This play often started from a long ball by the defenders, taking advantage of Mirko Antenucci and Rolando Bianchi's aerial abilities. Ventura remains focused upon the team as unit but every player is specialized in this system.
Another classic 4-4-2 movement is the cross between the two central forward. Utilized as weapon to beat man-to-man marking during the '80, this movement is still good against modern zonal marking systems, specially with the ball on the flanks.
But the true news are the combinations born following a fake movements made by the forwards. With the ball on the flank, forwards assumed a staggered position, with the first one coming toward the ball to play the withdrawn forward role. In this way, this man can play a 1-2 punch with the flanker or he can play a fake, a veil, leaving the ball sliding to the second strike. So, the second forward, now with the ball, can play a 1-2 with the first attacker or shoot directly.
Basing forwards' movements on those plays allowed Ventura to turn average strikers such as Nacho Castillo and Vitali Kutuzov into scoring machines during his stints in Pisa and Bari.
A lot of goals and scoring opportunities came from the flanks, where Torino tried to play 1 vs. 1 situations in isolation with its wingers. At the end, Torino showed enough to suggest why they won the promotion. As we pointed out, though 4-2-4 system is usually considered an attacking formation, the way Ventura ran this pattern worked defensively and Torino allowed just 14 goals. It will be funny to see if this 4-2-4 will work yet in serie A.