Italian press surprise no one in aftermath of Dutch hammering

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They started the evening blasting out the Brothers of Italy and ended it the country’s orphans.

No mamma to dry their tears and no papa to bring order. While Marcello Lippi took on both roles at World Cup 2006, Donadoni seems very much the missing parent.

“Disaster Donadoni,” screamed Corriere dello Sport. “You are more to blame than the referee.”

Yes, the referee may have had his own interpretation of the offside laws regarding Christian Panucci tumbling off the pitch after colliding with Gigi Buffon in the build-up to the opening goal but what of poor old Roberto’s reading of the game?

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“Tell us what you were thinking, coach?” asked the Corriere editorial and the answers were certainly coming from the disgruntled local media, former internationals and coaches.

Arrigo Sacchi who was in charge of the Azzurri on the last occasion they lost an opening game at a major tournament – 1-0 to Ireland at World 94’ – compared the team to a Ferrari without petrol.

“There is no motivation,” he claimed. “And without that you cannot go forward.”

It’s a bit like the country, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It’s just not working and the time has come to lay-off a few of the more non-productive members of the workforce.”

Picking up the Italian equivalent of their P45s should be Marco Materazzi - the main scapegoat for the lacklustre defending - Massimo Ambrosini and Gennaro Gattuso: “headless chickens have more sense of direction than those two,” was one cutting remark.

Stepping out for the must-win tie against Romania on Friday should be Daniele De Rossi and Simone Perrotta for the AC Milan pair while Giorgio Chiellini’s raw enthusiasm may be given a chance to shine in the centre of defence.

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In fact, all Donadoni needs to do is get back to the system that got the side all the way to the finals: De Rossi at the base of the midfield, freeing Andrea Pirlo and Perrotta to support Luca Toni while Antonio Di Natale and Mauro Camoranesi work the flanks.

Donadoni may have signed a new contract through to the next World Cup but there is a get-out clause, which runs for 10 days after the end of the tournament, allowing both parties to walk away.

Tuttosport would love to see that option enforced immediately and are already harking back to those heady days two summers ago.

“Bring back Lippi,” they pleaded. “Donadoni brings Italy down in historic defeat to Holland.”

Lippi cannot suddenly return and make everything wonderful, or Fabio Cannavaro for that matter. Italy need to grow up and face the future without a father figure.