ROME – Thirty-eight out of thirty-eight, albeit with a switch still a little too wobbly. Certainly an en plein so he had never hit it. It took Sarri, with an adjoining return to Lazio, to allow Felipe Anderson to find a continuity of employment that is unique in his career.
Yes, during the season there were drops in concentration and performance, those classic moments on the swing described with a metaphor by the Biancoceleste coach: «It’s like a toy with on and off buttons. When it is on it can play any role, but when it experiences blackouts it is difficult to understand how to intervene. He is very delicate and sensitive, therefore even trying to do him good can become risky, there is the possibility of obtaining the exact opposite ». He has a hard time dealing with the “off” version, the annoying and at times indolent one that had characterized long phases of his first Lazio adventure. His luck is that he alternated them with periods a bit more concentrated in which it seemed to be in front of a real phenomenon, one of those capable of winning games alone.
In the championship that has just ended, Felipe has found a sort of balance between these two polar conditions, a middle ground that has allowed him to shine in certain situations and to be able to manage himself in others, with far fewer moments of deep blackout. And it is thanks to this leap forward from the points of view of maturity, mentality and the ability to stay focused that Felipe Anderson ended his Serie A without missing a single game. He has collected 38 appearances, of which 34 starting as a starter and 4 entering the race in progress. In short, there has always been the only Lazio player to have hit this small goal, second in terms of minutes only to Milinkovic, who despite having one less presence remained on the pitch for 3300 total minutes (including recoveries), against 3055 in the Brazilian. The en-plein was also celebrated yesterday by the social account of the Italian championship with a tweet: “38/38. Felipe Anderson: constant presence”.
He had never had such consistency before. At most he had reached 36, an altitude reached twice, once with Lazio (2016/2017) and the other with West Ham (in his first year of Premier League, 2018/2019). But that’s not all, because Anderson was not only omnipresent in the championship, but throughout the season: he didn’t miss a single match this year considering the 8 of the Europa League and the 2 of the Italian Cup. He is the only player on Sarri’s team who can boast a similar statistic, that of 48 out of 48 matches. A further confirmation of the coach’s full confidence in him. On the other hand it was the Commander himself who asked for his return to Rome, convinced in the potential of that boy who in recent years had been lost between England and the loan at the Port. This is because in the mind of the coach there was the version with the switch on, that of a player capable of solving games on his own. Sarri’s goal is to get to the point of keeping it active throughout the season.
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