The Need To Re-Juve-nate!

The boys from Turin have been highly consistent in performing inconsistently this season; collecting injuries on the way. Just when one thinks they are back in form, a key player would get injured; and the team as a whole would take on the challenge to perform so irresponsibly, that you’ll be forced to rethink.

Sports News - March 10, 2010

The bianconeris seemed to have regained their lost form after back to back wins over Fiorentina and Fulham. However, Coach Alberto Zaccheroni decided to stay tough on players, keeping the tough road ahead for the club in mind.

“Considering the way my team played, I was disappointed the result wasn’t bigger. We will go to London next week to face an unpredictable side”

-Alberto Zaccheroni

After the 3-1 win in Europa League.

To be honest, there was more than one reason to be that uptight after a sweet victory. One being the poor and inconsistent run that La Vecchia Signora have had this season, and the other being the insecurity of a place in the UEFA Champions League, next season.

For the first ten minutes of the game, Juve displayed their true caliber and class against Sienna last week; they paid the price by compromising on two crucial points, which could have taken them back into Serie A’s top four.

Sports News - February 07, 2010

Opposite sides of a coin: Felipe Melo and Alessandro Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero scored his 300th goal for the club. His brace in his team’s tally of 3 goals in the match demonstrated why he is still feared in the world football circuit  and is considered the best player that there has been at Juventus. However, it is extremely obvious that Il Fenomeno Vero does not have it in him to play ninety minutes twice a week anymore.

On the contrary, Felipe Melo also did something last week, which will remain in the memory and hearts of the Juventus fans. The overrated Brazilian, no matter how decent he has been for his country, has been a disappointment for Juventus. The only improvement in him is that he is not getting sent off, and is not trying retarded tackles.

He still gives away balls in the midfield – only that they are not being converted to goals.  In just one season, he has burned all bridges with the Tifosi; it won’t be a  surprise if the Drughis start throwing flares at him, if he ever repeats the shameful act of throwing words like STATE ZITTI and VAFFANCULO towards the home terrace.

Claudio Zuliani, the famous Juve commentator said the following, regarding Melo-

“He should deliver a public apology at the stadium over the microphone, he should receive a massive fine, and perhaps, be transfer listed and benched for the rest of the reason.”

The irony of the situation is that it was Felipe Melo himself, who stated that the club desperately needs some new signings this summer, just before the game against Siena. At least one of  those signings will be facilitated by the money that Juve earns by selling him off, if he continues to display this kind of behavior.

The list of injured men in the club has also grown like a list of injured soldiers at a war-front, as the season has progressed – this has been a crucial reason for the team’s instability and inconsistent performance. Players like Buffon, Camoranesi and Cannavaro, who hold iconic statuses at the Old Lady, and are influential enough to change the course of a match with their performance, have suffered from injury problems the whole season.

Even the second choice keeper Manninger got injured before the match against Sienna; Nicola Legrottaglie was called off during the game on precautionary grounds, and Chiellini’s name is also on the list. Iaquinta and Sebastian Giovinco have been regular absentees as well, leaving the Juventus fans wondering which virus is causing all the trouble at La Vecchia Signora.

It hardly takes a genius to figure out that defense is the major problem at the club. In terms of goals conceded, even Lazio and Chievo have a lesser tally than Juventus.  Although the injuries cannot be overstated, I think it’s clear that the defense was barely passable, even with fit first-team players. The Juventus fans would miss the days when the flanks were ruled by Zambrotta and Thuram, with Cannavaro in the center and finally Gigi, making the Juve backline one of toughest to pierce through in Europe.

With rumours, about Juve having a good chunk of money to work with in the off-season, making the rounds, fans hope that they will address the defensive concerns as a priority; and if more than one of the scoring players are fully fit at any given time,  the team will be in good shape to pose a title challenge next season.

  • Prasanna Sadasivuni

    Well put mate.

    As of today, we are out of Europa as well ousted by a far less talented pool of players. I’d dare not use the term “far less tactically managed” since by every passing day, it not only re-kindles the thought ranging from Ciro was not that bad after-all to letting go “The Original Tinkerman” was not the right move.

    Now we have repeated rumors that another Tinkerman whose tactical disasters are plaguing his current side is likely to look after the affairs. How I wish if the rumor is just based on over-drunk Pub hopper’s brain child.

    Talking about the squad, please don’t compare current Canna in same statement to his past self. He has lost it and we are just carrying a burden which should be offloaded to Napoli as early as possible. Chiellini is missed big time by Juve and he is worth any obscene money currently on planet for a Central Defender. With Lippi increasingly seeming to not return to helm at Bianconeri, the first thing to hunt coming summer is a gaffer. Rest would follow the course!

  • To rub salt on the wounds, Juve crashed out of the Europa after a 4-1 loss to Fulham. The Old Lady surely needs some fresh legs and some physically fit players.

  • Somnath

    Officially the worst day of my life as a Juventus fan. Fulham brushed aside Juve.

    The day was destined to be bad as we started with a defense whose average age was 34. 3 fullbacks 1 CB, a rightback filling in as a CB. It got even better when Canna was sent off. Grygera, the 3 mistake hero from weekend came on for Candreva, who was the only creative midfielder. Then the defense was made up of 4 full-backs, most of whom are 2nd choice. Canna’s red card was a wrong decision as he wasn’t the last man, both Grosso & Zebina were ahead of him. That really finished the game off. Fulham’s penalty too was a wrong decision as it was a case of ball hitting the hand. But I have never complained about refereeing decisions & don’t think it would have made a difference. Fulham could have won 6-1 had they not hit the post twice. Juve created nothing for the whole game. Typical finish from Trez & he even came down to defend, I wish the rest of the guys showed the same level of commitment. Exquisite goal from Dempsey.

    Yesterday was a mightmarish game but I still think we were unlucky with injuries as well as Fulham’s fluke away goal. On the basis of last night Fulham deserved it. Marchisio was sorely missed in the midfield, he controlled the midfield in the first leg.

    Next games coming up are away trips to Sampdoria & Napoli. Samp are unbeaten at home, Napoli have lost 1 home game all season. Both first & second choice GKs still missing & Chiellini a doubt. Both clubs are direct competitors for 4th UCL spot. Things can get uglier.

    Juve continue to get knocked out by EPL clubs. Manchester United in 99-00, Liverpool in 04-05, Arsenal in 05-06. Now Fulham. Not to forget losses to Newcastle, Arsenal & Man Utd in grp stages over the years.

    Similar to the 2nd leg vs Arsenal 4 years ago, we finished this game with 9 men too.

  • Somnath

    & Cannavaro is a traitor, he was not & will never be an iconic figure among Juve fans

  • To be honest, the defeat at craven cottage was expected but 4-1 made me cry. Canna’s red card was unnecessary, it was at max a yellow card. The hopes of maintaining the overall lead of 4 -2 vanished with Canna’s departure as one just cant expect 39 year old Chimenti to hold fort.
    The penalty too was more of a gift. :(

  • Somnath

    Firstly I think the rumour that we have 80 m E to spend this summer is too good to be true, we are building a new stadium & that takes money. Plus early KOs in UCL & now EL will deduct a big chunk of gate money & TV money.

    At max I recon we will have 50 m E to spend.

    We need a lot of players, mostly in defense:

    In: Kjaer, Ariaudo, Criscito, Marco Motta, Caceres/Rafinha
    Out: Zebina, Grygera, Cannavaro, Molinaro, Grosso

    Palermo might want Amauri back, so an exchange with Kjaer will be the best option, otherwise spending 12 m E for him is too much. Rannochia/Bonucci will not come cheap either. Ariaudo has impressed for Cagliari, bring him back. Keep Legrottaglie, his partnership with Chiellini is solid. Marco Motta is underutilised by Ranieri, he might come in for 4-5 m E. I won’t want Caceres in if he costs 10.5 m E, I’d rather have Rafinha for 12 m E. If Caceres comes in for 6-7 m E. Take him. Keep Motta as backup. I recon we can get 4 million from Molinaro, who is doing well in Stuttgart. 5 m for the other 3 put together. Criscito’s half of the contract will cost 6-7 m E. de Ceglie has been very inconsistent, but I’d rather have a youbng guy than a 31 yr old Grosso. Either of the players can be sold for 2 m E. So thats expenditure of 18-19 m E & recovering back 11 m E.

    Defense: Caceres(Motta)-Kjaer(Legrottaglie)-Chiellini(Ariaudo) – Criscito (de Ceglie)

  • Somnath

    Midfield:

    In: Albin Ekdal, Krasic
    Out: Poulsen, Tiago, Salihamidzic.

    IF we get Prandelli then he will play a 4-2-3-1. For that it’s essential that we retain our young CMs. Sissoko, Melo are both young, Poulsen is old & overpaid. Get rid of him. Marchisio is the most crucial player. In the midfield. He can team up with either of the DMs to form the defensive screen. The team lacks a winger, Camo can’t carry on for a full season, we need a right winger & Krasic suits the bill, we can get him for 15 m E. Giovinco can fill up on the left. Primavera players like Fausto Rossi (rt wing), Yago (trequarista) & Marrone (CM) can fill up as subs. We can get 11-12 m for Poulsen, Tiago. Brazzo can get 1-1.5 m.

    So thats an expenditure of 15 m & recovery of 12 m E.

  • Somnath

    Attack:

    In: Luis Suarez/Edin Dzeko
    Out: Amauri, Paoulcci

    We should splash 30 m E+ for either of the strikers, both are clinical finishers & able to assist to. They can be perfect up top the 4-2-3-1. I am not too keen on Rossi as he is primarily a SS & not a prolific scorer. Same with Pazzini. If we can get Cavani all the better. Iaquinta, Trez should be kept. Iaq always gives 100% & Trez still scores more goals than Amauri when he plays. And he is a legend who stayed back after Calciopoli, he should end his career with us. I like Ciro Immobile a lot, he should be promoted to first team.

    So thats an expenditure of 30-35 m E & recovering 2-3 m E for Paolucci.

    Plus getting rid of Amauri & Poulsen will bring down the wage bill.

  • Sarad

    Harsh on Cannavaro’s red card and harsh on the handball. But do expect these things for home team. I think Chimenti was a big difference between the two sides. He was Sh£te. I mean the last goal for Dempsey could have been dealt better.
    Anyway full credit to Fulham. They did score 4 goals and played really like they were playing the biggest game of their club.

  • Somnath

    New coach:

    Not Benitez, I like him as a tactician. But he is not an ideal coach to build a squad from scratch. Plus he is expensive.

    Not Gasperini, still inexperienced & needs to shore up his defense.

    Prandelli, is perfect. A former Juve player. He uses 4-2-3-1 which will work fine with Juve. He has a good record with youth players, & we have one of the best youth teams in Italy. And he can rejuvenate Melo. Plus he is not an old fashioned coach.

    And a new medical staff. 59 injuries in 1 season is just too much to take.

  • Even I dont wanna see Rafa in Turin. I hope to see Lippi back with La Vecchia Signora and repeat the magic he displayed in his previous tenure at the club.

    Prandelli too is good.

  • Arvind

    13 years… thats the time we the Nerazzurri have waited to see this being heaped upon their most hated rivals. I would be lying if I say I am not enjoying it. But the more pressing concern is that this result will cause Serie-A to lose its fourth CL place in 2011-12 season. So fighting for 4th place next season will also be meaningless.

  • Arvind

    @ Somnath – Prandelli is literally worshiped in the streets of Florence. He knows it and also knows that if he makes a move to Juventus, he will become a hated enemy overnight. He recently mentioned that he is willing to stay for 5 more years if required.

    Also the La Nazionale needs the same kind of rejuvenation as Juventus do. With Lippi leaving in July, they need someone to take over. Who better than Prandelli. At leas that way he will still be loved in Florence.

  • Somnath

    Prandelli WAS worshipped till last year. Firangs are an impatient lot & they overrate their club a lot. A section of the tifosi raised a banner to sack Prandelli outside Viola’s training ground 2 weeks ago.

    Baggio too was worshipped in Florence, Melo was loved too. It’s called switching to a big club. & Prandelli is a former Juve player.

    The fact that Trapattoni & Lippi were Juve legends didn’t stop them from taking over Inter, right after leaving Juve. And they are still loved in Juve & both came back for 2nd stints.

  • Arvind

    The viola fans don’t really overestimate their club. They know their limitations. None of their fans think they can win Scudetto. Domestically they have underachieved this season, but compensated by a fantastic run in Europe.

    Baggio was loved and that was the reason the streets of Florence burned for 3 days when the news of his transfer broke out.. More importantly, as Baggio himself admitted in his autobiography, the transfer had a shady element.

    Yes he was a former Juventus player. But he supported the other Nerazzurri in his youth.

    The banner on Prandelli sacking was a rumour, never confirmed – In fact more people have rallied in his support than anything else.

    I would really be surprised if he really takes up the Juventus job, but stranger things have happened in the world of Calcio.

  • It wouldnt be something strange if Prandelli pounces on the opportunity to manage Italy’s most successful club of all times.

  • Somnath

    It wasn’t a shady , Baggio was kept in dark for the move. He wanted to move to Milan, Juve were in a rut then without an Scudetto for 5 years & he didn’t want to go there. But his agent orchestrated the move. The Zidane transfer was almost similar too…he was intended to go to Milan, but they hesitated & Moggi poached him.

    The riots in Florence has nothing to do with the players, riots didnt stop Baggio from playing well & neither will it stop Prandelli from coaching well.

    What has Baggio’s supporting Inter got to do with anything ? Gilardino supported Juve, Rooney supported Everton, Wenger supported Real & Dean Ashton supported Man Utd.

    Like I said nothing stopped Trapattoni, Lippi or Tardelli from coaching Inter, Picci coached Juve. Prandelli is a professional coach, he knows which club is more important.

  • Somnath

    Gigi del Neri in his 600 games as a professional coach had NEVER beaten Juventus. In this record breaking season even this record is broken.

    You know your time as a Juve coach is up when you lose to a del Neri side.

  • Well thats a hyperbole, Sampdoria this season has been good. They haven’t lost a single game at home this season. And not even one outta 14 does mean that the team is in good form, atleast at home. Apart from that, even the Nerazzuris lost to them at their home.
    Anyway, the season for us Juventinis continues in the same disappointing way. :(

  • Somnath

    Even if we hadn’t won, we could have drawn to prevent Samp from crossing us.

  • ohh i really pray juventus finish at their current position in the table.. some juve fans on a social networking site blindly stated that juve might be playing badly but they would never finish 5th as milan did some seasons back… i knw m sayin this too soon and there are still 9 more games left but m sure those guys would have their hearts in thr mouth now…

    p.s. its sad see ADP on the losing side though…..

  • Arvind

    @ Somnath – Prandelli supported Atalanta as a kid and as a youth. That is the reference to “other Nerazzurri” So it is not as if he had some special affection to Juventus, despite his spending 6 seasons with them. My statement was not to do with Baggio.

    Second point, Baggio’s transfer to Milan was all but completed, but as his autobiography suggested, there was a shady agreement between Juve and Baggio’s agent. Baggio was looking forward to playing for Milan but ended up in Turin because of this arrangement much against his wishes.
    As regards his playing well at Juve, well he was a gentleman professional, you wouldn’t expect him to sulk for long.

  • Dhawal

    Italian paper Corriere dello Sport reports that Benitez would be eager to take both Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano to Juve should he take the job, but there are significant doubts about whether they could afford the estimated £100 million the duo would cost or, indeed, whether they would want to remain united with Benitez. Dirk Kuyt would be a far more realistic target for Benitez and Juve.

    I would anyday prefer Prandelli over Benitez at Juve.

  • Dhawal

    I’d also love to see Prandelli bring Jovetic to the club.

  • Somnath

    I missed the “other” part, sorry about that :)

    And Baggio did move to Milan, which pretty much ended his successful club career. Sadly he left Juve just when Lippi took over & the UCL domination would begin.

    Baggio won most of trophies in Juve, including his only club level European trophy UEFA Cup where he scored a brace in the home leg of the final vs Dortmund.

    Berlu’s pressure saw him move to MIlan after the WC, which pretty much ended his success rate in club football. Not to forget how the Milanista Sacchi ignored him for Euro96, forgetting how Baggio took Italy to WC94 final. Sacchi even subbed Baggio to bring on a ‘keeper in the Grp game vs Norway.

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