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Azzurri Win, No One Cares - All Hail Georgia

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0jq2pesf-346×212.jpgCommunist 2 - South Africa 0

What that was was a lot of great foreplay combined with erectile dysfunction until Cristiano Lucarelli finally found that last little blue pill which was floating around in the bottom of his of his dresser drawer; or, they created beaucoup chances but couldn't put anything away (welcome to life as a Roma fan for the two weeks before the break).

I "watched" the game, but I didn't really "watch" the game. It was streaming in some Firefox tab just beyond bigstring, uefa.com, The Moscow Times and Adult Friend Finder, and it didn't catch my attention unless an announcer got all riled up to the point where I could actually hear something beyond the other game tapes I was watching on windows media player (which was actually quite often).

Still, please forgive me for not upholding my Azzurri blog duties and for not getting excited about a friendly with Benni McCarthy & Friends. Unless, of course, the game was being held in Johannesburg, at which point I would've watched just to see how many players were murdered mid match (yes, brilliant idea, let's give one of the biggest rotating tourist attractions - the World Cup - which sends millions of cash wielding, flashy and easily targeted people every 4 years to the country with THE SECOND HIGHEST PER CAPITA MURDER RATE IN THE WORLD; and again...“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.” )

* - In looking for that link, I came across this, which I have absolutely nothing to say about other than this: let's just hope every one of those were closed caskets.

From what I could tell, there was little to learn from the game outside of this: if Alessandro Rosina doesn't get called up for the Scotland and/or Faroe Islands games, and he murders Roberto Donadoni, I'm pretty sure a judge would let him off. The guy has been earning it for the past year plus, emphasized his point yesterday, and has become a necessary option for this team. In other words, remember that little "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" section from the Georgia recap, he's exactly what this team needs. They need a singular creative entity - he is just that. He can send out some awesome, threaded passes, he can score some spectacular goals and he has a Energizer Bunny-like engine - all from just beyond the midfield and just behind the strikers. But, most importantly, he can just take the ball, run at dudes, and usually beat them. That is a rare commodity these days. I'm not ready to say he should be starting, but he deserves a loooooooooooong look, at least against the amateur carpenters from the Faroes.

Also, The Don still needs to be fired.

Datasports match ratings
, and they appear to have been wholly unenthused.

Somebody Throw Those Georgians A Parade

Raise your hand if you had Scotland-Georgia in the office pool for the game that will decide Group B? If you said yes and you're not Scottish, Nostradamus or Ms. Cleo, you're lying through airplane hanger-sized gap in your teeth. GB has the world champs, the bridesmaids, and another squad that make it to the quarters in last year's WC and it's coming down to those two squads? All respect in the world due to Scotland, but we're in the big leagues now. Crazy stuff.

Anyway, Georgia won, which is a massive help to the Azzurri and gives them another potentially favorable result when they travel to the rolling sheep-infested hills of the Isles in mid-November. I don't think, though, it's any indication that they'll be ready to roll over when they entertain The Champs. The injury monster had reared its ugly head and lef them starting a sunday senior league team. In fact, if anything, I think it may be enough to push them over the top and anger them enough to prove that they were deserving of all their earlier accolades, and not the relative minnow of the past. This should be enough to tell the Azzurri to take this game even more seriously. If not, it will unquestionably bite them in the ass.

Group B

France 25pts (11GP)
Scotland 24pts (11GP)
Italia 23pts (10GP)

See that GP? Absolutely massive.

Scenarios:

First of all, let me just say this, after watching Appalachian St. embarrass Michigan this year (amongst other, major upsets), not to mention seeing the boys in blue thisclose to a draw on the island, I'm terrified to hand those 3 points over to the Azzurri for that game against the Faroe - but I'm going to do it....

Azzurri Win:
They go through, period.

Azzurri Draw:
They go through, period.

Azzurri Lose:
Here's where depending on the Ukraine comes in. If they lose, then they have to hope Ukraine beats France, or else the Azzurri are playing for pride against the Faroe Islands a few days later.

So, to keep things simple, let's just win, eh?

Oh Captain, My Captain

Just thought this was good food for thought, considering once Canna retires, which will likely be within the next two years (I just cannot see him staying on any longer than it takes to break Paolo Maldini's record - I don't expect him to be around for Murder Central 2010), it'll be time for a new captain to riise from the ranks pretty soon. Or, once Gigi Buffon retires.

Basically, yesterday's game was foreshadowing, with Daniele De Rossi the most capped player in his little age bracket (I did '82-86 b-days), to the surprise of no one. But what is interesting is who's second. The list:

DDR: 28
Gilardino: 24
Barzagli: 18

Guess who got the armband after DDR was taken of yesterday? Yup, Gila. Nobody else is really within spitting distance, and much of this as moot, as Gigi is not yet 30 and therefore doesn't have to worry about losing those reflexes anytime soon (I'm prepared to say he'll retire after 2014 - when he'll be 36), but it is food for thought. I can't say I think Alberto Gilardino would be the quintessential captain, or anything close, but he'll have to start bagging goals galore again for that to even be a consideration. In fact, unless The Don gets a freaking clue anytime soon (not likely), and permanently implants DDR in the national starting XI as he should be, the likely recipient will be Andrea Barzagli. Let's face it, Canna is retiring sooner rather than later, and there's no guarantee the Matrix will earn back a starting spot ever again (he is 34, after all), and there aren't really any competitors for Barzagli's spot, nor any youngsters close to being ready. Methinks he'll be in that spot for a very long time.