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On Monday, Italy national team head coach Antonio Conte announced his thirty-man preliminary squad ahead of this summer’s European Championships. For some, the announcement gave opportunity for one final condemnation of Conte’s conservative selection policy. For others, it served as a powerful reminder of the supposed paucity of quality players available to the Azzurri and, in turn, pointed towards an apparent decline in the productive capacity of the country’s football system. (more…)
Being confronted by an armed robber is the type of occurrence that generally offers only negative outcomes. Rationally, with the alternative being hurt or even killed, the immediate reaction would be to hand over whatever is asked for, without question. It’s the sort of traumatising experience that would seem impossible to prepare for, unimaginably difficult to deal with. The notion of confronting the robber wouldn’t cross the minds of most, yet this is exactly what Leonardo Bonucci did. (more…)
Italy’s latest round of fixtures in the 2016 European Championship qualification process had a familiar outcome. The results were positive; the performances, not so much. 1-0 wins over both Malta and Bulgaria ensured the Azzurri extended their unbeaten run in qualifying matches to 48 games but, despite the consummate record, Antonio Conte’s side look far from the finished article. (more…)