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Friday September 28 2018
Unleashing Insigne's potential

Lorenzo Insigne is flourishing in his new role with the 4-4-2 formation, so Vilizar Yakimov asks can the Napoli man become Italy’s next fantasista?

With five goals in the opening six rounds of Serie A, Lorenzo Insigne is currently enjoying his best start to a season ever. The talented Italian also added his first assist against Parma on Wednesday and has simply been unstoppable since Carlo Ancelotti decided to change the formation after the heavy 3-0 defeat against Sampdoria.

Although Carletto sometimes fields the same players that so often featured in the 4-3-3 that he inherited from Maurizio Sarri, the ex-Bayern Munich Coach has also added a few of his trademark tactical twists, which seem to be getting the best out of his players for the time being.

Jose Callejon has been given a bit more of a conservative role on the right, as the Spaniard played as a wide midfielder instead of just as an attacking winger. Adam Ounas and Fabian Ruiz have also featured on the right side of Napoli’s new four-man midfield in a role which clearly demands more responsibility than playing further forward.

While Callejon was instrumental in the 4-3-3, his main duties were related to creating chances at the opposition end and not think about defending or building up play too much. His run to the back post, however, had become predictable. The 31-year-old possesses a fine football brain and has been one of the senators in Naples for years, so Ancelotti’s decisions to ask more from the Real Madrid youth product seems completely logical.

The situation on the left has been similar, as Piotr Zielinski is Ancelotti’s first choice for filling in the role in front of Mario Rui. The Pole has quality in both his feet, which adds a pinch of unpredictability in Napoli’s gameplay. When the Partenopei have the ball, the 24-year-old often moves in a more central position and shoots from distance, but his strong left foot also allows him to stay wide and give width to the attack.

Having intelligent players like Zielinski and Callejon on the pitch is a huge advantage because of the flexibility they can provide, and it is obvious that Ancelotti is already noticing that. In certain episodes, Carletto has shifted back to a 4-3-3 without making any substitutions and, although some Napoli fans might dislike that comparison, this approach is similar to Max Allegri’s hybrid formations at Juventus.

Surprising opponents has been one of Juve’s biggest strengths under Allegri and if Napoli can change their tactics and the way they attack during a game, they’ll be one step closer to dethroning the Bianconeri.

Just like under Sarri, Arkadiusz Milik and Dries Mertens have both been key cogs in Napoli’s attack, although the two of them have rarely featured together. The reason for this has been Lorenzo Insigne.

The Italian has always featured on the left wing of Napoli’s trident attack under Sarri, but Ancelotti’s decision to move him in a more central position already looks like a masterstroke. Although the 27-year-old has always been one of the team’s best performers, he has often been criticised for not being able to step up and drive the team forward in tough moments. Carletto must’ve felt that Insigne’s exceptional technical quality and vision remain limited when the Italian international spends the majority of the time out wide.

Seeing Insigne playing so well right next to Milik at the heart of Napoli’s attack has revived the memory of Calcio’s great fantasistas of the past. It might’ve been just for a few games, but seeing an Italian of this quality playing the role so well has undoubtedly given chills to many tifosi, who still remember the grace that the likes of Roberto Baggio, Alessandro Del Piero, Francesco Totti and even Antonio Cassano possesed.

It might be a bit premature to say, but if Insigne continues to perform the way he’s been doing it so far, Naples and Italymight find the top player that the country so sorely needs.

With Napoli and Insigne set to face Juventus this weekend, it already seems that Ancelotti’s mark on the Partenopei’s gameplay is visible, as for the first time in a while there is a bit of unpredictability in their tactics. The game will not only show if Ancelotti’s men are ready to launch a serious Scudetto challenge this term, but it can also reveal if Insigne can make the next step and become Italy’s next great fantasista.

Have your say...
Hahahahah haaaaa i love 8, 8 is great hahaha. That is it. Its over in week 7, insigne booooooo he is lame and all of the teams you ppl support are guess what? Lame . Say we cheat hahaha just say it let me laugh some more. I dont even care about cl i rather 10 titles amd with cr7 that is very possible. 
on the 30th September, 2018 at 12:57am
@ Napoli1926

That old man just ran riot through your team.

Relax and have some grapes.
on the 29th September, 2018 at 9:51pm
Unleashing Midget's Potential!!! Hahahaha... Giovinco is way much much better than this.....{shaking my head}
on the 29th September, 2018 at 7:13pm
Join us here later on for more sad stories hahahaha haaaaaa!!!!
on the 29th September, 2018 at 11:55am
Haters gonna hate hahahah
on the 29th September, 2018 at 11:38am
The responses in here are cute. Like the usual, PrimoCalcio, or Garbage1926. Insigne is talented? Okay, you say this, but there is ZERO proof of it - at least Totti has 1 Scudetto, 1 Euro runners-up medal and 1 World Cup to his name... What does Insigne have? ZERO Tituli. You talk about 33-year old CR7, he was the favorite for every trophy in Europe, and he's undoubtedly the best modern footballer.. I can understand your jealous and hateful comments. Ciao whiners!!
on the 29th September, 2018 at 5:21am
Pino - Yet Juventus are 6 for 6 in the league with 18 points. Yes that 33 year old is such a dressing room wrecker at Juve.
on the 29th September, 2018 at 12:53am
These Blogs of Insigne and untalented talent are becoming redundant.

Insigne has peaked. And will be on decline by next season. He’s very lucky to be Napolitan’ and play for his city but if he were on any other team how would he fare?

Let’s move on to who the next Coach for AC Milan blog ?
...cuz bless Gattuso but he ain’t getting best outta players. another 2 pts. dropped.
They’re sitting pretty in 13th place,but should be tied for 3rd.
on the 29th September, 2018 at 12:29am
@ Pinturicchio Like a team that pays 100 million for a 33 year old over the hill dressing room recking player?

Haha okay.
on the 29th September, 2018 at 12:02am
Insigne, Bernardeschi, and Chiesa are 3 really good attacking options for Italy. The failings of Insigne, Verratti, Jorginho, Immobile are more attributed to the chaotic structure and atmosphere of the Nazionale than it is the player's ability. Patience.
I don't think it's at all productive to kill our best players for the failures of Italy's system.
Insigne since Serie A 15/16: 43 goals, 31 assists, 22 MOTM

Insigne isn't world class yet but is showing signs of making the jump under Ancelotti.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 9:55pm
How one can say Insigne is overrated is beyond me. Juve would never admit it but had he played for them he'd be the best. And this comment of a coach buy 100M dollar players is absurd you guys just did that with Ronaldo yet Your blaming Ancelotti for this. His Napoli have zero 100 Million dollar players yet you discount him. Schemo
on the 28th September, 2018 at 9:35pm
I'm enjoying this system that Ancelotti is using. It kind of flits between a 442, 4222, 4411. You have one cm sitting, the other box-to-box. Then you have the two wingers who either play on the flanks, or tuck in just ahead of the 2 cm's to form a solid block in the middle. It makes the team far more unpredictable and with Milik leading the line, gives the team another dimension in attack.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 8:25pm
Insigne is 27, his chances are running out with the national team.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 8:11pm
@Pinturicchio Part 2: By the way, Transfermarkt says Juventus spent 256,900,000 Euros this summer. 100s of millions! Napoli only 71,500,000, Inter only 77,500,000, Roma 130,600,000, Milan 122,500,000. I want to see Juventus get 91 points on Napoli's budget.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 7:50pm
@Pinturicchio: You're an idiot. Juventus has won 7 scudetti in a row. And? 100s of millions is relative and proportional. What Juventus spends is much more than any other club in Serie A. The "greats" of Guardiola, Mourinho, Klopp, Zidane, etc., ALL benefit from their clubs spending 100 of millions every year. If Juventus were in the EPL (a league which earns 3 billion per year) they'd also be spending 100s of millions because of their proportional earnings and the relative spend of the others.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 7:42pm
Forgot to mention Eder, who IMO was actually good until he left for Inter and proved it under Conte.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 7:12pm
If he scores consistently, maybe he will count for it one day. Till then, Immobile is the best Italian fwd atm. In the past, it was Balotelli. As for Juve's best Italian fwd, after Del Piero retired we had Matri and Giovinco.

In case you haven't noticed, Italian best fwd isn't much of a title nowadays. Immobile and Balotelli came closer to reaching past great Italian strikers, one just short of success outside Italy and the other is complicated. I'm not holding my breath for Insigne at 27.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 7:11pm
Offered nothing for Italy in the past - most including myself began to question whether he should even be selected for Italy

BUT on his current form (long may it continue) I'm interested to see how he can play with Balotelli in a 442...

If he succeeds at Italy like he is at the moment with Napoli and he's consistent, he might start being mentioned in the bracket of World's top 10

The dilemma for Mancini might be - Bernadeschi and Chiesa on their current form could be incredible in a 433
on the 28th September, 2018 at 6:58pm
@ Pinturicchio .. don't worry about Insigne .. just worry about your bandwagon team Juve and that old man that they overpaid for .. " il vecchio"
on the 28th September, 2018 at 6:19pm
Here comes the choir of victim Juventini (sorry to the real Juventini) who can't stand that Napoli has the best Italian forward atm.
You guys have 7 Scudetti in a row... give it a rest already.
Insigne is good, get over it.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 5:38pm
Insinge used play the second striker role at Pescara and even at first at Napoli, he was moved to the left wing later on in his career
on the 28th September, 2018 at 3:42pm
Without any doubt Insigne far supersedes any player in the world even messi and ronaldo. He should have been always playing in the middle as he can shoot and pass with both feet. Hopefully Mancini will realize this and can reposition him accordingly. Insigne admitted that conte got him going mentally now ancelotti will fine tune him as sarri could not. For all haters especially juve fans which juve are meteocore at best and will not win champions league ever. tomorrow will decide the scudetto.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 3:33pm
Yes, sure Insigne is...

When he scores 20+ goals over the next 5 years without FAIL.

Otherwise, he's just as overrated, overhyped and garbage as Napoli FC, and Ancelotti, who hasn't done squat what any manager who can buy players worth 100s of millions can't do.

Please, tell me a joke already...
on the 28th September, 2018 at 3:29pm
Yes, sure Insigne is...

When he scores 20+ goals over the next 5 years without FAIL.

Otherwise, he's just as overrated, overhyped and garbage as Napoli FC, and Ancelotti, who hasn't done squat what any manager who can buy players worth 100s of millions can't do.

Please, tell me a joke already...
on the 28th September, 2018 at 3:28pm
The man is going to hit the age of 35 and people would still be talking about his potential..

Let's see.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 1:41pm
Insigne talents are not new, so for him to shine and be the fantasista everyone hoping to see with Azzurri it all depends on Mancini's knowledge and useful tactics, formations are what a very good CT implements to use the best out of his players. some might argue Insigne is not an Azzurri player as much as he is of Napoli, I must disagree with such opinions! Insigne has not been performing well with Azzurri due to the fact the CT's are not using him quite brilliantly.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 1:15pm
Oh no - was Ventura right!?
on the 28th September, 2018 at 12:17pm
It'll be interesting to see if they can get a result v Liverpool.

Their defence hardly seems up to the job, but with an extra man in midfield, it might help.

After the 2 dropped points in the opener v Belgrade, they need to be taking at least 4 or 5 points from the 3 tough CL games coming up.
on the 28th September, 2018 at 11:14am

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