Friday 4th November 1998
No one really prepared me for how competitive the Premier League really is.
Fast paced, hard tackling, high tempo, and direct, with teams willing to run at the oppositions defense and win at all costs.
It’s impressive. I grew up watching English soccer, always intrigued about how heavy and direct it was, teams happy to have the ball in the air more than on the ground.
For Leicester City, I don’t care how we play football, as long as we win. Although I feel as though the old Italian Cantenaccio method may not work in England, and that the model of fast directness is a style that may suit us best.
Above all else, our ability to win second and third balls may be the best scenario we have of being able to push forward to the opponents box.
For this, we need players that are closer to each other, playing in a way in which keeps the team compact both dentro e fuori il possession (in and out of possession)
This will help us chiudere più spesso (close down more often), winning the ball in areas closer to the closer to the oppositions goal and giving us a better chance of a contrattacco rapido (quick counter attack).
A mix of hard working players who are physical and fast, powerful forwards, rapid defenders and ball winning midfielders and playmakers will be key for us to be successful playing this style of football.
The Suffoco can play in one of two areas; either up front, or just behind the striker, closing down the opponents and marking the deepest lying midfielder in the hope of intercepting and disrupting play.
Playing in my preferito formation 4-4-2, this allows to have to clean banks of four and two strikers up front; la bellezza e il mostro (beauty and the beast) I call them, with one being the destroyer / creator and the other being the more graceful goal scorer, profiting from the hard work of the more selfless of the two.
Alternatively, we can play a 4-4-1-1 and play with a attaccante ombra (shadow striker), playing directly in the man-marking Suffoco role and closing down the opposition much more than the rest of the time in the hope of destroying in order to create.
It’s a work in progress – my attempt to make the Suffoco a feared and powerful aspect of our gameplay – but I believe in this style.
We will prevail. We will win. We will suffocate. We will conquer.