Somebody please explain the point of these international friendlies in November to me.
Seriously, who came up with the idea of having national teams play games four months before their next qualifier?
Players get subbed in and out every five minutes, so any semblance of building familiarity is out of the door. Coaches state they don't care if they lose (because it's only a friendly) and players tell us the games matter but end up walking around for 90 minutes and doing their very best not to get too tired.
Players risk injuries, if they even bother to show up.
In my humble opinion, teams would be better served spending a week playing paintball and singing karaoke. At least that builds some chemistry and team spirit and it provides the fans with more interesting news stories and footage than the game itself.
The only things you can learn from these games have to do with the quality of the new players that get the chance to show they belong on this stage, but even then you have to be careful as a player might just be having a particularly good or bad day.
So, in this article we'll grade every Italian player that set foot on the pitch today and try to determine whether they aided their chance to actually represent their country in a game that matters.