Luca Gotti, Udinese’s coach, is getting ready to lock horns with Roma but he reflects on his job as an assistant manager to ‘living oxymoron’ Maurizio Sarri and learning from Pep Guardiola.
am studying the counter-measures for a game that is not at all easy. Roma beat all the teams from the 10th place down this season and our ranking, on paper, suggests we’re in for a rough time,
I consider Edin Dzeko to be one of the best centre-forwards in Serie A, while Paulo Fonseca is one of the best coaches. They’ve also got players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Jordan Veretout, while I didn’t know Borja Mayoral before, but he has impressed me.”
When Igor Tudor was sacked in 2019, Gotti was handed the caretaker role. Notwithstanding revealing he is not interested in the main job; he is still working there.
Before being promoted to this job, he used to be
’s assistant manager and then moving on to
Maurizio is a living oxymoron
,” smiled Gotti. “
He manages to combine extremely refined intelligence with moments of total gut instinct.
“As a professional, I’d define Sarri as a conceptual extremist. He is constantly testing your past beliefs and forcing you to update them.
“We also got along off the field, for that small part of his life that Maurizio reserves outside of football. He is ideologically left-wing, I am the opposite, yet at times we find ourselves arguing the opposite angle, finishing it all with a good laugh.”
Gotti has tried to study and analyze
, despite the fact that he did not work with theManchester City
manager. He learned some fascinating facts about the 50-year-old boss.
The difference he pursues is not tactical, but in terms of character. He defines it ‘animism.’ He wants to make the most of his players’ potential, regardless of the result.
“Most teams have this imbalance that can lead them to score a goal, then change their attitude, or they might be dominating, concede a goal against the run of play, and let their heads drop. The inertia of the match changes and that takes over any tactical indications you might have.
“So, rather than concentrating on a 4-3-3 formation, what Guardiola does is push the team to play always as if it’s 0-0, even if they are leading by two goals.”