Why are Italian coaches so good?

October 17, 2008

Marcello LippiItaly’s Marcello Lippi has equalled the record for the most Azzurri games without defeat and Fabio Capello’s England have managed their best ever start to World Cup qualifying.

We should also not forget evergreen Giovanni Trapattoni, whose modest yet undefeated Ireland side are just three points behind world champions Italy in Group Eight.

It is not sheer coincidence that these three coaches are getting results. There is a lot of talk about “a winning mentality” these days and although it seems a rather obvious commodity for football, the Italians have it in bucketloads.

Italy’s 2-1 win over Montenegro on Wednesday meant Lippi, over his two spells in charge, has equalled 1934 and 1938 World Cup-winning coach Vittorio Pozzo’s record of 30 games without defeat.   

The Azzurri were average against a very decent Montenegro but once they went 2-1 up after half an hour following a flukey deflection, you just knew they would end up winning 2-1. In fact, I had written my full match report at half time I was so sure of the outcome.

It may be seen as boring, but Italian club sides dominated Europe in the 1990s because of the cautious approach of these three old heads. Most losing sides wouldn’t care if players were running the ball towards the corner flag on 70 minutes if it meant they won.

Capello’s England have won four qualifying games out of four following the 3-1 win in Belarus. The players have been quick to credit Capello, with Rio Ferdinand saying previous regimes under Sven Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren were like a “circus”.

Confident Capello doesn’t want to be the players’ friend like McClaren tried to be. The tactical technician is the headmaster and what he says, goes.

“In the first half sometimes it was Gerrard in the midfield and sometimes it was Rooney and sometimes it was Emile Heskey – they interchanged a lot. In the second half I fixed the positions of the players,” he said.

The emphasis here was definitely on the ‘I’.

PHOTO: Italy coach Marcello Lippi smokes a cigar as he inspects Larnaca’s stadium in Cyprus. Sept. 5, 2008. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

5 comments

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Nice photo and intelligent post, too. http://www.soccershop.com

Posted by karen | Report as abusive

They are not all as adept. Just take a look at Ranieri.

Posted by vava | Report as abusive

[...] Why are Italian coaches so good? In Leave a comment… [...]

its because they know a few jungle warfare tactics
They know when the opponents are backing up at the goal area / penalty area knowing its defence time for the opponents, they get the players to shoot and fall back unitl the opposing team players got confused and felt that the italians are not giving the best shot. This give them them try to attack the italians and by the time the italian coach can easily knew that remaining side wingers will speed into the sides and give high kicks to avoid the defenders ( few left) at the penalty area.
The italian coaches are very good in this and I have anlaysed them many times ….

Posted by Lieu | Report as abusive

Having said this, during the match with Paraguay, the italianc coach again is very smart.afer the first goal conceded for whatever reasons, he must have changed tactics “on water finidng its own level ” strategm. that the players when pulled back on a tight string and then realeased onto the paraquans will instintly knew , without obtrusing on their skills “finding its own level” and filled the penalty area with skills sets that are much the same with little diff between each italian player and this good strategy by the italian coach had put the paraquans into a short sense of confusion and then the goal hit will comes second nature.

Posted by Lieu | Report as abusive

i have been observing various coaches and think the italian coache are still the best. USing various strategms in differing levels of the game and timing of the opponents routine style. They had to be the best … very guerilla tactical

Posted by Lieu | Report as abusive