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[av_heading heading=’Principles of a fluid and complete team’ tag=’h1′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’46’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#ffffff’][/av_heading]

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Author: Francesco Farioli

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After meeting Foggia on the first day of Coppa Italia, I am seeing a more mature team, more aware of their own qualities. A team that I would define as fluid, able to mould endlessly with respect to the various play situations. A team that is not formation-oriented on the pitch, but space-oriented, determining the position of the players on the pitch. Zerbi’s team has the skill and consistency to insist with their own game play until they are able to unlock the match, even against teams that are solid and well-organised in the defensive phase.

The impressive thing about Zerbi’s Foggia, besides the renowned individual qualities of players like Sarno, Iemmello, Floriano and Chiric√≤, is the universality and versatility of the entire team.
A team that enhances the qualities of the individual.
Defenders who attack (aggressive mentality) and attackers who defend (sacrifice). Let’s have a look in detail.

Defensive Phase:

The defensive line works anticipating the lines with Loiacono and Coletti (centre pair) who successfully support and motivate Foggia’s ultra-offensive pressing, quite often finding itself in a position to attack at the front even on the adversaries midfield. This aggressiveness is the result of Coletti and Loiacono’s great attention to preventive marking in phases of ball possession.
The team is ready to make sacrifices and this is clearly demonstrated by the way all 11 players are compact in the phases without ball possession.

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Offensive Transition Phase:

De Zerbi’s Foggia is a team that likes having possession of the ball, attacking the short space, but at the same time it is a team that is capable of sprinting in a counter-attack to take advantage of the speed its offensive players have. Offensive consistency and organisation (preventive attacking) are this team’s keystones.

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Ball Possession Phase:

The external backs and the wings guarantee the widest possible configuration to spread out the opposing team’s links and to find space for vertical plays. The two centre backs are bold enough to advance with the ball and challenge the adversaries in order to force them into a decision. When they can, they try to make diagonal plays to the wings in order to break up the lateral chain.
Centre back – forward wing – inside halfback – overlapping outside back. The player who receives the ball wide controls and moves inward, whoever receives inside controls and moves in support. Looking for the third man is a constant that allows the team to be unpredictable and to change sides in order to create 1-on-1 situations for the forward wing and overlapping outside back.

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Negative Transition Phase:

The defensive consistency is impressive. When Foggia loses the ball, efforts to immediately regain possession are ferocious. When Foggia loses possession the entire team takes two steps in the same direction in order to close off any back-pass solutions.
The player that loses the ball has the task of immediately regaining possession.

A compact team, with clear ideas and game play principles.
A team that plays ninety minutes head on to win the match.
A show deserving of other stages.
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Francesco Farioli
Aspire Academy (Qatar Football Association), Senior Goalkeeper Coach, Video Match & Performance Analysis.
www.francescofarioli.com

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