Antonio Conte - What are your first impressions after watching Belgium 0-2 Italy last night?
I am interested to read your opinions of Antonio Conte after watching the Italy performance and v...
I am interested to read your opinions of Antonio Conte after watching the Italy performance and victory over Belgium 2-0 last night. What did you think of the way he set his side up, his players and of the overall performance?
I have to say that we all thought that Belgium would come out on top and I only say that based on the general opinion that the Italian side was one of the worst in recent times on paper. Looking at the talent Belgium had to call upon you would have felt that although the game would be tight, the Belgians would come out on top.
How wrong we were and what a fantastic performances by Conte's men last night. They won it by two goals but could have scored three if Pelle hadn't missed a simple header from close range in the first half. Every time they went forward they looked dangerous compared to the Belgian side who found it difficult to break down the Italian wall in front of them.
You have to say that Conte set his side up perfectly to stifle the Belgian threat with three centre backs, two wing backs and three hard working midfielders supporting their two strikers. Every single one of those players were well drilled and knew exactly what their role was in the team and what was expected. There was no free role or players being allowed to drift around the pitch, everyone had their position and stuck to it.
Yes Belgium had their chances and should have taken them but overall you have to hold your hands up and admit that they looked as though they had run out of ideas for the most part as they moved the ball to the edge of the 18-yard box. Once they had got to that point, they had little option and had to pass the ball sideways or backwards.
What impressed me was the fact that the Italians didn't look the slow the game down and keep possession to frustrate the Belgians as you would have expected them to do based on previous teams from back in the day. At EVERY single opportunity they won the ball and looked to pass it forwards while breaking forward in numbers. How many times did you see that happen and a deft flick would play someone in wide or behind to open up the Belgians?
Conte set his team up with a tactical plan leaving nothing to chance. They knew their roles with AND without the ball and his players executed it perfectly.
It's easy to get carried away with things after a single game and it's important to remember that every team is different. What I will say is that the first impressions are more than good!
What did you people think of last night?