Mirko Antonucci

Mirko Antonucci
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Mirko Antonucci

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Current Club: US Salernitana 1919 (on loan from AS Roma)

Previous Clubs: N/A

Loan Clubs: Vitoria Setubal, Pescara

International: N/A

Trophies Won: N/A

The immediate thing that stands out with Antonucci is how a promising youngster's development has stalled badly. A couple of seasons ago he managed a season with Pescara where he featured in half the games in Serie B. Last season it was a struggle for game time in the Portugese Primeira Liga, making just 6 appearances and only 1 start.

Now 22 he should have been looking to nail down a regular place back in Serie B on yet another loan, but he has only made 3 substitute appearances in the league and a start in the cup which saw him hooked at half-time. He is in real danger of sinking without trace.

Antonucci has a languid style of running and rarely breaks into a proper sprint, even when in a chase against an opponent for a loose ball. He looks like a player who is not putting in effort, just making it easy for the opposition to play around him when they have the ball.

When his team has the ball, his movement is laboured and he looks to make straight runs, there is no cutting in off the flank to pull a defender away and then cutting out into the space. It is just run forward, at a smooth, lazy lope, and wait in hope for the ball to come to him.

There is no urgency to his play, he tracks back and closes down, but it is at his own pace, there is no desire there to win the game or affect the play. It feels like he is a player just going through the motions.

Which is a shame, because once that ball is at his feet they come alive and suddenly the languidness is gone and his feet move quickly. Antunicci has exceptional technique and good control, both of his striking technique and his touch.

Unfortunately he is not as good as he thinks he is, that is what I take from watching him, as he often tries to take on a man, or three, too many, losing the ball far too easily in positions where it is obvious the ball should have been moved on. It is clear that he is on of those youngsters who believed his own hype and has lost his way.

There is a player in there, but it is up to Antonucci to realise that hard work is the only way to make a success of your career in football, no matter how much talent you have. If he cannot sort his head out and start working on and off the pitch, he is going to drift down the leagues in short order.

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Requested by - Ed02