Gianfranco Zola has said that Italy are in shock after failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next summer.
The Azzurri were defeated 1-0 on aggregate by Sweden in their World Cup playoff, meaning that the four-time champions will miss the finals for the first time in 60 years.
Coach Giampiero Ventura was sacked following the shocking result, but speaking on talkSPORT Zola laid the responsibility at the feet of the players, saying that the current generation are not good enough.
"Italy is a country for what it has done in the past that should have a lot of players ready and as strong, if not better, than the ones we have at the moment - and I don't think we have," said the 51-year-old.
"That is the problem. We are all shocked at the moment and we are in a very painful phase. We have to start seeing what we can do to improve."
England will face Italy in a friendly at Wembley on March 27, 2018.