Giovanni Trapattoni does not believe that Cesare Prandelli should be blamed for Italy's early exit at this summer's World Cup, arguing that a coach can only "make wine with the grapes" he has at his disposal.
The Azzurri opened their campaign with an encouraging 2-1 win over England but then suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Costa Rica before being defeated by the same scoreline by Uruguay in what was effectively a play-off for a place in the last 16.
Although the likes of Mario Balotelli were castigated for their sub-par showings in the tournament, Prandelli bore the brunt of the blame and promptly resigned.
Trapattoni, though, felt that the newly-appointed Galatasaray boss was harshly treated, pointing to the the fact that he had led Italy to the final of Euro 2012, and that a number of players had underperformed in Brazil.
"Prandelli had done well up until now," the ex-Azzurri coach told Ansa. "We trainers often have to make wine with the grapes that we have and maybe in Brazil we were also unfortunate.
"But until the World Cup, we had done well."
Trapattoni argued that Italy simply paid the price for too many players being out of form - or shape.
"The opponents [in Brazil] were better than us on an athletic level," the former Republic of Ireland boss claimed. "We didn't have the capability to react.
"One cannot say if someone is a champion or not on one tournament alone. Maybe a player simply performed below par.
"I myself lost a Champions League final in Athens with [Juventus] despite having [Michel] Platini and [Zbigniew] Boniek!"