- Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup after defeat to Sweden in qualifying playoff
- Gian Piero Ventura widely criticised for Azzurri failure
- Antonio Conte receives praise and pleas to return
- READ MORE: Football world pays tribute to Gianluigi Buffon after Italy retirement forced early
If there was a winner from Italy’s World Cup misery on Monday night, it was Antonio Conte as the Chelsea boss was widely praised by all.
The Azzurri failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next summer after defeat in their qualifying playoff against Sweden, with Gian Piero Ventura coming under fire throughout the qualification run.
From his 4-2-4 system against Spain which led to a convincing defeat in Madrid, to the limp loss to the Swedes in the first leg, it was a qualifying campaign to forget for the veteran tactician who now faces the shame of being an Italy coach who failed to take them to a World Cup for the first time since 1958.
While the blame should predominantly be handed out to the management and coaching staff for getting it so badly wrong with their tactics and personnel time and time again, many took the opportunity to also praise Conte for the work that he did while in charge of the national team.
The 48-year-old enjoyed a two-year spell as Italy boss, guiding them to the quarter-finals at Euro 2016 despite not being fancied to get that far, while they only eventually lost on penalties to Germany.
In turn, to see where Italy have gone since perhaps proves what a stellar job he did to help them overachieve last summer, and while Chelsea fans were quick to heap praise on him for being such a top coach, some Italians were pining for a return although an immediate poll in the aftermath on Monday night suggests he isn’t the overriding choice to replace Ventura.
It’s clear who many Chelsea fans want in charge though, as despite well-documented reports of trouble at Stamford Bridge, as noted by The Guardian, he remains a very popular figure…
Italy not qualifying just shows how world class a coach Conte is
— Morata Club deFútbol (@ChelseaFamilia) November 13, 2017
RT if you want Antonio Conte back as Italy’s coach. Conte ignited his players. Conte made you believe. Conte brought energy. Conte brought passion. Conte got every last ounce out of his players. Conte had fans willing to run through a wall for him.
— Raffaele (@ItalianoCalcio) November 13, 2017
Conte made this Italian team look world class without even playing their best players. Incredible really.
— Uber Chelsea FC ? (@UberCheIseaFC) November 13, 2017
Italy’s World Cup failure highlights what an outstanding job Conte did with that squad at Euro 2016.
— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) November 13, 2017
Gazzetta.it have conducted a poll asking who should reaplce Ventura. 44,774 people voted so far: 67.3% for Ancelotti, 22.5% for Conte, 5.1% for Mancini and 5.0% for Allegri. pic.twitter.com/FM61pFLPqv
— Meytar Zeevi (@RossoneriBlog) November 14, 2017
If nothing else, Italy showing what a great job Conte did with them at Euro 2016. They were *arguably* the most impressive team until Germany beat them on pens in QF
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) November 13, 2017
Italy aren’t going to the World Cup…
Italy with Conte: New Ferrari
Italy without Conte: 15 year old second hand Fiat…
— Laurenz Vescoli (@Laus1507) November 13, 2017
Friendly reminder that conte took a mediocre Italy team to the quarter finals of euro 2016
— KC (@ConteIsGod) November 10, 2017
Antonio Conte left Italy after a performance that made the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Italy are out of the World Cup and have massively disappointed. Antonio Conte is World Class, his motivation skills and tactics are top notch.
— 3-4-3 (@TailoredConte) November 14, 2017