Chiellini: ‘Experience is key’

Posted on 11/08/2010


Giorgio Chiellini senses the Azzurri’s hunger to make up for the World Cup debacle, but warns the problem lies in “a lack of international experience.”

The defender gave his views after Cesare Prandelli’s debut 1-0 defeat to the Ivory Coast at Upton Park on Tuesday night.

“There is certainly a real desire to get back on track and cancel out the memory of this World Cup. Of course it was a disappointment, as nothing seemed to go right, but now we have a new group of players and staff.

“We want to bring Italy back to the level where they belong. We’re well aware there is a lot of work to do, but after just two days of training together we started to see some interesting things.

“It’s a shame about the result, as we could’ve equalised and paid the price for a defensive error.

“I was close to Kolo Toure, but the ball went just over Leonardo Bonucci’s head and straight on to his. In these situations every centimetre counts.”

Chiellini analysed the reasons behind the World Cup failure and how taking talent from smaller clubs might not be so easy.

“During the World Cup I noticed that there were players who were 24 years old and had 60 odd games at international level plus the Champions League. That makes the difference, having that experience from a young age.

“With all due respect, Serie A or any domestic League is not enough to gain experience. It’s crucial to have a certain number of appearances at international level.

“We need our clubs to go further in the tournaments, as that increases experience, confidence and belief. Inter won the Champions League, but Balotelli was their only Italian player.”

Prandelli made sweeping changes to Marcello Lippi’s side, introducing a 4-2-3-1 system with Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano and Amauri.

“You can play with as many strikers as you like, just as long as you keep the right team spirit and work-rate,” continued Chiellini.

“I know these players very well and they did alright, but we must all work to make sure they can show their quality.

“The problem with an August friendly is that the fitness levels are so poor right now. There are some among us who only resumed training a week ago. You could see the fitness levels drop in the second half, as we couldn’t get the ball back.”

Chiellini worked with Lippi both at club and international level, but Prandelli is new to him.

“Perhaps Lippi was more talkative, but the truth is I’ve known Prandelli as an opponent for years. I only met him as a Coach two days ago, so we were catapulted into this situation and it’s difficult to get to know each other in that time.”