International friendlies are seldom criticized by club managers who at times lose their best players through injury during these games. Yet, they represent an opportunity to managers of the national teams to try new formations, players and tactics. And if there ever was a game where they did exactly that, it was England’s game against Italy last night. The match ended with the score tied at one apiece, but with a little luck, England could have snatched the game in the dying minutes as Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane, who was making his first full appearance for his country, forced veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon into a superb save. Yet, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for The Three Lions who couldn’t quite adjust to their manager’s team selection and tactics early on. Phil Jones maybe a lot of things, but is definitely not a midfielder Starting with Phil Jones in midfield and Theo Walcott as a forward, England manager Roy Hodgson […]

No Country For Young Men

Italy is not a place for the youth. Italy, considered a powerhouse in World football, are now on the wane, following a string of indifferent performances at the club and national level. TheHardTackle's Nikhil Taneja reckons that the current youth policy is one of the main reasons for this downfall, and explores why.

The Azzurri – Part I: From Germany’06 To Africa’10

The Azzurri, winners of the 2006 World Cup, travel to South Africa to defend their title. But does the present team have what it takes to replicate the feat they achieved four years ago? TheHardTackle's Nikhil Taneja gives an insight into the current situation of the Italian team, and charts the road that took the team to the holy grail of International football.