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István Tóth explaining the Italian system

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-06-25 18:22:26

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Potya explaining the Italian system
István Tóth | 06/10/1939

The figure below outlines the location of each player set up in the Italian system.
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As you can see, in the Italian system, the back guard is in the middle, the wing covers are out on the edge, and the striker line is playing in a deep W-shape.
This system is not very simple and there are many versions. Let’s start by describing each role on the defender. The defenders, as can be seen from the drawing, they are usually inside, and one is always a defensive reserve, but sometimes both. They don’t have a specific person to catch. Then later I will come back to when and which defender will catch the winger and when the centre-forward.
It is the duty of the centerhalf to catch the opponent's centre-forward. If the centerhalf advances in the attack, the defender whose side is unloaded is taking over. So if the ball is on the right, the left back is for the opponent’s centre-forward. If the opponent's centre-forward is very dangerous, then of course the centerhalf can't go much forward.
The essence of Italian defense is change, which must be very quick and determined. Now let's look at the position of the Italian defense when we attack. Let's say on the right. The situation is illustrated by the following figure:
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Colaussi Piola Biavati
Ferrari Serantoni
Locatelli Rava
Italy 1938
As you can see, in Italian defense, at least three defenders play even when we attack, but one of them is always the edge cover on the unloaded side.
This is in line with the midfielder in the middle because the Italians played a lot of ambush. This wing cover complements the quarterback to three. In the current figure, the center cover does not go much forward and encircles the opponent's center striker together with the left back. On the attacking side, the connector tries to catch up, but on the other side, our connector is much further back. This figure otherwise depicts the attack at the moment of its launch, say the right-wing defender had just advanced it to the right-wing. As the attack progresses, of course, the whole company comes forward, the opponent's liaisons rush back to their own goal, so by the time our quarterback reaches the halfway line, only the opponent's three forward battles will be left out.
The most common form of defense in Italian defensive system is formed by the two half-backs over the wingers, the centerhalf cover on the centre-forward, and the connectors reaching the defenders when they catch up.
The opponent's connectors in the field will be caught by my connectors. Once they approach our goal, they collide with our defenders. So the connector also has a defensive role in the Italian system, but in the attack, the other must do preparatory work, but also catch up if he can. Very often, however, the attack, and especially the end of the attack, awaits the three forwards.
The three forwards in the Italian system must be wind-fast because they are often left alone. The wingers need to carry out the attack as fast as they can. In the Italian system, the two wingers often play together. The structure of Italian attacks is most often a long forward pass.
It is a very important rule that when we attack and the attack fails in any way, the shot goes up or we are disarmed, then everyone, especially the defenders, is obliged to run back, take their place and restart the attack from behind. If they run backwards, they can get a better overview of the situation and get on a pre-cut ball more easily because the ball is flying towards them and they don’t have to run after it.
What produced the Italian system? The need. The offside rule made things easier for defenses, when the refined, cunning, so-called vagány type of Hungarian forward was produced. The Italian system was mainly built, polished and changed by Hungarian coaches in Italy. His motto is "everything in its own time". Another motto is "the result counts". The center of gravity of the Italian system is shifting more towards defense.
The Italian system does not strive for dominance and does not care for so-called beauties. The Italians strive to win back home and - abroad, every point is valuable. Abroad, I would primarily defend myself. In such cases, especially if the opponent is stronger anyway, in addition to the two connectors, they often pull back even the edge on which side the opponent is attacking.
The Italian league has the fewest goals. Lots of 0:0, 1:0, 1:1, 2:1 results. Of course, in order for a team to be able to score a goal in addition to such a defense system, it is necessary for the three forward strikers to be three “express locomotives”.
I could talk about technical, fitness, speed and even disciplinary aspects in order to shed light on the success of the Italians, but I stick to the subject: the system. This is the basis of the Italian system that I have said.
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