Spalletti: “Lack of options made it difficult. I made a mistake, I should have changed some players”


Italy national team coach Luciano Spalletti admitted he made some mistakes in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Spain. The Azzurri were up against for much of the match, the only being an own-goal from Riccardo Calafiori. Speaking to Sky after the defeat, Spalletti admitted that the opposition were better, bemoaning the lack of possession:

“It was immediately evident that they were better than us. Without fresh legs, everything becomes more difficult. They are Spain, they have that ball possession, that speed in decision-making, in pressing us. Everything also depended on our lack of sharpness. Sometimes we won the ball back, but we lost it immediately, made imprecise choices, not targeted, we always had an unmotivated reaction. Now we need to think correctly ahead of the Croatia match.”

Regarding the team’s mentality, Spalletti added: “Psychologically, we were coming from a very good performance, so I believe the problem was physical. They were more reactive than us tonight. This is what put us in difficulty. Never give up, but you can’t find certain lines of play and you lose your shape.”

Later, speaking to Rai, he said: “When we switched to three or four fresher players, we managed to be more intense, creating actions that could have led us to equalize, but they were much stronger than us and deservedly won.”

Looking ahead to Monday’s match, Spalletti commented: “It will depend on how we arrive, based on the choices we have available: if we don’t have options, it becomes difficult.”

In the press conference, he elaborated: “It’s clear that the whole team didn’t perform, we were below our level in several areas if you do an individual analysis. Even when we tried to play the game, our reactions were always measured, slow. And then finally Retegui and Raspadori pressed more strongly, so there was the possibility of recovering some balls higher up the pitch. I probably should have changed something based on what we saw, but it didn’t depend only on a couple of players. When there were 4-5 fresher players, we saw that we managed to fit better against Spain. If I can’t take control of the game, the difference becomes even more evident. If you don’t wear them down and make them fall back, then you struggle more.”


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