Would Igor Tudor’s Flexibility Revive Lazio After Maurizio Sarri’s Reign?

Lazio are reportedly on the verge of appointing Igor Tudor as their new manager, marking a potential turning point for the club. While the move has yet to be confirmed, Tudor’s flexible approach presents a stark contrast to Maurizio Sarri’s “Sarri-ball” philosophy.

A Seasoned Manager with a Defined Style

Despite being a relatively new name on the global stage, Tudor boasts 11 years of managerial experience, during which he’s honed a distinct tactical philosophy. Heavily influenced by Ciro Blazevic (inventor of the 3-5-2) and Gian Piero Gasperini, Tudor favours variations of a three-at-the-back system (3-4-3, 3-4-1-2, 3-5-2). While possessing core principles, he demonstrates tactical flexibility, adapting to his squad’s strengths.

High-Pressing Defense & Vertical Attack

A hallmark of Tudor’s teams is their man-oriented high press. They consistently rank high in tackles, interceptions, and Passes Per Defensive Action (PPDA). Counter-pressing and wide-area traps are key to creating chances. Once the opponent crosses the midfield, they shift to a low block, maintaining high intensity throughout the defensive phase.

Offensively, defenders play a crucial role. Wingbacks and wide center-backs push high, creating overloads in wide and central areas. Vertical progression is paramount. Under Tudor at Marseille, they ranked highly in progressive passes (4th), progressive carries (5th), and passes into the penalty area (2nd), while also generating the fourth-highest expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes (1.72xG).

Potential Fit for Lazio

Here’s why Tudor could be a good fit for Lazio:

  • Experience with a Back-Three: Lazio recently enjoyed success with a three-man defence, and several current players are familiar with the system.
  • Wingback Synergy: Tudor’s system heavily utilizes wingbacks, which could benefit players like Manuel Lazzari and Elseid Hysaj.
  • Attacking Focus: Playing narrow with attackers close to Immobile could boost his production while creating more overall attacking threats for Lazio.
  • Serie A Experience: Tudor has prior coaching experience in Italy.
  • Player-Centric Approach: Unlike Sarri’s system-first approach, Tudor builds around his players’ strengths.

Challenges to Consider

However, there are also potential downsides:

  • Central Defense Depth: Lazio needs reinforcements for a functioning three-back system.
  • Guendouzi’s Future: Guendouzi’s loan has an obligation to buy, but it’s unclear if the conditions have been met. This could complicate retaining him under a new coach.
  • Outsider Status: Tudor might be seen as an outsider compared to someone like Miroslav Klose. This could lead to fan discontent, as they would have rathered something like the Daniele De Rossi/Roma appointment.
  • Coaching Tenacity: Tudor has a history of leaving clubs abruptly. Lazio will need to ensure he stays committed for the long term.


If appointed, Igor Tudor’s arrival would signify a significant shift for Lazio. While challenges exist, his experience, tactical approach, and player-centricity could unlock Lazio’s potential and usher in a new era of success.

This content originally appeared on Lazio World and was written by Caleb Adams

Tags Hellas Verona Igor Tudor Lazio Marseille Maurizio Sarri Sarri Serie A Tudor