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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Pressure mounts on Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni
The Italy coach is under fire from the Italian media
Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni insisted he was staying in the job after his team's 2-1 loss in Cardiff, but his home press seem to think differently.

"Goodbye Trap," was the headline in sports daily Corriere dello Sport, whose editor called the performance "another disaster."

The coach has been criticised for his selection policy and the substitution of Di Biagio ahead of Craig Bellamy's winning goal.

Trapattoni claims he still has the backing of the Italian FA.

But Giancarlo Galavotti, La Gazzetta Dello Sport's British football correspondent, told BBC Wales that the governing body was being pushed to act.

Trapattoni has been blamed for taking the Azzurri back to the bad old days of catenaccio football of the 1960s and '70s, failing to make the best of the skills of players like del Piero, Totti, Vieri and Inzaghi.

Ironically, though, it was Italy's defensive failings that cost them dear against Wales, and against Yugoslavia who held the Azzurri to a 1-1 draw in Naples.

Alessandro Del Piero
Del Piero's free kicks have been Italy's main attacking threat

Galavotti says that the coach should have gone after Italy's World Cup-exit to South Korea.

Out of 10 matches in 2002 they have won just two, against Ecuador and Azerbaijan.

With Wales and Yugoslavia in pole position in Group Nine, there is a danger that the three-time World Cup winners could miss out on the European Championships, as they did in 1984 and 1988.

Italy do not play again until their home clash with Finland on March 29, and Galavotti is hopeful that the team can get their house in order by that time.

The press are touting Dino Zoff, the man who led the Azzurri to Belgium and Holland in 2000, as the best choice interim coach.

Fabio Capello of Roma and Marcello Lippi of Juventus are the favoured long-term options, but both are tied in to club contracts.

Should the Italian FA choose to go for a younger man, former Chelsea boss Gianluca Vialli is thought to be in the running.


Italy's fellow Group Nine strugglers Azerbaijan are already looking for a new manager after the resignation of Vagif Sadygov.

He had only been in charge since late August, but resigned on Wednesday night claiming his job was impossible.

His team lost their opening Euro 2004 game 3-0 to Finland before falling 2-0 to Italy.

Wales play in Azerbaijan on November 20 and then entertain the same team in the Millennium Stadium in March.

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