«Referees, whistle less. And ball possession is the death of football»- Corriere.it

Of Paul Tomaselli

The coach and the «lessons» of the World Cup: «Let’s keep the recoveries and the end of ball possession. For the scudetto I see Napoli well because they have conviction and many alternatives ». Ancelotti coach of Brazil? “I don’t think it will”

Fabio Capello, Sky Sport’s lead commentator, was in Qatar during the group stage of the World Cup, then returned for the semi-finals and the grand finale.

What is left in her eyes?

«The athletic freshness of all the players, in a period of the season that is perfect for form. This made matches difficult for everyone, even the good ones. The other thing that has impressed me is the compactness of the teams: practically none have played with a high defense».

Was it the return of the Italian game, in the noblest sense?

«I’ve heard of many formations, but all of them played with a 9-1 formation: compact in defense and then in attack with many players. No need to invent anything else. Then if you play with three centre-backs you have a more defensive idea, with four defenders you have a more offensive idea».

Ball possession has disappeared, what do you think?

“Thank god! It was the death of football, absolute boredom. With possession you take away the responsibility of whoever has the ball, with the lateral pass. It takes courage to play it vertically».

Only two goals from free kicks and very few goals from outside the box. Because?

«Scoring from a distance is not easy with clogged areas. And nothing is invented about punishments: either you have the foot or you don’t.”

Does it make sense to ask what Italy could have done?

«No, because we still have the European national team in mind, which then disappeared. That team would have made a good impression».

Is the center forward on the verge of extinction?

“There are few, but there was also the death of false nine. Giroud was a good example for the role, but Benzema was missing».

As a coach, did you better understand Deschamps’ renunciation of the Ballon d’Or?

«Yes, because I did the same thing with Savicevic, before the 1993 Intercontinental. They only told me on the morning of the match that he could play, after I had prepared everything with Raducioiu. Out of respect, I didn’t let him play. I felt I did well towards the team. But the question remains: with Savicevic and Benzema would Milan and France have one more trophy? Maybe yes”.

Have you ever seen a center forward like Lautaro who scores every other month?

“I like it, it’s complete. In the final he was a bit slow in execution. This also derives from the fact that in Italy things go slower».

How did Theo Hernandez see it?

“With the handbrake on, because Mbappé was in front of him, who didn’t want his water to be occupied by others: only he could swim in it”.

Brozovic seen in Qatar, does he resume the role of director without problems or is the duel with Calhanoglu stimulating?

«As a coach I would like to have these abundance problems, then we need to see how we want to play. It may also depend on the match.”

Does Amrabat look like any of the greats?

«In his grit, determination and attention in recovering the ball and always being in the right place, he reminds me a lot of Gattuso. With more technical qualities».

What do you think of goalkeeper Martinez’s gesture?

“A fool.”

Did the local dress put on Messi’s shoulders hurt her or not?

«I see it as a gesture of recognition of greatness: I put it to you because you have achieved a feat. Others read it in a political way, I think of it in a sporting way ».

Messi like Maradona: a debate that bores you or stimulates reflection?

«For me it was even without the World Cup: I put them among the genes. Messi, Pele and Maradona have done things that others don’t even think about.”

How would Ancelotti coach of Brazil see him?

«He is for all seasons, it would be wonderful. But I don’t think it will happen: Brazilian national pride will prevail».

What do you think of Ronaldo’s cloudy sunset?

“He’s been looking for it. And for what he has done in his career, he does him no credit. The player is not discussed, but the moment: he was presumptuous, he went around offering himself without finding anyone who believed him. He has become a bit cumbersome for a team ».

Could Mourinho take on the double Rome-Portugal commitment?

«I don’t think so, given the seriousness and attention he puts into it, I don’t think he would accept such an assignment. You have to live the role of coach, go see the players, talk to them».

No one has ever stopped for 52 days in the middle of a season. Will there be surprises?

«It will be another championship, where the players will be fresh and rested. For me it will be beautiful, of great intensity, with a vertical kick like the one I saw at the World Cup. On one condition.’


“May the referees allow it, because they boo too much.”

Will we inherit the maxi recoveries from the World Cup?

«With all the whistles and free-kicks in Italy, the recoveries of the World Cup are the minimum. I expect this application, because it is fair for everyone to play the same number of minutes. The basis is there. But the problem will be the referees, I continue to beat on this point. There were mistakes at the World Cup, but the good ones like Marciniak and Orsato make you play: they understand that football is also competitive spirit, a physical thing».

Napoli have had players less squeezed by the World Cup: an advantage?

«It could be, but the right mix of technique and strength that Spalletti has at his disposal to stay on top counts more. Napoli impressed me with their conviction, quality and available alternatives».

There will be immediately Inter-Napoli and Napoli-Juve: true challenges?

«They will be wonderful tests».

Milan hasn’t scored (at least) a tricolor brace since 1994 with you on the bench. Can Pioli aim for an encore?

“It’s difficult, but the pursuers are all very close to each other. However, Napoli are favourites».

Juve has been shaken by an investigation and by the internal earthquake: do you expect a reaction or a backlash?

«It depends on which players recover. In the last few games, the compactness and mentality of Juve had been revised. But the difference is made by quality men, certainly not by schemes. From an environmental point of view, I believe that Allegri has the ship to steer: he has no shortage of experience and personality. On the contrary, it will be a better challenge: the pride of the players can come out».

Will Di Maria have more motivation after this victory?

«He made the difference at the World Cup. If Pogba, Chiesa and the best Vlahovic also return to Juve, it will be a completely different story».

But is it better to be a hare or a hunter?

«Anxiety is found in those who have to chase. Because it depends on the value of who is in front: if he has a squad of 14 players, you think you can reach him, but this is more difficult».

December 24, 2022 (change December 24, 2022 | 07:16)

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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