Tuesday August 15 2017
Simone's turn to shine

Always in the shadow of his older brother as a player, Simone has emerged as the real coaching talent of the Inzaghi family, writes Susy Campanale.

If you are the youngest in the family, you’ll know the feeling of being last to every milestone. If you happen to be in the same line of work as your elder sibling, then that just makes it even worse. As Niles Crane said to Frasier: “By the time I get around to it, it’s all chewed meat!” But, of course, Niles proved to the best character in that show and Simone is emerging as the coaching star of the Inzaghi tribe.

This wasn’t the case as a player, of course, because SuperPippo was – as the nickname suggested – beyond the ordinary. Simone netted four in one European match, but it was more of a curio than a genuine achievement. Pippo got the most prestigious trophies at Juventus, Milan and for Italy, he was clearly the better striker and quite rightly is held in high esteem as one of the best hitmen in Serie A history. Granted, his technique was questionable, he was always offside and ran like a confused baby flamingo, but the man knew how to score goals. As Carlo Ancelotti famously put it: “He is in love with the ball and the feeling is mutual.”

Simone was a bulkier figure, a slower player and less likely to be on the end of every rebound. Pippo was pure instinct and attitude, Simone tried to reason his way towards the goal. It’s perhaps no wonder that the younger Inzaghi became the better Coach. Instinct is impossible to teach and also a pretty good indicator you weren’t paying much attention to tactics in training. There is a reason why most ex-players who go on to be Coaches tend to be defenders or midfielders, as they were the ones whose movements were strictly regimented.

Nobody really expected much from Simone Inzaghi when he took over as stop-gap solution not once, but twice, the second time running to the rescue after Marcelo Bielsa’s abandonment. He brings a sense of genuine belonging to Lazio, having succeeded here as a player, and watched the homegrown talents like Italian Super Cup winner Alessandro Murgia come up through the youth academy. He put his trust in Thomas Strakosha, who went from third choice to first in goal, and was rewarded handsomely. He got the best out of Ciro Immobile and Felipe Anderson, saw the Keita Balde Diao problem coming a mile off and never complained about the lack of spending at the club.

Now Simone Inzaghi has taken the Aquile to their first silverware since the Coppa Italia in 2013 and nobody, not even the most fervent Juventus supporter, could argue he didn’t deserve it. If a top five finish and the Coppa Final was an immense achievement, the tactician just proved with the Supercoppa that he is no fluke. Lazio totally outplayed the Bianconeri and did it without arguably his two best forwards. If Felipe Anderson or Keita had been on the pitch, Juventus would’ve conceded a lot more than three goals.

Throughout last term, Simone adjusted his system to suit the players and opponents, moving seamlessly from four at the back to three, something that Max Allegri at Juventus is still trying to perfect.

Pippo was immediately given the Milan bench, squandered it in admittedly difficult circumstances and risked ending his management career the moment it started. Instead, he dropped down into Lega Pro and took Venezia to promotion, where they will play in Serie B this season. Simone had his apprenticeship and earned every scrap of success without relying on his name. He spent five seasons in the various levels of the Lazio academy, notching up trophy after trophy, including their first Coppa Italia Primavera in 35 years. This is no flash in the pan.

If the elder brother was the better striker, there’s no question in my mind who is the superior Coach.

Have your say...
@ Italian in Canada.

You sound like your either a Juve and/or Roma supporter.

Juve were favourites by far to win this game.

Lazio pressed Juventus most of the game and outplayed them in he midfield. 85th minute it was 2-0 & arguebly all over.

No it's not greatness but a very good result for Lazio and first win against Juve in 4 years.

A good team effort so at least be a sport and provide some kudos here please?
on the 2nd September, 2017 at 6:21am
Simone will make his marks this season in serie-A
on the 20th August, 2017 at 8:48am
I completely disagree, Eddie the dog is the best character on that show.

Congrats to Lazio. Whether they won because how Juve and Allegri approached the game is somewhat irrelevant now. Well deserved regardless.

The good thing is that Allegri was not vindicated for how he approached the game.

"Will the madness ever end?!"

Great season ahead of us.
on the 16th August, 2017 at 2:20pm
Allegri is dumb, seriously Lazio win because Juve tactis were wrong, Juve would smashed Lazio as usual if they had better tactic or coach
on the 16th August, 2017 at 7:53am
Simone will be one of good Italian tactician. congrats from Juve fan
on the 16th August, 2017 at 4:18am
i think it is fair to say that he is the better coach out of the two brothers. It is still way too early to see what kind of career he can make for himself in football. for the most part he has overachieved with this lazio team. Of course his lazio side deservedly beating juventus the way they did is something he can always look back on with pride.
on the 15th August, 2017 at 8:32pm
@Italian in Canada the article doesn't say he's good just because of the Super coppa win... he's done really well since he took over at Lazio, especially considering the squad he has.
on the 15th August, 2017 at 6:14pm
Hyperbole. A game win with a penalty, even possession, and a 3-2 scoreline does not make greatness. Take away the two penalties, use only open play goals, and the scoreline is 2-1 to the last second. No, not greatness; mediocre at best.
on the 15th August, 2017 at 3:11pm
This is the man that will bring us silverware. I assure you, Simone Inzhagi will be our Fergie for Man Utd.
on the 15th August, 2017 at 8:43am

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