Charlie Roberts and The Metodo

When Vittorio Pozzo was developing the Metodo that would help Italy to win 2 World Cups he had a very definite model in mind. Pozzo was a lifelong Anglophile, and when he was living in England  he had become a great admirier of Manchester United. Pozzo met Charlie Roberts and the men became friends.

At the time Charlie Roberts was the very acme of the pivotal centre half, orchestrating his team's attacks. It was this playmaker role that Pozzo remembered when the rest of the world was drifting into the 'third back' game.
Roberts was an interesting man. A pioneer of the players union (the Association of Football Players’ and Trainers’ Union), his militancy and refusal to bow to his employers demands led to the Union being accepted  by the FA.
Charlie Roberts upset the Football Association by starting the fashion of wearing very short knickers. At the end of every season he traveled to Grimsby (where he had played before joining United) and spent his summers working on a North Sea trawler.
In 1928 Roberts teamed up with his former Manchester United teammate and Union comrade Billy Meredith to coach Manchester Central. Charlie Roberts Jr, his son, played for Central. 
Pozzo found his 'Roberts' in Luis Monti, who had joined Juventus in 1930. Monti was a vigorous and mobile centre half who retained the traditional play making  role of the centre half, 
rather than settling into a purely central defensive position.