A severe curse was imposed on Juventus in the summer of 2009 as the Italian giants had two inevitable disastrous seasons back to back. 4 managers took the charge of Juventus since the summer of 2009, but it was finally up to Antonio Conte to bring the revolution at Turin. The Turin side remains unbeaten in the league and they have lost only one in more than 60 games (lose to Napoli in TIM cup final) under their new boss.
Several midfielders with the likes of Diego Ribas, Felipe Melo, Alberto Aquilani, Jorge Martinez failed to make impact after entering Turin since 2009. Conte was made as the manager of Juventus in 2011 as the former Juventus midfielder had played a pivotal role with constantly changing the formations and tactical line-ups in promoting Serie B side, Siena.
As the new manager of Juventus, Conte had made several changes in the Juve team and he has been constantly rotating the players depending upon the oppositions, which was indispensable. It was the mere time when Andrea Pirlo remained as free agent and Juventus took advantage in bringing the world cup winning Italian to Turin. By the mean time, Conte signed Arturo Vidal from Bayer Leverkusen for £10.5M as the Chilian midfielder had enjoyed a fine run in his last season at Germany assisting 11 and scoring twice. Initially, it was speculated that Vidal’s signing was an useless one as he have to compete with Pirlo and Marchisio to find his place in the starting line-up. But Conte effectively played all the three in 3-men midfield.
Alessandro Matri, who scored 9 goals for Juventus in the second half of 2010-2011 season, entering Turin on-loan from Catania was offered the permanent contract at the end of the season. Roma bomber, Mirko Vucinic was signed in the same period and the Montonegero’s forward has been constantly impressing with his striking abilities since his arrival at Juventus.
Juventus signed the Udinese pair Kwadwo Asamoah and Mauricio Isla in the summer window of 2012 and Conte’s rotation policy has been serving as the major reason for the success of Turin side. Let we discuss how Conte has been changing his mid-field tactics, here.
Although usually being deployed as defensive midfielder, Vidal can play an efficient attacking role as well. In this tactics, Conte play Marchisio and Pirlo in the deep of the midfield just behind Vidal. This was the line-up which was formulated by Prandelli in the opening two games of the Euro 2012 (Motta in the place of Vidal). Obviously, when two midfielders were in action at the deep of the midfield, the formation would certainly be 3-5-2. And this formation would be formulated only with an attacking mind-set. While playing with a side which concentrate mostly on defense, Conte implement this line-up.
In this case, when Giaccherini and Pepe produce vital runs on their respective flanks, Vidal would be in the position behind the strikers in order to collect the low back crosses from either of the wingers and Marchisio would be behind Vidal, providing enough support if needed. Pirlo would be concentrating on his defensive abilities and his crosses to either of the wingers.
In this formation, Pirlo play in the deep of the midfield, Marchisio on the right flank and Vidal in the front of Pirlo. This was the line-up which was formulated by Prandelli for Italy in Euro 2012 from Italy’s last group match against Republic of Ireland) (Motta/Montolivo in the place of Vidal).
When Marchisio play in the right flank, we can expect more crosses from the right as the Italian fielder has well known for this ability. Marchisio’s scoring rate was found high when he was opted to play in the right flank.
In this tactic, Vidal, Marchisio, Pirlo play behind each other. In this case, Vidal would be given the role of supporting striker and Marchisio as the play maker. One could notice that Vidal can be effective like Totti, when this type of formation is implemented. All the three being very creative, the low effective balls in the gaps would be in plenty of quantity and we could expect more goals.
If this is the case, the opponents provide extra attention to look up on the three creative midfielders and it serve as the perfect time for the wingers to take advantage in the flanks and the wingers with big pace with the likes of Asamoah and Isla could cause sever problems without doubts.
Vidal, Pirlo and Marchisio have been serving as the key for Juve’s success under Conte. I have heard that many saying if you stop Pirlo, you can stop Juventus. But the truth is if you stop Pirlo, Juve has Marchisio; if you stop Marchisio, Juve has Vidal.