On Juventus 09/10

It has been a while since I last talked about football here in this blog. =) – Well mainly due to the reason that my lovely club was not performing too well under the previous management. They still managed to reach 2nd place, but it wasn’t something to be proud of to tell you the truth. Well, now that the main coach has been changed Juventus have impressed me. Even the notorious Alessio Secco is starting to win the fans trust today after one magnificent transfer session. Now, the calico have only been played two rounds, so it would be a bit too fast to judge the team performance this season, but I wanted to see a more competitive side this season =)

The new head coach

Last season, when serie A was going to end with only two games left, the management decided to part ways with Claudio Ranieri. I have mixed feelings for him to tell you the truth. On the positive note, he was responsible for bringing Juventus back to top flight in only one season, and the fans would surely remember that impressive match against Chelsea in the Champions League.

On the negative notes however, he was not suitable for Juventus. He seems to be very satisfied with a draw at times, even against lesser clubs of serie A. His choice of players was strange (Molinaro? Poulsen?). I think he played some part in the disastrous transfers in one way or another. Sissoko was also a big gamble that we take that time, we was just lucky that he turns out to be good. He left Giovinco and De Ceglie rotting in the bench, and preferred to a defensive 4-4-2 formation, even when we are losing. It was frustating to see we are left 1-0 behind but he made no substitution until the 85th minutes, and that is switching Camoranesi with Poulsen. In short, he doesn’t have that lo spirito of Juve.

Ciro Ferrara was choosen as an interim coach that time, winning the rest of the two matches in style (3-0 and 2-0), cementing Juventus position for the second place (which was under serious threat that time due to losing against lesser sides continuously). There was rumor that another ex-Juventus player Antonio Conte will be taking the job as the head coach for a while, but in the end the management decided to stick with him. I don’t have any preference between him and Conte to be honest. Both are untested yet talented young coach. Both of them has donned the Juventus captain armband numerous time in their Juventus career (of course, when Alex is not playing) which shows us how familiar they are with Juventus’ football philosophy, something that is lacking in Ranieri heart.

Come Ciro! Bring back that Juventus spirit to Olimpico!

Ferrara has been impressive ever since, winning the Trofeo Tim, and losing the finals of Peace Cup and Trofeo Berlusconi only on penalties (which is Buffon’s only weakness, albeit a big one). True, we experienced heavy defeat as well in the friendlies, but it he delivers when the match matters so far. Won the first two serie A matches (1-0 againts Chievo, and a marvelous 3-1 againts Roma) and is now joint top of the table with Lazio. It is still too early to judge him, but I’m satisfied. Mainly because he brought back the desire to win everything and never say die attitude back into the team. Now, that is the Juve I loved. I don’t really care whether we win or we lose, I just want to see my beloved Juventus play with their pride to the last minute.

The new players

This season transfers were way beyond my imagination. I expected 2 big signings, and some mediocre ones. Instead we made 5 big signings, sending the untested youngsters on loan, strengthening the defense and putting power to the midfield. I wouldn’t dare to see a Juventus side THIS strong 2 months ago. I will sound very biased, but I will have to say that with the money we spend, we executed the best transfer this summer, even against Real Madrid and Manchester City.

First, we welcome back the Berlin Wall, Fabio Cannavaro. He didn’t have the best experiences in Spain, and he left the boat when we were struck by Calciopoli. Some fans were against this transfer, saying that we don’t need a traitor. I say we do need him. The idea of relying on Leggrotaglie and Chiellini at the back against Eto’o, Milito or Drogba is frightening. Leggrotaglie has been very good, but surely we need better. Chiellini is magnificent, but without him we are vulnerable, Buffon will not suffice. Bringing back Canna will give Chiellini more experience and he can play more freely since Canna will organize the defense. Chiellini will also be able to play in his natural position as left back as well in this case. Canna has proven my point very true so far, changing the jeers of the fans into cheers. And we earn his service in free transfer. =)

I always love this photo =P

Then we have Martin Caceres joining us from Barcelona. He didn’t have much opportunity there, but I remembered seeing him play when he was in Sevilla. He has talent. It was something that we need in to strengthen our defensive line. And on top of that, he can play in all defensive roles. He hasn’t featured so far, so I can’t say anything more, but surely if he is really good, then the defensive worries that we have last term will be just a faint memories. He joined on loan with possibility of making complete transfer next season.

Top or flop?

This was confirmed yesterday morning, just minutes before the end of the transfer window – a surprising move. Fabio Grosso is joining Juventus! =D. It means that finally there will be no more Christian Molinaro. De Ceglie will have less playing time, but he can benefit from him. We are having the backline of the Italy national team now, four out of five of the first choice is here ^^. He is 31 years old, but he is a late bloomer so I think he still have 2 years inside him. I remembered when I saw him playing the first time in 2006 World Cup I said: “Who the hell is he?” He managed to shift Zambrotta to the left, when I expect Panucci to fill the right back. Then his dive that won penalty against Australia came, followed by the volley that beat the Germans into pulp and ended by the penalty that literally won the World Cup for Italy. The question of “Who the hell is he?” became “Where the hell was he all this time??” Joined Juventus for €2 Million plus conditional €1 million. A true bargain.

I hope to see this kind of expressions again in the Champions League Final this season

Next is Felipe Melo. He was not the first choice of reinforcement for the midfield. Ferrara preferred Gaetano d’Agostino who is like Andrea Pirlo. But Udinese set the price for d’Agostino too high, and Secco did the right thing by not meeting the demand. So we hijacked Arsenal attempt and bought Melo from Fiorentina instead for €22 million plus Marchionni (4 million more than d’Agostino, but he worth much more than him. Looks like Ferrara wants to save money originally. Haha.) How’s he you asked? He was a monster. I counted three Melos when he was in the pitch. He’s simply everywhere. The thought of seeing Sissoko and Melo in the midfield was.. Excitingly frightening.

The melancholy of powerhouse Melo

You may notice that I left the first player we buy this season for the last. I believe in the saying of ‘save the best for last’ and he simply is the best buy we had so far. Goal.com praise him as “possesses a rare blend of skill, invention, pace, strength, a low centre of gravity, and deadly finishing. Concerns that he may not be a team player were put to rest as he pressed opponents off the ball, and knew when to dribble and when to pass. The idea that there is no longer a place for trequartistas in modern football also seemed to be dispelled.” Meet Diego Ribas da Cunha. I won’t say anything else than what Goal.com said, he was marvelously devastating in that trequartista role. I believe Ferrara will have hard time deciding on which fantasistas to play, having Alex, Giovinco, Diego and Camoranesi in the roster. In terms of going forward, we are one of the best. To top it all, he was bought for only €24.5 million. Compare it to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (€93 million), Kaka (€67 million), or Tevez (€30 million – could you believe it?). He can be considered a big bargain.

Another contender for Juve's number 10

The old players and those who left

Most of the players are staying, except for a few. Marco Marchionni is leaving as a part of Felipe Melo deal, Cristiano Zannetti left for Fiorentina as well for €1 million (thanks a lot dude). The youngsters are sent away for experience, such as Ariaudo, Iago, Ayub Daud and Albin Ekdal. But most notable loss will be Pavel Nedved. The Czech Fury decided to finally hang his boots, after delaying it for nearly 5 years. He was a legend among Juventus fans, and world football. Who else can fill the gap left behind by a Zinedine Zidane so quickly? Who else have the tireless engine to plow the field up and down, energizing the midfield, creating chance and space, and striking fear to the defender as effectively as he did? Who else shot that magnificent Czech Cannon strike like him (and oh boy what a strike that is)? Thank you for gracing us with your play these 9 years.

Grazie Nedved!

In all, we still have Sissoko, who’s currently injured. We also have the youngsters in Giovinco, De Ceglie and Marchisio. Tiago and Poulsen is finding their form. Molinaro, Salihamidzic and Grygera ready to prove a point. Buffon guarding the goal, the three towering strikers Amauri, Iaquinta and Trezeguet ready to bomb the opposition with each of their own uniqueness, Camoranesi trickery and Del Piero’s class. I believe that this team will finally get something this season. =)



There was a time when I lost my desire to write and to share. There was a time when I didn't see the point of doing a blog to express my thought. I am who I am though, inconsistent as I am in doing this blog, but I do want to share and I do long to write. Today I'm giving it another go. Fingers crossed. But I still wish that "Let there be light" is the message that I convey.
  • January 1st 2012, Kristo