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Tactical Insight III - Why The "Right" Midfielders are More Productive

Welcome to the bi-weekly tactical breakdown where we take a deep dive into recent in-game tactics used by Juventus. These will be based on individual players or the team in general. As always, we encourage the Bianconeri community to chime in and create discussion.


Introduction: Ever since his arrival, Andrea Pirlo has transformed Juventus from a boring, predictable, unenthusiastic side into something more entertaining and effective. What we have witnessed is a total revolution in the way we set up tactically in every third on the pitch. In the defensive phase setting up in a 4-4-2 quickly transforms into a 3-5-2 in the possession and into the attacking phase. However, one thing that stands out is that whoever sets up as the Right Midfielder, they have been exponentially more productive compared to the Left Midfielder. In this breakdown, we will go over all the possible reasons why this is the case.


I. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Influence

II. Quality of Player

III. Pirlo’s Demands

Breakdown:

I. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Influence

When Pirlo was announced as the next manager of Juventus, he had a clear vision for how his team would set up and where Cristiano Ronaldo would play. The Portuguese superstar has transformed into a more focal point in the attack as a striker. What does this have to do with left vs right productivity?


The easiest distinction is where he operates. He prefers to come and collect the ball in the middle and attacking third on the left-hand side. We see his heat map depicted below courtesy of sofascore.com.