It feels like Gian Piero Ventura's sacking is just a matter of time, but, until then, the Italian manager is still running the show.
After Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, marking the first time since 1958 that the Azzurri missed out on football's most distinguished tournament, it was reported that Ventura had resigned. But those reports appeared premature when the tactician said that he'll be discussing his future with the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio.
"I'll discuss my future with the federation," Ventura declared. "I feel I have to apologise to the Italians for the result."
Sweden booked a flight to the 2018 World Cup at Italy's expense, beating the Azzurri 1-0 on aggregate. In both legs, Ventura's incompetence was on display. He opted for a 3-5-2 formation instead of deploying the 4-4-2 that was a staple of the national team's qualifying campaign, and Lorenzo Insigne, arguably the most talented footballer in the squad, was left to rot on the bench for the entire tie.
In the second leg, which was played at San Siro, Daniele De Rossi appeared to argue with one of Italy's assistants over Insigne's omission.
According to James Horncastle, Ventura decided not to face the cameras and speak to Italy's national broadcaster, RAI. Instead, Gianluigi Buffon faced the cameras and stated: "Blame is shared equally between everyone. There can't be scapegoats. Win together, lose together."