Is Italy parting ways with efficient football?

Italy is the home of cynical and efficient football and the country that taught the world the art of defence. Or, at least, that's what Italy used to be. Under Cesare Prandelli, the Azzurri are attempting to turn over a new leaf, one that has delighted many but worried the few who admire a stingy defence.

"Our idea is to score more goals than the opposition, even if it means we concede some," explained the coach.

Prandelli is the modern coach of a modern Italy. The tactics have evolved, the ideas have changed and as we saw in Euro 2012, the Azzurri are defined not by spectacular defensive displays but by their need for possession and their dedication to "beautiful," attacking football.

A few -- including this writer -- are skeptical. Attacking football might sell tickets and enchant the masses, but as Brazil demonstrated in 1982, it can also fail even when carried out by the greatest talents. Teams that appreciate the value of a solid defence, that commit the fewest errors and defend as a compact unit, usually succeed. No side has demonstrated this point better than Italy.

To read more, click here.