The Italian veteran says up-and-coming defenders can spray long passes but can't tackle or man-mark.

By 90Min
December 20, 2017

Juventus center back Giorgio Chiellini has claimed that Pep Guardiola's revolutionary brand of football has killed the 'art' of defending. The Italian admits that while new defenders can happily spray 40 yard passes, they don't know how to tackle or man-mark.

Chiellini has locked horns with Guardiola in the Champions League on occasion - the most notable coming in the 6-4 aggregate loss in March 2016, when Pep's Bayern Munich overcame Juventus in the Round of 16.

And while the defender won't have fond memories of those couple of matches a year and a half ago, his gripe seems to be more towards the new generation of footballers, who have learned their trade during the Guardiola era:

“I believe the advent of Guardiola’s style of football has changed the nature of something we in Italy did so well for many years, which is the art of defending." Chiellini told Undici magazine (via Football Italia).

“There is a remarkable generational gap in defenders and that’s what caused it. Now lads who arrive in Serie A know how to spread the play and pass the ball, they can make a pinpoint pass 40 meters away, but they haven’t the slightest idea how to man-mark or take players on on-on-one.”

Chiellini went on to discuss how a defender ought to approach a game. During his hugely successful career, the centre-back has always been known as a fierce and physical opponent, but Chiellini's game is much more technical than pure power:

“You have to disturb the movements of the opposition strikers and prevent them, doing things that make them short-circuit. I have always been like that and I think that’s how you ought to go into these grand duels."

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