If Mancini’s Italy had followed the De Laurentiis method, we would now be at the World Cup

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To improve you have to change. Napoli has paved the way, finally putting into practice that revolution that has been overdue for too long

Mg London (England) 01/06/2022 – Final 2022 / Italy-Argentina / photo Matteo Gribaudi / Image Sport in the photo: Roberto Mancini-Gabriele Gravina

If Mancini had had the courage to do in time what De Laurentiis and Giuntoli did this summertoday Italy would undoubtedly be at the Qatar World Cup and we would not be forced – for the second time, and this time in the middle of the season – to the agony of a World Cup without the Azzurri.

It is not parochialism, mind you. Also underline it with all the colors you want. It is not parochialism if only for the fact that De Laurentiis (as well as Mancini) was also guilty of delaying a necessary renewal for a long time. He didn’t act in time. Perhaps for emotional and sentimental reasons, who knows. But at the Napolista we have definedwith a hyperbole that made the sense of the harshness of an inescapable criticism, the renewal of Napoli as the most exhausting in the history of football. Aurelio found himself in default for at least two or three years and paid a very high bill, which is – for a club like Napoli – a double exclusion from the Champions League.

In the end, however, Napoli made this blessed change. And the problem is that if the Champions are held every year, the World Cup is held once every four. It’s just one of the reasons why skipping two World Cups weighs much more than skipping two Champions. When you are leading a movement, unfortunately, no missteps are allowed. Mancini has sinned of gratitude. After the success of the European Championship he was stubborn in giving continuity to a group that had run out of propulsive thrust and paid the consequences. That that urge was running out was not really a mystery. It was enough to remain attached to reality to realize it. The verdicts about the players of that national team (who played a formidable European, no doubt), a little over a year later, put us in front of some unquestionable facts: Chiellini, Bernardeschi and Insigne ended up in America; Jorginho, at Chelsea, after a monstrous season, has gradually lost a lot of centrality and those who have followed the Premier know it; Spinazzola and Chiesa, broken, have practically never played football; Bonucci is on the avenue of sunset, he skips more games than he plays; Donnarumma was Navas’ bench all last season. We could go on, but let’s stop here. In the meantime, the Pellegrini and the Raspadori (also the Di Lorenzo, who won ownership during the European Championship but which was not yet a fixed point) marked an evident growth, highlighting the need for a replacement. Mancini noticed the situation and eliminated the income but it was too late. The World Cup had already gone.

The point is that in Italy (and also in Naples) there has always been a certain reluctance to change. It’s all a question of courage. Like it or not, in our now liquid and fast society – it is valid in politics and it is valid in the management of companies, and therefore also in football – to obtain results you need to be versatile. And above all in sectors such as sport it is inevitable not to crystallize positions, to look for new paths, to choose – if necessary – those less traveled by. De Laurentiis, finally and goodbye, had the courage to do it. And now his method can and should be a beacon for our old and stale football movement. On the other hand, in some way the European journey of Napoli also says it. He says it this year, given that the Spalletti boys practically preach in solitude, but he says it in general, if you think about the fact that Napoli is still the only club in Europe that has been there for thirteen consecutive years.

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Of course, changing isn’t always easy. If the day after the European Championship they had told us that within a year we would have replaced Lorenzo Insigne – who had just graduated as champion – with a Georgian with an unpronounceable name, few would have signed. Yet today we bet that no one (not even the most romantic, not even the most insigner of the insigners) would go back giving up Kvara. Each change brings with it a lot of risk but it’s a risk worth taking. Indeed, it is a risk that at some point it becomes inevitable to run. Churchill said it: not always changing is equivalent to improving, but there is one certainty and that is that to improve you have to change. May Italian football put it in the head.

The article is in Italian


Tags: Mancinis Italy Laurentiis method World Cup

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