Andrea Pirlo (35 Viewers)


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Senior Member
Jul 18, 2004
Euro2008 - McClaren didn't even qualify for the tournament
WC2010 - Capello barely qualified 2nd from an easy group, then got trashed by Germany
Euro2012 - Hodgson lost in penalties to Italy in 1/4 finals
WC2014 - England finished dead last in their group with 1 point in 3 games
Euro2016 - exited the tournament in 1/8 finals against Iceland

None of the managers between SGE and Southgate had managed to win a single knockout tie in those 5 tournaments, the only time they looked like a semi-decent team was 2012. Its easy to downplay the opponents they overcame in 2018 and now, but England is like Inter, winning with them is twice as hard because the environment is retarded, Southgate definitely has done an impressive job there. They're boring but at least they're not embarrassing.
I’m not downplaying what he’s achieved, unlike those before him he’s actually managed to beat what’s in front of him, but there’s no doubt they have had the luck of the draw now for the last 2 tournaments and momentum is really important in tournament football.

He’s made them hard to beat and he has a good understanding of grassroots football in England. Doing the u21 job before the first team job also looks to have been a great shout as he brought a lot of those players through. He will not be a success when he leaves England though, he’s just the right guy at the right time for them.

Buy on


Senior Member
Mar 23, 2015
england conceded zero goals in 5 matches. regardless of how i feel about the english nt, southgate or english football in general, as an italian football fan, i find it impressive.

i hope they lose to denmark though. it can be with penalties, so as far as i'm concerned, they can close the tournament with zero goals conceded and they can award themselves the best defense trophy á la galliani/adl.


Senior Member
Oct 3, 2018
Southgate is very average manager he plays 2 dms and 4 defenders against the worst rubbish teams which is why they havent conceded many goals with the most stacked england talent around. He has had insane luck with the draws in both last WC and this euros and he still managed to mess up that WC.

Not to mention they have home advantage and other teams can barely bring there fans into stadiums becauase of covid rules etc.. He is very much like ole that was given the job on being a nice guy thats get on well with the players.


Senior Member
Mar 23, 2015

Pirlo: ‘I’d rather lose playing my way than spend the entire game defending my own penalty area’
James Horncastle Aug 17, 2021

It’s the late-afternoon golden hour as Andrea Pirlo checks into Zoom. He’s under an umbrella in Tuscany, hair still wet from a dip in the pool where his kids are splashing around, enjoying the holidays.
“It’s been a wonderful summer,” he says, evoking the 1990 anthem by Gianna Nannini and Edoardo Bennato that has been undergoing a revival in Italy since the beginning of June. Italians winning the Eurovision Song Contest and the European Championship, then the men’s 100m sprint and a host of others medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo have ensured the last couple of months won’t ever be forgotten.
Pirlo’s admiration for Euros-conquering Italy coach Roberto Mancini in particular glistens like the setting sun on his bronzed forehead. “We got back to winning a major competition for the first time in a long time.”
Memories of Berlin in July 2006, when Pirlo so cooly dispatched Italy’s first penalty in the shootout that decided their World Cup final against France, are as refreshing as a waft of the light Tuscan breeze. “There’s no greater joy than winning with the national team,” Pirlo smiles. “Mancini did a great job. The team has a clear identity and plays almost like a club side. They knew what to do from the start.”

The style with which Italy played this summer aligns closely with Pirlo’s own vision of football, with Mancini building the team around the intricate passing and control of Jorginho and Marco Verratti, playmakers who grew up with “il Maestro” as their role model.
Observing how the final swung back towards Italy after Luke Shaw’s early goal, Pirlo remarks on England’s historic lack of a midfielder in his mould.
“It’s true. In England, there’s never been this kind of player. There have been great midfielders over the years with different skills. There’s the boy at Leeds, who’s a bit of a regista…” — Kalvin Phillips, the so-called Yorkshire Pirlo.
“…but,” Pirlo says with a twinkle in his eye, “we’re a bit different. He doesn’t have the same characteristics I had. You’ve always had box-to-box midfielders, like Frank Lampard.”

(Photo: Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Italy lent on old traditions when needed at the Euros, with Pirlo’s former team-mate Giorgio Chiellini coming to the fore, but the modernity of their approach is here to stay.
“Football doesn’t change. There are still a couple of goals you have to defend and score in. That will never change,” says Pirlo. “But the way you play does; the way of interpreting games, how players move, that’s what has changed. Today you need quick players who are technically excellent when playing at pace, excellent in one-v-ones. In the past, it was a bit different. Something can happen every year that can change how football is played.”
A new generation of coaches, who were either boys or coming of age when Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan were on top of the world in the 1980s then nearing retirement as players when Pep Guardiola was changing the game at Barcelona a decade ago, is now updating and re-defining the football played in Serie A.
Once upon a time, Italian managers would have drawn inspiration from the league’s last European champions — as was the case in the ’60s — but the tactical identikit of Inter Milan’s 2009-10 treble winners never became the orthodoxy. Guardiola’s principles from that time pollinated far wider and permeated much deeper. Maurizio Sarri’s free-flowing Napoli team, the cavalier pressing game Eusebio Di Francesco deployed in Roma’s run to the 2017-18 Champions League semi-finals and Roberto De Zerbi’s slick Sassuolo side did the rest.
Last season, Serie A averaged the most goals per game (3.05) among Europe’s top five leagues. Crotone played a role in that by conceding a record 92 times in their 38 league games. Brave to some, foolish to others, the boldness of their approach ultimately did not pay off, but courage worked for Spezia who pressed the life out of eventual runners-up Milan and won 2-0 on the way to staying up under Vincenzo Italiano, who has since moved on to Fiorentina.
“You’ve got these young coaches who want to do something different,” Pirlo explains. “For me, football is headed in that direction. Guardiola has shown that over the last few years. If you don’t control the game, it’s difficult to think you’re going to win it. Of course, there might be times when you have 90 per cent of the ball and let in the only shot your opponent has on target but I prefer to lose that way than spend the entire game defending my own penalty area, trying to score a goal on the counter-attack.”
Nothing Pirlo experienced in his first year in coaching shook his convictions and even with hindsight, he would not rewrite a word of the thesis he put together when completing his coaching badges.
“I’m not going to change it because some of the results weren’t good,” he says. “That’s still how I think about the game — playing out from the back, looking to keep the ball, regaining possession as quickly as possible. A lot depends on the players you have available to you and what they enable you to do. Players are much more important than coaches. It’s the coaches who must adapt.”

(Photo: Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)
Last season, Juventus relinquished their title for the first time since 2011 but no one in Europe’s top five leagues apart from Bayern Munich retained their status as domestic champions, drained as they were by the hurried end to the first pandemic-compressed campaign. Pirlo’s unexpected promotion to the top job within a week of his appointment as coach of Juventus’ Under-23s, the absence of a proper pre-season and an entire year played in COVID-19 conditions made it a unique challenge.
“I learned a lot,” he claims. “It was my first experience as a coach but it was very intense because we started the season with only one friendly game. It all went very quickly. We played every three days, without fans, without being able to recover and without being able to train and prepare for the next game. It was difficult to try something new. Recovery was more important.”
Nevertheless, Pirlo did try to introduce an avant-garde system, setting Juventus up to defend in 4-4-2 and attack in 3-2-5.
The underlying numbers were good, with StatsBomb data putting them in the 90th percentile for xG and high-press shots (a shot after pressing to win the ball high up the pitch). Nobody in Serie A conceded a lower xG figure per 90 minutes than them either.
Unfortunately, though, Juventus could not find consistency. They defeated Barcelona 3-0 at the Nou Camp, ended Milan’s 27-game unbeaten run in Serie A and beat Inter and Atalanta on the way to winning the Coppa Italia one day, but lost at home to relegation-bound Benevento and dropped points through costly mistakes and fine margins.

The squad was also a puzzle missing pieces such as Paulo Dybala up front (injury meant he started only 14 Serie A games), a back-up striker, a regista and a left-back, where Gianluca Frabotta covered for Alex Sandro’s absences through injury and illness.
The problem solving that Pirlo excelled at as a player manifested itself in the reinvention of Danilo and the revelation that was Weston McKennie. “He’s young and can improve a lot,” Pirlo says of the American. “In my opinion, he’s a midfielder who can play as a No 8 in a three in midfield, right or left. He gets in the box and scores goals but he’s also very good at winning the ball back. His role is in a three in midfield as one of the two players on either side of the regista. Last year we played in a different system, so he had to adapt.”
In the end, Juventus won a couple of trophies, qualified for the Champions League on the final day, Cristiano Ronaldo became capocannoniere at the third time of asking and Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Federico Bernardeschi and Federico Chiesa lit up the Euros. In April, Pirlo gave himself a “respectable six” out of 10 for the year, adding: “I could do more and when you don’t get some results, the first person responsible is the coach. I must work at doing better.” After lifting the Coppa Italia, he deserves a higher grade but it wasn’t enough for Pirlo to stay in the job and Juventus took the opportunity to bring Massimiliano Allegri back for a second spell.
“It was a year in which I had a lot of personal growth,” Pirlo reflects.
The double Champions League winner’s horizons are as broad as those of Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese and with that in mind, Pirlo won’t limit himself to jobs in Italy. “I’d like to go abroad,” he says. “I spent three years in the US, so I have no problems with English and I speak French too. I feel like I can go anywhere.”
Pirlo’s time at New York City means he still keeps a close eye on MLS. “I don’t watch all the games but I turn it on when I can,” the 42-year-old says, “I know it’s really hot this time of year. I remember playing in that heat. It’s hard for players to maintain high intensity when it’s this hot.
“I watch all the teams. I love New York — I had a place there before I moved stateside — but I like everything about MLS. I really enjoyed my time there,” he continues. “I got on well with the club, my team-mates, the staff and the coaches I had. It was a great life experience, a great football experience too. Two of my kids were born in America, so it’s something we’ll always carry with us. It’s like home to them, a part of our lives. They’re American.”

(Photo: Michael Stewart/Getty Images)
Heading back to MLS to coach one day definitely has an allure and doesn’t have to be put off until later in his career.
Patrick Vieira has shown you can start in management there and work yourself back to Ligue 1 and the Premier League, where he is now at the helm of Crystal Palace. “I’m not ruling out anything,” Pirlo insists. “It’s a great league. I see lots of coaches coming to MLS from other countries. I was lucky enough to play there. You saw what the USMNT did in the Gold Cup (winning their version of the Euros this summer) so I’d say the American game is taking off. Lots of Americans are now playing for the best clubs in the world — Juve, Barcelona, Chelsea. If they’re playing at that level, it speaks to their potential.”
In the meantime, il Maestro continues to study in preparation for his next post. “I’m looking at lots of different coaches,” he reveals. “You can learn from anyone. I’m watching games and training sessions online. Once it’s easier to travel, I’ll go watch some in person. I bumped into Mauricio Pochettino on holiday in Ibiza and he asked me to swing by Paris and say hello. If I can, I’d like to go to Manchester to see Guardiola.”
For now, Pirlo is surveying the market as he would the play in front of him, waiting until the right opening appears.
As the sun sets behind him, he twizzles his beard and says: “I am ready to embark on a new adventure.”


Jul 27, 2015
This guy.. :lol:

With all due respect… good riddance, he is contradicting himself in the very same interview about his direction and philosophy.

Apparently, by quoting some of his own remarks in the same interview, a coach should adapt to the players available to him and the opponent they are about to face while also confirming his ‘guardiolaesq beliefs’ that he would rather lose 1-0 after dominating all game and conceeding the goal from the opponent’s only shot rather than change philosophy to match the players strengths and to target the opponent’s weaknesses.

I got nothing else to add, he is just a rookie afterall and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.


Senior Member
Aug 27, 2010
Sorry but this is all bollocks, how did his Juve control any game last season? Controlling game for me means that there is no danger from the opposition, while Juve last season each interceptions and attack of opponent was dangerous. Thanks to unorganized defense and midfield. Bayern can say they control a game, but his Juve? Each game we were shitting our pants playing the likes of Parma or Spezia. So no Pirlo, most of the games u lost u didnt control at all, your team was as fragile as it can be. The games considered failure - loss and draws against the likes of Milan, Inter, Napoli and Atalanta we had like 55 % possesion maximum, if thats what u call controlling the game then ok, but in my opinion it was more due to the constant ping pong passes between Szczęsny, Cuadrado, De Ligt and Bonucci which didnt mean anything.


Senior Member
Jun 9, 2012
I very much prefer the balanced view of Allegri or Conte who focus on winning, Pirlo seems too obsessed with the how
That's not the issue though. Quite a few coaches achieved what he wants, he's no inventor here.

The issue is that he's obsessed with how but he doesn't know how to achieve his how. If you know what I mean :D

Maybe he should have started with why :lol:
Mar 10, 2009
This guy.. :lol:

With all due respect… good riddance, he is contradicting himself in the very same interview about his direction and philosophy.

Apparently, by quoting some of his own remarks in the same interview, a coach should adapt to the players available to him and the opponent they are about to face while also confirming his ‘guardiolaesq beliefs’ that he would rather lose 1-0 after dominating all game and conceeding the goal from the opponent’s only shot rather than change philosophy to match the players strengths and to target the opponent’s weaknesses.

I got nothing else to add, he is just a rookie afterall and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
Worst coach since the start of the century. Our team should have no way finished 4th.


Jul 27, 2015
Understandable that Pirlo himself might still be butthurt about being sacked as he probably thought that if someone is foolish enough to hire him then they would also be foolish enough to keep him in those circumstances but big LOL, this other dumbass only making it worse for Pirlo's overall relation to the club aswell as proving once again that it was a good decision to let him go.

Obviously should have never been appointed in the first place anyway so they should already be more than grateful for the experience and already 2 trophies added to his managerial career despite it being almost a full scale disasterclass from him.

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