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.
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”
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.
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.