The juggling act faced by all coaches

“On a phone in show recently a caller asked if players who had not featured in qualification should be taken to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He did not mean it in a sense that governing body should prevent them from playing; rather, he suggested, that it might be in the best interests of the coach to stick with the group that earned a place in the party. I cannot agree. The example that instantly came to mind was that of Italy in 1978. During the qualification process the sweeper was the veteran Giacinto Facchetti. Come the World Cup, however, he had been replaced – elegantly and successfully – by Gaetano Scirea. And a jack in the box striker called Paolo Rossi had also emerged as a domestic star, and went straight into the first team in Argentina ’78, with impressive results.” The World Game – Tim Vickery

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