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Spalletti on what Italy lack to reach ‘100%’ and Atalanta’s lesson

Spalletti on what Italy lack to reach ‘100%’ and Atalanta’s lesson

Luciano Spalletti feels Italy have reached 70-80% of their potential and suggests that the Azzurri will need physicality at Euro 2024: ‘It’s what Atalanta teach.’

Spalletti spoke at a press conference attended by Football Italia on Sunday night after a 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Empoli.

The first reporter asking a question noted that the Azzurri had made a step forward, and the CT agreed.

“I agree about the step forward. The team did well when we had the ball,” he replied.

“It’s a shame because we missed a couple of chances in the first half. We were not as consistent as we should. We took some pauses, but we received answers to our questions.”

Davide Frattesi played as an attacking midfielder and scored the winner in the first half, bagging his fourth goal under Spalletti.

“Frattesi did well in this position. He was quick in controlling the ball and doing one-two passes,” Spalletti argued.

“He understood when he was alone and when he was under pressure. He was much more consistent in searching for the best position. However, generally, we must do even more and be even more consistent. When they [Bosnia] were more aggressive and we were forced to play long balls, we had to do more. The fact that they press us is an advantage; if we follow their pressure, we can find a space and go beyond the opponents’ defensive line.”

Spalletti on what Italy lack to reach ‘100%’ and Atalanta’s lesson

Scamacca had a couple of chances to score but the dirty work, and Spalletti was pleased by his performance.

“I think Scamacca played a great game. Tonight, he did many things. He held the ball, pressed, created space, and was unlucky,” said the CT.

“It’s hard to ask for more. Generally, we lack a bit of intensity and keep the same commitment without taking small pauses. What worsened the performance were those shy back passes that gave Bosnia three chances to hurt us. It’s something we must avoid. We must hear the sound of the ball. We are at 70-80%, still not 100%. We still have time. Everyone has played. We’ve given everyone the chance to wear this shirt.”

Spalletti suggested that he has practically decided on the starting XI at Euro 2024 saying that he has just “one or two” doubts.

“I could say the line-up now if you want,” he told journalists, smiling.

One last question about Jorginho and Nicolò Fagioli who started in central midfield.

“They have quality in the short passes. They go in the correct positions and are quite good at linking up. It’s hard to ask for more,” he said.

“One thing we must do, sometimes, is that when they [central midfielders] get the ball from the right back, they should keep the ball, go backwards and try to reach the left midfielder with a pass. Sometimes we did it, but changing the run’s trajectory and going on the opposite side makes the difference. They [Jorginho and Fagioli] always made tidy passes.”

Despite that, it’s not guaranteed that both will start against Albania in Italy’s Euro 2024 on Saturday, June 15.

“We will need five or six players with physicality anyway. Atalanta teach that physical strength is essential in European competitions,” concluded Spalletti.