Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Antonio Conte’s Defensive Tactics Come Up Trumps

Antonio Conte's tactical might was on clear display in Italy's 2-0 victory against Belgium, and his defensive side could cause some shocks this tournament.

Italy faced some of the top players in the world on June 13, 2016, against Belgium. Despite their inferiority on paper, they conceded absolutely no goals.

Manager Antonio Conte made a decision to develop a defensive tactic for the Italians, which resulted in some remarkable defending from the famous Juventus trio: Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli. The defenders stood powerfully strong in front of the legend who stands between the posts, Gianluigi Buffon.

Buffon pushed Thibault Courtois; another of one of the world’s best shot-stoppers and Chelsea’s primary goalkeeper where Antonio Conte will be headed towards once the Euro 2016 is over, over the edge.

The Leader of Men

Skipper Buffon has been wearing the armband since 2012 after the former captain, Fabio Cannavaro, retired internationally in 2010. Buffon has the capability of reading plays from a different point of view than any other keeper. His vision is precise in terms of reading any upcoming plays or any upcoming shots.

Will Conte’s Tactical Decisions lead Italy to Gold as it lead Juventus?

The Italian trio from Juventus and their keeper have been playing together since 2013 when Antonio Conte established the 3-5-2 formation, which is the formation Italy are set to use throughout this tournament. Notably, this is the same formation that Italy used back in Euro 2000 where Antonio Conte was a starter for the Azzurri.

On Monday night, the Italians stifled the Belgians with a 2-0 victory in their first match of the tournament. Italian fans were not expecting such an outcome or such a profound style of play. The style the Italians used was astonishing and the outcome of it shocked the world.

The Italians carefully and potentially defended with three defenders while the two wing-backs, Antonio Candreva and Matteo Darmian, ran back towards their own goal as Belgium counter-attacked or simply assailed. Conte must continue to practise and focus on one of the main aspects that escalated Italy’s defence, which was blocking shots. Italy’s intelligent counter-defending, practically forming a five-man wall, left the Belgians no chance of scoring.

Italy consolidated as they defended with their 3-5-2 formation, and successfully changed to a 5-4-1 while the opposing team counter-attacked. What shocked the Belgians as well as the world was Italy’s transition. As they counter-attacked, the formation essentially transitioned into 3-3-4 consisting of four strikers and three attacking midfielders penetrating the opposing goal. The two remaining wide centre-backs Barzagli & Chiellini would advance and support and Bonucci would halt at the half line “sweeping”. Luckily, Conte has imposed this prosperous plan on the team since he was chosen as head coach for Italy back in August 2014.

According to Football Italia, Buffon has told reporters in Florence “The coach is a perfectionist, a coach and a man who believes in discipline and rules”. Conte knows he will be leaving towards Chelsea once the Euros are done, so he must leave Italy knowing he has done what was planned; satisfying himself, the team and all Italian fans across the world.

If Italy stay focused as they already are and continue to have the desire for success, along with Conte’s teaching methods, they will go further than expected.


More Posts

Send Us A Message