Three reasons why the Italian media are blaming Spalletti after the loss to Spain

Former Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi refused to blame Luciano Spalletti after a 1-0 defeat to Spain, but other Italian pundits suggest the Azzurri should have been more humble while CT had the squad starting and even the wrong substitutions.

It’s a bittersweet day for the Azzurri, who lost 1-0 to Spain on Thursday night after a successful EURO 2024 debut against Albania.

Former Italy coach Sacchi refused to blame CT Spalletti, but the general mood in the country is very different.

Sky Sport Italia Beppe Bergomi, a World Cup winner from Italy in 1982, said Italy did not accept Spain’s superiority in the early stages and were not humble enough.

There were comparisons with the most recent meeting with Spain at the 2021 European Championships, when La Roja dominated proceedings but Italy emerged victorious on penalties.

“They played better than us, but we didn’t struggle as much as we did this time,” argued the former defender.

La Gazzetta dello Sport criticized Spalletti’s substitutions. The ones he did and the ones he didn’t.

“Spalletti remains an excellent coach, but some of his decisions have not been convincing,” said the paper’s deputy director Stefano Agresti.

“Starting with the decision to start Di Lorenzo against Nico Williams and then the decision to keep him on the field for so long. The starting line-up was all wrong and the first few substitutions were equally unconvincing before Di Lorenzo stayed on the pitch with Chiesa. Spain destroyed Italy on that flank in the first half.

“It’s not Spalletti’s fault because Italy’s players don’t have as much quality as Spain’s players, but this time some of his decisions weren’t entirely convincing.”

Former Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni also blamed Spalletti and delivered perhaps the harshest verdict.

“It’s a huge step back. A real failure of the Spalletti project,” he told RAI.

“Against Albania, we saw a determined team for 70 minutes, but this time, with the substitutions of Jorginho and Chiesa, he showed that he doesn’t believe in that anymore. He distorted the team too much in the second half.”

Spalletti admits he made a mistake for Spain’s game, but Italy’s style will not change