Shores, touches and throws.  Italy, with Scamacca have you found the real center forward?

Confirmations will be needed, but Sassuolo’s number 9 with the Germans was in the game more than Immobile

You don’t need a microscope to focus on the center-forward problem. The naked eye is enough. In the last 16 games played, from 20 June 2021 to today, that is, in just under a year, Italy has scored only one goal with its center forward: Raspadori in the walk with Lithuania (5-0). In the post-European period, Immobile and Belotti, points of reference in the Mancini era, never scored. Immobile is still scoring against Switzerland on June 16, 2021, the second European match: 0 goals in the last 8 Italian appearances, including Macedonia. Belotti is still at the one in San Marino in the friendly match of 28 May 2021: 0 goals in the last 10. We have behind us the worst year as a center forward in our history. 20 years after the 2002 World Cup in which Trap could choose between Vieri, Inzaghi, Montella, Del Piero and Delvecchio. Fat cows are leaner than ever.

room for growth

Having made this preamble, it will be understood why the specks of the future glimpsed in the good performance of Gianluca Scamacca against Germany appeared golden. The Sassuolo center forward did not score, he did not enchant, but, even in light of his age (23 years old), he hinted that, growing in experience and confidence, he could give in the role what Mancini has never received continuously from its numbers 9.

connected

Germany was lazy, but seasoned giants like Rüdiger and Sule were a reliable crash test nonetheless. Scamacca has often hit us with success. He defended the ball with a dribbling skill that Immobile and Belotti rarely showed. This virtue is even more precious in a national team that no longer rises en masse, as he did with the double play, but verticalizes faster. Having a 9 now that knows how to freeze the ball to allow the troop to go up is essential. Just as it is to offer support to the comrades who are advancing: on Saturday Scamacca did more than anyone. Against Macedonia and Argentina, Immobile and Belotti did not score a single side. More generally, the Sassuolo striker is much more connected to the team, he comes to meet him, plays with his teammates. In this sense, the education in collective maneuvering he received at Sassuolo made him rich in knowledge.

hungry

But we, worn out by the long scoring famine, need a center-forward who first of all scores goals. In this sense too, the specks of Bologna are encouraging. Scamacca was the blue who looked for the goal the most. He hit a post from a distance and hit Neuer in a bicycle kick from the center of the box. It is equipped from near and far, like a high-level 9 must be. On a couple of occasions he shot blanks. He needs to improve his shooting coordination and cleanliness of execution, but at the moment he is more concerned with hunger at the goal. Coordination can be trained, the instinct of the goal either you have it or you don’t learn it. The boy is of age to grow and he will grow when the team assist him more. This is another fact that gives value to Bologna’s performance. In an Italy that had only 32.72% of possession, Scamacca played more balls (41) than Immobile (34) in an Italy that with Macedonia held the ball for 65.43% and more than Belotti (18) with Argentina (44.19%). More connected, in fact. And he found the door more than them.

future

Scamacca is about to move into a big one. It will grow as a Church, thanks to cup nights and a superior technical context. To imagine him matured and assisted by the same Church, by Berardi, by Spinazzola, one would think that he will finally rain after the famine. Meanwhile tomorrow in Cesena, if the experimenter Mancini gives him more minutes, Scamacca will look for the first blue drop. The rocky Hungarian defense, which has just caged Englishman Kane, is another nice test of growth.

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