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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…)
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…)