Blindside Movements And Mental Overloads: Breaking Down Maurizio Sarri’s Tactics

When you watch Napoli’s games under Maurizio Sarri, one thing that will jump to your mind is that they play a lot of passes, especially short passes. Napoli passed 11.5 times per percentage of possession last season, leading all 134 teams in the top flight of seven leagues in Europe (Bundesliga, Eredivisie, La Liga, Liga NOS, Ligue 1, Premier League, and Serie A). They play 28% more passes per possession than average (8.6) in these seven leagues. The number jumps to 39% if we only measure short passes. Interestingly, Napoli used very few dribbles: they dribbled once about every 40 passes, a number that ranks them 4th lowest among 134 teams. Therefore, Napoli used a lot of short passes without needing to dribble the ball to create chances.

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