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No player is bigger than the club.

July 14, 2017

I must begin by registering my shock. When the first few rumours appeared I gave them short shrift, but as the evening wore on, these rumours grew in volume and source. My shock quickly gave way to bother at the explanations flying around, for there was no instant depression, no feeling as if a piece of my heart that is black and white was carved from my chest, no wailing, merely an intrigue in what will follow and the displeasure of finding some respected colleagues buying into the bullshit. Which to some may mark me out as a different kind of supporter. Yet I support the club, not any individual player. Perhaps in my younger days I would be more affected, yet I cannot offer one departure in close to 20 years of supporting the club which caused me to feel any different to how I can be presently found.

We seek success on the field first and foremost. This leads to and is often founded upon sound financial strategy. To ensure our continued success we require a strategy for the long term, acquiring new, young talent, along with the hope of some of that talent making the move in future to the first team squad. 

On all these fronts we are faring very well indeed. Domestically dominant, superb array of interesting youngsters on our books, so close to the ultimate glory in Europe in 2 of the last 3 seasons, the squad strengthened year upon year. I really cannot ask or hope for more.

And so when I learn of a longstanding pillar of the side suddenly preparing to leave, I am not at all bothered, regardless of his reputation, valid for the most, as one of the most brilliant in his role on the planet. I could find dismay at selling Bonucci to AC Milan, yet there is certainly a part of me which is happy to see the brith pains of their long overdue resurgence and if anything, I am pleased to find such a player of world renown, uninterested in the huge riches offered in the premier league, instead wishing to remain in Italy and join a fallen giant as they launch an offensive to claw their way back towards the elite. I could happily wish him well, despite the rather low fee bandied around too heavily to assume is mere conjecture. Yet 40m is a fair fee. And will be instantly reinvested in the squad.

However, there is more to the Bonucci story than solely the departure of a major element of the famed BBC unit. There is the suggestion of the half time horror show during the Champions League final…involving not just Leo but instigated by Alves. What I read of the Reddit piece seemed ridiculous, and if any of it is true, both Alves and Bonucci should be hated by juventini for they have brought the name of the club into disrepute.

Arguments between players, when the tie was poised at 1-1, makes no sense whatsoever. Also, whilst I disliked Alves before he arrived at Piedmont, and despise him still further now, given his comments since leaving for PSG, there is a huge leap from being an egotistical idiot to the alleged comments>

Dybala was not an obvious issue at this stage of the game. If any criticism was given, to one of the youngest players in the side, playing the biggest game of his life, it was disgusting to come from hugely experienced, senior members of the squad.

I cannot believe that Buffon, Chiellini, Marchisio, even Higuain, Sturaro, Rincon, would stand there and see Dybala attacked, and simply cower in the shadows. It makes no sense whatsoever. I prefer to stick with logical reasoning.

The score was 1-1. Bear this in mind. We had everything to play for. We were not losing, we were not on the rack, in fact we could have been in the lead. Why would any player decide to poison the team? After getting chance to take breath and regroup?

Big Leo has been a phenomenal force for the club. His head has often been out of sorts, and yet he has generally given his all, and performed admirably and powerfully. His love for the club has been clear throughout. Yet…his argument with Allegri earlier this year, very public, was despicable. It could be forgiven, as a bout of emotion. If that was enough for Bonucci to decide to seek other options, then he is not the juventino we have always felt and close to known.

My instinct and reason tells me that Bonucci has agitated for this move. That there is much behind the headlines transpiring which we will never be privy to.

Perhaps his agent is behind this, after learning of a large pay-off if he can persuade Leo to move. Perhaps his wife? Perhaps Leo is simply another egotistical swine…Given Allegri has openly spoken of the player as future Captain, reprimanded himself in turn when the two of them fell out on field, I cannot place any blame with the manager. Nor the club.

In short, I do not believe the half time story. Mandzukic and Pjanic have neither mentioned anything contrary to the story of both having knocks and Max sticking with them, hoping they would be okay. Both seem very serious professionals. They come from an area of the world which has suffered painfully, which generally leads to those born of that realm, maturing into very serious, very straight, very determined men. Neither have shown any desire to leave. They remain very much invested in our shared cause. Which only furthers my conviction that yet again, other factors beyond the headlines and forums are very much at play.

We have Rugani. Who despite my own opinion of his level proving just decent, yet perhaps not world class, is a fine player already and many others, far closer to his training and character have huge hopes for the lad. We also have Caldara, who by my reckoning is considerably more developed and could well prove world class.

As a group, a tribe, we must be accustomed to major moves, both of those coming in, such as Higuain and Costa of late, and Pogba and Bonucci heading the other way. All that matters is that we continue moving in the right direction. And to be fair, we were close, yet again, to winning every single competition we entered last campaign. So many clubs and their fans are rightly envious of our position. We have returned to the elite. Hence why a player of the calibre of Douglas Costa, entering his prime,  joined our ranks last week. Hence why Bernardeschi stated recently ‘Who wouldnt want to play for Juve?’. Hence why I am content. Merely bothered by the furore surrounding the apparently impending departure of Big Leo.

I was shocked, in disbelief, and was wrong to respond with the same. However, I am not focused on always being right, I express my analysis and my views, from a position of experience, of many moons watching football at many different levels. Yet that does not equate to I AM ALWAYS RIGHT. Only an asshole needs to always feel Right. There are many things I write, and say, especially on the hugely more important global affairs scene, which I mean, from the depths of my soul, yet wish to be wrong, hope to be wrong, and plead to be shown how wrong I am…Self Expression should never be about anything other than looking ourselves in the mirror and knowing the reflection as the same face, the same words, we share with the world.

As some will know, I am also an avid fan of the Gills, the plucky, haphazard outfit from Kent, who were ever so fortunate to survive in League One (England) last season. And the strange thing is this…I am actually more interested and more affected by the moves of Gills, the comings and goings, the curious move to signing 5 giants and clearly seeking the physical approach to improve…and the analysis I grasp at ever more eagerly from the few reporting from as close to the club as they can get ( https://twitter.com/GillsInTheBlood) than I am feeling Juve at present, for to return to the top, means we are prone to the attention and behaviour of scores of idiots masquerading as fans, of deceptive, cunning agents and of course the mass media, which thrives on controversy, which is spoon fed to the masses who eagerly consume, even when the news tastes of shit, and then regurgitates, on twitter, on forums, anywhere they feel they can grab some attention. I dont find the same issue with the Gills…

The vloggers I follow love the club, they always will, not matter what happens. They suffer far more than most juventini could find in their nightmares, but they pick themselves up, and stride ever onwards, as does the club. They never put one player before the club. They might question the owner, question the management, but week in, week out, they turn up and show their support for whoever dons the shirt and heads into battle. I admire and embrace this unquestioning devotion. It is rare in this modern age of plastic supporters who seem to project FIFA into real life, all too often…

To surmise:

  • Bonucci wishes to leave and has agitated for the move. An annoyance but so be it. This is not the end of the world. 
  • I don’t support Juve because of Bonucci, value him as a player, but have known for many moons he is far from the most mentally strong in the side. 
  • One major player has come in, and one seems about to leave, which is normal service.
  • We remain, very much on course to continue our upwards trajectory as a club for the near and far.

One other issue to mention, briefly…which is the sporadic outbursts of some in regards to Stephan Lichsteiner.

The Swiss Locomotive has been a major part of our recent success not just up until last season, but including last season.

Frozen out of Europe, demoted before a ball had been kicked in anger. His form was a little poor when he played, yet what the hell do people expect when we had treated him quite badly? At the same time, in the first half of the season, many other players were under performing. Alves was then injured, and we needed Stephan, hugely, and he stepped up to the challenge, was very much a part of the side which changed from 3-5-2 to 4-3-1-2 and given he played in 26 of our Scudetto winning Serie A campaign, starting 22 I believe, it is not just disgusting for me to find people who should know better, asserting that he was awful, that he singlehandedly lost us games, it is pathetic and horrid. It is also plain nonsense.

Lichsteiner has proven himself a magnificent servant to the club. He has never complained, even when dropped for that goblin cunt Alves. When called upon he came in and gave his all. And when people tell me he was awful, and we carried him, because we were so much better than everyone else in the league, I lose all respect for their understanding of the game and of the human psyche. For there were lengthy periods when Khedira was poor, Pjanic was listless, Lemina was abject, Sturaro was stumbling, even Chiellini and Bonucci were wayward, fuck…even Buffon had a brief bout of unease! Not to mention Cuadrado, whose paltry form added weight to Lichsteiner’s duties.

And as for Alves…he shone in but a small handful of games in Europe. Other than which, I did not find him amazing or clearly superior to Lichsteiner. Far from it.

By all means, shout me down, remind me of games when Lichsteiner has proven the obvious liability, and clearly is a finished player, ready to consign to the slag heap. I am all ears and eyes and heart and mind and will consider my position on this matter if anyone can offer proof of the wretched and terrible season of a legend for the club? Please do. If only to help me change my opinion of the trolls who pick up a scent and then repeat it as often as possible…For I presently consider them drones. Not fans. Not supporters of a club whose heart beats in time to their own. They are fiends, seeking attention, at all costs, and assume the easiest way to get attention is to as quickly and prolifically as possible, repeat the main stream mantra, always speaking in the words of others, never their own…They speak in scripts. Not with their hearts and souls ever bared. I pity them, as I pity all of those around me who literally make most their exchanges with those familiar and beyond, through the currency of scripted behaviour.

Contrast the Bonucci story with that of Stephan. I find the former, evidently a bit of a dick at times, prone to awfulness both on and off the field, bricks for brains. Who agitates a move from the club through spreading muck far and wide, to the detriment of the club. Then Stephan, mistreated, in my opinion, by the club, who simply gets on with it, trains, works, does not complain, does not argue, steers clear of controversy, and when called upon, despite how he has been dropped from the CL squad, which must have hurt, he returns and is a bit rusty, then fine and gives his all to the cause.

This is why I take stupid attacks on Lichsteiner, very personally, for whilst my love for the club is different to many, I have huge respect for those who behave in a proper, respectful manner. Huge, indomitable, unwavering respect. And to find these cretins banging on about Lichsteiner’s dreadful season, far removed from my own idea of supporting the club. They are human shaped aggregators of headlines. Nothing more, nothing less. Fuck them, and their legion.

As is perhaps apparent, I am angry, not at Bonucci, who I have long known as a goon, but at so called ‘experts’ with thousands of followers on social media, who clearly have no love or respect for the club. They simply seek attention. And retweets. Whereas I seek solely solidarity with those of the same heart and mind, who love Juve through thick and thin, and pour reverence from their essence, always and eternally, onto those who bear our colours and give their all.

If you need a reminder of those who give their all, who are real, true, honest as the forest, who fight the good fight, I implore you to dim the lights, when you are next in a lively state, don headphones, and embrace Keny Arkana…the sister I never knew. A Woman who knows the world, who means every word she speaks, who wastes nothing, gives everything…

forza juve

Daniel

(I would also like to take this opportunity to pay homage to Rav, the Chief…who has fought fang and claw to make this wondrous niche in the virtual realm the amazing place it is..for of all the sites I have written within or for, as a major contributor, it is HERE where I have found the finest souls, with so few idiots, a realm of openness, decency and shared commitment to The Cause…He deserves far more recognition than he receives, not just from me, but from all of us, for without his herculean efforts, there would be no such place to collide, collude, to share and debate, to feel we are a part of something so much bigger than merely our own hearts…Rav, my friend, I salute you…And thank you. For you are not just a man who has given me a platform, you are not just a fellow juventino, you are a true and honest as the forest soul, who I proudly count as kin…And when I find a twitter frenzy, after Rav has shared my words, part of me brims with glee, but another part is bothered, for I find a man who can write fucking superbly, working the thing, to provide me with the opportunity to roar and rage at the world, when his words, his writing, never fails to course through my veins as an injection of mega vigour…Respect the Chief. As I am proud to name and revere him..)

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  • Vin

    Very well stated mate. Round of applause.

    • Vin

      As far as Bonucci’s departure, I took it pretty rough when it was first confirmed, but now I’m accepting it for what it is, and I’m ready to move on. And truthfully, who’s to say Caldera can’t become the next Bonucci, if not better, in the next few years. I’m ready to see him (as well as Rugani) take on this opportunity and grow exponentially before our eyes.

      And the Lichsteiner rant… spot on.

  • Dar Black

    I agree in some part with you on this one GP, and not in others. I too don’t need or care if I am wrong, so I may well be!

    I agree:
    – Highly unlikely that Leo would be allowed to rag on Dybala with Gigi et al standing by passive. Never… But something probably did go off at halftime, if much less significant than the Reddit report. The second half performance, plus Alves buggering off so soon after (+ no smoke without fire) does make me think it unlikely that it was a normal halftime chat.

    – No player is bigger than a club. You only realise that when you are old enough to see several generations of players come through, retire and watch your boyhood heroes on tv as old pundits, commentating on the same team they played for. Players come and go, the club continues on.

    – Yes it is great for Serie A that he is going to ACM.

    Disagree:
    – Can’t see Leo agitating for a move, if he had why sign for Milan? Why would a world class player do that when across their squad they are still pretty poor. Bottom line, I think we pissed him off (we being Max and managements support of Max in his actions). I think we have underestimated Leo’s mindset after his family issues, and humiliated him as a proud man, a leader in the team at a time when Leo has been out of order through simply having momentary lapses of reason and behaviours due to stress or mental issues.

    – We do have a problem with players leaving, and must arrest this trend. We seem to be subconsciously accepting all the yarns spun as to why this or that player is going. A sort of self pacification to ease the pain and shock. We suck on these sweetener pills every time it happens, complete with obglitory ‘i’ll never forget the fans’ blah blah blah and it takes the pain away. There is always a story for each one isn’t there! What will be Dybala’s I wonder? It’s plausible to have a story for each departure, until you remember that there is no story told yet for Lewandowski, or Coutinho or Kane or many other talented players that could have been poached from clubs that pay less than we do. Only seems to be a conveyor belt of our best leaving. It would be nice if Beppe could turn that off. Just for a few seasons.

    • RAC

      I am of the opinion that responsibility for this move lies more on the club than on leo. If a player bullies you into selling him, you don’t sell him for cheap. And also, leo barring himself from the champions league on a world cup year? Both seem unusually unlikely to me.. in which case I do think, as you do, that this is a mistake of medium to large proportions..

      HOWEVER, the optimist in me thinks this might be the kick in the pants the team needs to shake the post-cardiff, post-6th scudetto stupor and keep motivation high.

      • Dar Black

        Let us hope it does Rac. But it puts a lot of pressure on defense now doesn’t it. Gigi, not at his peak nor Andrea. Giorgio must be present 100%, plus Rugani. Christ help us if Sandro leaves as well…..

    • Ah my friend, I agree with all your points…I had intended to suggest that Leo agitating for the move came from earlier in the season. Way back then, not recently.

      And yes, there may well have been an incident at half time in the CL final, markedly dissimilar to the quotes doing the round. Which if true, very much confirms that his departure is for the best of the club. We will never know for sure. I prefer to move on, after of course saluting a player who has reached the top in our colours and proven a world class talent for many moons.

      He was our best CB last season, with Chiellini often injured and returning to 1 or 2 terrible outings before finding his rhythm. Benatia didn’t do much to impress me. Barzagli was injured then fine at CB, less convincing at RB. Rugani looked good. Leo will be missed.

      the club do get things wrong, this one however…other than perhaps the price…is not one of them by my reckoning.

      This conveyor belt as you rightly stated, is a problem, but a change in club policy is unlikely any time soon. Most players leave for money. Or to seek the brighter lights of the PL. They go hand in hand, as its the most watched football league on the planet. Also a different lifestyle…I’d find England immensely enjoyable if I earned 7m per year!

      I suppose we can be more firm on contracts, but this breaks the tradition, at least of recent times, of not standing in the way of players seeking to move. Which in the modern game, makes us a stepping stone of sorts. Yet some will buy into the long term journey and remain.

      I would like to know how you feel we could change this bother? Other than through a change of strategy at the top, which will force/ persuade/ coerce players into respecting their contracts more often than present?

      As always, many thanks for your comments and for wading through a word swamp conjured absent of full steadiness of my lower paws not just my synapses in the piece above! And what of Forest?

      • Dar Black

        We simply must change this policy, to be like other clubs. Hold firm, hold the line and state that if you are world class, or very good and hard to replace and we want you, then you are not leaving. You are going to stay at the club until either one / two years before your contract ends or we change our mind and want to sell you. Not before, no. Not under any circumstances, no matter how much you push, gripe, agitate etc. I didn’t always feel like this, but enough is enough. We are watching our finest talent be stolen away year after year. We are wealthy, famous and successful. We are Juventus, and it should not be like this a decade on from the rebirth.

        This capture of Leo is not actually Milan’s finest hour this mercato. They did something else I truly admired – they told The Devil to f’ off, and that Donnarumma either signed the new contract or else he would be sitting in the stands for a season. Something Mr D clearly did not like the idea of or want to do. They shiwed backbone, something we are not. They called his bluff and won! Bravo Milan! I’ve wondered GP if that was us he would 100% have been gone by now. The Devil has us for breakfast! Milan 1 Juve 0 …..

        As for Forest, well keeping to the theme of today we are just about to lose our best striker, maybe to Bournemouth. Forest are a million miles from Juve of course, so we need the money. I am reminded of the time we sold the fabulous Mr Collymore – god he was a great striker. We did not need the money, still being in the top flight at the time. We feared the worst, and it came true. He was irreplaceable, but we tried to with not one but two players, Kevin Campbell from Arsenal and “Italian international’ Andi Silenzi (remember him…). It did not work, two players talent not equal to one. And having to sandwich them both in meant messing around with a winning formation and dropping someone to the bench who had previously been an important player for us. It was the beginning of the end, and relegation soon followed again. Transfer scars GP, never really heal do they….

        • Superb offering, my friend. This is exactly why I pour myself out, sometimes rather rabidly, for it not to count the retweets, its to prod with enough zeal at others whose opinions I respect as do many others indeed, and which also offers me a perspective I have not considered more than fleetingly. SO thank you.

          Silenzi is nothing more than a name in my haggard memory, yet of course I know Campbell, and especially Stanley. He went bad. I vaguely recall him smashing that elfin delight in the face…or perhaps I am mixing him up with Marlon King, of former Gills fame and beyond. What I liked about Collymore was how cleanly he struck the ball.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxBwjEiloEM
          Bryan Roy! I remember that goon…ahhh…how much more pure was football back in the 90s!
          And I cannot reach into that era without also taking any opportunity to share with people Le Tissier…
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAjgL0YIXUg
          You are one of few who would find nothing wrong with me asserting that if I could bring a player from yesteryear to Juve, or from now, Le Tissier would be one, Cantona would be another…

          Yet enough reminiscing…Where the devil was I?

          I do not believe we are losing our finest talents every season. The rumours of the club saying simply NO WAY to Chelsea interest in Higuain bears witness to this. We have also assuredly has enquiries of Dybala. Sandro has not yet gone but has been courted by huge money. Pjanic likely also has offers. So the situation is not quite as bleak as you roar…yet you DO have a point.

          The move of Bonucci is down to more factors than merely interest in a player and him wanting to leave. We will never know the truth. Yet the absence of love for Leo shown by others at the club upon his departure is telling…

          Real Madrid are significantly stronger than us. Regardless of any possible, probable HT bothers, I had said before the game that if we falter, just for a second, we could get mauled. I was unsurprised, just unhappy.

          In terms of the contracts…I like the dangerously proper ethos presently in place. You dont want to be here, then fine, go away. Yet it seems not the case with players we deem expendable, and given how the present management have seen us rise to so close to the pinnacle, I remain happy to place my trust in them.

          I know that doesnt really answer your points with much vigour, but when I have the Gills on one hand and Juve on the other…and my heartfelt desire to to have players fighting for the cause, and our recent history is superb, I have nothing to complain about in regards to Juve and much to be intrigued by for the Gills. I am curious to learn if creating a team of giants can stave off relegation..

          Other than which, I am merely happy to here from you, and raise my glass of russian firewater in your honour, and leave you with…my favourite footballer of all time.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXTk0Z2oGzM

          FInally…it has been a year I can at best, deem as…far from ideal. Liver damage, then long term motorcycle ban form the highway patrol in hiding, chasing me assuming I was escaping the scene of a crime or high on ice, then Oscar mauling quite viciously my prized snout…and today…I has roused from a wretched drug and drink haze, headed to the pool, swam and thought, rode 7km on my mountain bike, visited the market, as my back is mangled, I perched the bag of 2kg of pork shoulder on the handlebars, and off I flew homewards…and then, something bizarre happened. Catching myself by surprise I launched into a 360 catapult somersault…it happened so quickly, I recall solely a moment frozen in time as the back end rose abruptly, and I saw, as my body flew up in the air, that fucking pork shoulder, somehow instantly escaped from its plastic bag and lodged perfectly, awfully, between the front tyre and the frame…I recovered with the bike on top of me, my knee smarting from hitting the concrete and my head dizzied from the spin and ill advised somersault…a banged out car of blacks slowed and whistled ‘you okay, bro?’…I narrowed my eyes, nodded and raised a thumb in the air from the concrete, then fixated on that damn piece of pork flat and wedged…the front tyre was blown, other than which mainly bruises and scratches and smarting kneecap…thankfully I had my helmet on, rather than my russian hunting hat, so my skull was fine…I just couldnt believe the emergency brake with pork shoulder routine. As I hobbled the final km or so home, getting on with my other shopping stops, I growled and pondered ‘for fucks sake…I must have insulted a devil or a gypsy, and they are there in the shadows, with a Daniel voodoo doll, seeking the most bizarre circumstances to injure me and laugh from afar…’.

          Im too far gone into my own abyss to ponder the chances of a pork shoulder loosening from its bag to jump directly into such a pivotal position to cause me pain and awful ill humour…yet, why worry eh! Best to count my blessings and continue to beat my oars against the tide.

          Take care, my friend.
          D

  • Jas

    I’m not criticizing the locomotive not at all I just think age has caught up with him and he longer can perform at a level required for a club like juventus. The half time story merits some truth, I don’t think alves used such strong language but I do believe Leo and him criticized Dybala. Bonucci seems like an airhead on a intellectual level, he is not a leader and never was. Actually glad both him and alves left, they were toxic to the locker room. Given the financial muscle the team has I’m not worried about him leaving at all. Caldara is a beast , can’t wait for him to join.

    • Well put, Jas…and indeed I fully agree on the instability of Leo’s fragile mind. Never a leader, just a loud voice which is as likely to say something stupid as useful.

      • Jas

        It’s comical to say any player is bigger than the club, I resent that statement with eccentric passion. What the black and white represents is a century of hard work, players that gave their life to leave a mark. From platini, Rossi, baggio, Buffon and of course my idol and hero growing up… del piero! I do admire Stephen and would love to see him take a management role. Bonucci can go, no resentment here. We’ve had better defenders before, switching to Milan is a slap in the office. No respect no love. All those interviews about bleeding for the shirt, come on man soo fake. We will be even stronger, Agnelli blood defines all that we strive for.

        Fino alla fine.

        • I like the idea of Stephan moving into coaching, sticking with the club with whom he has given so much for so long. We need to keep some of these living legends within the fold. Though I would be happy enough to find him in the squad for next season. His experience is immense as is his spirit.

    • aly ndao

      alves said in a tv interview that he will go to PL after Juve but not this summer. his reason for living is not related to the final. that story does not make sense. Marcelo never came close to Barzagli. Andrea won all of his duels.

      • Dar Black

        Hasn’t Alves signed for PSG for 200k + a week? So the EPL thing was crap… no surprise from him.

        • ALves says a lot of things…most of which are bullshit. He was a bad element in the dressing room, of this I have no doubt, the only real shame of which is that he has encouraged Bonucci to decide, probably on a whim, in a moment of heated silliness, to leave the club he loves and who loves him.

        • aly ndao

          I just mean this theory of locker room problem is crap. ALves left because of a discussion he did not like with Marotta after that very interview

          • Dar Black

            Probably a mixture of the two. I do believe something went on at halftime. We will doubtless never know what though.

          • aly ndao

            and that’s just funny. believing something u never heard, only rumours but..ok

  • elisadallomo

    Agreed. There is only one thing about this whole thing that left me with a somewhat bitter taste in my mouth, and it was the treatment the female journalist who shared the exclusive received on social media back when no one believed it, completely disregarded for being a half-naked woman talking about sports. I know she had the last laugh and all but reading some of the comments was upsetting.

    Other than that.. thank you for everything you did while wearing my colors, and good luck.

    • No surprise on the sexist silliness, Elisa…yet I myself disregarded the first reports I found from other ‘twitter fans’ of the move, though their gender nor garments had no value or interest in my brief response.

      I was reading a similar story of Mina Rzouki…who seems to receive a fair amount of mockery merely because she is a Woman. For me she is neither superb or poor, as decent as many other average journalists, but clearly facing an uphill struggle against traditional stereotypes. Italy seems to have a fair few female presenters, all who look delightful, even the magical pixie who presents the italian football show and reads off a script is there because of her looks and elfin essence, more than due to her football knowledge.

      I like Mina. She is feisty and passionate and knows the game…and i welcome more of the same from her tribe!

      It is a tricky area to improve….In England there are a small handful of women anywhere near prominence in football, with the female game itself rarely ever mentioned.

      • Jas

        Mina has tremendous respect for serie a, I admire her.

      • elisadallomo

        I was taken aback by the fact that the comments about the journalist came from young adult men – sometimes I forget sexism and misogyny don’t have an age limit. Or, you know, they’re ~joking. But, yes. Football is still “a man’s world”, and it’s “fun” to perpetuate the stereotype of a dumb-but-pretty clueless woman trying to comment about balls. Hopefully Mina will encourage and empower more women to follow in her footsteps.

        I laughed at the reports, too.. seemed too improbable at the time. Ah, well. I’m fine with being my own Juve bandiera. And thankfully I always get Marchisio’s jersey.. 😀

        By the way…. if Caldara doesn’t come…. could Juve consider keeping Marrone for a “just in case” scenario, or has that ship sailed far, far away already? I feel bad for Marrone.. I remember liking him. He just never really took off, did he?

        • Dar Black

          She is always decent on BBC radio. She does the euro club scene for them, and is solid.

          Why are you surprised that young men make sexist comments? This is the generation that sees women more often than previous ones as objects on their smartphone, whether through advertising or adult content.

          • elisadallomo

            I’ve never paid attention to BBC Radio but I’ll at least look her up now.

            I expect old men to be sexist and young men to be foolish.. but it still takes me by surprise when it’s by my generation, late 20s-30s, who I expect to know better.

          • Dar Black

            Never expect men to know better Elisa!

        • Caldara is staying put, which is fine…Rugani deserves his chance and now must have it.

          As for Marrone, again as with Asamoah, it is an interesting sudggestion. For he has played in both DM and the CM roles, was loosely broached briefly as a vice Bonucci in the past, has fared well for Belgium’s third placed team last season, remains contracted to Juve till 2019.

          I do wonder if we have any scouts watching him regularly. Would hope so, but at what stage do we conclude scouting is less valuable than asking the loan club of his progress? What would be their interest? To tell us half truth at best I believe, unless they thought we were scouting his progress separately?

          It would be an interesting question to be able to answer with any authority – How keenly do we follow the players we loan?

          • elisadallomo

            If I remember correctly, Marrone was used both as a vice-Bonucci and vice-Pirlo at times, with the 3-5-2.. I don’t know where he’s most talented, or could be better suited for, but I remember he had the eye for the long passes back then. Who knows if he still has it now. But, it would be interesting to keep him.. or at least give him a real shot before letting him go completely.

            I really like Asamoah, too.. I think mostly because he seems like a really good kid, loved by all. He’s lovable and silly off the field, but serious and professional on it. He is a machine, and until his injuries I think he was on the path to being one of the great ones.

            All in all, my favorite player of this past season was probably Mandzukic. Sacrifice, grinta, passion.. a true warrior. Maybe not the most technically gifted, but he certainly made up for it with his attitude. So inspiring. Can’t wait to see what he does this year!

      • Dar Black

        BBC website and tv has a decent amount of women’s football now chap. I think it will continue to be a sideshow in the UK with the overbearing and increasingly circus-like PL sucking all the oxygen out of the room. Truth is though that the WSL 1 gets more headlines than mens championship league teams often on Beeb website. But then so do many tiny Scottish premier league teams who may only get many less fans turn up than the Gills or Forest. I think it may be sporting correctness by the beeb!

        • It might seem sexist, to some…but my reality is that I do not have any interest in womens football. Not because I dislike it, I simply find no interest. As I believe you are well aware, I am a rabid do-gooder, a lunatic squealer for social and global justice, but these totems of my existence are far removed from womens football.

          One of the reasons I love football is that its currency of exchange between men where I come from. And I have played the game since I as little. Still do now, and will gather my team for the corporate games once again (you might find my report amusing… of yesteryear >>> http://thedissolutefox.com/facecuttersfc-tournament-report-2013/ )

          As I find straight men talking of fashion generally odd, I find women playing football the same. And I know this can be easily attacked by fools seeking a position of moral superiority, but so be it, I would rather rage elsewhere of the plight of women in countries where playing football is the least of their concerns, avoiding a honour killing from their own flesh and blood is more important.

          I like Mina, yet find no joy in Gabby, the Lady who steps in for BBC MOTD now and then…

          It reminds me of the ‘outrage’ of many here who demand ever more gay gay gay rights, and when I question one or three, and ask them ‘when was the last time you wrote to your local MP to demand an answer for why we are supporting the KSA regime who hangs gays?’ and they look at me, tell me I am deflecting and am obviously a misogynist…for I dont support THEIR cause. The same can be said of the ‘anarchists’ I have met here…the last meeting I went to found men in skirts, ‘just to show they prance in the face of oppression’…and an elder of their flock recently told me ‘they are doing great work…some of them even spat at some nazis at the last rally!’
          ‘Come now…’ I told him…’Its hardly the Warsaw Ghetto…’

          • Dar Black

            Kindred thoughts. I can barely bring myself to view the beebs website which seems to be on a mission to make extreme political and social correctness to bare on everyone. Everyday, an oppressed LGBT community article.

            Latest absurdity in London. The underground tannoy announcements will no longer address ‘ladies and gentlemen’ as it is too specific and not inclusive of the 0.000001% of transgender passengers they serve who identify with neither. So the mass majority of everyday gender types have to surrender the historical accepted norm for the few. And lunatic mayor Citizen Khan approves fully of this move.

            We are doomed GP, doomed.

    • Is that Mina you’re talking about? it’s scandalous, the type of abuse she’s gotten through social media.

      • elisadallomo

        No, I was referring to the Italian journalist (or TV presenter) that spoke to Lucci and got the “we’re working on an exit” response or something similar. In the video I saw there were three women sitting on a couch and a male presenter.. I don’t think I’ve seen the program before so I don’t remember names.

  • BartWos

    100% in point. Thanks for the words about Lichtsteiner – at last I read some post about him thinking alike. And not how I hear around that he should kicked out long ago, because something…

    • aly ndao

      another one here

  • My, my! I was indeed running beyond top gear deep in the darkness last night, and yet my slight apprehension of revisiting my virtual scribbles seems mistaken, for the general gist remains as true now as it must have felt as I danced with the vodka vixen in the garden and let feeling gain weight over thought…

    I could well have mentioned that Stephan is approaching a period of his career when a player who has run like Gump for many years will naturally begin to slow down, which is fair, but to highlight his form of last year as steady, unavoidable confirmation of his collapse as a top level footballer is nowhere my mind took me, for I did not see this on the field.

    There were many others whose form was either inconsistent or below expectations. And for me, as I hope is apparent in the madness I squealed above, its the lack of respect which bothers me, all the more wretched when it comes across as either not understanding the game or never watching the games, just picking up the words of others and reissuing them as your own. To cure such a thing I should probably just step away from the Twitter realm I have ventured into this last 6 months…

    Yet back to Juve .

    Interesting news regarding Matic, Chelsea feeling burned by United which could send the perfect DM for our needs to Turin. However, I fear that Sandro would be a sticking point, though the club made it clear…He can leave for 60/70 if he wishes. If this is true, i am content. For we are valuing a player at the right price.

    I would rather not lose another major player from the first XI. One is bearable, especially with new top drawer talent coming into the squad, two would be irritating.

    And lastly…Some of Big Leo’s sterling success has been due to those around him. The BBC is so famed due to its collective strength, not just because of Bonucci. He has shown superb spirit, developed into arguably the world’s best CB, but I suspect he will never reach such heights on an individual or collective level anywhere else in his career.

    Bernardeschi. Matic, De Sciglio (Or Cancelo) and the Pole in goal, and I believe the squad will have been significantly strengthened…

  • aly ndao

    nothing to add, you never disappoint when it comes to analysis. Thank you

  • Praval

    Thanks for the words on Lichtsteiner, a footballer whom I hugely respect for his commanding display and service during our tougher days.

    • I probably should have included my understanding of time catching up with Stephan, but this is no way goes so far as to agree with the goon brigade who have condemned his efforts last campaign as appalling. Its more about respect and I suppose my love for the club and the game is feeling at odds with how many others ‘support’ in their own way, mainly via social media. The iron is I am doing the same myself, yet still feel my own stance is always from the heart and solely from my own mind. I am glad to find others in agreement, it is all I ever seek, if not, to have my mind changed, to see things in a different light through the opposing views offered by others.

      Your encouragement is appreciated. And I hope to find you posting here in future and entering some lively debate!

      Cheers,
      D

      • Praval

        Thanks. Will do.

  • Basim Khan

    Stunningly written as usual. Makes me feel better after feeling disillusioned with football over the last few days. Also I commend you for taking the time to salute Rav; he really has created a wonderful platform.

  • Gerald Quinn

    wait what??????

    “If you need a reminder of those who give their all, who are real, true,
    honest as the forest, who fight the good fight, I implore you to dim the
    lights, when you are next in a lively state, don headphones, and
    embrace Keny Arkana…the sister I never knew. A Woman who knows the
    world, who means every word she speaks, who wastes nothing, gives
    everything…”

    we went from discussing Loyalty and Pride to discussing a rapper spreading some NWO Propaganda? I am lost! … at least she can rap and has good flow. She seems like a girl version of Immortal technique, but one person.

    • I am interested to learn of your life. Of where you have been in the world, where you have traveled, where you have known, where you have experienced, where your mind and heart have been moved in meaningful ways? What makes your heart burn wild with flames? What makes your mind spin and ponder everything you once thought was all you could ever know? When have you truly suffered and known agony? When have you know true bliss?

      http://thedissolutefox.com/french-without-scarves-powerful-souls/

      • Gerald Quinn

        Oh you give me too much credit kind sir, I am but a simple man. … So … over Coffee and a Cigar? Wow a whole page dedicated on her i will definitely check it out, she can rap, i also need to learn some french, she might help.

        You and i just think differently, from past talks we’ve had I get the feeling that You believe People are inherently good and selfless, but a few evil Americans corrupted the world. I have come to an understanding after reading about many philosophers and psychologist, not to mention evolutionary theory, that Humanity is inherently cruel, we are all Animals, and always will be. Everything anybody ever does comes from a place of Selfishness and deceit weather they are consciously aware of it or not. Greed is something we needed as a species to be in the position of Alpha, and just even for basic survival. The World isn’t and will never be some Liberal Hippy paradise, Altruism doesn’t exist. War, Famine, Death, Cruelty it is just a part of life, Even it’s biggest “Champions” like the Evil Witch Mother Teresa are prone to it, by believing they fight for the righteous while they commit unspeakable horrors in the dark.

        I believe in the good fight, I am always one to defend the weak, and treat others with kindness and respect, that is part of the reason why i war with the religious. I just don’t go blaming Capitalism, America and a few bad men secretly controlling the world. I understand that it is human nature, and even people like “Keny Arkana” who champion the fight against greed and corruption are prone to just replace the fat pigs pulling everybody’s strings.

        * I did not just accuse Keny Arkana, that was nothing more than an
        example of people with (what i am guessing hold a similar status)
        falling into what they hate the most.
        * also if anyone corrupted the world it was the Spaniards, French and
        British, but a convo for another day. The root of it all might even be
        the Africans whom created Slavery and Racism themselves.

        * What Rappers like Immortal Technique and the like (i am guessing Arkana as well, idk i dont know too much about her), People who “Fight the good fight against the NWO”, don’t understand is that they are being played. A) there is no New World Order, no such thing as “The Illuminati”, and the Illuminati that did exist was created precisely to fend off things like the NWO. B) they bring people Closer to religion ( exactly what any cabal or controlling body would want). C) they spread mass fear (Exactly what any cabal or controlling body would want). D) they spread an Unrealistic expectation of world peace and kindness on earth, that will never happen, because humanity isn’t like that, that is not how animals operate; so thus they will always be at war, suffering the torture of a never ending struggle, against an enemy that isn’t there, or i should say is there but can never be stopped.

        *** Also she got me at “Immoral science” what is that line all about? how can science be immoral??? maybe for the sake of the rhyme? idk i really would like to know what her point was…. if there was one

        • You are fundamentally mistaken in your perception of my own views on humanity and the world, probably due to a tendency to attach opinions to others who oppose your own views, paraphrasing in a manner…which is needed to allow you to respond with your own views, the irony is you are responding to yourself…and did not answer most of what I had posed. Which was a sincere, benign attempt to find some passion and happiness, some semblance of inspiration, of heart, of adventure, within you, rather than encouragement to…spout the above.

          It becomes a bother to sense I’m merely a welcome trigger for you or any other to release well trained, eager for exposure and reaction word hounds…

          • Gerald Quinn

            “You are fundamentally mistaken in your perception of my own views on
            humanity and the world, probably due to a tendency to attach opinions to
            others who oppose your own views,”

            Oh you give me too much credit, I am just trying to read between the lines.

            Fine i will answer some, as some are personal, and i am not the type to expose myself online.

            – where your mind and heart have been moved in meaningful ways? – When learning and conversating with a bum, discussing their story’s of woe. When i help out those in need (Homless, Vets, Bums) the lowest of the low that society considers Vermin, I dont just donate or buy them food or whatever i stick around and chat, one can learn many things, and be moved by story’s from the most successful people, down to the least.

            – What makes your heart burn wild with flames? – This is in a negative way correct? I would say the destruction of culture, Society and our Habitat, oh and the bullying of Religion onto those who are different (reason why I hate Christians and Muslims) and actually most religions as they are the biggest abusers. I hate people Trashing our environment, polluting the earth to no end, killing complete species and setting fire to nature. I hate how the fools are allowed to live of off the substance of the geniuses all while taking everything for granted, To not contribute to the cause, to be just another drone controlled by either politics or religion.

            -What makes your mind spin and ponder everything you once thought was all you could ever know? – Studying the dark abyss of space, just stargazing and asking existential questions, further Strengthening, or weakening my hedonistic ways. The advancements in technology and role i wish to play, hopefully having a hand in helping this earth reach a type 1 or even a type 2 level civilization. aiding us in further evolving as a species.

          • Thanks Gerald. I had meant flames of a passionately positive nature! Other than which…Cheers for sharing. D

        • Dar Black

          I’d never think someone who agrees more with the Russian view on Syrian matters than that of the EU is a liberal. I think you have more in common than you believe.

    • Chaps…..please can we try our best to keep it about the football !

      Passions run high when it comes to politics and world views and i don’t see the point in censoring anyones work or comments, but this is a football site after all.
      The other stuff is all fine and good, but lets try and focus on the team

      • Gerald Quinn

        how can i contact you? I wish to discuss something with you, but i don’t see an option for a private message option anywhere on Disqus

      • Dar Black

        What happened to the Paypal link Rav? Or am I imagining that I saw that? It is possible i am…..

  • Andrea Borchetta

    Lichsteiner and Asamoah are two players we need to respect and cherish a little more because they’ve been around for the last couple of years.

    • Dar Black

      Asamoah is a good player to keep around, I like him. He tries hard for the team as does SL.

  • steve bachrach

    Agreed virtually all. Leo great but loco. Stephan a professional, team guy, and still useful. We still need someone to rotate with him and be the #1 going forward. Post-Bernardeschi deal, no huge shopping spree needed. Promote our young center-halves, close the Szczesny deal (a smart, talented lad). I’d keep Lemina and give him a shot to earn a midfield position (Gigi has supported this theory as well previous) along with Betancur & Mandragora. Emre Can makes more sense to me than Matic, given youth and ability to play in back or mid. Bring Caldara back early. I would love for the club I’ve followed since I found myself in Turin for several months in the mid-80’s (right out of college and knowing nothing about soccer) to commit primarily to their youth system over cannibalizing other Serie A clubs. Such a strategy is more sustainable, and, for lack of a better term, “nobler”. Real sports dynasties do it that way. Create a winning culture in a beautiful city. Something people don’t want to leave.

    • Dar Black

      Emre Can over Matic! Speechless, really. No comparison. Can does not even shine often in a poor Liverpool defense formation. Matic often does in a very good Chelsea defense.

      • Gerald Quinn

        to be fair Can has been used as an All action and sometimes attacking midfielder in Liverpool, Can plays a more defensive role in Germany, where he plays best.
        i’m not sure what the european pasport situation is with the players but my hierarchy of need to fillin our defense is
        1. Matic
        2, Fabinho

        3. Bakayoko (likley going to chelsea this week though)
        4. Can
        5. Matuidi
        6. N’zonzi

        • steve bachrach

          That’s a great list. Bakayoko gone, as you predicted. I have loved Blaise for a long time, and wished we’d captured him a couple years ago. Seemed slightly less dynamic last season. Fabinho would be great and provides versatility, but they won’t have a team if everyone goes and they seem to have sorted that bit out. He’d be a great target for next year, and it seems like the 2 clubs have a amicable relationship.

          • Bakayoko to Chelsea has been public for many weeks, fabinho cannot come due to non-eu restrictions.
            Can is experienced for his age but has yet to show anything remarkable.
            Matuidi or nzonzi could be okay but are horridly overpriced.

            Matic would be preferable to any other on that list who were/are available. He is more proven quality than all of them. Pretty clear for those who watch the PL. Expect he’ll end up at MU. Despite the tittle tattle due to lukaku…

            Still hope we have other targets than the names plucked from the headlines.

            Radya would be perfect were he not a peasant brained fool.

            Dembele of spurs would be my dream addition for the DM spot…too pricy though, look what walker when for!

            We need a player strong enough to control the midfield, let the attacking talent focus on attacking.

    • I very much like your idea (and the way you put i) of promoting from within with more consistency, well…even once in a blue moon would be great. Yet we do have Rugani who was in our primavera, so he counts! Other than which its just Marchisio, presently. I still have very high hopes for Clemenza, who has seemed very special indeed for many moons – will update on the youth matters in due course, still lots of work to be done there. Cassata is another who is interesting, that rare mix of creativity and grit. Would love to include Kean, but given the issues we are already facing, it seems fanciful to hope for anything more than keeping hi at the club long enough to be given a chance in the first team squad. His time – probably in Belgium – will alert others to his talents, yet I believe the contract he is to sign is for 3 years, so will we have some hard decisions to make in 2019. Raiola knows he has a gold mine in his hands…Caldara looks immense, though again we paid top dollar for his registration. Other than which, Caligara is another to keep an eye upon.

      Lirola? Not really sure how he fared at Sassuolo. Other than he played fairly regularly, and is gaining superb experience.

      I am no fan of Lemina, and do not see a position for him in our 4-2-3-1. He could be useful in an attacking midfielder role, as he likes to burst forward, but he has failed to convince me he has anything special in his boots.

      Matic is a beast. A giant machine of a player. His age is an issue, especially given the maddening fees spoken of, yet he is hugely more established as a top drawer DM/CM than Can. I am not 100% against the German, he has never seemed poor, nor amazing, quite handy going forward, but very young and yet to really make his mark.

      I do wonder how much we scout the bundesliga and some of the less popular foreign leagues. For our apparent targets seem close to always household names, which comes with experience, but there must be other gems in the mega rough all over Europe.

      Part of me hopes the Locatelli rumours are real, he is a tenacious young lad, but then what of the chances for Bentancur? Mandragora is heading out on loan…

      • steve bachrach

        I agree on the talents and the grinta of Matic. He’s just a 2-year proposition at this point. But we seem to be having a more topsy-turvy off-season than had been anticipated, and he seems willing to come and deliver the goods in the now “A-Stadium”(I abhor corporate naming of anything that rightly or spiritually belongs to a community.) Agreed on him being the safest and wisest choice moving forward.

        I have definitely seen moments and entire games from Lemina that impressed. I think it’s largely about confidence that he has a true place on the squad, such as the opening Fiorentina game last season where he balanced defensive responsibilities and attacking prowess. Hard to be young, brought over from Marseille (where Bielsa had really shown confidence in him) to a bigger club and then only able to take the field in fits and starts. And when he’s played, there has been little consistency in role or positioning. He is definitely not a winger, but he got a large % of his playing time as a sub on the right last year. But perhaps at this point there is nothing left to do other than sell him to a squad that’ll give him a chance, Arsenal as part of the Szczesny business maybe.

        I thought the 4-2-3-1 was a great piece of improv by Mister A last year but the strain it puts on the “2” would seem to remain as a consistent risk against balanced, talent-laden squads one finds in the latter stages of UCL (also evidenced in our tussles with Napoli last year and bound to occur more in the strengthening Serie A this year). Drawing the exciting but youthful and offensive-minded Monaco in the semis made our progression easier last year. If were able to pry Nainggolan loose from Roma, maybe, but that always seemed unimaginable. I still think we have to evolve to a 4-3-3. And if Bernardeschi is a 100% reality, I’d play 4-3-1-2 and consider letting Gonzalo go to England and give Kean some real minutes. Time to live up to our name, Youth.

      • steve bachrach

        Locatelli would satisfy my youth requirement. And the kid can play. Now chatter about a move to the Granata. It would be great to imagine there is a quid pro quo in effect with Milan since we did them the favor of a lifetime only a few days ago.

  • Gerald Quinn

    I mostly meant the Spaniards in their taking of Latin and central America, but the Brits and french had their hand felt in the North, Portuguese in the south. Also i don’t truly believe the Brits are evil, i was just trying to make an equally ridiculous statement as GP with his Evil American stance.

    • I’d made no evil American stance. Nobody had…kindly refrain from seeking conflict for the sake of it.

      • Gerald Quinn

        You and “Moderator” run this site correctt? Do you mind sending me a private message? I cant figure out how to send a private message or start a private discussion. Basically i want to start a blog of my own(non Juve related, don’t worry I wont be competition), and was wondering if you guys would be willing to give me some pointers or sort of like a crash course of sorts.
        Thanks.

        • Hola GQ, the site is 100% owned, run, created, maintained, kept alive, by Rav aka Moderator.

          I’d suggest starting with WordPress. Though I used to run a huge phpbb forum. Still, the mechanics of SEO becoems too labourius too quickly for me to ever ‘run’ a site like this successviely. Devoted to my writing of Juve as I have been for many years, less interested in keywords, meta data and other essential elements of running a popular blog.

          There is a lot of work involved, which is why we don’t get to enjoy the owner’s words as much as I would like. Someone has to keep the nuts and bolts tight and the machinery oiled.

          (I would prefer any essay length offerings you wish to send me in response to anything but Juve matters, to head to my own email account at [email protected]. Whilst I include a reference here and there to odd tangents, a song now and then which I have listended to whilst writing, my bread and butter here is black and white! )

      • Gerald Quinn

        I meant discussions ago, but forget it let’s not dwell on it then.

  • On a slightly different note…Have any of you purchased in the past Juve membership via their official site? I am planning on doing so for the coming season. Doesn’t seem available just yet.
    Juventus Pass?

    is it solely for being able to watch the games – which I can already do via other links when need be. Or any other perks? If not membership via that routine I will perhaps get my first shirt in several years. The last one was Del Piero…or maybe Nedved!

    • JuveMarchisio

      always been a fan of Asamoah, he has it all, strong speedy technique can score a goal, but like for any player to become great again he needs to get playingtime

      • Agreed on the need to play regularly, and I am unsure if Allegri is of the same view as myself and many others, in that we remain in dire need of a physical presence in front of the defence who can screen, act as a fulcrum, and allow the offensive talents to focus on the attack.

        Not so much unsure of the suggestion appearing in his mind – this ia a certainty – moreso if it is as pivotal a pondering in terms of how the team develops and improves. Our interest in Matuidi, Nzoni and Can all support the need is apparent, yet our huge investments on the flank/s suggest we are more concerned with improving upon attacking options.

        i do not believe our attacking options are poor, in fact they are in the least average (Cuadrado and Mandzukic) and through the middle, world class, inventive, creative, powerful. I see the need to improve on Mario/Juan, yet also believe they are capable enough of holding out strong against top drawer opponents, but ONLY if we strengthen our core.

        With Bonucci leaving this need to strengthen our core becomes ever more important. Yes, the squad is strong enough and tactically structured in a decent enough manner to beat all but the best, but we suffered in games last season more often than the CL final second half…Much of which I believe is down to the lack of strength centrally on the field and also, a lack of warrior beyond Big Leo and Chiellini.

        Sami and Pjanic are great players, but both are offensive, and neither is a warrior…It matters when teams find themselves evenly matched. The advantage we have in talent is levelled out and it comes down to areas of individual weakness on the field, which if exploited, as Pjanic/Khedira were against RM, the effect can be horrifying.

        Still, I refer to my words of games earlier in the season, against much weaker opponents, who simply had greater spirit, determination, grit alined with a solid structure. We were time wasting at provincial clubs to hold out for a 1 goal victory, on occasion.

        This has to be addressed, but it all ties in together. Lack of strength through the core, and lack of the warrior mentality.

        People like Cuadrado, and I enjoy his playful character, and wondrous pace, but he if it came to a war I would rather have Sturaro and Rincon by my side…

        • VonKellef

          I too wander on this earth and wonder who will be the that piece of jigsaw that we lack in the DM spot.
          Because I feel that Mandzukic and Cuadrado were doing quite well on the flanks and that it was in the central midfield were the big issue was.

          I know we have had this discussion before, and you declared that this Juventus management seems to fix one part of the squad every summer. It sure seems like they are putting in most of the firepower on the flanks, with Douglas Costa coming in as a major signing, and Federico Bernardeschi may come in to play on the other side, in a not so distant future. I just hope that we don’t go after some budget, short term solution in the middle. I totally agree. We need some muscle to hustle in the middle. A warrior, a last line of defence in front of the the “real” defensive line. To count on Pjanic, Khedira, Dybala and Higuain to take care of the defensive work in the middle is everything but an ideal solution.
          I would love Matic to be that DM, but not for 40-50M, that is just insane. If not him then maybe Kondogbia or Grzegorz Krychowiak? As long as it is someone that give his all, fires up the rest of the team and works as hard as Chiellini, I think that we will have a very strong side.

          Have read reports/rumors of Juventus wanting to sign almost every CD out there to replace Bonucci. But is that really necessary? As you mentioned we have Rugani, and Caldara out on loan. Other than those two we have Barzagli and Benatia who can fill that spot as well. I would rather see us putting the Bonucci money on a DM, and hopefully also sign someone who can rotate with Lichsteiner. Who in the squad can fill in for him at the moment,Barzagli?

          • I dont by any measure think Cuadrado and Mandzukic are poor. One offers brute force and amazing determination, the other blistering pace with rather haphazard final product. However, I do not find either world class in those roles. Mario has sloth pace, and takes time to get forward, though does so well enough. He also is charged with defending, making up the numbers deep when the two CMs go forward. Dybala also comes deep to find the ball and make a three centrally. Higuain even comes fairly deep on occasion.

            This is where the issue lies for me. If we lose the central midfield, we play with our attacking quartet too deep. Often with Higuain isolated.

            Sami and Miralem are not defensive players, by any measure. Nor are they great hustlers. They are our central midfield, other than the attacking quartet coming deep. Enough quality to beat most teams, but when teams push forward in numbers through the middle, we can be undone. When a top side does this, we are fucked.

            Rather than ponder new signings, of those we have in hand, I believe Rincon could so the job, it was how he played elsewhere before we signed him. Marchisio is a little too lightweight for me, though I do feel we are more secure with his intelligence in the middle. Asamoah could revert to the middle role he was so damn good at in Udine. And then there is the kid Rodrigo, whose natural game is perfectly suited to the role though he needs to bull up a little.

            ‘ I like to play in front of defence but I also like to attack. ‘

            He might be right for the role next season, as I feel Max hugely prefers guile over brute force. Hence Sturaro not getting a look in at CM last season.

            As for Sturaro, I assume he is on his way out and assuredly Lemina. I see no space for them anywhere near the first XI, especially if Bernardeschi signs, as he likes to play RM .With Costa then set in this case for LM, that pushes Mandzukic and Cuadrado to the bench.

            My greatest hopes presently are that Rugani gets the nod over all others to partner Chiellini in the middle. And that Kean and Bentancur get some playing time in the first half of the season.

            If we are to add Bernardeschi, our attacking verve is ever more improved.

            Marchisio would be fine, if he has regained his fitness and sharpness in pre-season. Yet a new man for the middle would be superb!

          • VonKellef

            I wouldn’t mind El General(Rincon) playing as a DM, not at all. He has the physique and seems to give his all whenever being fielded. Though he seams to be solid in the defense, it’s his offensive skills that hasn’t impressed that much. In more than one occasion he has been giving the ball in front of the opponents goal but has failed to even aim inside of the frame. That side of his skills can use a lot of improvement.

            The latest reports/articles I have read has mentioned us looking into the possibility of maybe signing Leon Goretzka. He is young and has only one year left on his contract, and dosen’t seem too keen on signing a new one with Schalke 04, but as I read through your reply I am not so certain anymore that we will be signing a DM. If we get our hands on someone that previously has shown that he could do a better job than the likes of Rincon and the others that we currently have in the squad, and it’s not for an outrageous amount of cash, then I’m all for it.

            It sure is a tricky situation for Allegri and his crew to solve, but it is something that has to be sorted out before the start of the new season.

            In all this I wonder if Moise Kean, Bentancur and Marchisio will get enough minutes to stay motivated. Although it is important to have a big squad of quality players at your disposal it is also important to keep the whole squad motivated. You need to know that when called upon, may it be in the early stages of the Copa Italia or in the final of CL, the players will give their all and have the mentality for it. Just look at how Cuadrado acted in the final. That is exactly what we don’t need.

        • steve bachrach

          I looked at the Juventus membership a few years ago and signed on for the bottom rung. That was before they had TV coverage, which I get for most games via Fubo. Only did it that first year.
          Unless one is going to be in Italy for an appreciable amount of time, specifically in Piemonte and able to attend matches, the membership doesn’t seem necessary.

          We share the Betancur belief, and appraisals of Sami and Miralem. I’ve come around to wanting to snap up Matuidi for the next 2 years, as he is indeed a warrior, defensively oriented, and very much needs a change of scenery. Also able to charge forward and close the deal when an opportunity presents itself. I think we’ll get at least one great year in that way outstanding players tend to respond after being shunted aside by their previous employer. PSG seems to be investing all over the place and he seems definitely surplus to requirements at present. It looks like Chelsea won’t cave to our demands on Matic just as we played hard-to-get with Sandro. Painful to watch them acquire Morata but better than watching him sit most of the time at Real.

        • Richard Bologna

          Just a heads up on the juve pass. At the moment and until something changes you will only be able to watch replays of games. I purchased the lowest rung pass to mainly to have access to legit ticket outlets as i lived in europe many years and will be traveling there to visit family in September and plan on going to Turin for a game while there. I watch nearly every game live and catch the majority of them on bein sports and watchespn in the states. So yeah, just wanted to give you the scoop. I’m also going to the game against PSG Wednesday in Miami. Six rows behind the Juve bench. Forza Juve! Fino alla Fine!!

          • Appreciate the advice, comrade…I also watch all the games elsewhere, just felt it was high time I gave some gold to the cause and the Pass seemed a curious routine. May instead purchase a few shirts to offer to the sons of my nearest and dearest, though one of the mothers is Milanese through and through…

  • VonKellef

    I know this was posted a couple of days ago, but I needed to make time to read this one through, properly. I knew that this was something that our beloved Poet had written with a lot of heart, and what I can just assume was in the company of a drink or two.

    I can go on and on, just like the most of you probably already have done. Praising Lichsteiner, declaring your love for the club etc.

    But there is one thing that I am truly grateful for, and that is this site. Unfortunately my English isn’t good enough to express my gratitude and admiration, and even if it was. My vocabulary would probably be to limited.

    So in the words of our Badminton Poet:
    (I would also like to take this opportunity to pay homage to Rav, the Chief…who has fought fang and claw to make this wondrous niche in the virtual realm the amazing place it is..for of all the sites I have written within or for, as a major contributor, it is HERE where I have found the finest souls, with so few idiots, a realm of openness, decency and shared commitment to The Cause…He deserves far more recognition than he receives, not just from me, but from all of us, for without his herculean efforts, there would be no such place to collide, collude, to share and debate, to feel we are a part of something so much bigger than merely our own hearts…Rav, my friend, I salute you…And thank you. For you are not just a man who has given me a platform, you are not just a fellow juventino, you are a true and honest as the forest soul, who I proudly count as kin…And when I find a twitter frenzy, after Rav has shared my words, part of me brims with glee, but another part is bothered, for I find a man who can write fucking superbly, working the thing, to provide me with the opportunity to roar and rage at the world, when his words, his writing, never fails to course through my veins as an injection of mega vigour…Respect the Chief. As I am proud to name and revere him..)