Mancini: ‘Glad Holland recognise positive Italy’

by | Sep 6, 2020 17:56

Roberto Mancini confirms several changes to the Italy XI against the Netherlands and is glad ‘a country that invented Total Football’ recognises the Azzurri’s attacking mentality.

It kicks off on Monday in Amsterdam at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

“I can confirm four of the starting XI tomorrow, which will be Gianluigi Donnarumma, Giorgio Chiellini, Jorginho and Ciro Immobile,” said the coach in his press conference.

Roberto Mancini confirms several changes to the Italy XI against the Netherlands and is glad ‘a country that invented Total Football’ recognises the Azzurri’s attacking mentality.

It kicks off on Monday in Amsterdam at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

“I can confirm four of the starting XI tomorrow, which will be Gianluigi Donnarumma, Giorgio Chiellini, Jorginho and Ciro Immobile,” said the coach in his press conference.

Chiellini was meant to be starting against Bosnia-Herzegovina, but Francesco Acerbi was included instead and Mancini didn’t realise because he “checked the list without my glasses on.”

They went on to draw that game 1-1, while Holland beat Poland 1-0, so this is already a crunch match in the Nations League group.

“I hope my team will play well and be positive, the way they were against Bosnia, even if some things didn’t quite go to plan in that game.

“We must try to get the victory. It would’ve been better to have played in October, especially as we are still without the fans.”

Dutch interim manager Dwight Lodeweges said that Italy and Holland have a similar attacking philosophy, something few would’ve expected him to say a couple of years ago.

“I am pleased that our quality is recognised, especially by a country that invented Total Football,” smiled Mancini.

“The lads deserve credit for interpreting this style of football so well. Johan Cruijff is an emblem of modern football, while we in Serie A were fortunate enough to admire the best Dutch players.

“This is certainly going to be a more entertaining game than against Bosnia, because they will open up the spaces and attack us more.”

Immobile was Capocannoniere and European Golden Shoe winner, so it surprised many when he was benched in favour of Andrea Belotti against Bosnia.

“Our forwards are accustomed to playing in a different way at club level and they are adapting. We could’ve scored more goals or helped with greater movement, but Belotti and Immobile did their duty. We must do more tomorrow.

“It’s important that we don’t lose our identity, but at the same time go for the victory via the performance.

“The players arrived for international duty without any pre-season training sessions, so it is a completely anomalous situation. We therefore have to rotate the squad out of respect for these players, as we don’t want any injuries. For example, Stefano Sensi cannot play two games in three days.”

Nicolò Zaniolo is also expected to break into the starting XI after he came off the bench against Bosnia.

“I saw both Zaniolo and Moise Kean have really matured recently and I hope they continue like that, as they are on the right track. We’ll see everyone’s fitness levels before deciding who starts, but we will make a lot of changes.

“Nicolò can play both as a right-sided attacking winger and in a three-man midfield. He could still be playing in the Under-21 side, so he has enormous margin for improvement.”

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