AC Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta has revealed that he felt like he had no tactical freedom under former head coach Marco Giampaolo.
Giampaolo lasted just 111 days in charge and was sacked after a spell which saw Milan lose four of their first seven games in Serie A to start the season.
Much of the preseason preparations were centered around implementing a 4-3-1-2 system which saw Suso play as a trequartista and Paqueta feature as a left-sided mezz’ala.
However, Stefano Pioli has since arrived to take over from the former Sampdoria boss, and the Brazilian has discussed the contrasting approaches that the two managers have.
“The former coach was more tactical. I was more imprisoned, I had to stay a little behind and limited in movements,” he told SportMediaset (via MilanNews.it).
“With Pioli I feel better. I have always been a player who likes to touch the ball and attack, and now I have this freedom to fit in and be closer to the goal I didn’t have before, I feel much more comfortable and feel the confidence of the coach who allows me to risk a few more games to win the game.”
Paqueta was lively on the ball during Milan’s 1-0 win over SPAL on Thursday night.
“Without a doubt it was my best game with Milan, but I think I can do better and I want to do more,” he continued.
“I was just missing a goal, but I’ll do my best to finish better in the next matches. I like it staying closer to the net and Pioli allows me to do that.
“I like to score, it’s nice, but I worry more about playing well. At Flamengo I scored enough, here I look forward to a few more goals.
“It is important to help my team-mates to score, but I want to be Paqueta in all senses: making goals, assists and helping the team win.
“I like to play as a central midfielder, even as a playmaker as you say. In reality, however, I like to play where I have more freedom, the rest is the same for me.
“I like to play free without forgetting the responsibility I have in the field, it is essential to express my football.”
Does the 22-year-old think a top four finish could still be on the cards for the Rossoneri?
“We have to think about match by match, we won the last one and now we think about Lazio,” Paqueta responded.
“We cam only of the three points and step by step we can reach the Champions goal. I was the first to gather everyone and say about stay focused, because the coach can say what he wants, the fans as well, but then we go down to the pitch and we must stay united in addition to the result. We must have confidence in the coach’s concepts in order to express the best football.
“The main difference with the Brazilian championship is certainly in the intensity and tactical attitude with which two teams compete.
“In Brazil there is not much tactics, while here it is a chess game. You have to be careful of everything and this is the great diversity.”
His former club Flamengo was struck by tragedy back in February when a fire at the club’s training ground claimed the lives of ten players.
“It was a very sad moment, it hurt me a lot to see what had happened in that environment where I lived since I was 9. I stayed several nights without sleeping thinking about those poor boys, but I think that God will take care of them.
“They wanted to get where I got, some I knew and had many friends in common. I will do my best to see that it was worth dreaming up there.”
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