Friday August 19 2016
Sacchi evaluates Serie A teams

Arrigo Sacchi says Roma are second to Juventus, Napoli have the best Coach, Inter have good ideas and Milan are a dark horse.

The reverend Italian Coach believes that the Old Lady is the undiscussed favourite to win the Scudetto, but the other teams have many qualities not to be taken lightly.

“Who do I see behind Juve? Roma,” Sacchi told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “[Coach Luciano] Spalletti is very good and very knowledgeable.

“I watched his game against Porto. Roma dominated over the first half-hour. After the 1-0 goal they started pulling back, then there was the red card for [Thomas] Vermaelen and everything became more complicated.

“But if Spalletti can fix Roma's game when not in possession, then the team can go far.

“Napoli is still to be discovered. But there's one certainty, which is [Coach Maurizio] Sarri. He is an excellent trainer, although only the Lord can do miracles.

“Let's say that he lost something individually, but he can keep surprising in terms of the game expressed. Napoli are one of the few Italian teams with a style. When I watch them, I can see the hand of the Coach, they have a very precise identity. When it comes to Napoli, it's rather the environment that needs a leap ahead in quality.”

The 70-year-old was then asked about Inter and Milan, two teams which completed an historic transition and were acquired by Chinese business conglomerates.

“Inter changed ownership and Coach, and these things can have an effect on the performance of the players. [Frank] De Boer is a knowledgeable Coach, he has innovative ideas and is an intelligent man.

“I tried taking him to Parma, back when he still played and I was a director. Now we must see whether he has the right men to impose his ideas. But it seems to me that the human material is of a good level.

“Milan are impossible to decipher. Montella is smart, he gives a very clear style to his teams. The players must be humble and willing to make sacrifices.

“And everyone must work hard to rediscover the pride of belonging. They're part of a club that wrote the history of football and they must be happy about that. This is the starting point.

“Fiorentina? [Paulo] Sousa is one of the best coaches around. He demands of his teams that they dominate the pitch, even when his players don't have the technical quality of his opponents. I like that type of courage.

“This year's surprises? If Inter can absorb De Boer's methods quickly, they could become a bomb. But watch out for Sassuolo and Empoli. [Eusebio] Di Francesco is a very well-prepared Coach, one who can teach football.

“And Empoli were at times magnificent last season. They dominated the game against opponents that spent much more than they did on the market.

“It means they worked in depth. Besides, I like Sassuolo because they have many Italians. We must invest in our resources, in terms of senior and youth teams alike. What's going to become of us otherwise?”