The particular situation of Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, the resurgent Felipe Caicedo, the discovery of Joaquin Correa, the newcomers, and some problems in defense: these are the hot topics surrounding Lazio so far this season. To speak about these subjects, Igli Tare – sporting director of the biancoceleste – spoke in an interview with Giulio Cardone of La Repubblica
Milinkovic-Savic: “For Sergej, it is above all a question of physical condition: he arrived late because of the World Cup and so he lacks the basic athletic training. It is an essential thing for a “strong player” like him. Not surprisingly, last year he began to score regularly from the end of October (two goals on October 19th, 2017 in Nice, one goal on the 25th in Bologna). in addition, there was the transfer speculation which may have affected him – it lasted all summer. In the end, he has remained and now he just has to get in shape”.
Luis Alberto: “For the Spaniard, on the other hand, it’s not a physical problem: for him, it’s a matter of mental issues: he needs to feel irreplaceable, but in an ambitious club like Lazio it is not possible to make many mistakes in a row and remain a starter. The hierarchies decide the field, meritocracy is in full effect. Therefore, after two poor matches, in the third, he exited in the 55′ following the bench in the fourth. He must regain his place, for himself and the club, and come back to make a difference. He is a player from Real Madrid: his quality has already been proved: now it must make a leap to the next level of consistency. For him it is the year of consecration – he needs to improve his physical condition and work on self-esteem”.
‘Turnover’ of the squad: “The model we use is similar to Juventus’: whoever plays, even if in the previous match they were on the bench, will give everything no matter what. Always. For us, the priority remains the Serie A, with the Champions League the main goal: it will be tough, this year the Serie A is more balanced, there are only four points between the third spot and twelfth spot. Lazio is missing just one point: with Napoli, a draw would have been the fairer result.”
Correa: “He is a dream player. With a little more luck, he would already have three or four goals. We need patience and trust, but he will explode. He and Immobile are our counter-footmen, complementary to Luis Alberto and Caicedo. They can all play in pairs with each other, however.”
Caicedo: “I was sure the second year would have made a difference as you know. He’s introverted, which does not help him, he needed time. He will never score Ciro’s goals, but his work is important for the team”.
Defenders: “The experts are hard working, Wallace, Bastos, and Caceres. Martin’s mistake in the derby is unforgivable: he had plenty of time to return with his favorite foot. But when they say that defense is our weak point, I don’t believe it: last year we had the best attack in the championship, it is normal to concede.”
Badelj and Berisha: “He is a captain, a leader: on the bench, he suffers. But I have talked to him, he knew he did not have a secure place and accepted the challenge. Similar to Berisha, he is another who likes to load the team on his shoulders: both will be important.”
Lukaku, Durmisi, and Marusic: “Yes, he will be part of the group. I’m sorry for Durmisi’s injury, he was fit and didn’t deserve that. Criticism of Marusic? First his back, then his flexor: if you can not train well, in the game you pay. He is not yet one hundred percent but it will come soon.”