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U.S. Lecce 2.1 – Strikerless in Serie B

We asked Edward Bomb to write about his experiences in Football Manager as part of an addition to our analysis, with the only stipulation being that he managed somewhere in Italy. He settled on U.S Lecce. Welcome to part four of his story. (more…)

Roberto De Zerbi: A Coach with an Idea

DeZerbilandia. This is how Roberto De Zerbi made his name in Italy. With a certain style of play he turned Foggia, previously a mediocre team in the Lega Pro (third division) into one of the most entertaining teams in Italy. The beautiful football he implemented at Stadio Pino Zaccheria attracted the attention of clubs in higher divisions, however he turned down offers from Crotone and Ascoli to continue pursuing the dream with the Satanelli. Dramatically, the Lombard coach parted ways over disagreement with the club two weeks ago. (more…)

U.S. Lecce 1.3: The First Season

We asked Edward Bomb to write about his experiences in Football Manager as part of an addition to our analysis, with the only stipulation being that he managed somewhere in Italy. He settled on U.S Lecce. Welcome to part three of his story. (more…)

Sampdoria 2-1 Atalanta: Problems with Gasperini’s Man Marking Highlighted

Sampdoria welcomed Atalanta to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris for the second round of 2016-17 Serie A season fixtures on Sunday 28 August. The home side, coached by Marco Giampaolo, had won their first game of the campaign, defeating Empoli 1-0. However, the away side, coached by Gian Piero Gasperini, had lost a thrilling opener 4-3 to Lazio. (more…)

U.S. Lecce 1.2: Transfers, Backroom Changes and Pre-Season

We asked Edward Bomb to write about his experiences in Football Manager as part of an addition to our analysis, with the only stipulation being that he managed somewhere in Italy. He settled on U.S Lecce. Welcome to Part Two of his story. (more…)

Pescara 2-2 Napoli: Penetrative Possession Almost Undoes Sarri’s Side

Newly promoted Pescara welcomed last season’s Serie A runners-up Napoli to the Stadio Adriatico on Sunday 21 August in the opening round of 2016-17 fixtures. The home side made a stunning start to their top-flight return, going 2-0 up in the first half thanks to goals from Ahmed Benali and Gianluca Caprari. However, they faded in the second half, with Dries Mertens scoring twice to earn Napoli a 2-2 draw. (more…)

U.S. Lecce 1.1: An Introduction

Hello and welcome to a new feature here at Tactical Calcio. We asked Edward Bomb to write about his experiences in Football Manager as part of an addition to our analysis, with the only stipulation being that he managed somewhere in Italy. And, after a period of searching, he settled on U.S Lecce. (As you may have guessed from the title.) (more…)

An Analysis Of Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli

Napoli made a potentially historic decision last summer in hiring 57-year-old former banker Maurizio Sarri as head coach to fill the void left by Rafa Benitez, who departed for Real Madrid. Last season the club finished fifth in Serie A but currently they sit second, nine points behind reigning champions Juventus. For much of this season they looked capable of ending their long wait for a scudetto, which they have not won since 1990, though a recent loss of form appears to have put paid to that ambition. (more…)

Helenio Herrera: Underrated Moderniser

Helenio Herrera is regarded as one of the greatest managers in football history, but his name is also frequently tarnished by a perceived link to the most unfashionable system: catenaccio. The word catenaccio has come to mean something more than that which it originally described: negative, cynical, overly-defensive. It is used by many as a convenient insult to throw at Italian teams, even when their play has nothing to do with the tactic. Owing to his success at Inter in the 1960s, Herrera is often referred to as the man behind the system. (more…)

Leonardo Bonucci: The Soldier

Being confronted by an armed robber is the type of occurrence that generally offers only negative outcomes. Rationally, with the alternative being hurt or even killed, the immediate reaction would be to hand over whatever is asked for, without question. It’s the sort of traumatising experience that would seem impossible to prepare for, unimaginably difficult to deal with. The notion of confronting the robber wouldn’t cross the minds of most, yet this is exactly what Leonardo Bonucci did. (more…)