It is difficult to say whether the show in power is now a definitive trend: already Napoli-Roma scheduled for tomorrow will say something in this sense
It seemed that the legacy of the World Cup, spread on our fields by the icy January wind, was castling. A push to shut himself up in a corner of the house, risking little, to then try to strike using as little energy as possible. In short, a prudent and economical version of football that was taking us back towards the ancient Italianist groove, as the pendulum of time usually does, especially when it is looking for a refuge in times of crisis. Those were the days of Inter who, remaining on the defensive, had managed to torpedo Napoli, in the only kappaò of Spalletti’s team in the league.
A lot of praise began to be spent around the ability to suffer, to “dirty” the plays of others and on the concreteness of unattractive teams – such as Max Allegri’s Juve – but capable of collecting limited successes without ever conceding a goal. We were wrong. Everything has changed. There are other colors, different shades of blue. The courageous and elaborate game of Napoli, Lazio and Atalanta now rules in Serie A. This is the new atmosphere that reigns in the upper areas of the standings. Attacking football – rapid and total – becomes the necessary tool to control the pitch and subdue the ‘opponent. Will this be the definitive trend line? We’ll see. There is a need for confirmation, of course, and tomorrow’s match at the Maradona, between Spalletti’s eleven and Mourinho’s team, will already be able to tell us a few things. But the feeling is strong. Even Allegri’s battered black and whites – seen with Atalanta – seem to have begun to adapt. It is no coincidence that Milan, who have lost the key to their game, remain in the dark and risk sinking. Last season, Pioli’s Rossoneri were the team capable of dribbling more successfully and therefore happily shooting. Now it is as if he had lost his memory and energy. Three years ago, after a defeat (0-5) with Atalanta, Boban and Maldini had reversed the trend by bringing Ibra and Kjaer to Milan. The old property had extended its gaze. Instead this time, despite the Scudetto, Maldini has not found a bank in the club to move on the repair market. On the other hand there is always something surprising that blows the forecasts. Just a few months ago, no one could have imagined that Spalletti’s Napoli were capable of playing their magnificent football with such continuity. The only similar example, in the top leagues in Europe, comes from Arteta’s Arsenal, which after 19 rounds of the Premier League has identical numbers: 50 points, with 16 wins, 2 draws and one defeat. The European impact is different: Napoli plays it in the Champions League (it touches Eintracht in the round of 16) and can say an important word.
the only one
The plus 12 in the championship, compared to those chasing on the winter finish line, is unprecedented. Spalletti’s work is becoming a format to be imitated. Maurizio Sarri, who still bears some responsibility for Napoli’s current style of play, is following in the wake of his Lazio side. A team that plays, has fun and takes off thanks to the move of Felipe Anderson deployed from 9, which is very reminiscent of Mertens in his golden years at San Paolo. Going to boarding and playing while having fun is once again the mantra of Gasperini’s Atalanta. The Goddess doesn’t just shine with Hojlund and Lookman: she appears powerfully launched towards the territory of the first four. It’s time for coaches in overalls, those who dress casual even on Sundays. After all, Klopp and Guardiola are designed like this. The other handsome designer men, those in a perennial white shirt and blue suit, risk appearing out of fashion or seeming residual.
January 28, 2023 (change January 28, 2023 | 08:24)
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