Sacchi analyzes Italy’s loss to Spain: ‘Spalletti is not to blame’

Former coach Arrigo Sacchi has provided a detailed analysis of Italy’s painful loss to Spain in their second Euro 2024 group exit, suggesting “Serie A is not helping him”.

The Azzurri showed a number of positives in their European Championship opener, reacting well from a 1-0 deficit to Albania to turn things around and win 2-1 to give them an early boost in Group B.

Spain shone in their Euro 2024 opener, cruising past Croatia in dominant fashion with a 3-0 win, sparking concern among Azzurri fans. That concern was finally realized in their meeting in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday evening.

Spain had a dominant display against Italy, looking dangerous throughout the match and eventually took the lead in the second half after Riccardo Calafiori was unlucky to guide the ball into the back of his own goal, leaving and the Azzurri to straighten up. lose 1-0.

Sacchi analyzes Italy’s loss to Spain

Writing for La Gazzetta dello Sport, Sacchi explored Italy’s defeat to Spain, explaining why things went wrong for Spalletti’s side in Gelsenkirchen.

“The picture of the match was quickly seen, there was an organized collective against a group of players wandering around the field. The difference between Spain and Italy, from what I saw last night, is enormous.

“De la Fuente’s national team plays dominant football, has technical and tactical knowledge, knows how to move and, above all, does it at the right time.

“Italy, unfortunately, is not a team yet, it takes time, it takes patience. We should learn a lot from this defeat and I hope we try to appreciate the mistakes made without getting caught up in the usual presumption.

“Let’s make one point straight away: Spalletti is not to blame. He is a coach who has been with the team for less than a year, has inherited a complicated situation and is trying to give style to a country that has never had it.

“Serie A doesn’t help him, most teams practice an old football, not very consistent with European principles, players struggle to get out because of the massive presence of foreigners.

“To work in these conditions is a serious problem, which must be taken into account when judging the Italian national team.

“It ended 1-0 to Spain, but we have to be honest and admit that we did well, they could have easily scored five or six goals, while we were never dangerous against Unai Simon . I saw right away that it was going to be a complicated evening.

“Italy looked bewildered, almost intimidated, and this attitude is the result of a mentality that Italians have always carried within them. We do not know how to reason “as a collective”, we (that is, as a people) go our own way, we are individualists.

“Spain, on the contrary, was a perfect architecture, but it’s easier for them, all Spanish teams play like that, they have in their DNA the desire to dominate the opponent, keep the ball, go and steal it when i lose This one.

“De la Fuente’s boys are doing nothing but moving on the pitch exactly as they have been doing all season, while the Azzurri, if they want to be collective, have to completely change the style of play they practice at club level .

“It’s too easy to list the mistakes. Marking was insufficient, in the defensive phase there was not the necessary attention, there was never an attempt to anticipate the action and consequently there were no counters.

“So it’s normal to fall into total darkness. You see others come to you and get the ball, and you don’t have the strength or knowledge to go and get it back. Spain got excited and we got more and more depressed.

“This match, when you think about it, showed the cultural difference between Spain and Italy at football level. There is no shame in admitting our inferiority as long as we work like crazy to close the gap.

“We were talking earlier about the errors in the defensive phase and as a football team is connected by a thin thread that holds everyone together, it is natural that difficulties at the back do not allow the development to take place.

“Spain attacked us in all areas, we couldn’t keep the ball and technically good players in Serie A like Dimarco. Why, then, this difficulty? Simple: Spain forced us to play at a speed and pace that is not accessible to us.

“At this speed and pace, even a simple control or a two-meter pass becomes difficult, we are not used to this intensity and our limits have appeared. I heard someone say our forwards didn’t get served, true, but how much did they move to get the ball?

“Scamacca wasn’t very active, he didn’t dictate the tempo, he didn’t suggest a pass, he didn’t come forward and attack deep. But don’t blame him, just as you shouldn’t blame Spalletti.

“We still have the match against Croatia to qualify and we will have to show that we have learned the lesson that Spain taught us. No drama then. But a lot of humility to understand where I went wrong.”