Ventura, when the national team jersey “weighs” even on the coach

Today the Ligurian technician says enough. Chosen, after a ballot with De Biasi, for his skill in working with young people, he was “stopped” from the play-off against Sweden. And Italy skipped the 2018 World Cup

On the day when Mancini probably decides “his” World Cup against Switzerland, says enough Gian Piero Ventura whose World Cup abruptly stopped four years ago at the playoff with Sweden, on November 13, 2017. A 0-0 that condemned us to see Russia 2018 on TV and to start all over again. What a coincidence. If Ventura had qualified, who knows what the national team would be today. Hardly, in any case, with him at the helm because Ventura had by now lost the team that no longer followed him, indeed he had hinted at a rebellion against him precisely in the days of the double play-off.


Yet Ventura had not started his blue career badly, in the aftermath of Conte’s farewell after Euro 2016. He had been chosen, winning the ballot with De Biasi, for his skill in working with young people. And also for a certain tactical courage that he had experienced with a very offensive 4-2-4, with appreciable and spectacular results, in Bari and Turin. Marcello Lippi would have been useful by his side who, from the height of his great international experience, would not have made him lack support and suggestions at the time of some crucial wrong choices. Problems of conflict of interest denied the world manager the role of general manager and he was left alone. On the other hand Ventura was the confirmation that the national team shirt can “weigh” a lot on the coaches and not only on the players.


Not everything is to be canceled from the Ventura cycle. He insisted on internships, which were very useful, gradually introducing some young people who Mancini later found himself. He tried interesting solutions. He prepared the land for Donnarumma to take over from Buffon. He had a great misfortune, that of being drawn in the world group with the very strong Spain, but he made serious mistakes in the double challenge. First, in Turin, fearing too much rivals that we could have beaten, given the progress of that 1-1. And then, in Madrid, daring a very unbalanced 4-2-4 that paved the way for the Spaniards to 3-0 and that even we in the press – imagining that he had important data and reassurances about the Azzurri’s stability – did not question the eve as we should have. This we must admit.


From that day on, the bank jumped, Ventura no longer had the team in hand, he was stubborn about wrong choices and realized that in the FIGC someone was even thinking about the change in progress, fearing to lose Russia. Italy also struggled against Israel and were bad and unfortunate against Sweden, paying for bad referee decisions that the Var would have corrected. Mistakes, aims, bad luck, senseless decisions and formations. The farewell was also very complicated, without resignation, but with the dismissal: he was heavily criticized for this, but there are few (see Donadoni) who had the courage to give up their salary. A beautiful career, continued with Chievo and Salernitana, up to this farewell, but tainted by the blue parenthesis. Ventura will (also) be remembered as the coach who did not go to the World Cup.

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Ventura, when the national team jersey “weighs” even on the coach

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