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Italy news

Lippi blasts misfiring Italy strikers

June 19, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Italy coach Marcello Lippi is preparing to switch to a 4-4-2 formation in search of goals after launching a training ground tirade on his impotent strikers.

Marcello Lippi, Italy
GettyImagesMarcello Lippi: 'Put this round thing in the big white thing behind me'

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As the team continues preparations for their Group F clash with spritely New Zealand on Sunday, reports claim an exasperated Lippi stopped a training drill, slammed down a ball and shouted at his forwards.

He was heard to shout: "If you don't ever attack the shooting area you're never going to score. When your teammate has the ball you can't wait around watching him. You've got to keep attacking or you're never going to find the goal."

The reigning world champions have struggled to score in recent matches and Vincenzo Iaquinta looks set for the chopping block after failing to impress in a playmaking role in Lippi's 4-2-3-1 shape in the 1-1 draw against Paraguay.

Without the injured Andrea Pirlo setting up attacks with his accurate passing from deeper in midfield until the final group match against Slovakia, Lippi is set to double his strikeforce in search of goals against New Zealand by introducing Antonio Di Natale alongside Alberto Gilardino up front.

Midfielder Daniele de Rossi, who found the net against Paraguay, said the Jabulani ball had made execution in the final third more difficult but he added that it would not matter whether the strikers fired if Italy won the World Cup anyway, as they did four years ago.

De Rossi said: "We have forwards who have scored a lot of goals but let's not forget that we won the last World Cup without a (1982 Golden Boot) Paolo Rossi and nobody complained."