Gian Piero Gasperini: “They said those who play with a back three can’t win”

Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini was delighted after La Dea’s Europa League win against Bayer Leverkusen and he had some tactical insights to give after the historic result.

Atalanta won their first ever major trophy in 62 years and it was also the first major trophy of Gasperini’s career, who has made an incredible amount of impact in the Italian game. La Dea pressed Leverkusen from the very first minute and gave them room to operate in and it was the sort of showing that they are now known for. They showed that at the highest level.

After the game, Gasperini spoke to Sky Italia (via TMW) and he gave some tactical insights about the setup and his ideas, hitting back at critics who believe that trophies can’t be won using a back three.

“10-12 years ago there was a saying that those who played a back three couldn’t win. Little by little everything changed. In the 90s, Dutch football was one of the very few that played a back three and the the rest is also a mix of Italian mentality. I remember the 1982 World Cup, when an important player played from the back had difficulty and this also applied to Maradona and Zico. My adaptation was: instead of running sideways, you ran forward. Then they labeled me as a coach who uses a lot of one v ones, but I’ve always done that in my career.”

It was fitting that Atalanta played their way in the final, stifling arguably the most in-form team in Europe while beating Liverpool on the way as well.

He further said: “It’s clear that with Atalanta in Europe I had more visibility than my colleagues. Klopp and Guardiola play like this but not only that, Tuchel’s Chelsea played with 3 and after having we played against PSG (in the Champions League) he paid me a lot of compliments.”

Yesterday’s win means that Gasperini’s heroics in Bergamo will always have a special place in history and his tactical revolution will always have a reference point.





Kaustubh Pandey I GIFN

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