Thursday Nov 23, 2017  
     
 
  23/07/2012: Auronzo di Cadore: Day Fifteen
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After somewhat of a break yesterday, normal service resumed for the Lazi squad today. The field was laid out with cones in the morning session as Vladimir Petkovic tested the team's dribbling skills. As you might expect, it was Mauro Zarate who shone through, gaining frequent praise from the Bosnian coach. The second half of the session saw the players engage on 3 v 3 matches were a 'wildcard' player was introduced to alter the balance of the game. This put the dribbling practice to good use. As the session ended and the players were stretching out the muscles, it became clear that the fans who have travelled to Auronzo di Cadore were a particulary enthusiastic bunch today and it was not long before the players found themselves posing for snaps as well as signing autographs. Petkovic and Director of Sport Igli Tare also got in on the act.

The evening session was a tactical affair. Initially, Petkovic divided the squad into two teams and they played a match were the focus was on specific defensive and offensive moves. The defence has to concentrate on dispossessing the forwards and then spreading the play into the midfield. The forwards therefore were tasked with putting the defenders under sufficient pressure. Petkovic assigned them specific attacking positions. Zarate, Candreva and Gonzalez were assigned to the right side while Lulic, Rozzi and Floccari took up position on the left. Through the middle, Alfaro, Kozak and Rocchi.

Later, a practice match took place and some interesting experiments took place. Cana found himself paired with Dias at right-back, suggesting that Petkovic is reluctant to sacrifice height at the back now that Diakite' is out for what could well be three weeks. Alvaro Gonzalez found himself tested at right-back. This particular team were arranged in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Ledesma utilised as a holding midfielder. It's a system Petkovic has used with previous teams. Due to the lack of midfielders, Zarate, Rozzi and Alfaro were tried in midfield.

The other side was arranged into 4-4-2. Rocchi and Floccari were once again tried as a partnership while Lulic and Candreva were deployed as wingers. Onazi partnered Scaloni in the middle. It was this side that ran out victorious as Onazi and Rocchi got on the scoresheet to render Kozak's goal a mere consolation.

(Cathal Mullan)
 
 
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