Sixteenth in the standings with eight points alongside Lecce, Genoa will come up against Juventus at Allianz Stadium tomorrow evening, and they arrive in Turin on the back of a victory against Brescia - the first match on the bench for Thiago Motta.
The new Rossoblù coach had the perfect start after being ordained to the helm of the Ligurians' bench: it was a 3-1 victory over Corini's team. After going a goal down through Tonali's goal, the Griffins fought back with goals from Agudelo, Kouamé and Pandev. Thiago Motta - for his "first" match on the bench- made a real revolution in the first eleven, choosing players who hadn't previously played a lot. This was the case for the Danish Peter Ankersen, Francesco Cassata (ex Primavera of Juventus) and the Turkish Sinan Gümüş, who enjoyed their debuts this season. Even the Colombian Kevin Agudelo, author of the 1-1 goal, played his first official match.
In front of the goalkeeper Ionut Radu - always on the starting line - the defensive columns are Cristián Zapata and Cristian Romero, the latter bought by Juventus in the summer. Perhaps the biggest surprise so far of the season has been the right-wing Paolo Ghiglione, able to deliver four winning assists so far in Serie A, a record among European defenders. In the middle of the field, the star of the team has perhaps been Lasse Schöne, while in attack, Andrea Pinamonti has played seven games out of nine, scoring two goals. But the top scorer, so far, is the Ivorian Kristian Kouamé, who has got onto the scoresheet on four occasions.
As soon as the announcement of Thiago Motta's arrival onto the Genoa bench toook place, the newspapers relaunched an interview with the former Inter and PSG player, in which he spoke about the possible use of 2-7-2 formation as his ideal formation.
A provocation? Certainly yes, but a provocation that offered some important indications for what appears to be the game philosophy of the new Griffone coach. First of all, as widely explained by the media, the 2-7-2 stems from the idea of dividing the field vertically and not horizontally, thus identifying seven players well, including the goalkeeper, in the middle bracket.
Here, indeed, the goalkeeper, seems to be an important player for Motta in the construction phase of the game. And so far, nothing particularly innovative: there are now many teams that see in the wide-sided defender as an important element, if not fundamental, to move the ball round and the start of the action.
In the victory against Brescia last Saturday, the new Genoa confirmed some aspects of Andreazzoli's team with inevitable changes. If the players are usually maintained and the new coach makes substantial tactical changes, Thiago Motta has operated in the opposite way: a revolution in the 11 players chosen to start the game, and confirmation of the three-man defence with a supporting midfielder.
The philosophy of the game, however, has already given some important clues: if the Rossoblu so far have had an average ball possession of 50% against, against the Brescians, they recorded 63% ball possesion. The average shots on goal has remained substantially the same, but what was decidedly more careful was the defensive phase with only four shots conceded to the opponents.
Genoa are an extremely physical team, with 24 fouls committed vs Brescia, thus reaching a total of 140 (by far the team to make the most fouls in Serie A for now).