Opinion: Mancini needs to stop his tinkering

11 September at 18:15
Roberto Mancini needs to stop improvising and work out what kind of football he wants to play.

The Italy coach has overseen two disappointing games in the UEFA Nations League, drawing with Poland in Bologna and playing very poorly in Lisbon as the Azzurri went down to an André Silva winner.

Sure, Italy’s problems owe a lot to Giampiero Ventura, and turning things around doesn’t exactly happen overnight. Yet the new CT was expected to do better.

Yet we’ve seen two different formations be used over a handful of days, and the Nations League is a trophy, not some lab in which to experiment on formations.

Bonucci and Chiellini were employed against Poland, while Caldara and Romagnoli were thrown into the mixer in Lisbon, despite never having played as part of a four-man defence together.

There is also no explanation for using Lazzari on the right (when he normally plays in a three-man system), or indeed having Bryan Cristante play as a defensive midfielder, or having Bonaventura wide out.

Italy so far don’t know how they’re playing, and consequently created no chances against Portugal.

Andrea Distaso, adapted by @EdoDalmonte

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