Prandelli’s pool of talent – all-round midfielders and mediani

Midfielders

Midfield summary

In a similar vein to the defence, the midfield offers ample choice for the central roles and a blank when it comes to the lateral players. But while the shuffle of full-backs is only a matter of pecking-order uncertainties, the absence of wingers represents a genuine crisis in the sector. This lack of flanking midfielders, along with an abundance of forwards, have convinced Prandelli that a best formation involves three forwards backed by three midfielders. The composition of the midfield trio would then plausibly be as follows: one regista to direct play, one mediano to close opposition spaces, and one all-round player with a lot of breath, capable of taking care of a multitude of different tasks. There are several combinations of athletes that could fulfil these requirements, and finding the best three men among them is a crucial challenge for Prandelli.

The all-round midfielders

Antonio Candreva (Parma)
Age: 24
Position: Attacking midfield
Description: A bizarre trequartista whose role, dimension and class have never clearly defined themselves. His landing at Juventus last year seemed an augur for great things to come, but he never took off. Currently he is enjoying a measure of success at Parma. Mobile but inconsistent, no-one knows what he will really become on the long run.
Call-up: Unlikely
Andrea Lazzari (Cagliari)
Age: 26
Position: Attacking midfield/left-wing
Description: Could not get into Cagliari’s team under Pierpaolo Bisoli earlier in the season, but seems to be back in favour under Roberto Donadoni. Has very useful offensive characteristics from central midfield, and his ability to play on the left may interest Prandelli. Will have to demonstrate that he has that extra little bit of quality over the next year.
Call-up: Unlikely
Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
Age: 25
Position: Central midfield/left-wing
Description: Now at a crucial point in his career, Marchisio could become the best young Italian midfielder, or no more than another good sub. The best ways to use this iconoclastic talent are still not too clear. Marchisio is not a winger, not a trequartista, not a regista and not a fantasista, falling somewhere in between all these things. He has strong one-on-one and finishing skills, and he is very fast, but his long-range passing and tactical sagacity are sometimes lacking. The next few years will say a lot about him.
Call-up: Certain
Stefano Mauri (Lazio)
Age: 31
Position: Attacking midfield/trequartista
Description: A passable trequartista, somewhat deficient in speed and depth. His call-up for the friendly against Germany may have been no more than a homage, and his age is definitely working against him. Probably not Azzurri material.
Call-up: Unlikely
Thiago Motta (Inter)
Age: 28
Position: Central midfield
Description: A very complete midfielder with plenty of experience in European competition. Thiago Motta sometimes lacks sportsmanship, but he is in his prime, and he can cover almost any role in the midfield. Controversies around his non-Italian nationality probably will not prevent him from coming along.
Call-up: Certain
Antonio Nocerino (Palermo)
Age: 25
Position: Central midfield
Description: Nocerino’s bizarre career saw him starting out as a mediano, only to evolve into a Perrotta-like multi-tasking role at Palermo. Tireless and versatile, Nocerino is humble and has been improving on his somewhat deficient technique. He should be tested on the big stage. If he can withstand the pressure, he could really contribute to the Italian cause.
Call-up: Likely
Ezequiel Schelotto (Catania, on loan from Atalanta)
Age: 21
Position: Attacking midfield/right-wing
Description: Among the brightest players in the current U-21 squad, Schelotto will finally be playing for a Serie A team next year when he joins Catania. A creative offensive midfielder who has been used as a striker and is confident playing on the wings, Schelotto will need to prove that he can bring his flair to the bigger levels as well.
Call-up: Uncertain

The mediani

Davide Biondini (Cagliari)
Age: 28
Position: Central midfield
Description: Marcello Lippi’s surprise call-up in the last friendlies before the 2010 tournament, Biondini is a mature mediano with a creative spark. He lacks experience though, and his class does not seem such as to warrant an inclusion in the 2012 team.
Call-up: Unlikely
Matteo Brighi (Roma)
Age: 30
Position: Defensive midfield
Description: Roma’s surprising, versatile, tireless mediano can interpret a number of roles and take care of numerous tasks. His weak spots, on the other hand, are technique and consistency. He is not a midfielder to throw away, but his age works against him.
Call-up: Unlikely
Daniele De Rossi
Age: 27
Position: Defensive midfield
Description: The pillar of the Azzurri midfield. Regrettably he has been on the wane for the past few years, as he seems to have lost his offensive skills (including a lethal shot from distance). But he is a strong mediano with a world of experience, and a very solid resource for any team. Some people question whether he should start, but his presence on the bench at least is undisputed and undisputable.
Call-up: Certain
Daniele Dessena (Sampdoria)
Age: 23
Position: Defensive midfield
Description: No-one has ever understood Walter Mazzarri’s aversion to young midfielders. Prior to Luca Cigarini at Napoli, his favourite victim was Sampdoria’s Daniele Dessena. Now that Mazzarri has left, this promising young mediano is finally being given some playing time. It will be interesting to discover what type of player he is, over this year and the next.
Call-up: Uncertain
Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria)
Age: 29
Position: Defensive midfield
Description: An overrated mediano with a considerable combative spirit. He makes a reliable sub for other defensive midfielders, though not much more than that. Might make the Euros, depending on the performances of his direct competitors.
Call-up: Likely

Prandelli’s pool of talent

Goalkeepers
Central defenders
Full-backs
Registi
All-round midfielders and mediani
Wingers
Forwards (part 1)
Forwards (part 2)

sports.betway.com/en/horse-racing-betting-site Welcome Bonus Offer Betway

Related matches