When the Azzurri play the USA in the friendly at the Marassi later today, Fabrizio Miccoli won’t be on the field, nor on the bench. And according to us, that’s a big error by Cesare Prandelli.
With Cassano, Balotelli and Rossi out and Quagliarella, Borriello and Di Natale not called up, the expectation was that Cesare Prandelli was going to call up some unusual suspects. To all Palermo fans, it was clear that one man had to be there: Fabrizio Miccoli. Sure, he’s injury prone and a game with the national team was a risk of getting back a Miccoli that’s not healthy. Still, if one man deserved that call up, it was Fabrizio. If 11 goals and 12 assists (2nd most assists in Europe’s top 5 leagues) don’t earn you that call up, what will?
Is there a specific reason Prandelli opts against calling up the Salentino? We don’t know. Age can’t be the reason, as Di Natale is 2 years older than Miccoli. Attitude? Nope. Micco’s a guy that never complains and always gives 110%. Form? Again, no. Miccoli is without a doubt the best attacking player in Serie A since the winter break and arguably one of the hottest in all of Europe. Goals scored? Nope. Let’s see what strikers got called up and compare their Serie A goal scoring record for this season:
Fabio Borini (Roma): 6 goals
Sebastian Giovinco (Parma): 7 goals
Alessandro Matri (Juventus): 9 goals
Giampaolo Pazzini (Inter): 5 goals
Can’t be that either. So, could it be that Micco doesn’t get called up because he’s playing for a ‘smaller’ team? That might be a bit too far fetched too, seeing as Balza and Viviano are called up, and the selection includes players from Torino, Cagliari and Parma. Teams that are all “smaller” or “less impressive” than the Rosanero.
It looks, once more, like a personal vendetta. Just like under Marcello Lippi, Miccoli has a killer season and still is being overlooked by the coach. I don’t have any reasons for it. But it’s clear that our hero isn’t going to get another call-up if Prandelli only talks about including players like Cossu and Diamanti, but not about Fabriz’. It might be a little harsh talking about personal issues again, but right now, I don’t see any other reason why a devoted professional with an amazing goal and assist tally is not even being considered for a friendly when the usual suspects up front are all injured or left out because of obvious reasons. I hope karma kicks in tonight and shows how bad this team needs a focused attacker. Cesare Prandelli, you are an ignoramus.