Catenaccio vs Parking the bus

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Post by Swanhends Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:07 am

@The Franchise wrote:I dont think I give too much credit, but I will await your reply.

All I said, or tried to say was, Sacchi team pressed high up the pitch and they had some excellent ball players in the team.

People know them as one of the best sides in history, sure they were very good defensively (Maldini, Baresi who wouldnt be) but they beat Steaua in a final 4 to nothing, they beat Real Madrid 6-1 on aggregate in a semi-final. That first year they were very convincing. I guess its slightly unfair, Capellos team in 92 scored almost 20 more goals then their nearest rival in Serie A, yet its Sacchis team who is better known for how they played football.

[color=red]But overall whats clear is, even Maldini has said it, the Milan of Sacchi was superior to the Capello team despite them winning less.

My post didn't come out quite the way it was intended, must say I was in a rush..I did not mean that you gave him too much credit, he's one of the best coaches in history and deserves what credit he gets. What I meant was that I felt you were painting him as an attacking idealist, which I don't believe is an accurate assessment (at least thats how I read your post)

Think of the attacking talents playing for Milan under Sacchi...Van Basten, Gullit, Donadoni, Ancelotti...

And yet, never once under Sacchi did Milan ever score the most goals in Serie A, not even in the year they actually won the Scudetto

Sacchi was a pragmatist and a realist, and the soul of his team was his back line

Theres a famous story about how, during a training exercise, Sacchi wanted to show how his disciplined and organized back four could keep ten attacking players (who did not have a plan or direction) from scoring...So Sacchi threw out Tassotti, Costacurta, Baresi, Maldini and whoever the GK was at the time. He set the two teams against eachother, 10 attackers (including Van Basten, Gullit, Donadoni, Ancelotti, Rijkaard) against his back 4 and the keeper.....and after 15 minutes (I think? Could be 30 I can't remember) - the game had finished scoreless

Milan did indeed play some great attacking football at times, but In my opinion that was more the natural result of having a squad filled with such talented players, rather than some sort of attacking game plan pressed upon the team by Sacchi

As to the distinction between Sacchi's Milan and Capello's....I don't think that has anything to do with the "style" of football - Sacchi's is remembered as better known/remembered not because of how they played, but for the simple fact that they came first

If Rafa Benitez had won the CL with Inter immediately following Mourinho, it would always have been Mourinhos team that was remembered (even if Rafa's team played more attacking football) because people always view the team as "Mou's players"

Despite the fact that there was actually a decent turnover between the two teams (especially after 1993), Capello's success is still seen as almost "riding the coattails" of Sacchi

Sacchi did absolutely throttle some top European competition during his time at Milan (in Europe anyway...he was never able to translate that european dominance back to Italy) but I don't think the games you mentioned were a result of a beautiful display of attacking football (or whatever people say these days) but rather the natural result of having some of the best attacking players of the era on your team...Mourinho is a very defensive minded coach - but just as a result of the attacking talents he's had on some of his teams - he has still enjoyed his share of crushing victories

Sacchi won one single scudetto in his time at Milan....in a year where Maradona's Napoli scored twelve more goals....Why did they win? Because over 30 games they let in only 14 goals.....Twelve less than any other team in the league

All those attacking talent at his disposal, and his highest Serie A goal tally was 61... Capello scored 13 more than that using the same team a year later...

If Sacchi is remembered as an attacking coach it is because people focus their memory on the throttling of Steaua and Madrid...I don't think there is much else to support such a claim

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Post by messixaviesta Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:41 pm

bhends, I must say you make some very interesting and eye opening points. Nice read.

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Post by The Franchise Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:02 pm

Yep, know the 10 v 5 story. Great one. I believe it was Guilt and Van Basten who questioned it, so those two were shown exactly about defensive organsation.

Overall, I wasnt trying to make it sound like Milan were a offensive uber force. Not my intention at all. A look at the stats will tell you as much.

But what I do claim, Milan played a brand of football, which wasnt negative, they outclassed teams and people remember that. Capello didnt play that same kind of football, it was less memorable if thats a fair comment.

People regard Milan as one of the best teams of all time with Sacchi and it was more then just the winning, because the very next coach won more. It was the way in which they controlled games, dominated teams.

I think thats the right term and one Sacchi himself used. The best teams in history dominated the opponants they played, the way they played was dominate and their rivals couldnt cope with it.
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Post by The Franchise Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:04 pm

Intresting point to compare the Rafa taking over Inter situation, its certaintly food for thought.

I wouldnt exaclty agree with the Madrid comparison though. I get what your saying, but from what I understand, Sacchi had a much clearer offensive plan then Mou's Masdrid who play individualistic style for me.
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Post by Swanhends Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:21 pm

@The Franchise wrote:But what I do claim, Milan played a brand of football, which wasnt negative


Definitely...Can't argue with that - But I think it deserves mention that during the time of Sacchi that was sort of a different era: In his time his attackers were expected to attack and his defenders were expected to defend, not much more. I pointed out that the heart and soul of Sacchi's team was their defense, you pointed out that they did not play a negative style of football....Why is that? Now adays teams are pidgeonholed as either "attacking" or "negative" - one or the other. Yet, Sacchi's Milan was a team built around their defense, but they are not (and were not) considered negative...There aren't any teams right now (off the top of my head at least) who are built around their defense without being considered negative

Im sure there are plenty of theories that could explain why this is, but I think the perception is based on a change in how teams play. As I said, in the past - attackers scored goals and defenders prevented goals. Sacchi's Milan was the prime example of that. Yet currently, the roles are all mixed up - we have a love affair with "defensive" midfielders, and fullbacks have become some of the most important OFFENSIVE players on the field.

I think the mixing of roles plays a part in changing the perception of what we consider negative...Why is Mourinho considered negative? Because he does things like using Eto'o and Pandev (for example) in roles where defense is the primary objective, despite the fact that they are offensive players....(Of course, he never got credit for his defensive players in offensive roles, but that is a debate for another time)

Other people say it is because sometimes when playing a team that is superior to his own, Mourinho barely even tries to win the ball back....Yet, he is merely taking what was an original idea of Sacchi to the extreme.

"When you have the ball, you dictate play. When defending, you control the space."

Thats an original Sacchi quote, and Mourinho is written all over it...Mou doesn't play negatively against teams his players outclass. Why? Because he can dictate the play by controlling the ball....But he's also not an idiot, and recognizes the fact that in the current state Madrid cannot hope to dictate the play against Barca, so instead he sacrifices the ball for as much control of space as he can get..

Yet, despite coming up with the idea himself originally....Sacchi isn't viewed in the same light - in my opinion because he didn't use any more than the players traditionally assigned the job of defending to do it

TheFranchise wrote:I wouldnt exaclty agree with the Madrid comparison though. I get what your saying, but from what I understand, Sacchi had a much clearer offensive plan then Mou's Masdrid who play individualistic style for me.

It wasn't meant to be a strict Madrid comparison...Take Inter for example - we crushed Milan 4-0 to open the season...Because Mou had a great offensive game plan? Hell no....Because we had naturally talented players who took their chances well

Gullit/Van Basten/Carletto/Donadoni/Rijkaard certainly weren't individualistic, but I don't necessarily think they had a much clearer offensive game plan - I think they were a good combination of players who naturally linked up well together....but thats just an opinion, and very hard (if even possible) to prove for either side...Just wanted to put that out as a point of interest or food for thought
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