I hadn’t anticipated giving the Euros anything more than a light touch on the pages of MyFootballWriter, but then again I hadn’t anticipated England getting to the final. So, given that England appearing in the final of a major tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime moment, I couldn’t let the moment pass.
With Italy being England’s opponents and this being a Norwich City website, there was only one place to turn for a knowledgable and anything-but-impartial take on who those who stand between Southgate’s men and Euro glory.
I give you City fan and tweeter extraordinaire, Ian Gabelli.
So, it doesn’t get much more Italian than ‘Gabelli’. Born there, Ian, or family origins?
So, Gabelli is my mother’s family name. It’s not the surname I was born with, but after my parents divorce I took on the name Gabelli, I’ve always felt a stronger bond and closeness to my Italian family than I ever did with the English side (who I don’t even see anymore).
Which Italian club team do you follow, Ian?
Parma. My family over there live in a very rural part of Italy called Varsi, which is only a short drive to Parma, and their colours are mainly yellow, so win win really
So… the Euros. Did you see your boys going all the way? Given that massive unbeaten run they’d been on prior to this tournament (and all those clean sheets!), was a place in the final the least you expected?
I wouldn’t say I expected us to reach the final, but I was surprised at how little Italy got talked about prior to the competition starting. The squad is good but, as always, togetherness is the real key component.
Mancini has done a bloody brilliant job, especially when you consider they missed out on the 2018 World Cup. Am guessing he’s revered in Italy in the same way that Southgate is here? (albeit Gareth’s current status has been a bit of a slow-burner!)
Oh, Mancini is lauded out in Italy alright, and rightly so. What he’s done with this squad in that relatively short space of time is nothing short of incredible.
Mancini’s backroom team… quite a stylish bunch aren’t they! Am fascinated by the bloke with the laptop and the thick-rimmed glasses. Scary as hell … if he pointed to something on a laptop screen and told me to do it, I’d bloody do it!
Haha, Alberico Evani. Had a very good playing career, won a few European cups with AC Milan. Certainly looks more stylish now than when he was playing.
So Chiellini and Bonucci have a combined age of 357 but they hardly ever get caught for pace! How does that work? And how many times do we think Sam Matterface will use ‘warriors’ to describe them in 90 minutes? I’m going for a solid 10.
Chiellini and Bonucci, what can I say! ‘Every tournament will be their last’ is what we’re told, yet they keep coming back, and keep proving people wrong. Their lack of pace, is made up by their incredible reading of the game. When you think you’ve got them beaten, boom, the ball is taken off the attacker and out for a throw, while Chiellini celebrates like he’s won the World Cup. Defending is an art, and they are the masters.
In terms of the Italy team, we’ve watched them as much as you have over the last month so it’s pointless me asking you who their key players are – we’ve seen them for ourselves – but do you think they have been weakened by the absence of Spinazzola? He took being an inverted wing-back to a whole new level.
Spinazzola is a huge, huge loss. Was arguably the player of the Euros before his injury and slightly reinvented the wing back position. And being right footed, playing on the left, defenders just couldn’t deal with it. I feel so sorry for him
But the togetherness in this Italian squad is something else, and their will to win is second to none. Mancini making sure every outfield player gets some game time (because he was an un-used sub in his younger days) was a nice touch.
Would you expect Mancini to make any changes from the team that beat Spain? Immobile will continue to lead the line?
I think it’ll be the same 11. The only change I can see is maybe Tolói replacing Emerson and Di Lorenzo playing the left-back spot. But I’m not convinced with the left-back back options now Spinazzola is out. Chiesa is the main man, incredible talent.
And on the subject of Immobile, fancy getting anything off your chest, mate? 😉
Haha, that Immobile situation made me laugh. Yes he looked a bit silly, but every team has players that go down easyily and the way the press and radio carried on about it was more embarrassing than the situation itself. I’ll leave this here, a line from the commentator during England’s semi final – ‘Saka got back to his feet, Immobile style’.
Finally, the obvious one. How do you see it panning out?
Sta tornando a casa, forse. 2-1 Italy.
Ha! Nice one (Google it, folks).
Cheers for your time, mate. if it’s possible (for any of us). try and enjoy the game!
Alex B says
An excellent preview for tomorrow’s game.
England have already been on a hiding to nothing by the European 🇪🇺 Media and it will continue long after the game.
All the hullabaloo about England playing all but one game at home it’s not the teams fault it’s how the draw was made so we have had a bit of luck.
Penalty so many headlines inferring that EUFA have conspired to get England to the final that’s a non started we are gated with a vengeance.
Laser Lights who ever did that has just cost the FA £26k he or they need finding and fined the same amount and banned from football for life.
Wembly security is a farce if the rumours are right a 1000 people got into the game without tickets or covid-19 checks that is a worry.
Sky have done a survey and 57% wants England 🇬🇧 to lose did they call Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.
Like Loserpool won a title no one else in the league were up for this tournament feels the same, Italy and Germany calling for the games to be moved due to our increased covid-19 numbers but I read that we are the only country in Europe still doing mass testing so who knows what other places are not declaring.
I will go with a 2-0 to England 🇬🇧 then have a friendly game against the Jocks that they can win and claim to be the champions of European football
Sky must have been canvassing the Emily Thornbury Islington set.
Jim Davies says
I tipped Italy to win it right from the start, and despite them missing Spinazzola, I still think they will. England will have a huge advantage, being at Wembley, with a home crowd, but Italy move the ball around so we’ll, and press effectively, that I believe they’ll overcome all that.
There’s been a lot of hysteria in the media, but I’m fairly ambivalent about it all. Much as I would like England to win, I’ll get a lot of satisfaction in saying “told you so” to my grandson if Italy do it!
Last night Lionel Messi felt that he has finally won something after copa america final. Today England surely would feel similar if they win. To Italy this could year of victories, they already won eurovision song contest and left french felt robbed. Italy has been in England now at least week, so home advantage is not anymore so huge. Italy is team which was best specified by our football “experts”. I have seen some of your tv football “experts” talking and sadly its regular stuff without much inside info. Who knows players better than other player who plays against them regularly? Often when you play against someone, you get info that he is like this and that but reality is always different than info.
Teemu Pukki was seventh fastest player in this tournament and I doubt he was in his ultimate best shape. Spinazzola was fastest and he is wing back. People just have difficult to accept that Teemu is 1 of the fastest player of the world, they feel that he does not look like it. I have to admit too that I doubt he would be so fast, but actually Joel Pohjanpalo said that Pukki and Marcus Forss are similar type of high pace strikers. 1 expert told story about Teemu, before tournament he was watching his kid playing outside and suddenly someone was yelling his name. It was mr Pukki, who has not changed as a person much at all and its just like anyone who walks in streets. He dont have ego and no need to show that he has money and suppose because of that he is not very interesting person to media. Im sure he we will be in fine shape when Norwich season starts, healthy without injuries but like we all know football is not 1 player game and to be fair Finlands way too defensive playing style in tournament didnt suite Teemu much all.
Here has been now more than month +25 C to over +30 C with sunny hours only about 20 hours per day. Some surely picture hey thats great, in reality this is painful. Yesterday it was +29 and humidity 70% so feels like weather was +39 C and there is no wind. You walk little bit and try to do something and you are sweating right away. Then there is football trainings and of course players are suffering but they are not only ones. Usually periods like that are about 3 weeks, but now we obviously are talking about possible 3 months. Biggest problems are inside temperatures, you see houses are build to keep cold weather out to use as energy as less possible. Only places to run away this is some grocery stores, it gets expensive and face mask is not nicest one when its warm. I have to say that I already hated our last way too long and cold winter and now its opposite which is differently annoying. There is something extreme going on in weather, you all surely has seen news from Vancouver. Yes, I do know that in here lives weather extremist who traveled to find even warmer weather somewhere, I believe that they are same people who travel to Lapland during winter time to trying to find as coldest weather as possible. Can I say that I dream about your summer weather? Dreaming about wind and rain and today I can at least watch it from tv.