And what is Pirlo doing there? There, in the middle of two defenders, he is a midfielder, he is one of the best playmaker in the world? It is the lavolpian exit, beauty. And who knows if Ricardo La Volpe, former coach of Mexico that has come up with this mechanism, thought that the idea of lowering a central midfielder widening the central defenders of the back four could become over time a trend in contemporary football. Yes, because “la salida lavolpiana” (#lavolpianexit) also appears to be a trend, one aping the Guardiola’s Barcelona: it’s very cool, classy, but a team is not built starting from these details.

Pirlo against Cagliari was often Juventus last man: he has much lowered, initiating the action for Juventus, also to escape the marking of Cossu, but mainly because Bonucci was missing, the other director available to Allegri. Difficult to imagine that Chiellini, albeit improved technically, but always with feet not exactly as a director, and Ogbonna, forced to play with weak right foot, could start the action with the fluidity needed to overcome the first line of pressure and bring the ball as quickly, and effectively, in attacking midfield.

Therefore Pirlo between the central defenders. Pirlo playing clean, receives a substantial amount of balls, missed very few passes. And the usefulness of the #lavolpianexit is a principle so dear to Guardiola: create the numerical superiority. The director who falls should be able to break the attempted pressure or by passing or carrying the ball, the two defenders should exploit this advantage by advancing with the ball between their feet to call off a midfielder opponent and uncheck an own companion later. When this does not happen, there is a continuous and sterile transition between the three of the exit and back passes to the goalkeeper (who are so obnoxious to Allegri).

This solution can be very useful. It serves Pirlo, Bonucci is fundamental, but without movements in breaking free of the remaining midfielders and a striker does not come to create passing lanes. “Ok I have superiority, but if everybody runs away to whom I pass the ball?”. For this, Marchisio, the third director, becomes essential, as well as the other central midfielders, because the space behind the first line of pressure with the opponent must be filled, not emptied.

It is not easy, because this Juventus is trying to change the skin. From a game schematically, vertical is switching to one characterized by possession. Allegri needs a numerical superiority in the central area: more passing lanes, between defense and midfield, to allow the team to keep the ball while you earn meters in the attacking midfield. Needs more time, because this transition is not easy and requires a lot of patience and work in training.

adapted by Mike from an article of Davide Terruzzi from