Italian press trip over their bottom Lippi


Italian newspapers reacted with gloomy resignation rather than shock yesterday after a 1-1 draw with New Zealand left their World Cup hopes in peril.
The 2006 World Cup winners now face a fight to avoid a humiliating early exit, prompting local media to refer to them as “flops” even before their third group match in South Africa.
“Italy flop! Now there’s the risk of coming home,” blared leading La Repubblica newspaper on its front page, mirroring a common theme in the Italian press.
La Stampa used an almost identical headline above a photograph of a disconsolate female fan.
Rank outsiders New Zealand held Italy in their Group F meeting in Nelspruit on Sunday, leaving the defending champions needing to beat Slovakia on Thursday to reach the last 16.
“Italy with no game and headless,” La Repubblica complained.
“An Italy without quality,” said Corriere della Sera on its front page alongside an analysis of the “long decline of a great captain,” Fabio Cannavaro.
“It’s a really poor result, more than disappointing. I would say chilling,” wrote Gianni Mura in La Repubblica.
Several newspapers turned their attention to coach Marcello Lippi’s changes for the team formation and line-up.
“I am afraid Lippi changes Italy constantly because he has understood that the team can’t give him what he’s looking for,” wrote Mario Sconcerti in Corriere della Sera.
“Is that it, Lippi?” sniffed the banner headline in La Gazzetta dello Sport as the country’s media gave their team a collective thumbs-down. — Reuters