Under 21, the reasons for a failure. now Mancini guarantor - Corriere.it

Under 21, the reasons for a failure.  now Mancini guarantor - Corriere.it

Of Carlos Passerini

After the burning elimination at the European Championships, we need to turn the page. The plan of the Federcalcio: coach Nicolato is gone, to replace Bollini and Nunziata on pole position

Turn the page. Right away. Because the European failure was sensational. First of all for the Azzurrini themselves, who made a fool of themselves that they won't forget, but inevitably also for our entire football system, which had placed great hopes in the continental mission. This is why strong choices will be inevitable. And immediate. So much so that a summit with Club Italia has already been set for this Monday. It will not be a process, because this is not what is needed now, but it will serve to clarify responsibilities and corrective measures.

The objective set by the Federation was the semi-final, a goal which in all probability would have also given us the pass for the Olympic Games, 16 years after the last time. Also for this reason the bitterness for the gigantic flop has infected everyone, starting with the president of Coni, John Malag, who already on the night of the elimination phoned the president of the Football Federation, Gabriele Gravina. And that he will end his experience at the helm of Italian sport without ever having seen our national football team at the Olympics.

And to think that there was enthusiasm, quality. And for the first time in a long time now also experience. Because, unlike in the past, most of these guys now play consistently in clubs. Tonali, Scalvini, Gnonto then arrived from the major national team. There was optimism for this too. The impression that the head is missing. And concentration too. Perhaps the truth is that someone has thought too much about the transfer market: certainly Sandrino did not benefit from the media storm of the million-dollar transfer from Milan to Leeds. With Norway, a draw was enough. A goblet was enough. We hoped for Pellegri, who is in better shape than ever. But the center forward's problem doesn't just concern the big players.

"It's not the time to talk about my future," coach Paolo Nicolato cut short, but in reality his future is already written: his contract is expiring and will not be renewed. He too has his responsibilities, starting with the decision to take refuge in an overly conservative game form. The federal leaders will take their time, examining various candidates. But at the top of the list are Alberto Bollini and Carmine Nunziata. The first is the selector of the Under 19 who will play the European Championship in Malta from 3 to 16 July, the second that of the U20 who reached the final of the World Cup earlier this month, lost to Uruguay. Many of the new faces of the next U21 will arrive from the U20 who will begin their journey in the qualifying group for the 2025 European Championship in Slovakia in September: among them Pafundi, Baldanzi, Casadei. PThe names of De Rossi and Evani are also circulating on the bench.

The certainty is called Roberto Mancini: the reprogramming will start from him. The blue coach will in fact become supervisor of the Under 21 team. The goal, more than sensible, that the youth team is more functional to the senior selection. And to do this, we need to enhance synergies, also to give continuity to a working methodology that overcomes the chronic problem of the lack of time available to the A national team, one of the main causes of the two World Cups in a row. The blue nursery as cantera. A blue pact for the future. The ambitious project. A long road. But the only way to go.

June 30, 2023 (change June 30, 2023 | 07:27)

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