As of this moment, it appears as if the players will not strike next week, and Lazio’s match against Juventus will go ahead as scheduled. With this in mind, our regular highlights of Lazio’s coverage in the Italian media will be much more focused than usual.
On Sunday’s episode of Stadio Sprint (and hour long show immediately following the Sunday matches, during which all coaches are interviewed, and some key players as well), Catania’s coach made some very interesting comments about Lazio. Claudio Lotito also happened to be a special guest on the show, to talk about the potential strike from the leagues point of view (during which he also got into a little debate with Di Vaio), but that is a story for another time.
Getting back to Giampaolo, following Catania’s 1-3 loss to Juventus, he was asked to compare the top three clubs in the league standings (Milan, Lazio and Juventus), since he had already played against all three, with the Lazio and Juve matches coming in the last two weeks. The following is a summation of his response, without quoting him word for word.
He began by talking about Milan, and stating that since the match had happened quite a while ago, it was difficult to comment on their current state. But even with that said, he said they were obviously an extremely strong team, and very competent technically.
Moving on to Lazio and Juve, he obviously had fresh opinions of both teams. He stated that Lazio is a very “explosive” team, and a very strong side. Ok, pretty good, but the best was yet to come. He then said that, despite losing to Juventus, he felt as though his team could play at their level, and compete openly with them (as the Catania – Juve match demonstrated), which wasn’t the case with the other two. He highlighted this by pointing out that their tactics against employed against Juventus were totally different from those used against Lazio. He perceived Lazio to be a stronger team, and approached the match much more conservatively, whereas he felt like his team could freely attack and try to beat Juventus openly.
So there you have it; reading between the lines we can see that Giampaolo clearly views Lazio as the better team. And this is the opinion of a man who had just played both teams back to back, and actually lost to Juventus, versus tying Lazio. This is an important evaluation, an important confirmation of what many Lazio fans already suspected, and an important reason to be hopeful about Sunday’s match in Torino.