Saturday October 20 2012
Giovinco versus Insigne

One individual game this early in the season won’t decide the title, but one individual could decide the Juventus-Napoli game. Dave Taylor writes.

It has been said for a while now that the No 10 shirt had fallen out of fashion and lost its value. Whether that’s true or not, there are still several players around who certainly would not look out of place wearing that mythical set of digits. 

This weekend two of them could meet in the most mouth-watering match of the season so far, as Juventus host Napoli. It should be a highly competitive clash as both teams look to grab the psychological edge after winning six, drawing one and sharing top spot for a while. Factor in that Juve are currently Serie A’s top scorers while the Partenopei have yet to concede on their travels and it’s the old unstoppable force meets an immoveable object paradox.

There are few solutions to this primordial conundrum with perhaps a singular moment of magic the only answer. If that’s the case, undoubtedly Juve’s superb Sebastian Giovinco and Napoli’s mini-maestro Lorenzo Insigne, if picked, are capable of deciphering the dilemma.

Sampdoria Coach Ciro Ferrara, who played for both clubs, is one that thinks along these lines. “It will be a top clash in tactical, physical and technical terms,” remarked the former Under-21 manager and Italian defensive legend. “Both teams have the single players who can add that extra bit of quality. It may well be decided by a flash of individual brilliance, as often happens in these cases.”

However, whether that flash will be allowed to flourish is debatable. Unlike Ferrara’s era when Juve had magicians like Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero, while Napoli had Diego Maradona and Gianfranco Zola, today it seems Coaches have little time for flair players. Instead they develop precise roles and tactics that leave little opportunity for unconventional expression.

If anyone should know this, it is ‘Magic Box’ Zola, who was pushed out of Parma despite his undeniable skills. “In Italy we changed the way we were selecting players,” said the former Azzurrini assistant boss. “We were looking for players who had power, pace and strength. For me it has been a disaster.”

Yet perhaps all is not lost and we may just have the new Del Piero and the new Zola, two players of yesteryear who had unparalleled skills and ability. And although not wearing the No 10 shirts, Sebastian and Lorenzo are arguably their modern day equivalents.

Former Lazio and Palermo Coach Delio Rossi, for one, believes Insigne resembles a young Zola. “Lorenzo is similar to Gianfranco and an advert for youngsters in Naples and the South,” he emphasised. “The boy has an ease in getting past his man, as he showed in the game against Malta recently.”

Meanwhile Zola, who worked with Juve starlet Giovinco in the U-21s, claims that today’s 25-year-old forward could indeed be Pinturicchio’s successor. “Giovinco is Del Piero’s heir in my opinion,” he insisted. “I thought I would find myself struggling for a classic finisher when he was with the U-21s, but he is equipped with class and creativity and has become an excellent second striker.”

Although obviously no one can replace ADP in the Juve fans’ affections, Giovinco is at least heading in the right direction. And both him and Lorenzo can be traced in a direct line from their footballing forefathers in a well defined hierarchy.

In Giovinco’s case his history is tied up with the likes of Omar Sivori, Liam Brady, Michel Platini, Michael Laudrup, Baggio and, of course, Del Piero. And although Napoli’s list is a little shorter, it is no less legendary with the innovative Sivori again, Maradona, Zola and quite possibly Ezequiel Lavezzi, all short in stature but giants on the field.

Of course both players have a long way to go to reach the level of their rather more famous forerunners, but making the right sort of impact in this Scudetto showdown will be another step forward in their promising careers. 

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Have your say...
I was very impressed with Giovinco against Napoli. He has struggled before, but not in that game.
on the 22nd October, 2012 at 6:42am
@Di Rocco; To give Giovinco the credit he is due, he was an impressive performer for the Azzurrini, particularly for the 2008 Toulon winning team in which he was recognised with the award for player of the tournament. However, his performances for the senior team thus far have been distinctly unimpressive and suggest that he is not of international quality.
Insigne on the other hand possesses immense potential and the right attitude. Hopefully, unlike Giovinco, that potential will be realised.
on the 21st October, 2012 at 3:07pm
Insigne is an amazing raw talent, probably the most exciting young Italian player of the last 15 years.
on the 21st October, 2012 at 2:53pm
DiRocco...Giovinco was incredible at u21 level. The reason he didn't get as many goals is because he played primarily as a trequartista. He didn't make the switch to second striker until his time at Parma.

I personally like Gio better as a winger in a 4-3-3. Insigne is more of a natural striker. That is the main difference between the two.

Giovinco was outstanding at u21 level. Insigne is too. But in Serie A, Gio is currently better. The potential for Insigne is great, but it was for Gio too.
on the 21st October, 2012 at 2:42pm
Hi! Im very excited about Lorenzo´s future. He surely has a rare mix of world-class potential and humble attitude. I just love to see these naturally gifted wizards on the field, and their ability to unlock the opponents defense. He has a solid foundation already and every time he plays(if enough play time) he will move further in the right direction. He is only 21, as he matures(no injuries) over the coming years his vision, composure and positioning will become absolutely world-class.
on the 21st October, 2012 at 8:41am
IMO Gio is starting to blossom and getting a better feel of the pressure/responsibility that is being part of the Juve starting 11.
I cannot comment on Insigne because I have not seen enough of him, but i truly hope that Gio does become the player we Juventinos hope he becomes!! Conte is placing quite a bit of trust in him, and in Conte I personally trust! Let's wait it out and see how the season turns out! There is still lots to play... BTW Gio did start against Napoli and Insigne did not!
on the 21st October, 2012 at 12:58am
I don't remember Giovico ever being amazing for the U21...1 goal in 20 Apps is nothing spectacular at all. Insigne way better than that already. The only reason Giovinco got hyped up was because of his similar stature as del piero and that he was from Torino . I've never been that impressed by him. Lorenzo will far surpass Giovinco, and is probably better already given more time to play at Napoli.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 10:35pm
I've seen Insigne play live and he will be world class one day.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 6:52pm
Good lord man what have you been smoking! Giovinco is an uparralled disaster. The most complete over rated player in the league, not of Juve standard
on the 20th October, 2012 at 5:01pm
Giovinco is currently better, but Insigne is younger and has more potential. But don't forget how amazing Giovinco did at the u21 level. Just as good or even better than Insigne.

Insigne also had the benefit of show casing his skills in Serie B. This increased his popularity. Giovinco had minimal opportunities in Serie B because he was behind Del Piero. Then at Empoli in Serie A he did well, but the coach preferred more physical players. Whereas there is already a lot of hype around Insigne.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 3:27pm
Both overrated. Giovinco, Really? Mediocre at best.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 2:55pm
How bout that article about Leo B. being mugged then punched the guy in the face always have liked Leo Bonucc he's for sure a badass.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 2:37pm
Really looking forward to that game Sam! I wonder if Verratti will be released from the senior side to play in this fixture, seeing as Prandelli seems intent on not giving him a chance.

I may get proved wrong by Spain's under 21's, but they have not impressed me since this years olympics, and I feel that our lads can take them, (providing that they up their chances to goals ratio).
on the 20th October, 2012 at 2:13pm
I think they're both outstanding, but Insigne probably edges out Giovinco. He seems to give his all every time he plays. And, he usually does well. Giovinco does have better ability at the moment though. It would be great if they could both start in the game today.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 1:55pm
Comparing giovinco to del piero. What are you smoking. He has talent but insigne is the better player. That's why juventus did not sign him back it seems like nobody has the respect for del piero that he deserves.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 12:41pm
Nov 13th. Italy vs Spain at under 21 level. This is a great chance to show the spainish we want their crown. Should be a great game. Lets all get behind our teams in europe this week in both competitions. Hope in europa league we all put on strong teams for the sake of our league, Napoli in particular. Cant believe how on these blogs people rave about Ranocchia he been decent this season, but is a liability. If he plays for Italy again it will be evident for all to see.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 12:39pm
Insigne wins everytime. Insigne shows quality whenever he playes for the under 21s and can finish at that level like his stunning goal teh other night. Also impressed against Malta. Giovinco always fails on the biggest stage, its that simple he just isnt good enough. Hoping for good win for my team Roma this weekend, although Immobile and Boriello worry me greatly. Hope Juve beat Napoli, although with no Buffon or Vucinic will be tough. Start Quagliarella and Juve will be in business.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 12:31pm
on the 20th October, 2012 at 12:20pm
I very much agree with Daniel Giambrone, I think Insigne has something else in terms of raw ability. He seems so much more natural on and off the ball. The determination factor is definitely evident as well, I think being born and raised in Naples helps.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 11:51am
Maybe its his size but I alway start wanting Giovinco to succeed and prove me wrong but I alway finish watching the match wondering what exactly has he done. Yes he does have talent but will he alway be better as what a call a Di Canio. A big fish in a small pond where they can afford to build a team around him rather than at a top side where i doubt he will have a side built around him.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 11:02am
why not use Insigne to the left; Giovinco to the right. this could be able to use their potentials for the Azzurri. In terms of level; Giovinco is far more skilled than Insigne. however, both need to raise their dribling skills.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 10:13am
In my opinion insigne has something that gio miss when he was in the same age as insigne and that is humble attitude. Gio was didn't near in that attitude. he was always protesting about his playing time and feel that he's more capable than the other player in the starting line up, he even thought that he was in the same lvl with messi and aguero. and, it was getting worsen when he played for parma! I admit that he is slightly change now with know how to pick words. please don't become the next cassano who ruin his talent because of his behavior.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 9:56am
IMO, Giovinco would perform better in 433 system, playing on the left-hand-side of the 3 forwards. Irrespective of what system Juve employ, Giovinco does have to work a lot harder, and push himself more, in every game, if he wants to become the world class player, that his talent deserves.

Sadly, both will probably not start tonights game. Mazzarri still has fears about fielding/starting young players. Whilst stories are suggesting that Quags & Matri will start for Juve.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 9:44am
Out of the two, I prefer Insigne. They are both on a similar level when it comes to their technical skills. But for me, what seperates them is their drive, determination, & ability to find space. In these 3 areas, Insigne is way ahead. He is a constant menace to his opponents! Whereas Giovinco has long spells on the periphery of games, punctuated by the occasional flash of brilliance. He also has the annoying habit of running into congested areas of the pitch.
on the 20th October, 2012 at 9:36am

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