Spalletti Replies to Sarri’s Comments on Clogged Calendar

As Italy prepare to take on Malta and England in the UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifying matches in the upcoming international break, Luciano Spalletti expects his side to do better than they did in his first two games in charge. He also replied to Maurizio Sarri’s comments regarding the clogged calendar which has certainly taken its toll on players’ fitness.

Spalletti previewed the Azzurri’s next two fixtures, with a much-needed victory against the Three Lions if they are to catch up with them at the top of Group C.

“Without respect for our opponent, we are presumptuous. Too much respect makes us weak. They are both very difficult matches, we don’t snub anyone and we have no difficulty in showing up at Wembley to play our game. We have both matches in sight and will train to have a strong team in both situations. I don’t make long-term decisions based on momentary emotions.” (via Sky Italia)

Sarri threatened to stop coaching if the football calendar doesn’t change, and Spalletti understands where Lazio’s manager is coming from.

“I respect him very much, he has feeling for this sport, he has love. Even when I was a club coach, I was happier if some of my players stayed at home, especially those who went on long journeys. So, the comment on his words is that we don’t want to send them home because the players are worse but better. The national team shirt is close to everyone’s hearts. The work of clubs is linked to that of the Azzurri, and my attempt is to work more closely than ever.”

Spalletti hopes to become better than he currently is.

“I must become better than I am. Responsibilities make people stronger. I am sure I will receive the support of my players who will participate in this new journey. We must be like teachers who know more than students or doctors more than patients.”

Italy sit in second place after four games, level on seven points with Ukraine and North Macedonia. Meanwhile, Malta have zero points from their first five games.

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