Italy coach Luciano Spalletti believes the team can be happy with how they played in their 2-1 win over Ukraine. The victory puts the Azzurri into second place behind England in the Euro 2024 qualifying group, making it Spalletti’s first win as Italy boss.
Speaking in his post-match presser, the Azzurri coach talked about the importance of the win, Davide Frattesi’s contribution and the crowd reaction to goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma:
“I have carried with me all that has happened over the last few days. Of course, when the result is at all costs it becomes more difficult to manage but we want to play matches with this pressure here. Then maybe for something more important, not for qualification, but it’s these matches here and these challenges here that give you the measure of what kind of man you are.
“Now it’s football like this with the mountain of results at all costs to be achieved. To demonstrate what footballers and what men we are, to those who watch us but above all to ourselves.”
“The team played well tonight – It’s true, however, when you decide to change, to play more modern football, you sometimes risk being left with slightly wider spaces. After the 2-0 they played on winning the ball back and on two against two.
“They created problems for us in two situations and in the second half Di Lorenzo was good at playing tighter. With all the hypothetical scoring opportunities created, however, the match had to be closed first otherwise we’ll end up breathing down our necks. In the first half there were 8-10 win backs on the lost ball that make the difference because they take away the opponent’s confidence, involve the stadium and give security”.
“You have to be good at making summaries, but then you have to believe that you can still put something of your own into it. This management fact, that you can’t be a coach, is something that doesn’t find confirmation in my reality.
“We used the time well, you have to do a very precise search for things to say and you can’t clog up the players’ heads and freedom, you don’t take anything away from them but a bit of organization must be given and videos become fundamental because with videos you can work even remotely.
“Often we are told that football is different from the current one, now the players come to the field and want to be ready, they want to be trained and participate. It is not true that we are going to do the same things again as 20 years ago, that it was another football.
“Now they come, they prepare and they want to hear things they recognize and believe in. We need to indicate where we need to go, they are the ones who ask. And then the time must be used well, it’s the most important thing we have. Time is the most important thing of all, when you love something you have to give it your time and we have to dedicate all our time to the national team, even if it’s only ten days.”
“The crowd booing Donnarumma? We talked about it yesterday… Seeing a boy who is given this talent and sometimes makes improper use of it is something to pay attention to, because otherwise people have this desire to wait for you at the gate.
“We are privileged, if they whistle it’s because they don’t think we deserved the applause. Someone with the personality he has never reacts: sometimes you can react with attitudes, other times with words. Still other times you stay silent and go to work even better. Probably if they have us booed, they also saw something that wasn’t right. It’s those who are humble because we’ve been given a chance that everyone would like to experience, but can’t. And I don’t like those who then react on social media with little phrases. We have the duty to behave like professionals, not like spoiled children. Let’s keep quiet.”
“I had a great time there, for me it’s incredible stuff. I feel like I’m in Paradise, all surrounded by blue. I carry with me with great pleasure the attention of the players, from the first moment I met them I saw a participation total. I saw all those things that we requested. Then we all also have difficulties, but there are also obligations. And we must absorb and put those obligations into practice. We must know how to react in difficulties: the Italy of legend has made us see that even when it had great players it was above all the product of a united group. And you can’t go wrong about this: I bring with me the availability of all the players and you have to be careful in making the call-ups”