Surprise Surprise No Cassano Once Again

Matthew CoccolutoContributor IOctober 5, 2009

GENOA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 24:  Marcello Lippi head coach of Italy gestures during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and SSC Juventus FC at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on September 24, 2009 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Massimo Cebrelli/Getty Images)

The selections have been made and once again Antonio Cassano has been left out of Italy's next two World Cup qualifiers.

Marcello Lippi announced the players he is taking to the upcoming qualifiers against Ireland and Cyprus. Like usual, there are some surprising choices.

The keeper position has no problems. As long as Buffon keeps up his Serie A form then its all good.

The addition of Alessandro Gamberini was expected after his terrific form against Liverpool on Tuesday. A more questionable decision was the inclusion of Gianluca Zambrotta and Nicola Legrottaglie.

Zambrotta's age has been the problem as he has looked sluggish and incapable of keeping up with some of the forwards. Legrottaglie has not shown anything special this season with Juventus. I would like to think there is a defender out there playing better football than Legro.

The biggest surprise probably comes in the midfield. Gattuso, despite extremely poor performances for both Gli Azzurri and Milan, is once again featured in Lippi's squad. It has been quite some time since he has been worthy of the national team.

The obvious exclusion is Antonio Cassano. It doesn't really matter how well he plays or how poorly the forwards play, Cassano will not be included in Lippi's plans.

It will be interesting to see who will start, especially in the forward position. Rossi has not fully lived up to the hype yet, but there is still a lot of potential and he may yet be the future of Italian forwards.

Di Natale has been brilliant for Udinese this year but he has never shown much of that same spark for the national side in the past. Iaquinta, Gilardino, and Quagliarella have had some bright moments and some less than bright moments, either way none have shown to be extremely reliable.

my opinion: Buffon; Santon;(whoever can fill in for Cannavaro's suspension); Chiellini; Grosso; Pirlo; D'Agostino; De Rossi; Marchisio; Iaquinta; Rossi