Italy fans have united in rage to demand the return of Antonio Conte as manager of the national team, with Gian Piero Ventura looking highly likely to leave his post in disgrace.
The Azzurri needed to overturn a 1-0 aggregate scoreline against Sweden at the Giuseppe Meazza in order to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia, but failed to do so with a 0-0 result – meaning it’s the first time Italy have been absent from a finals since 1958.
The four-time champions and their FA now have a lot to answer for, and fans are crying out for current Chelsea boss Conte to return to his old post as national team coach after Ventura apologised following his failure.
As compiled by The Sun, one Twitter user wrote: “I am utterly ashamed of the coaching by Ventura. He had the talent and did not know how to use it. Bring back Conte.”
Another wrote: “Ventura is the worst Italian coach I have ever seen in my life, an absolute disgrace to the national team. Bring back Conte.
One couldn’t ignore the team’s lack of inventiveness, and said: “Italy fell apart without footballing mastermind Antonio Conte, that’s just facts.”
And one was clearly still feeling the rawness of the situation, tweeting: “Bring back Conte and get rid of this pile of s***.”
It is a huge blow for Italian football, which has been getting everybody talking domestically with a rather exciting title race developing already with multiple teams looking strong.
Conte remains manager of Chelsea for now with the Blues going OK in fourth, but reports have suggested all hasn’t been well since the summer, where he failed to acquire other transfer targets, and stranger things have happened in football.