Euro 2004 (1 Viewer)

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Desmond

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Jul 12, 2002
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Essential thread,mods?

Gilardino's Absence Hard To Understand

Gilardino has been in spectacular form (Foto Villa/Grazia Neri)
05/24/2004. The decision by Italian boss Giovanni Trapattoni to leave Parma striker Alberto Gilardino at home stunned many critics in the Italian media. In simple terms, the decision is unexplainable.

For a player who scored 23 goals in the Serie A this season – more than Marco Di Vaio and Bernardo Corradi put together – to be left in the Under 21 side because he is "young and inexperienced" is, on Trapattoni's part, nothing short of disgraceful.

Italy has always struggled to produce goals at major tournaments and have recently relied on Christian Vieri to do the work up front. Vieri has scored 5 and 4 goals respectively in the last two World Cup tournaments and without him, Italy would have most probably struggled even more so than they did. A scary thought indeed.

With all due respect to Corradi and Di Vaio, they are not prolific scorers. Corradi, who has been chosen as direct back up for Vieri, has scored 10 goals, whilst Di Vaio, a bench player at Juventus, notched up 11 this season.

With Corradi unlikely to feature if Vieri stays fit, what would have been the problem of calling up Gilardino if he were unlikely to get much playing time anyway? It would have been a valuable experience for the Under-21 international, learning from the likes of experienced campaigners such as Vieri, Del Piero and Totti and getting used to the environment of training with the team in camp. In light of the 2006 World Cup, this would have been a very smart idea.

Traps response for not choosing Gilardino in squad was short and poor: "In Gilardino's role I have Vieri and Corradi. His current position is with the Under 21 team. Also, two years ago Hubner was 2nd top scorer but I cannot choose on the enthusiasm wave of the last three months. Gilardino has the qualities and will find space in the national team, but while he was still emerging, we were qualifying with an exact project."

Trap cleverly fails to mention that Hubner was over 30 at that time and was never realistically going to make the squad. And the enthusiasm wave he was referring to is just a line of smart people thinking logically at the best possible situation. Sadly, for Italian fans, Trap is not in that boat.

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