Tactical Analysis: Napoli 5-1 Empoli | Pressing resistance and half space switches

February 7, 2016

“Sarri’s table-topping Napoli met his former side Empoli and throughout the match Sarri’s influence/signature was evident on both sides. Right from the kick off routine to the way they invited and manipulated pressure before using it to their advantage. This made for a highly intriguing encounter with Napoli eventually making their superiority count with a 5-1 win, as they restored their 2-point lead over Juventus in the process.” Outside of the Boot

Italy’s Latast Golden Boy

January 25, 2016

“The province of Varese is far to the north of Italy, almost a part of Switzerland, a narrow corridor of land sandwiched between Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. In the small town of Leggiuno on November 7, 1944, there was born in this district Italy’s current footballing idol, Luigi Riva. You don’t get close to appreciating Riva’s personality unless you see it in this context – the context of a country boy, one orphaned at an early age, who still prefers to spend a part of each summer close-season in the province of Varese indulging in a spot of quiet fishing, and visiting friends made in his youthful years on a thoroughly informal basis.” In Bed With Maradona

Ciao! Italia 90

January 25, 2016

“The coordinated effort to develop of a coherent visual identity for the Italian World Cup. ‘A three-dimensionally accessible idea, future technological games, televised images, consumerism’. These are the words of Lucio Boscardin – author of the lanky Ciao! mascot – which appear on the pages of Epoca in November 1986, the day following the unveiling of the visual identity of the Italia 90 football World Cup, crystallising the visionary spirit of his project. After all, concepts such as ‘future’ and ‘technology’ would become recurring themes in the artistic project behind a tournament which aimed to renovate Italy’s image, distancing the ‘bel paese’ from its inalienable provincialisms and stereotypes.” Copa90

Tactical Analysis: Sevilla 2-0 Athletic Bilbao| Athletic dealt knockout blow by hardworking Sevilla

January 13, 2016

“Sevilla took on an impressive Athletic side in a potential six pointer in La Liga. With just 2 points between them and fourth place up for grabs, a tense encounter awaited. Athletic came into the game on an impressive run of form having just lost 2 in the last 10 games, one of which was against current leaders Atletico. Having defeated Villarreal (currently 5 points clear in 4th place) in the Copa del Rey, facing a team like Sevilla who are considered in the same bracket as them came at the right time.” Outside of the Boot

Italy’s Future Left Back? Adam Masina

December 31, 2015

“Less than three years ago, Adam Masina was the reserve striker at Bologna Primavera, the under-19 team of the club. He was barely fielded and for him a future in football was very unlikely. Dumped by the club, he ended up in the third tier of Italian football, on loan at Giacomense, just because at the Emilian club were looking for youngsters, in order to receive the FIGC subsidies assigned to teams which regularly field under-21 players in their starting formation. To find him a place in the team, Giacomense manager Fabio Gallo, decided to field him as the left wingback in his 3-5-2 and then even as the left-back when he switched to a 4-3-3. Gallo’s intuition has been Masina’s salvation: he became a regular of the team and his good performances granted him a return in Bologna.” Stats Bomb

The game that changed Italian football

December 28, 2015

“PAUL GRECH looks back to 1920s fascist-regime Italy and an incident between two northern powerhouses that would alter the country’s football landscape forever. It was meant to be a season of celebration for Bologna. Not because of any anticipated success – sadly such dreams have faded away – but in remembrance of past triumphs. In particular they wanted to celebrate once more their last triumph in the league on the fiftieth anniversary of that success. They had hoped to honour that scudetto win with a calm league season, as they had done in the previous two years, and perhaps maybe even push for a Europa League spot. Instead, the team collapsed and when they lost to Catania with a game to go, it confirmed what had been evident for months of listless performances: Bologna were getting relegated to Serie B.” Football Pink

Allegri, Dybala and Mandzukic recover from slow start to put Juve in title race

December 28, 2015

“What a wonderful year it has been for Juventus and all those associated with the club: from the highs of winning the double and reaching the Champions League final to the lows suffered at the start of this new season. Yet whatever turbulent times the Bianconeri have experienced, they have stayed faithful to their winning mentality, coming back stronger than ever to put themselves in a great position to target yet another league title.” ESPN


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