make speeches going backwards in time (…) we now have other matches left to face”.

“The match against Ukraine? It’s going to be a hard one”, Donadoni said. The Azzurri are plagued by the same recurring problem, namely that “Everything is dictated by an insufficient physical preparation”. The Italian coach obviously alluded to the fact the Italian federation refused to make Serie A start 1-2 weeks sooner, in order to give the players a better prep. in light of the Euro qualifiers. The coach however, preferred to avoid controversy and closed comments on the issue. Instead, he commented on the roster availability for the upcoming match: “Gattuso is suspended, Pirlo got a nasty blow to the calf, De Rossi isn’t in optimum condition, and Zambrotta has a few cramps that are bothering him”. The coach however, is optimistic: “These are problems that can be resolved in a couple of days. Besides I have many players available that I can count on, to be suitable replacements”.

The Azzurri in a training sessionDonadoni also made a few comments on single players, and was happy to receive praise on the Azzurri defense: “And to think that it was considered the part of our roster which had the most problems”. “Del Piero? He made a few mistakes, like the rest of the team. People always expect great dribbles and goals from him, but that’s not always possible. He tried to give the maximum that he could”.

Concerning the ranking situation in group B, the Italian coach did not put too much weight on the difference in points with Les Bleus: “If we evaluate Italy’s performace, the only real points we’re missing are the two we lost in the opening match against Lithuania in Naples, we should have won that match. If we had, we would be tied with Domenech‘s team”.

Finally, no word (as usual) on the possible formation for Wednesday, or about any changes that we may see in the tactical line-up. Donadoni has now got to focus on the practice sessions, waiting to hear (hopefully good) news from the medical staff. Fingers crossed.

Posted in Azzurri, Euro 2008 |

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