Former Lazio striker Miroslav Klose believes coach Maurizio Sarri shares a similar philosophy with Bayern Munich and hopes to one day coach the Biancocelesti. The 45-year-old is currently managing Austrian side Rheindorf Altach and speaking with La Gazzetta dello Sport, he shared his ideas on coaching, the issues facing Lazio and what he expects for the upcoming Champions League clash with Bayern:
Do you feel closer to Tuchel’s or Sarri’s playing philosophy?
“They are similar, they differ in some detail. Both want possession and tight lines. Bayern, however, provides an absolute level team. I think I have a philosophy close to theirs.”
How do you rate Bayern today?
“They win games, but they don’t manage to dominate. Actually, what matters at this stage is to get points, but in Munich, it’s not enough. You need to convince, and at the moment, it’s not the case. However, there have been many absences, which is why I am convinced the situation will improve. I am more concerned about Lazio.”
For what reason?
“With Atalanta, they didn’t win challenges in the opponent’s final third. This means that opponents could freely set up their plays. And even when they dropped deep, Lazio couldn’t create chances. It’s not a good moment. For example, Luis Alberto, I don’t recognize him: he often makes the wrong choices. But he also plays far from the goal.”
Sarri claims not to know if the drop in performance is a mental or physical issue…
“It’s normal. When results don’t come, the mind slows down the body. It takes time to understand, Sarri will make it.”
How do you explain Immobile’s drop?
“With Milinkovic, you could play both on the ground and with long balls. When he entered the box, he forced defenders to leave more space for Immobile. Now Lazio’s players move around the opponent’s area, but they don’t attack it. And Immobile is more isolated. The team doesn’t shoot much: if you create one chance per game, you can’t score 5 goals.”
However, Bayern doesn’t seem to be in top form…
“In the Champions League, it will be different. It has always been like this, and I hope Lazio changes its attitude too because I would like to see a good game. I don’t think Lazio can qualify, especially in the double game, but in football, anything is possible.”
In 2021, Bayern stormed at the Olimpico. Has the gap increased?
“Lazio’s defense must be careful because Kane doesn’t forgive. I thought he would score 20-25 goals in the first season, needing to adapt. Instead, he did it within a few months. Last time in Rome, Bayern won 4-1, but they could have scored more.”
Last time Bayern also seemed superior athletically…
“In Munich, there is Holger Broich as a fitness coach: he is meticulous. In Italy, there is a lot of work, but in Germany, training is tougher. The athletic part is considered fundamental.”
Are you ready to coach immediately, or do you prefer to wait for the next season?
“I would like to start right away. As a player, you almost had the embarrassment of choice, as a coach, you have to wait for the right opportunity. And I’ve been waiting for a while.”
Is it easier to coach in a club where you have been a player?
“Knowing the club is an advantage: Inzaghi, whom I had at Lazio, knew the environment perfectly. In those cases, you know where to intervene.”
Like De Rossi with Roma?
“Exactly. He didn’t have much experience, but the club trusted him. I think with the players available, he can do better than he did in Serie B. The quality of the players is higher. I would also like to coach Lazio, but the feeling you have when talking to the club that chooses you counts.”
What is essential for a coach?
“Being recognizable. You have to reflect on the perception people have of the football proposed. It must be fascinating. I like an offensive game, with possession. The team must be active and proactive.”