Sports, Football

Italy lack attacking talent, Mancini says

By Reuters
Published : 16 Jun 2023 08:45 PM

Italy must keep looking for new attacking talent as they continue to struggle to perform at a consistent level, coach Roberto Mancini said on Thursday after his team's 2-1 defeat by Spain in the Nations League semi-finals. Italy held off a superior Spain side for most of the match in Enschede, but struggled to create many chances and lost to a late goal by substitute Joselu.

"We already began to freshen things up and will continue to do so," Mancini told reporters.

"There are good kids. But talent comes in waves. Right now we have good midfielders and defenders, but we are lacking great forwards, I don't know why."

The defeat by Spain continued the erratic form of the European champions, who missed out on the last two World Cups and lost to England in Euro 2024 qualifying in March.

Mancini said a new tactical game plan with three centre backs and two wing backs had worked well in the first half, but that his team had made things too easy for Spain after the break.

"We set things up differently, and we did things well in the first half when we managed to cut Spain's passing lines," he said. "But we dropped off a bit too much in the second half."