Monday, 6 October 2008

[Feature] Attacking Udinese shaking up Serie A

Twenty-four years after Hellas Verona's historical Scudetto, another team from the north-east of Italy are aiming to surprise the Italian football establishment.

Pasquale MarinoUdinese were not expected to challenge for the Serie A title but six games into the season, the Friulani are topping the table alongside Lazio and Inter. It is obviously too early to judge if Udinese can go all the way like Osvaldo Bagnoli's Verona did in 1985.

Inter coach Jose Mourinho certainly does not think they can, recently saying he is not worrying about the results of teams like Lazio or Udinese but only those of "potential rivals for the title".

However, even the Portuguese has to take notice seeing that Pasquale Marino's team have earned as many points as the Italian champions while scoring more goals than them and conceding less.

Asked how it feels to be leading the way after Sunday's 2-0 win against Torino, the 46-year-old Marino said: "It feels good but it was exactly the same before this game.

"When you have a group that is working with the maximum level of commitment you can only be satisfied as a coach. Sooner or later good results will arrive."

The Stadio Friuli faithful have a new idol in the 19-year-old Chilean Alexis Sanchez who, despite having not yet opened his account following his return from a loan at River Plate, has become a first-choice in attack due to his exciting displays.

It is a front line which also features Italian internationals Antonio Di Natale and Fabio Quagliarella, as well as the uncapped Simone Pepe who was called up yesterday by Azzurri coach Marcello Lippi for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Montenegro.

Udinese have scored ten goals and conceded just three in Serie A, and also moved into the UEFA Cup group stage after defeating Borussia Dortmund on penalties last week.

"These figure show that we've found the right balance," added Marino, an advocate of the 4-3-3 system.

"This team is continuing to improve. So far the league is very balanced but I think big teams will emerge in the long term.

"We have to keep working as we have done so far, with no illusions and with the usual humble approach."

Only time will determine if Udinese can become the new Verona.

Source: UEFA

No comments:

Post a Comment