The Scudetto on the Via Emilia: the two technicians were born in Parma and Piacenza, and are inspired by fellow countrymen Carletto. Bersellini and Simoni are also in their DNA
More than a school, it is a way of looking at football. With naturalness, common sense, attention to detail and without pretending to teach anything. This is the title of the Via Emilia because Simone Inzaghi was born in Piacenza and Stefano Pioli about seventy kilometers further south, in Parma. Another fifty to the east and you arrive in Reggiolo, the town of Carlo Ancelotti, the patriarch of the original coaches of this strip of Italy. Ancelotti won La Liga and is preparing for the Champions League final. In his long career he has conquered many titles and became the first coach in history to have triumphed in the five most important European championships. The journey inevitably starts from him also because Carlo has left precious traces that have been followed by Pioli and Inzaghi.
We are not just talking about tactics, because each coach develops his ideas over time and then naturally adapts them to the players he is coaching each time. But the intelligent management of the group is the basis of the excellent results obtained by Pioli and Inzaghi. Ancelotti has always found himself at ease in the bulky locker rooms, full of champions, perhaps because in such an environment he had also grown as a player. Don’t be fooled by the peaceful air: when he has to scream, Ancelotti does it. But it doesn’t happen often and only when necessary. Carlo confronts the senators, he is not afraid to express any doubts, he involves and does not exclude. Even Pioli and Inzaghi, who have reached a top club by degrees (especially the AC Milan player, while the Inter player has always built his career in Lazio), know how to deal with each of the many different heads present at Milanello and Appiano. Stefano has raised the self-esteem of the players, he did not give up those who did little, he brought out the best from the best and created a really compact group. Simone has always been a natural leader in the locker room: his players love him even if they are … hung on the wall after a wrong reaction. Ask Hoedt, the Dutch Anderlecht defender who played in Inzaghi’s Lazio. One day he got angry about an exclusion, but he got the timing and manner of the complaint wrong. Simone glared at him and in Formello they still remember that moment. A few days later Hoedt apologized to the coach. These technicians rarely need to impose their authority: they earn the respect and consideration of the group by example, work, credibility.
Defense and intelligence
The Via Emilia has produced two other excellent coaches, unfortunately both disappeared in the recent past. Eugenio Bersellini was born in 1936 in Borgo Val di Taro, in the province of Parma, and on the Inter bench he won a championship and two Italian Cups. For everyone he was the “iron sergeant” and he certainly knew how to be gruff and direct when he needed it. But his nickname honors him up to a certain point, because Bersellini knew how to create a deep bond with his players. It was another football, perhaps ancient, in which defensive solidity was the mantra of almost all the coaches. Now, risking certain arguments, you run the risk of being considered blasphemous, but Pioli’s Milan in the last ten days has made the difference just like that: by locking the door and waiting for the right moment to strike. Gigi Simoni, born in Crevalcore (two steps from Bologna) in 1939, had grown up with the same teachings as Bersellini, but when he arrived at Inter he found Ronaldo and built a beautiful and even winning team (Uefa Cup) while fielding the free and marking to man. Here is the beauty of football: you win in many ways. And Ancelotti knows this well. Berlusconi wanted the attacking midfielder and the two strikers, he always nodded and then took his mind. So he won the 2007 Champions with the Christmas tree. Carlo, as a player, had gone to Milan at the express request of Arrigo Sacchi, the main exponent of the most revolutionary line born in Romagna. Also in Tuscany there are several schools of football thought. But in the Via Emilia it works like this: common sense, tactical organization, careful group management, exaltation of individual talent. A fair recipe for success.
May 19, 2022 (change May 19, 2022 | 10:50 am)
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