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Italian view from Giulianelli: No Conte? No Ancelotti? Why FIGC ignorance halting vital reforms for the Azzurri

COMMENT: The revolution can still wait. Four months after the ignominious elimination of the Italian national team from the World Cup 2018, after the playoff double match against Sweden, nothing has changed in the calcio apparatus.

Italian football, at this very moment, is without a president of the federation, temporarily administrated by the Olympic Commitee, since the resignation by Carlo Tavecchio.

The candidates for his inheritance, Damiano Tommasi and Gabriele Gravina, had promised many reforms, but none of them have been able to obtain the number of votes needed to be elected.

So we are now at a stalemate.

Not only has Italian football, indeed, postponed the urgent and needed reform in order to erase an old system and build up another one able to rise again, a movement that has reached its lowest point in the history since 1958 (the only elimination of the Azzurri from the World Cup qualifiers before this one); the four-time world champions are even without a coach. And none has the authority to appoint a new one.

Interim is the key word today. Interim in the federation, interim in the national team, entrusted temporarily to Gigi Di Biagio, coach of the Under 21 side (as happened in England with Gareth Southgate). Ancelotti, Conte, Mancini, Ranieri: in rigorous alphabetic order, were the names of the most accredited candidates to sit on the Italian bench, but none now have the power to decide and appoint one of them. And the wallet to sign a contract full of zero digits, of course.

What if Di Biagio will turn himself from a caretaker into a full time coach? I won't be so surprised about it, because often in Italy what's temporary becomes permanent: you just have to wait, you just need to be patient, without sponsoring yourself too much, remaining in the shadow.

Maybe, while searching for a coach among the loud rumours of the newspapers, they will not realise that you are still on the bench: and the time will go on. And on, maybe until the next European Cup.

But what's more puzzling, that clearly shows that even this time Italian football hasn't learned anything from this elimination, is right in the name called up by Di Biagio for the two upcoming friendly matches against Argentina and England.

First of all, what immediately jumps out is the name of Gianluigi Buffon among the three goalkeepers: everyone of us have in our eyes the images of him crying after the last match against Sweden, giving his interview like a farewell.

Then, if we go down the list of the 26 names, we find the most worrying aspect of all this situation: there are 16 players that were in the team that last November were named by Giampiero Ventura to face Sweden.

More and more: 16 of the 23 players that have been eliminated against Sweden are still part of the national side: almost the 70%, more than two-thirds.

What future can we plan if we don't accept our failure? Calling up 16 players of that shameful cycle can mean only one thing: that Italian football is acting like nothing has happened; that we think we can win the matches just lining up on the pitch with our glorious name.

Our pomposity, and our lack of courage of putting a point and making a tabula rasa to start again.

But starting again means new people, new management, new ideas: and the old ones don't want to give up their very comfortable rewards of position.

So it's better to have an interim future, of course.

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