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2015/16 Scudetto Race: Juventus

When Antonio Conte left his post as Juventus coach last July, the general feeling was that the Bianconeri’s period of dominance was coming to an end. Roma and Napoli were gunning for them, while Conte’s replacement, Massimiliano Allegri, had eggs thrown at his car by Juventus fans who were upset at his appointment. After three consecutive Scudetti, it felt as if change was afoot at the top of Serie A. But fast forward one year and nothing had changed; Juventus were Italian champions once again. If anything, they had improved under Allegri’s guidance, as they also won the Coppa Italia and reached the Champions League final. (more…)

2015/16 Scudetto Race: Internazionale

The return of Roberto Mancini as Internazionale coach last November was seen as the first step towards restoring the grand old club’s dignity as they, like city rivals AC Milan, struggled to break free of mid-table mediocrity in Serie A. Since Jose Mourinho’s departure, Inter have finished second, sixth, ninth, fifth and eighth, finding Champions League football elusive and a title challenge nigh on impossible to mount. (more…)

2015/16 Scudetto Race: AC Milan

After two consecutive years of mid-table finishes, it feels like Milan are back. The 2014-15 season saw yet more turmoil as one of Italian football’s giants fell further from their past glories, finishing 10th in Serie A, their worst league position since 1998. Fans may point to the fact that the last time Milan finished so low down the league table, they won the Scudetto the very next year. Although they are perhaps not quite ready for such a feat, the Rossoneri are undoubtedly a rejuvenated side, having cast aside many of the erratic ways of their underachieving recent past. (more…)

Coaches And Horses: The Sacchi/Sarri Commonality

Silvio Berlusconi had seen enough. For the second time in the 1986-87 season he had watched his AC Milan team lose to Parma, a club who had only recently been promoted to Serie B. After beating Milan into second place in the Coppa Italia group stage, Parma then kicked the Rossoneri out of the competition altogether having drawn them again in the first knockout round. For Berlusconi the whole episode was embarrassing. The Milanese business magnate had taken over the club to revitalise one of Italian football’s traditional behemoths; such miserable results simply were not part of his script. (more…)

The Kovacic Quandary

Versatility is a lauded trait within the fluid landscape of modern football. The ability to perform while rotating between multiple different positions increases the worth of the individual to the team, with defiance of specialism seen as a signal of multi-faceted talent. In this sense, versatility is a gift, though for some it is also a curse. (more…)

Adapting To Circumstances: The Tactics Behind Calcio’s Revival

There was a rather curious romanticism surrounding Juventus’ Champions League progression as the 2014-15 season developed. Having thrashed Borussia Dortmund in the second round and held out against Monaco in the quarter-finals, the Bianconeri overcame Real Madrid in the last four, essentially becoming victorious underdogs. (more…)

A Tactical History Of Juventus In The Champions League Final

Ahead of Juventus’s enticing Champions League final clash with Barcelona this Saturday, Tactical Calcio takes a look back at the Bianconeri’s past final experiences from a tactical perspective. Here, in the second of a two-part series, we assess their performances in previous Champions League finals. (more…)

Champions League: Juventus And Barcelona Set For Fascinating Tactical Showdown

In one corner, the champions of Spain, and in the other, the champions of Italy. It seems appropriate that this year’s Champions League final in Berlin be contested by two newly-crowned domestic kings, intent on adding the last piece of the jigsaw to what has been an excellent campaign for both Barcelona and Juventus. It is a showdown, the magnum opus of European football that promises to serve up one of the most intriguing tactical battles in recent times. (more…)

A Tactical History Of Juventus In The European Cup Final

Ahead of Juventus’s enticing Champions League final clash with Barcelona this Saturday, Tactical Calcio takes a look back at the Bianconeri’s past final experiences from a tactical perspective. Here, in the first of a two-part series, we begin in simpler times long before the competition’s re-branding, when Europe’s elite club competition was known as the European Cup. (more…)

Life After Totti

“I think people all over the world know that Gerrard has been a Liverpool legend. He’s spent many years playing for one team and has always fought for that club. He should be respected and thanked for everything he’s achieved.” Such words were bestowed upon departing Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard by none other than Francesco Totti though; switching their names and replacing Liverpool with Roma, the Italian could well have been referring to himself. (more…)