Sassuolo under Roberto De Zerbi 2018/2019

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One of the most impressing teams in Serie A now is the Sassuolo squad under young Roberto De Zerbi.

Fantastic last year at Benevento despite relegating with the team, the talented manager manages to lead the “nerroverdi” to a good road in a difficult championship how Serie A is. Think he is playing against Allegri, Gasperini, Ancellotti, Di Francesco, Pioli etc.

They way they play tactical, the model of play and the dynamic system they put on the table attract the analyst and the eye of fans of italian football.

CONCEPTION. RDZ looks like a mini-Guardiola coach putting a lot of focus in short build-up, creating supperiority on each zone on the pitch, dynamic of the players, false 9 role to KPB, switch play, verticalization and high oriented pressing even playing against a very big team like Juventus. The game against Juve gived a sign of mantaining own phylosophy no matter who you face! Solid thinking. Like Lobanosvky said ORGANIZED CHAOS!

The high rated twitter member @NikovskiBranko showed us last days how De Zerbi si thinking and approaching the game against a 3-5-2 him playing a 4-3-3 asymetric offensive and a 3-4-3 clear and pure defensive.

Let’s take a look at the draw he realised and let’s explain the situations.

SPAL 3-5-2 vs SASSUOLO 3-4-3 central


RDZ option to put the striker Babacar between Valdifiori and Vicari with a shadow marking closing with one man two possibilities to pass. Then instruct Djurici and Boga to make a facing pressing at Simic and Felipe. After Bourabia and Magnanelli are supervising and controlling the zone against SPAL trio Kurtic – Valdifiori – Missiroli in function of the position of the ball. Rogerio and Adjanpong are ready to sprint and press wide SPAL wingbacks. The main principle is mixed marking and controlling the central coridor and when the ball goes wide his team is translating the pitch and switch to man marking. In defence he remains 3vs2, in superiority, at the two strikers of SPAL. Impressive tactics!

SPAL 3-5-2 vs SASSUOLO 3-4-3 wide


There appear the modern football concept: the ball zone more important than man marking, practically he plays a 10 vs 8, leaving free Simic and the other wingback. Concept of dead zone-active zone. Babacar close down Vicari, Djuricic facing DCL Felipe, Bourabia and Magnanelli control central zone, Boga and Rogerio cutting inside to overload the central zone creating all the time superiority. In defence always 3vs2, even 4vs2, using Rogerio as extra cover. Adjanpong in the moment Felipe pass to Fares sprinting and trying to recover the ball there where the view angle of SPAL wingback is 180 degree, not 360 degree.

Really fantastic tactical approach, they won the game, and RDZ story continues to impress in Serie A.

The revolution of young coaches with modern concepts and attacking mind tactics continues. Names like him, Di Francesco, Naglesmann, Tedesco, Kovaci you have to remember and to follow because you have a lot to learn from them.

Goodbye, Jose Mourinho football!

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