you're probably right. they just can't seem to shake-off this perennial minnows identity.People keep subscribing to this line of thinking but the truth is, national team football is different than club football. You don't have the time to build chemistry, so you have to be pragmatic. That's why so many elite teams favor conservative or balanced models.
Even 2002's Brazil, a team that boasted the likes of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, went for a relatively defensive 3-5-2 in that tournament to provide stability for their creative players.
may have more to do with historical pedigree though, because you look at Italy, even when they don't have top-class players and with their more-often-than-not backs to the wall approach, you still always consider them one of the elite teams in a competition