Full-backs essential in Sarri’s method
Jack Charlton famously stated right after the 1994 Globe Cup that the two full-backs would be the most important attacking players around the pitch due to quantity of space they’re able to occupy, Jamie Carragher then came up with his infamous “no one wants to be a Gary Neville’line last year. Napoli’s pair add substance to both of these quotes with Faouzi Ghoulam and Elseid Hysaj both carrying large significance, but paradoxically, are increasingly unheralded in the Ciucciarelli side.Following the Monday night win at home to Atalanta, the (gain fifa 16 coins) club is still on course for automatic qualification to the Champions League, despite Roma being ready to pounce if any blip occurs in the remaining pair of matches. However, unlike Napoli, the capital club have had Alessandro Florenzi playing right-back, and although he has been performing well in this deeper position, it is not ideal for the player.
Furthermore, Juventus and the Milanese clubs have also failed to settle on two bona-fide, consistent full backs throughout the campaign.Maurizio Sarri has found the perfect pair that fit his system, however, with the two men playing a pivotal role when the opposition has the ball in a specific wide area. For example, if the opponents are attacking down the left, then Hysaj moves up in order to hassle the ball carrier, whilst Ghoulam then forms a compact trident with Kalibou Koulibaly and Raul Albiol, and vice versa if the ball was in play around the right-wing. If either of the two don’t fulfil the duties in these phases then the entire tactic falls apart.Moreover, alluding to the aforementioned Charlton quote, the likes of Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and sometimes Jose Callejon all have a tendency to cut inside, leaving the Algerian and Albanian internationals with plenty of space to make runs and create more potent offensive scenarios.
Following an impressive run of form at the 2014 Globe Cup, Ghoulam has managed to extend those performance at club level for over 18 months now, with the 25 year-old’s aerial ability and decision making showing particular improvement under Sarri.Hysaj, meanwhile, may be four years his junior but has shown maturity beyond his age in what is his first season playing regularly for a traditionally big club- where the pressure is intensified and every decision scrutinised. The 21 year-old now also has the chance to star in a major tournament this summer, where his stock is almost certain to rise. The fact that fan favourite Christian Maggio has hardly been mentioned this term is testament to the level of performance achieved by the former Empoli man.Although Sarri’s priority in the summer is for the club to keep the spine of the team in Campania in the form of Jorginho, Gonzalo Higuain and Koulibaly, the tactician will know that the same amount of emphasis needs to be placed on holding onto his full-backs.