All Stories, Match Review Champions League

One swallow does not a Summer make…Spurs 1-2 Juventus

March 8, 2018

Before I reveal the thoughts which have crystallised from brief pulses in my synapses to more concrete conclusions over the course of the season, I will mention the happiness I felt course through my crimson rivers and all the areas of my being to which they bring life when Higuain scored with a classy deft touch and then Dybala confirmed the victory and made another welcome step on the road to recovery after his lengthy spell on the sidelines. I still hurt when we lose and still roar with joy when we win, especially on the big stage when not quite all seems lost but we are fighting back from a losing position. And so…please understand that my words are those of a Juventino. Of several decades following the club through gilded eras and passages of brutal disappointment.

Over the course of the two legs there is but one team whom I would honestly suggest as worthy winners. What do I mean by worthy eh? I mean the team which played the most entertaining football, the side who approached both ties as a unit, as a team, as One. Who strove for open, expansive, attacking football. Whose rank and file were united in their determination, in their belief, in their endeavour. These descriptions clearly – to at least my own understanding of the game and sense of logical reasoning – are not of our beloved Juve, but of Spurs.

Truly, I feel sympathy for their exit from the competition. Which is an unusual feeling that I cannot recall ever previously experiencing. Plenty of times before this season I have felt the opposite, when we have been wrongly ejected from the latter stages of the premier continental competition when playing with heart, cohesion and beautiful poetry. Yet never this strange sensation…that we sneaked through against a side who outplayed us convincingly for 80 minutes in our own backyard and 60 minutes in London.


Only a fool would suggest we were anything but lucky to progress. Yes yes! Had Higuain put away that penalty in the first leg…Had the very obvious penalty been awarded when Vertongen brought down Costa…we would have had 2 more goals to our name. Yet to give that mode of analysis a fair crack of the whip, I find far more near-misses for Spurs to add to their tally.

It is fair to say that for all the huff, puff and good quality football Spurs produced, they simply lack the quality of Juve. We are a machine, with the parts firing not as one; a light goes on here, with darkness elsewhere, then that goes dead and another part of the machine starts to work, flashes in the pan of a machine working haphazardly. Contrast this with Spurs; a machine resplendent in the combined light of all parts working as One.

We qualified for the last 8, yes of course, because we probably are one of the top 8 teams in Europe, when it comes to the solely the quality of individual players and experience combined, yet we beat spurs solely because we have better parts in our machine.


This will not be enough against all but probably Roma (or Donetsk), United and Liverpool, out of the sides who we might face in the quarter finals. Brief moments of individual quality without the side working as one unit, without any strong sense of identity and system, is only going to work out well for us against teams of inferior quality. Such as Spurs.

Of the 7 very presentable chances I counted for Spurs in just this second tie, I would expect the conversion rate for Real, Barca and City to be at least double what Pocchetino’s side achieved. Perhaps even higher. And that is without factoring in that those sides create more chances as they have stronger squads and more settled systems. They also defend more carefully and intelligently.

I have long cringed to see the ignorant social media attacks on Lichsteiner, then found myself baffled by the praise for De Sciglio (who I had such high hopes for!) for no matter whether I saw Barzagli at RB or Mattia, what was plain to see was that both offered close to zero support in the final third. I agree, he is long in the fang. His passing is losing accuracy (though it was never exceptional) and his engine is slowing. However, as an attacking fullback who we could also rely upon to do a job defensively, he has remained the leader of the pack.


The decision to play Barzagli against a very much in form Son was inviting trouble. The only explanation for this otherwise appalling tactical error was that Allegri rolled the dice, assumed Barzagli would get mauled and gaps would appear higher up our right flank for Costa to exploit. This was possibly his plan. Other than charge Pjanic and Khedira with focusing all their energies on not playing or even seeking the ball but neutralising Dembele and Eriksen.

Whilst the latter part of the plan worked to some degree, the former did not.

Son was my ’09 FZ1 Yamaha with -1 front sprocket, Ivanised ECU, Power Commander V and carbon fibre exhaust…

up against a KLR650…reliable, perfect actually if you ask of it what it is designed to perform, just keep going, dependable, ride through any terrain or storm, slow but unwaveringly sure, stick to the task, but no…not ever to race the FZ1 on the open road.

Barzagli had a fine last 30 minutes in the middle, where he has made his name throughout his career. Yet as a fullback, he was woeful. Which isn’t his fault. As it isn’t Sturaro’s fault when he has been asked to play as a wide midfielder on occasion, when his bread and butter has been as a rugged box to box central midfielder.

Sandro has been a shadow of his former self not just in this game but ALL season. The reasons for this we may never know. And his value has possibly began to revive as we have staggered to the quarter finals of the Champions League, yet this changes nothing, for I have seen him perform well in barely a handful of the many games he has played. Asamoah has proven more consistent, more dependable, more successful. And I am ever more glad that the horrifying move to sell the African and bring in the lightweight, defensively suspect Spinazzola fell through. We might not be so lucky this Summer…

Yes I nod my head with begrudging respect to Il Mister, for he did finally understand that playing an out of form LB in place of an more steady alternative and a slothful CB in place of a hugely experienced, still international calibre by Swiss standards (well above Italy as per FIFA!) fullback was probably not for the best. This acceptance of his selection proving wretched turned the game in our favour, or at least gave us the opportunity for more cohesion, if not solidity, with players more comfortable in their roles and the gaps for opponents to exploit instantly diminished.


Individual accolades…

Chiellini was close to world class throughout. His age and lack of pace, as well as poor distribution is starting to become more obvious, other than which he was close to Centurion. Enough for Kane, probably not for Ronaldo, or Aguero, or Messi…

Mr KLR 650 Barzagli also gave his very best, played with his heart on his sleeve and proved his worth in the final third of the game when returned to his powerful CB role.

Other than which, only Buffon emerges with any real commendation for he played with the assurance of a living legend equipped with the physical responses and agility of a player ten, if not twenty years his junior.

Dybala took his goal exceptionally well, as did Gonzalo, and like many others, they were completely different players when the tactics were in any way close to Balanced.

We are knee deep in blood and guts well in the latter stages of the season and yet we have no settled starting XI, no accomplished system, but still…hope. With the major positive domestically remaining that we have the strongest squad, and the only positive in Europe now presenting as…we are the only side yet to approach the basic potential of our combined talents.

Does the change of formation and instant reaction of the players suggest the problem is tactical or more selection? I would opt for a bit of both. I suspect Sandro’s issues are mental or emotional, not physical. With De Sciglio, unfortunately it’s all three.

Despite the moments of individual quality which won us the tie, we remain a ramshackle outfit…More the olde english definition than the modern.

Is there hope?


There is always hope. 

I would prefer to see Lichsteiner and Asamoah playing in a flat back four. They are my first choice fullbacks in our starting XI.

Marchisio is an interesting and poignant subject. I believe he is a superior player, even from what I have seen post-injury when his body may not be as it was, for his guile, tenacity and movement offer more presence in the middle than Khedira. As to why he has been close to frozen out of the limelight, I can only assume Max has his favourites. It remains tricky, however, to discern exactly what Khedira, and even Sturaro offers beyond the established skill-set of Il Principino.

It will be curious to learn what transpires in the first leg of the quarter finals, with Pjanic suspended. The ONLY player we have anywhere near suitable for a creative role in the middle of the park is the italian, who deputised very well for Pirlo in the past. He stuck to his task, altered his game and matured.

Chiellini and Barzagli in the middle are beyond question when it comes to experience and cunning, yet physically, above all in terms of all important pace, they are liable to be undone. Yet it is too much to hope that Rugani is brought into the fray at this stage of the campaign. Though this would be my own selection.

With a flat back four, I would then pick our strongest players on a technical level and fit them in to whatever seemed Right. For example…


Lichsteiner Rugani(Barzagli) Chiellini(Benatia) Asamoah (Sandro)

Cuadrado  Pjanic(Marchisi0) Matuidi(Marchisio) Costa(Mandzukic)

Dybala Higuain

This is assuming Bernardeschi is out for the season.

Why not play with true wingers, solid fullbacks and strength through the spine? With Marchisio deputising for Pjanic OR Matuidi.

So many systems have been tried, so many different starting XIs, with zero progress in terms of finding form and identity. Yet in spite of what some would consider a cold hearted cynical approach, I openly concede that we are now in a position to make yet more history with a further domestic double and are through to the last 8 of probably the toughest international club tournament on the planet. And so what is my problem???… some will squeal and roar with capitals and bold fonts…


Well, it comes to playing the game in the Right way, It is not all about winning, at least to me. I want to see a team play as a team, fighting for each other, complementing each other, a manager able to narrow his eyes, understand the strengths, marry them together, and lead the troops into battle with many hearts beating as one, with many lungs breathing as one. For me Juve is not about winning is all that matters it is about feeling as if the players are fighting and seeking beautiful moments, and I am part of that noble cause. The pursuit of a team unit expressing themselves as one being in an honest manner, drenched with valour, is my own personal love of the game…of the club.

We are through to the quarter-finals, yet to reach our potential and remain in the running for a treble.

I wouldn’t bet against Lady Luck smirking as we continue to play poorly and yet win the one competition which has eluded us even when all the stars seemed aligned…

forza juve


(follow me on twitter here)

You Might Also Like

  • Zio Facciatosta

    I disagree with the criticism of Barzagli that I read on various forums yesterday and what was written here. Barzagli was far from woeful at right back. Too much is being made of Son, who was not as impressive as many have tried to make of him. The one occasion he had a run down his flank was during a broken play where Barzagli was not there to chase him. Even so, it did not result in a goal.

    Barzagli played it brilliantly considering the speed disadvantage. Anyone who has been in a similar situation and I can attest to my own experience, knows that you do not try to battle speed for speed, which Andrea did not do. Instead, you cut the options, cuts space, cut angles so that if the opponent gets that step on you, there is not much he can do. That is what happened. On one shot, Son had such a small angle that Buffon made the save easily. On other attempts, he was not able to get a good shot off. Yes, Barzagli is not a right back and does not play the position in a classical sense when called upon but he gets the job done when asked. His performance yesterday was as good as what Chiellini gave us, just with less flair. And that is a great sign to see in a defender.

    On the goal scored by Son, the player that should get the most criticism is Alex Sandro. He was a spectator throughout the play. He needs to realize that when a play like that starts to break down, he needs to sprint back and support. Trippier should not have had that clear space to put his cross. Unfortunately, Barzagli had to leave his mark to make the play against Delle Alli and support was missing from Douglas Costa, so Son had an easy shot.

    I do not think Allegri was wrong with the 3-5-2 but our two Brazilian wide players lack that defensive instinct. Considering the combination of injuries we have had over the season, Allegri continues to put a competitive side on the pitch each and every match. He does so without complaining. This says a lot not only of our coach but of our players who make the adjustments and carry on. Fino alla fine and we Juventini should be proud of what our team accomplishes.

    • Son should have scored at least two more goals. He was not as clinical as he had been in recent weeks, just as well for us. Yet to suggest Barzagli was comfortable in a RB role against a tricky, pacy natural wide man…when the vast majority of Spurs dominance came down that very channel, suggests we have very different perceptions of the game. Which is fine…

      Barzagli’s frustration also showed in his needless stamp and then kick out at Son. I have never before seen Andrea react like that. He was very clearly uncomfortable and ill at ease…Don’t like to see that from our players, and rarely do, thankfully.

      • Matey, one word – catenaccio, google it. And then you’ll know what Juve and Italian football is all about. You, ‘poet’, sound like a wining premier league fan.

    • Juventino Persa

      “The one occasion he had a run down his flank…”! Dude, really? With all due respect I guess we have watched different games! Son beat Andrea on pace, positioning and even aerial battles! He ran behind him into our box for at leat 5 or 6 times which were all dangerous chances, just because he didn’t converted them to goals and assists doesn’t mean it was nonexistence! I had never seen Barzagli getting almost embarrassed like this night, and I love him and he has been a rock for us, but the fault in not his, but the coach how played him at this position at this age! Btw our deficiencies of this season in way more than one tactical error…

  • E.Micallef

    Sincerely poet, I don’t know what happened to you.

    • Phantasm del Futbolista

      Either he has been watching too much English Media, falling for the Hype, or he is depressed….don’t know what else explains it lol

      • E.Micallef

        I don’t know but I don’t like it

      • E.Micallef

        In a friendly way mind

        • Phantasm del Futbolista

          of course 🙂

  • Ali Al-Mawla

    TGP, your opinion is always respected, I’m a big fan of your articles yet I have to disagree with you on this one. Attacking possessional football doesn’t prove your more worthy of winning any game its a tactical style that some like to use, it works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. That at its own doesn’t prove one is worthy, Juventus won because they were worthy beating tottenham at Wembly a place where even RMD couldn’t with a team this thin on resources (I mean players due to injuries) means your worthy and part of being a big club is winning in these kinds of circumstances therefore, I kindly disagree with your opinion and criticism yet your opinion is highly respected but for me reaching the final 8 of Europe, final of the Coppa and one win away from getting 1st place from the highly praised Napoli side who lost UCL, EL, and coppa and possibly seri A that’s good and worthy enough for me.

    • JuveAllDay

      Well said

      • Ali Al-Mawla

        Thank You

    • E.Micallef
    • E.Micallef

      This picture shows it all the determination. Look at Buffon he is forty for christ sake.

      • And its probably his last season, he is emotional with every second of donning the jersey, soaking in the atmosphere, as he should and deserves to. No doubt a tear comes to his eyes in every game, but especially in the champions league the one title left to win, and his last chance to win the damn thing (possibly).

        Its a great photo, but does little to change my stance in terms of our haphazard season which continued into the second leg in London. And will probably lead us to the end of the campaign with whatever silverware we manage to collect en-route.

    • I always and gladly respect the opinions of others in turn, comrade! And the point of my inclusion with the writers stable here is not to seek agreement, not to find people only ever nodding with nothing more to add other than yes yes! A natural consequence of the manner in which I write is opposition. I welcome and encourage challenges to my own stance, it helps me to question my position, analyse from the mind and heart of others, and perhaps learn something new, to grow…

      As the great Zamyatin wrote…
      ‘true literature can only exist where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy officials, but by madmen, hermits, dreamers, heretics, rebels and skeptics. But when a writer must be sensible and rigidly orthodox, when he must make himself useful today, when he cannot lash out at everyone, or smile at everything, there can only be a paper literature, a newspaper literature, which is read today, and used for wrapping soap tomorrow’

      Perhaps not as relevant as I would like! Nonetheless why waste an opportunity to share some wisdom and genius from one of the true gems in the mega rough of russian literature…

  • “Well, it comes to playing the game in the Right way, It is not all about winning, at least to me.” This is not how Juventino thinks. I’ve read your posts before, and many times you were overcritical on both the players and the manager.

    You say you’ve followed our beloved club for decades now, and so did many of us, but it seems that you are missing the point of what Juve is and what it represents. We are the best, and it is because we win. No matter how low our form is, or how poorly we play, WE WIN! No one will remember this Liverpool side 10-20 years ago if they don’t win anything. But everyone remembers that Juve side that won last CL back against Ajax. Everyone remembers Mourinho’s Inter team or Di Matteo’s Chelsea. Why? Winning! This is one of the main reasons we love this club.

    Never have we played the beautiful attacking football in our whole complete history, it’s just not the Juve way. If you want that kind of football then by all means go and support Barca. This is how Juve plays, and this is how we win, it has always been so.

    And you are missing the point of what Allegri did against the Spurs, and that is, wear them out for 60 minutes. Let them run and empty their oxygen tanks, and then attack for the last 30 minutes. It’s all about tactics, and Allegri is currently the best tactician along with Mourinho.

    Juve should have won last years CL against Real, we all saw that we the better team in the first 45, and all true Juventini saw that there was something seriously wrong with the team in the second half. If it weren’t for the likes of Bonucci and Alves, two disgusting mutineers who thought they were bigger than Juve, we would have won the game easily.

    Juve is the best team in Europe, period. We have quality, experience and Allegri, say what you want about the man, but he knows what he is doing, and he is doing it excellently.

    • E.Micallef

      Igor you brought a tear in my eyes. This is what the poet should have written. And least not forget how many injuries we had lately. And once again we shall top the table hopefully next Sunday and this time it was no small feat.

      • ah, comrade! you will never find me writing that we are the best team in Europe, unless we win the CL or are somehow horridly hard done by terrible officials in the final. This ‘best in the world’ routine is childs play, not the stance of any reasonable, thinking football supporter. Which goes back to my post above…different kind of modern supporter, who has different perceptions of the game to my generation.

        We have done very well the last few years. 2 finals in 3 years is a superb achievement with our resources. Yet we were soundly beaten in both…it is therefore difficult for me to understand how anyone in their right mind could suggest we are the best team in Europe. Reality paints a very different picture.

        • E.Micallef

          Ta say the truth against Barca in the final we were not soundly beaten. They scored their third goal on the edge of the 90th minute and had a very very dubious foul on Pogba by Alves when we were still 1 1. Last year I agree. Anyway I always respect your post but seem a little down. Football is Football my friend. I was going to write something about Boksic remember he was perfect until the finish. :=)

        • OK I haven’t even seen this one.

          You sir, are no true fan. You just sympathize whit what you see and read over the internet.

          You don’t know what Juventus is, heck, you probably never been to a game in person.

          Juve needs more fans who think they are the best team in the world, not ones who think they are not.

          Reason has nothing to do with love, mate.

          FORZA JUVE!

          • I have to question what kind of football circles you frequent, as a supporter mainly, but perhaps also a player…I generally don’t encounter anyone over the age of 10…perhaps 12 at a great stretch who loves to express their team is the best in the world, with zero factual evidence to confirm this.

            Not just an age difference, but a cultural difference is at play here…My english chums would not just laugh at me, they would lose respect for me as a fan of the game itself if I ever started banging on about how Juve are the best team on the planet. They expect more of me, as in debate and exchange of views grounded in reality not my dreams…

            I do not support Juve because I think they are the best team in the world. They have had my devotion since around 89/90…through the ups and downs, the glory and the horror, and always will have, and it is a shame that you appear to equate criticism of the manager, of the players to some degree also, with a lack of support for the club.

            I can smile at your ‘best in the world’ routine, and hope your dream comes true…

          • Haven’t we all enough bashed on our club, from the cleaning lady to Agnelli. Have you ever heard any other football fan going; “oh yeah, we won all these games but we played poorly… it sucks to be in the last 8 of the CL, and chasing Scudetto… we are just lucky.”.

            I get it, you and everyone else has right to speak their mind.

            But whit that mentality we aren’t accomplishing nothing, give a positive thought, you have the tools and the words to fire us fans to believe we can.

            Instead you always criticises the team. Why haven’t you said anything on the fact that Allegri played the most players in the first XI. The man rotates and keeps the key players fresh for harder fixtures, hence, we have some games where everything seems out of order and it isn’t a pretty football. Or the fact we scored the most goals and conceded the least?

            Bring us up man, don’t bring us down. That’s not what Juventus fans do to each other.

          • Again, you seem to believe that anything less than unwavering blind, if not blinkered support is the only way…I do not. One of the most appealing aspects of football is the discussion that takes place after, not just during the game, which can often go on for days on end, it keeps interest alive, and how boring life would be if we all had the exact same thoughts, if everything was smooth and linear, the perfect world with no creases, no stains, nothing foul and rotten…its thoughts like this which make me ponder why the devil appeared in theology for who really wants nothing but Eden? What a boring prance of nothingness Life would be absent of temptation, of dispute, of obstructions, of challenge, of loss, of gain…there would be zero reason or need to grow, to know, or to have any conscious appreciation of the difference from one moment to the next. I am not inclined towards such an existence, in football nor elsewhere.

          • Phantasm del Futbolista

            @thegutterpoet:disqus @dar_black:disqus @FootballManagerBlog:disqus @
            “One of the most appealing aspects of football is the discussion that
            takes place after, not just during the game, which can often go on for
            days on end, it keeps interest alive, and how boring life would be if we
            all had the exact same thoughts”

            IS this why my Long post Aimed at You, was deleted??? I can’t find my original post! You or a Ghostly Mod took it down, and I don’t know why, In my post I explain what @Igor has said but in greater detail, and that is also where i Wrote my Chess analogy, No Wonder @Dar Black doesnt understand my analogy.

            Anyways What Igor is trying to say is that you constantly put the team down GP, and Constructive criticism is one thing, but being a pessemist and a glutton for torture is another all together.

            But what greatly Astonishes Igor, Several here, and Myself Is that You(TGP) and Dar Black, Seem almost sad that we won, you guys are far to apologetic, It is as if you are sad that we won and made it to the next round (Like if life is unfair and we have never been on the opposite side of the coin) and you think this will bring about some sort of bad Karma. Maybe You don’t actually feel this way, but that is the conclusion one reaches when reading your article. If this isn’t how you feel then Edit it to better communicate your point or Idea.

          • Yup, exactly my thoughts.

          • I’ve no eagerness to edit what articulates my views perfectly well. And am glad they have led to lively debate, however palatable they may be to some and appalling to others! We are here, after-all, to debate, discuss, share and exchange views and feeling mainly juve related.

            I see no apology, nor remorse…just similar reactions to seeing Juve considerably struggle to squeeze past a Spurs side 4th in the Premier league, which outplayed us home and away for large parts of the game.

            It could well be that our expectations of Juve are a little higher than they are for others, but I believe this comes from following the club for many moons and perhaps been spoiled with the richness of talents who have graced the black and white…

            I believe we have we have the talent to crush Spurs. And wish we had done so. The lament is not out the blue it is the combined groan of months of dismay forged through watching us toil, win through attrition and moments of superior talent to our opponents. As some others agree, I believe we are capable of so much more, and I will always hope for the best for our club. I do not see us at our best, and it hurts. Yet this is to be expected after so many years of success and generally playing decent football. Its hard to maintain this with players leaving new players coming in and it might well be the case that the Alves/Bonucci bothers left their mark on the dressing room. Leo was loved like a brother by some of those players…And it would have hurt to see the fracture form to breaking point with Max. Sides would have been taken. Less so with Alves for his is simply a goblin prick with an ego the size of his bank balance…But Leo…I would be surprised if his departure has not affected a fair few of the players. He was like family in that team.

            Essentially, I hope for better, am glad we got through and retain curiosity to see what Max can do with this side of much greater potential than we have seen thus far this season, other than in flashes.

          • Dar Black

            Sad that we won???? Oh dear god make it stop…..

    • Dar Black

      One word: blinkered. So much nonsense in here it’s hard to know where to start. We are not the best team in Europe in terms of results or playing style, that is absurd. The biggest tally of European cup final defeats smashes that argument to pieces. If we were the best we would not have lost two CL finals by a combined 7 goals against to 2 for. And you can’t have it both ways, saying we managed the game with Spurs allowing them to empty their tanks as if we meant to let them score 3 consecutive goals against us, whilst turning a blind eye to the big defeat against Real in Cardiff as if the fact we ‘ did a Spurs ‘ in that game by playing better than Madrid for 45 minutes then loosing badly is somehow different because it was Juve. No, not different at all. Just as Chiellini said a home truth that Spurs bottle big matches so we must face the truth that in UCL finals our opponents also know that we bottle it. Hurts doesn’t it? But true.

      Lastly. Juve never play great attacking football? Piffle. Try watching the era with Amouruso and Vieri. I am old enough to remember seeing them smash Milan 6 – 1 at San Siro, Ajax 4 -1 in Amsterdam, PSG 6 – 1 in Paris in UEFA cup winners cup (may be bit before Vieri time that….), playing devastating attacking football.

      • I am appreciative of the presence of a footballing mind similar my own in terms of stance on our recent times as a squad and experience of the game covering several decades. Some of the reaction to my words has been amusing, yet also confirmation of a more general suspicion I have long held – many modern supporters ‘support’ the club more on social media than through their hearts and minds, they ‘know’ the game more through twitter than watching thousands of games and playing the game themselves in a culture where its embedded into the social fabric.

        Always happy to find contrasting opinions, and its solely through this that I learn more, change my own opinions…to be challenged, intelligently and artfully is the most fertile territory of discussion. Unfortunately, I feel a ever strengthening disconnection with the modern ‘supporter’ which makes finding this nourishing exchange of views ever more rare.

    • Phantasm del Futbolista

      “And you are missing the point of what Allegri did against the Spurs, and
      that is, wear them out for 60 minutes. Let them run and empty their
      oxygen tanks, and then attack for the last 30 minutes. It’s all about
      tactics, and Allegri is currently the best tactician along with

      Disagree with Mourinho, but agree with the message, unfortunately people are to Daft to understand tactics, gambits and methodology, and like all brainless children and dick riding fans, they are attracted to the light and what is pretty. All pundits are the same way, infact they thrive on the “pretty”. Italians are tho only ones who make an effort to play chess on the pitch, and though that may be boring for the sheeple and the kids, it is gritty, smart and old school for us of a more refined taste.

      • Once you stray into outright abuse…debate becomes instantly of less value.

        • Phantasm del Futbolista

          I didnt mention any names, the abused are those who wish to feel abused, I was referring to the general public who always want “What is most Flashy, and most Exciting” : Hollywood Action movies, Bubble gum pop songs, and Flashy attacking football. I am not trying to degrade, I am trying to separate schools of thought.

          I must admit I am a fan of both The Chess match and I dabble into the debauchery of the sheeple, with far to much pleasure as well, into entertaining attacking football, and see all Liverpool games as much as all Juve games. to get my fix on the Flashy Heavy metal and captivating attack.

          That said there was a degree of insult in my comment yes, but that was only targeted to the ones (English Media mostly) who have a complete disregard for the intricacies of the Chess game, and whom If it isn’t true, it is False; If you aren’t Dominating, you are being Dominated, Black and White only.

          First Game: 20 Min Juve Domination, 70+Min Spurs Domination. This is True. Here it is black and white.
          Second Game: 3 Min Juve Domination, 87+ Min Spurs Domination. This is False. They are mistaking Tactics for Domination, this is the Gambit I speak off, to give the illusion of control, when in fact Spurs where never in control. The midfield was never in control like in the first game. The defense was far from in control. The attack was also not in control, they just created more chances than we did, but the game for 50-60Minutes was an open back and forth, and after we scored WE where in CONTROL, Defensively speaking (not midfield or attacking Control) It is possible to be in control defensively…but you wont hear that from the media. Because they are disinterested, and that doesn’t sell.

  • Praval

    Hi, a very well articulated piece. Agree with you on a lot of points about the personnel but i have to disagree about the your views regarding the system of the team. I believe a system is there, a group of committed players is there, it’s only the execution on the night which is disappointing. We don’t play like Barca or Liverpool or city. We defend, we control the game, we get the results. Thats what we have done exceedingly well the past five months. To get a win in London for the first time with a goal down says a lot about the character of the squad. I won’t say it was down to individuals. It was a team effort. We might still end up losing everything but it wouldn’t have been for nothing.

    • Dar Black

      What part of most of the two matches did we control exactly? I must have missed those bits up to the few minutes after Gonzo scored and after Dybala scored. All I saw Praval was pretty much one way traffic – that way being Spurs coming onto us. Desperate defending is not and has never been ‘ controlling ‘ a game.

      • Phantasm del Futbolista

        First 2o min of the first game, and last 40 of the second game, and that is all we needed. Spurs only controlled the 80min of the first game, but where never in “Control” in this second game.

        There is a difference between a tactical gambit, and a a tactical plan of execution, and “Control”. Logically speaking, If Spurs where “In Control” they would not have lost the game, much less the tie.

        • Dar Black

          Good job they didn’t put away their chances in the 70+ minutes they were in control then isn’t it! Are we going to try this winning tactic against Messi, Ronaldo and Aguero too?

          Think we already have tried it with the former in two finals, the results are in and they are not favourable…..

          • Phantasm del Futbolista

            WOW! ok hold on! don’t get ahead of yourself there bud! your entering the nonsensical, and what ever it is that you are drinking or smoking… I want some of it! pls be a friend and share some ha ha.

            First off Aguero belongs in the same sentence with CR7 and Messi, just enough as Higuain does. Exactly what is so great about Aguero? he is in good form right now in this moment, but he is in no way, shape or form, at a form anywhere near, rivaling that of Messi and CR7, maybe Mo Salah, or Kane would have been more believable comparisons. Kane is 10x the Striker Aguero is, and Kane was stifled pretty well…Aguero will pose no threat what so ever! If you need to worry about a City player it is KDB or Sane,… mostly Sane, but not Silly Aguero. HA HA HA

            “Good job they didn’t put away their chances in the 70+ minutes they were in control then isn’t it!”

            Elaborate more your point is lost in the sarcasm, and the nonsense that follows.

            as for your final’s comment. We where Underdogs and did very well that game, as for Madrid, Allegri was outmaneuvered and beaten in the chess game, not to mention the ripple caused in the dressing room by Alves(Who is also doing the same at Paris) and Bonucci.

          • Dar Black

            I’ve just read what you said about Man City having nothing to back them up, nothing to test them in EPL. I don’t think I’m the one who is high around here bud!

          • Phantasm del Futbolista

            ha ha. fair enough lets walk through this … tell me what realistic threat #7 – 20 pose to ManCity…..I’ll wait.

            – As for Arsenal, they are in a new low, and just in complete disarray as a team, even Lacazette and Aubameyang are not in form.

            – As for Chelsea (Currently theses past few weeks ) they have been on the same boat as Arsenal. Hazard has gone missing. Morata is not the same Morata that played for us here, and Willian has been their only light, but what can he alone do vs City? It was a wonder he broke BArca as it stands.

            – Spurs, where in a rut in form for their first Tie, the second is just to come

            – Liverpool, Their hopes of anything was stolen with a harsh and wrongful Red early on, but in the second game they destroyed, dominated and out played and out maneuvered City (but that doesn’t show in the score line thanks to their infamous brittle defense).

            – United….They are a different breed, they park the bus and pose no threat to City, or any of the top 6. they come in looking for a draw game in and game out vs the “Top 6” when they do win it is because of an odd moment of luck or brilliance

          • Dar Black

            Hmmm., this is interesting thing i’ve found. I don’t understand you! Are you schiozoid or something?


            Our main problem is Allegri’s coward approach, otherwise we could dominate almost anybody …

            >Reply (You)
            Phantasm del Futbolista Juventino Persa • 2 days ago

            Ha Ha, Yea…. Sadly it is more of a “Wishful thinking” type thing, however he managed to pull it off vs Barca last season, So we know it is possible.

            So you don’t rate Allegri or his tactics then? You agreed here his tactics are cowardly! The same tactics he used against Spurs. So why are you defending them to the point of madness now? Just because we won (undeservedly) by a fluke, you’ve changed you tune haven’t you.

          • Phantasm del Futbolista

            Schizoid? me? Ha HA

            #1 don’t use fancy words you don’t understand the meaning off, you just look foolish and utterly dumb, as the condition has nothing to do with the conversation ha ha.

            #2 you really are losing your nerve aren’t you? a Red Herring, and an Ad-Hominem all in 1 rebuttal…I’m Honored! Ha ha

            #3 If you bother to read our back and forth, as well as some of my other posts on this page, you can see the difference, and an answer to your question. But something tells me I still need to spell it out for you.

            “So you don’t rate Allegri or his tactics then? You agreed here his
            tactics are cowardly! The same tactics he used against Spurs. So why are
            you defending them to the point of madness now? Just because we won
            (undeservedly) by a fluke, you’ve changed you tune haven’t you.”

            I am not a fan of Allegri, I do call for his head, he is very Bipolar. In some games he gets his tactics right (Example Yesterday, V Barcelona last QF, Etc…) and sometimes he gets them horribly wrong (Example: First Leg V Spurs, Vs Real Madrid in the Final etc…) but the reason why call for his head the most, is because i find it inconceivable that in all his time with us, he has failed to build a strong cohesion between our players, and has failed to form a team that is interchangeable. We have been here before with Marchiso, where even 1 or 2 injuried, derail his Juve Side, or the exit of 1 or 2 players derail his Juve Side (Exit:Bonucci, Alves).

            Regardless though, I give credit where credit is due, I talk Allegri down when the occasion merits it, and I heap his Praise when the Occasion Merits it. That is wht an Honest person does.

            “The same tactics he used against Spurs. So why are
            you defending them to the point of madness now? Just because we won
            (undeservedly) by a fluke,”

            You obviously didn’t see both legs, and if u did you have no clue as to what went on on that pitch. Let me explain to you:
            – First Game: 20 Min Juve Domination, 70+Min Spurs Domination.
            – Second Game: 45 Min open play, 20 Min Park the bus, (Enter Allegri’s expert tactical change) 10 Min Juve onslaught, 25+ Min Juve Domination (complete control defensively) Parking the bus and seeing out the result.

          • I think its highly plausible that Max threw Barzagli to the lions in the hope of leaving a gaping hole for Costa to exploit. He also had Dybala roaming, we had zero potency on the left wing, nothing whatsoever, which left the side horridly disjointed, unbalanced…we struggled to create anything of real worth, struggled to keep possession, and were giving the ball back to our opponents over and over again during the first 60 minutes. We did not come out the blocks in the second period all guns blazing, like a team needing to fight for their lives…

            Your view is that Max planned all this, mine is that he never plans to concede and see his side outplayed, especially in the first leg. It was a horrid experience for juventini to endure. We had no width. The only attacking threat we had on Wednesday eve was Costa trying to charge through from midfield, yet only once making serious headway (should have been a penalty, agreed) yet to balance out the ‘should have scored’ opportunities still has Spurs double or triple our own chances, from what I saw.

            Also, the general flow of the game was not of a Juve in control, not in the slightest. We do not like to play with our back three making errors, stretched, with pjanic and khedira not involved, dybala not touching the ball for 30 minutes and zero penetration on the flanks. That is never a game plan when we are a goal down or in need of scoring for other reasons.

            We needed width to stretch open the block of Dembele, Dier and the defence. We added width and they were stretched, we then score two good goals and the game is more even an affair, with us very lucky in the final moments for the ball to hit the post and rebound to Barzagli not an opponent.

            It is not solely the look of our play which has irked me this term it is the lack of any obvious identity of the team. Injuries havent helped and have led to this, yet still I believe Max has made mistakes, more mistakes than in past seasons where more has gone right than wrong. There is much more potential in this team than we have seen and who knows eh? Perhaps it will start to come together in the coming weeks. A late surge to another final, another coppa and a healthy, commanding gap opened up at the top of Serie a remains possible…as always, forza juve.

          • Phantasm del Futbolista

            “us very lucky in the final moments for the ball to hit the post and rebound to Barzagli not an opponent.”
            This is exactly what the british pundits said, and only the host of BT was the one who said, “Good because it would have been unfair”. That isn’t Luck at all, that was JUSTICE! That would have been an offside goal and thus a robbery.

            “Your view is that Max planned all this, mine is that he never plans
            to concede and see his side outplayed, especially in the first leg. It
            was a horrid experience for juventini to endure. We had no width. The
            only attacking threat we had on Wednesday eve was Costa trying to charge
            through from midfield, yet only once making serious headway (should
            have been a penalty, agreed) yet to balance out the ‘should have scored’
            opportunities still has Spurs double or triple our own chances, from
            what I saw.”

            Now I never said Allegri planed to concede, What I theorize (and was telling a friend before the game) is that Juve where not going to go in Gunsblazing, in fact they where going to set up shop, absorb pressure and Go for the 1-0 kill in the last moments of the second half. I was actually very shocked at how open Juve played in the first half. looks like he was trying to attack the best we could, without leaving us to exposed at the back like a City V Spurs, Liverpool V City, Spurs V Liverpool type of game where all focus is on attack and none on defending. This is why Spurs lost. Spurs (like City, Like Liverpool) aren’t used to being attacked in the same potency, without finding gaping defensive holes, This is why it took them 20Min to control the first leg, and this is why we where able to score so quickly from the tactical change (Appart from False security starting to enter the Spurs players mind). Son had 2 near misses, Pjanic had 1, however let me tell you that Son has near misses like that every game, He isn’t Mo Salah or Sane, and even they to have far too many near misses.

            “Also, the general flow of the game was not of a Juve
            in control, not in the slightest. We do not like to play with our back
            three making errors, stretched, with pjanic and khedira not involved,
            dybala not touching the ball for 30 minutes and zero penetration on the
            flanks. That is never a game plan when we are a goal down or in need of
            scoring for other reasons.”

            Our back three didnt make errors in this game, It was buffon that made the error of anticipating the shot which led to Son’s goal as Buffon was on the ground and couldn’t get up on time, If buffon had been standing, that Son Shot would have NEVER been a goal, It was curled centrally and with little power.

            Where I am throwing Allegri Accolades is in the induction of Lichy and Asmoha, They came in Created Instant Width, and we made the best of our newfound space. Now since we had set up shop and had no width for 60 min, Spurs couldn’t cope to the new intensity injected into Juve. Now we could have attacked and scored more, but why do that? when we can defend the league. Defending is a tactic, It is part of the Chess Battle and the Italian League (Serie A) fails in popularity to the EPL, BundesLiga, LALiga and League 1 because of it. the chess game isn’t one just anyone can connoisseur It takes a certain breed…Just like actual chess. Juve have been renoned for their defence for all my existence, and i am fairly sure that even before it as well.

          • Dar Black

            No nonsense chum. Just you don’t have the penny dropping… You set yourself up to fall with a line of ‘we dominated them enough to win the match’, but by doing that you accept that we were outplayed for a majority of time. Anyone who knows anything about football and watches it and the great players will know that you can’t give the teams with players that will almost be guaranteed to punish you a majority of possession without there being trouble coming your way. Unless you have a very big wedge of luck on the night, and the other team a big dose of bad luck. Well, luck runs out buddy sooner or later.
            Have we not already seen that in two finals recently? You want to give Messi, Ronaldo et al a third go at whacking us? Well, carry on with performances like we put in in both ties against Spurs and we will get a chance to go for hammering #3 soon enough.
            > Low possession %, low shots on target, back to the wall desperate defending with almost no midfield drive / presence will only lead to one inevitable result against the best: defeat.

          • Phantasm del Futbolista

            Sorry but putting Aguero in the same tier as Messi and CR7 …. that’s what i expect from a 10year old fan boy who just now started paying attention to the football world, I fail to see what merits Aguero’s name along side those two.

            Aguero is same Tier as Higuain, Benzema, Dzeko, Cavani…. they are B-Teir, They are game changers and excellent players only once in a while, but they aren’t even at the level of say (Kane, Lewandowski, Suarez, Griezman, etc…) these players are A-Tier… Messi and Ronaldo are S-Tier…. Also you are comparing Wingers to CF, Should you have Said “LEroy Sane” or “Mo Salah” then your statement might hold more validity but it would still be very questionable as this is their first season firing on all cylinders for both said players. the Devil is in the consistency.

            * Kane is actually between B and A tier, but he is far more reliable than Aguero. which is why I just grouped him in A-Tier.

            “> Low possession %, low shots on target, back to the wall desperate
            defending with almost no midfield drive / presence will only lead to one
            inevitable result against the best: defeat.”

            If this where true, no team would park the bus EVER! None! it would be an in existent tactic. Best attack, best midfield and most shots on target is never equal to a victory. Also need i remind you we tried it vs Messi in the QF and it Worked!!!! so I dont know what you keep going on about. Yes it failed v Cr7 but like everything in life, it never works as planned 100% of the time. Plans will fail, That’s why contingencies are needed.

      • Praval

        Thats what we in general do. One doesn’t win titles without ‘controlling’ the game. Yes we were ordinary over the two legs and thus the appreciation for getting this result against a very tough opposition. As said earlier one swallow does not make a summer, that applies to playing ordinarily as well.

  • Phantasm del Futbolista

    This Article seems as if it was written by a closet Spurs fan. Completely disagree with everything . This is just like the Farce being thrown out by the English media before the game’ that all gave Juve for dead; I had to watch Latin American media to get honest, intelligent, thought provoking, and frankly funny discussions that where very heated, (Although sensible) about the game prior to it as to not be infuriated by blatant disrespect and bias thrown Juve’s way.

    “Over the course of the two legs there is but one team whom I would honestly suggest as worthy winners. What do I mean by worthy
    eh? I mean the team which played the most entertaining football, the side who approached both ties as a unit, as a team, as One. Who strove for open, expansive, attacking football. Whose rank and file were united in their determination, in their belief, in their endeavor. These descriptions clearly – to at least my own understanding of the game and sense of logical reasoning – are not of our beloved Juve, but of Spurs.” – TGP

    This paragraph (Though a respectable point of view, and opinion) is flawed in meaning and perception. They way you feel is one thing, what you are saying is very negative … and quite frankly ignorant from a Juve fan point of view, Perhaps it is simply your word choice, but let me dissect it for you.

    #1 “one team whom I would honestly suggest as worthy winners.” … What is “worthy”? you proceed with a definition, but then contradict that definition by giving an almost opposite one in the following line. You need to make up your mind as to what constitutes a “Worthy Victory”. But ok
    – Definition 1.1: “I mean the team which played the most entertaining football, the side who approached both ties as a unit, as a team, as One. Who strove for open, expansive, attacking football”.

    If that is your definition for a worthy team and for a team deserving of Victory and trophy, then you might as well hand the CL trophy to one of City or Liverpool, because they are leap and bounds ahead of EVERY TEAM in the competition, even Spurs and Barcelona and Madrid, as far as “Entertaining, Open, and Expansive Attacking football” are concerned.

    – Definition 1.2: “A side who approached both ties as a unit, as a team, as One. Whose rank and file were united
    in their determination, in their belief, in their endeavor.”

    This part of your Definition defines what Juve did across both legs. Did you not see the defensive heroics by Chiellini? The sacrifice by Costa? the Passion of Buffon? The “Never die!” attitude of Higuain? “Rank and File united by determination” This part i say apply to both, it would have been simple for Spurs to give up at 2 mil down, but didn’t and it would have been easy for Juve to give up at 1 mil down, away, and with the whole stadium against you. Yet Juve rose from the ashes like a fucking Phoenix to obliterate this out of line Spurs side.

    Quite frankly the “Worthy Victor” (Which was us) won and rightfully so. What a coup it indeed was considering our struggles of cohesion this season, and some of our in the past Key player’s form going awry and amiss this season. not to mention our plethora of Injuries, and players just recovering from injury, while yet to find form. (Dybala).

    ” Yet never this strange sensation…that we sneaked through against a side who outplayed us convincingly for 80 minutes in our own backyard and 60 minutes in London.”

    Again! English Media Bias!!! ok for the first game we where outplayed for 80 Min, that part is true, however can you blame us? WE HAD 8 INJURIES! If Spurs truly are the side that the English media are inflating them to be, they should have walked all over us and gotten at least a 3-0 scoreline, but they didn’t!

    That first game was Allegri, experimenting with tactics at the wrong time, and being out thought and out maneuvered by Pochettino. none the less we got a 2-2 draw, and could have won the game should it not have been for (what seemed at the moment a 90M Flop). However in this second game, Dembele couldn’t control the midfield and Spurs far from “Outplayed us”. It wasa good open game (Of which Spurs had the obvious upper hand in form and pace and stamina) bu that doesn’t equivilate to “Outplayed”. Juve where never going to come out guns blazing, we don’t have the coach for it. Allegri just isn’t the type to set up a team in that way. Allegri did what Italians do best! approach the game with a tactical methodology and execution to a Tee! We waited for the right moment to go on the offensive and sting Spurs, Allegri made world class subs! (not that the players where world class, but the tactical movement, the brilliant Gambit, the fine maneuvering of the chess pieces being moved into place….Pochettino was left dumbfounded and stunned, like the rest of his team, and this game it was his turn to display tactical incompetence as Allegri had displayed in the first leg. Pochettino only saw one path towards a “Checkmate” and failed to have a contingency, and options for a different route to victory. Allegri knew just the correct moment to charge with his Knights (Asomoha and Lichsteiner) and unleash an offensive maneuver to take away Pochettino’s queen with the bishops (Higuain and Dybala.) From there it was just to do what Juve due best! and that is DEFEND with the Timles Roooks that are (Barzagli and Chiellini) and our pawns of a midfield, and let us not forget our King Buffon who was there giving heart and stimulating our godly rooks.

    “Only a fool would suggest we were anything but lucky to progress. Yes yes! Had Higuain put away that penalty in the first leg…Had the very obvious penalty been awarded when Vertongen brought down Costa…we would have had 2 more goals to our name. Yet to give that mode of analysis a fair crack of the whip, I find far more near-misses for Spurs to add to their tally.”

    I appreciate your passion for writing and, lavishly fruitful word usage, but “Only a fool” speaks in absolutes. I with certainty say you are 1000% percent WRONG here, Luck had nothing to do with it, Infact if you are so inclined to believe in such things, Lady Luck seemed to unleash her wrath AGAINST US, not For us. (Injury struck squad, Key players faltering, Penalties not called, 3 ERRORS that led to goals that Buffon and the defense make every once in a blue moon, offsides not called etc…) take your pick….What went against spurs? Not much but good tactics in all honesty. They had a healthy and in form squad, had no goals wrongfully nulled …. Perhaps a Red to Barzagli but that is about it, as far as lady luck is concerned.

    I also can’t beleive you are comparing “Near Misses” to Un-given and unconverted penalties. we had near misses as well, and Penalties are more of a formality than “Near misses”. EVERY SINGLE PLAYER, in EVERY SINGLE TEAM, and EVERY SINGLE team no matter the attacking play or style, all have “Near Misses”. It is impossible and inconceivable for a team or player to score all shots on target in a game, let alone all shots period. This comparison embodies the Melodramatic tone of the whole article and your tone throughout.

    I will stop my dissection here as these are my main quarrels with my article, and if I am to Write any more I might as well release an article of my own ha ha. Sorry for the hostility… consider it tuff love. may you come back to earth soon TGP. Cheers

  • Phantasm del Futbolista

    arguments are weak in the eye of the beholder, you must be of the Ilk and intellect of someone like Christopher Hitchens , Sam Harris or Jordan Peterson to present what seem Impervious arguments.

    that said your argument of Naive defending and reference to the likes of Huddersfield, is also weak.

    Every defense makes errors, that is where the chess game in football comes into play, Humans, defenders and Coaches are not God’s or Artificial intelligence,THEY ALWAYS MAKE ERRORS, the trick is to PROVOKE the ERROR, and that can only be done by tactical brilliance, and a masterful performance.

    You could say Davinson Sanchez and Kevin Trippier lost their head, but i rather say Higuain’s pass to Dybala was excellent and methodical movement Tactically instructed by Allegri and Brilliantly performed by Higuain., As for Higuain’s goal, that was just BRILLIANT and WORLD CLASS play by him and Khedira.

    FYI: The flawed Argument of Madrid, was what gave Spurs fans and English pundits, the balls to disrespect Juve in the way that they did, so YES all be it “Flawed” it is “just” to know use to our defense, seeing how it was used to degrade us days prior.

    • I’ve only spoken to a few Spurts fans, three to be fair, at length on the matter. Hard to find proper supporters who really understand the game here in Australia but they are around…we find each other somehow through a natural system leaning like towards like.

      Before the games, they all spoke of the experience and individual quality of the Juve squad, whilst accepting my own analysis that we have been haphazard this season, barely ever in a good run of form, with no real settled side – due to injuries mainly- and no identity, winning games on moments of individual brilliance, or 1-2 players sparking into life during a drab affair of disjointed football.

      Yes yes, I have seen in the english media and heard on the commentary some amusing yet typically nationalistic silliness. I hear far worse of the same kind of nonsense from the Aussie media and pundits – ‘australian players are too honest’ etc etc ‘australian players are heroes’ etc etc…the brits do the same, but its more about putting the opposition down, making them seem somehow dishonourable or worthy of ridicule or contempt, than shouting about how amazing the british teams are.

      The one obvious difference I find between Juve and other Italian sides and what I see in the premier league week in, week out – apart from the appalling regularity of refereeing errors – is the defending of the english sides, even those in the upper echelons of the league. It is consistently wretched.

      Our defence looked good against Spurs because Spurs dominated us for long periods of the game as they did in Turin. Their defence was very average. Dembele aside…who is part of that defence, just more advanced. In fact he is part of everything they do well (usually) a true commander, linchpin. phenomenal player. yet their defenders? How many great tackles did they make? Compared to Chiellini and Barzagli? They didnt need to make many, but those they did need to make they missed…

      • Phantasm del Futbolista

        “whilst accepting my own analysis that we have been haphazard this
        season, barely ever in a good run of form, with no real settled side –
        due to injuries mainly- and no identity”

        You aren’t wrong; in fact this issue has plagued us for years now, and is the reason why I call for Allegri’s head all to often enough. Allegri is at direct fault for all these issues, and though he may not be the source of the problem, he is the only one with the means to fix it (If he only knew how), The man is a brilliant Tactician, of the top 3 in the in the business even; but he just isn’t an inspirational leader, he isn’t a motivator, and has proved incompetent at building fail safe contingencies (Though to be fair we do have budget constraints to contend with). So perhaps “Incompetent” isn’t the word i will stick with, but it works for now, as there are also cheaper options he could work with alla Liverpool and, alla Totenham of all teams.

        At this point Haphazard is just a characteristic of ours, we are known to start the Cl in a less than convincing way, to only come in with complete Authority for these knockout rounds, where we start to look convincing … You know who else shares this attribute with us? ….Yes you guessed it! REAL MADRID, they to always start the CL haphazardly only to be saved by CR7, and it isn’t till the knockout stages where they start lokking convincing….and buying a ref here and there ha ha.

        ” is the defending of the english sides, even those in the upper echelons of the league. It is consistently wretched.”

        Yes I agree completely. aside from the CL It is damn near impossible to follow the Serie A here in the states so contend with the EPL, and yes! Liverpool, City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, United They all have HORRID defences, Infact i would say the lower table teams all have better defences than the upper table ones Exception: Burnley; but maybe that is also due to just having a bus set up all the time, but still.

        This is also why I want ManCity next, Like PSG, City have nothing but Hype backing them. their defence is rarely challenged in the EPL, and when it was tried by Liverpool it was far to brittle. Ironically of the “Top 6” Spurs is credited with having The best defence in England! even above City and Burnley. … At least that is what the british media and top 6 fans say. Fans from Liverpool, Arsenal, City even United all want their Clubs to raid Spurs for Defensive acquisitions. Seeing how we did the business against Spurs, we should be able to do it against City as well, and hopefully by then we have far less injuries and can somewhat be the Juve of last season, with a more settled in Benatia, ar a Barzagli and Lichsteiner back line.

    • Dar Black

      Spurs are average mostly across a season, Real are having an average season by their standards, but my intelligence is just fine thank you.

      • Phantasm del Futbolista

        ” Real are having an average season by their standards”
        And we aren’t?

        I wasn’t trying to insult your intelligence, I was making a point, and one that flew over your head.
        Point: No argument is Impervious. All Arguments are weak, they are all flawed. It is several Arguments in tangent over the course of a discussion that speaks a message to a person, to then provide an end result. It is never a one phrase argument.

        • Dar Black

          No, argument is valid, strong reasoning always based on evidence. Real were weak when Spurs beat them. Have been all season. League table data doesn’t lie. Facts never go out of fashion, even if truth has.

          • Phantasm del Futbolista

            What i was trying to say is that
            First off: Madrid are still poor, the PSG win doesn’t change that.
            Second: We to are having a poor season compared to our usual seasons, and instead of fixing what ales us, we have reversed and added wood to the fire. Why do you let Real Madrid off the Hook and not Juve? Both seem down in the gutter if I may be frank. but for teams like Juve and Madrid, even the gutter is a position of envy, and a place most teams would dream of being. It isn’t just any old Gutter.

  • Glad to have you around, my comparably long in the fang friend…and you will relate, I suspect, to the Mancunian chum I have at work. A proper football man, former season ticket holder with his brother traveling the country afr and wide to follow the Red Devils, until family commitments and then the move to Melbourne for a better life. Still, he knows the game. Yet has lost love for the game over the last few years, not just due to commitments elsewhere of more nourishing value and importance such as Lover and Little Ones, but the manner the game has changed, back home I mean.

    The emergence of ‘online’ fans who have…markedly different perceptions, I will say, of the game we have long known, and seen change for the worse, especially with the explosion of the PL riches. Yet in his case, the main issue presently is the way the team plays, the lack of passion in their faces, the lack of adventure, of form, of identity…The sensation that the true club ethos is being very much ignored in the name of solely grinding out victories. I can relate to much of this when I ponder Juve…I think when he was last home he went to see a Salford game and found more joy than attending a United match as he used to when visiting home. More passion, more honest footballers, more a sensation of connection between those on the sidelines and those on the pitch, with not half the stadium glued to their phones and taking selfies…

  • @@dar_black:disqus @@thegutterpoet:disqus “modern supporters ‘support’ the club more on social media than through their hearts and minds, they ‘know’ the game more through twitter than watching thousands of games and playing the game themselves in a culture where its embedded into the social fabric.”.

    Calling someone a ‘plastic fan’ without any idea about them is just snobbish.

    I’m 31, I also hate what modern football has turned into, but it has nothing to do with us. Except of Higuain, when did Juve ever pay such sum of money for a player? Never, and will probably never again. Why? Because Juve don’t change, well not in my lifetime they haven’t. You say they played attacking football? OK, might be, it was before my time. But ever since I can remember, since 1994 and Juve lifting the CL trophy, they played defence first – attack second, and follow tactical instructions. Nothing fancy, nothing flashy, just order and discipline.

    And just look at some of the managers since 1994; Lippi, Ancelloti, Capello, Deschamps, Ranieri, Conte, Allegri… Now tell me, which one of these is not a great tactician?

    Also we have the longest undefeated run ATM in Europe, still chasing Serie A, the cup and the CL.

    What more can you ask?

    Juve is a club that’s looking for titles no matter the cost, not to amuse some ungrateful fans.

    • Phantasm del Futbolista

      ha ha Ironically “Calling someone a ‘plastic fan’ without any idea about them.” is actually the favorite tactic of the people they claim to hate and have a disconnect with.

      “Juve is a club that’s looking for titles no matter the cost, not to amuse some ungrateful fans.”

      Very well said!I also get the impression they are closet Spurs fans. like an apologetic, it is as they feel remorse and regret that we won across two legs, (When there was only 1 English pundit) who called it actually. In Latin America Several Pundits called it, They are more knowledgeable and understanding of the intricacies of the game in the Americas ha ha.

      • You talk of those who follow the media yet have quite specific numbers of which pundits ‘called it’…Most proper fans I know, who understand the game don’t assume or are led by the words of the pundits, they watch the game and comment more amongst themselves. I briefly heard some words of Rio Ferdinand and perhaps Robbie Savage…and more of the ITV crowd would amuse me comparably. I do not, and most others do not, consume what they deliver, always asking for second helpings. And so why are you banging on about pundits?

        I generally like Danny Murphy on MOTD, Shearer is fine…I miss Lawrenson, the wily little rat Keown also can speak of the game in a intelligent, experienced manner. The rest are more hit and miss, hence why I never bother with their ‘analysis’. The vast majority of english fans I know and have known for the decades lived in England, talk of their own experiences of the game, not the pundits views…

        • Phantasm del Futbolista

          The reason why I Bring up Pundits is because (As stated in my original post (That was deleted somehow) Your Article expresses the view of the British Pundits almost perfectly). It’s as if I am watching the Post match BT Sport Interview all over again (I watched that because that is where i was streaming the game and i wanted to be entertained with Crying and have my Ego Stroked a bit by them admitting how wrong they where).

          Now Like I said I like Watching Latin America Pundits, because it is far less proper, and far more in depth (Analytically, and passionatley) than Anything ive ever seen from any european Pundit British or Italian.
          Now I watch it because it is funny to see these people ripped to shreds, and to also get my ego stroked when they accolade my team as they get very poetic, (But the reverse is also true for the opposing view)

          I don’t however mold my views, or what i say based on wht the pundits I watch say, It is strictly Entertainment and ego stroking.

  • Cory

    All very interesting points, and I love the arguments that have taken place. Here are my two cents, firstly, all anyone should care about is winning the CL. plainly put, it would legit take 30 years for a team in Italy to rival Juventus’ success in Italy. The amount of consecutive titles and total trophies won are ridiculous. I understand the CL is arguably the toughest trophy to win in all the world and the fact we have come so close recently is both something to be very proud of and very frustrated over, the ONLY thing keeping us from being at the same level in peoples minds as a Bayern per say is three more European titles. And yes obviously we have lost the most finals but glass half full here we got to the fucker what 9 times? When we lost to Barca and Real last year those squads respectively are all time great teams, so when people check the aggregate it doesnt flatter the team but how many have we lost in PKs or a crazy unlucky goal, my firm belief is that IF any mental block exists in the final of that competition that WHEN it gets broken Juve will enter a European golden age, we clearly have the belief to make it every final, maybe we dont have the belief we can win it but when we acquire that it will be glorious.

    And for those who say what about the league, obviously our goal is to win it every damn year but as long as we qualify directly for CL i have no issue with a year off the pinnacle, probably and honestly better for interest in Calcio anyway.

    Lastly in direct response to what TGP said, excuse the paraphrase but he mentioned how lady lucky might gift us what we want so bad when the chances seem the least likely. He also made points about the team not having settled and playing cohesively. Both points I agree with, in sports regardless of which you play or prefer, the GREATEST quality a team can have in a playoff is momentum. I think last year we peaked a couple of weeks too soon, if the final was in April or May and not June I think we would have beat Real, this year is completely different as everyone has mentioned. Depending on the draw of course Id bet we stumble into the semi final and imagine if instead of peaking in April or early May we peak and start clicking of all cylinders right at the end.

    Maybe at this moment in the clubs history thats what we need to beat a Barca, Real or Bayern in a final, to be playing at such peak levels that we create our own luck, and instead of a bullshit shot taking a deflection and beat Gigi (looking at you Casimero) this year it will beat the opponents keeper. We shall see!!!

  • I cant stand him these days, mate…There is no play left in him, just the arrogance, bitterness and yes of course tactical acumen, yet I feel the team is more Mourinho than United. It never seemed more Ferguson than United, more a happy marriage between the two…or a paternal role which fit. And the players of Jose seem to become imbued with his bitterness, they begin to remind me of the evil rabbits in watership down…

  • Phantasm del Futbolista

    A) I’m not a new comer, been here a while, just switched accounts, because I no longer wish to be linked to my Facebook (how I made my original Account) due to privacy concerns.

    B) It isn’t my fault that you don’t understand what I am saying, You are making your own agenda and phrasing it as if that is my thinking.

    C) It isn’t my fault you don’t understand the Chess analogy, … But i like how you understood the bike analogy… Should i Dumb my analogy down? I’m just not sure it will still work with Checkers, or Connect Four.

    … at least I’m making you Smile, glad to know I can make someones day at least ha ha.

  • JuveAllDay

    Sirs I greatly appreciate the knowledge you both obviously have of the game. I just don’t understand all of the Spurs love and all of the apparent disappointment in our own side. I feel like robbery is something that happens when you are done horribly by the officials, not when you give up goals and can’t score enough of your own. I feel proud that Juventus were able to come out on top when not playing especially well. Would I like to see us play better? Of course! However, I would rather win with grit and moments of brilliance than play a beautiful game and lose anytime. This could be where our views diverge. You must have seen the effort and how much the game mattered to the players. I can connect with that whether we were beautiful as a squad for 90 minutes or not. I think Allegri got it wrong and parked the bus too early with a lead in the 1st leg, but I did not see Spurs domination in Leg 2 personally.

    I do not think that we are the best or most powerful side on the planet, but we are alive and kicking in all competitions, which is all I could hope for at this point in the season. I don’t anticipate that we will win the UCL either, but only one team does each year. I don’t feel like it’s a failure to go far and come up short, even if it’s heartbreaking at the time. We are not the richest and most powerful club in the world. I think our successes in Allegri’s time as manager are absolutely commendable when you consider the transfer fees and wages that we are willing to pay versus those of many other powerhouses in Europe.

    Thank you greatly for the article, and I can appreciate speaking your mind and sparking debate. I just find the negative tone of recent articles somewhat misplaced. However, life wouldn’t be that much fun if all of us had all of the same opinions.

  • I like to believe, DB that part of Max’s plan was to direct Pjanic and Khedira to leave no space in the middle for Dembele and Eriksen to operate with impunity as they did in Turin. It is a waste of Pjanic, he wants the ball at his feet and runners to hit, not to hustle, he hasnt the body for it or the engine. Neither has Sami. Matuidi did well enough, and I enjoyed his barge on Dier…more of that please, especially against a very physical midfield tandem like Dier/Dembele.

    Unfortunately the reality is that I barely saw Khedira or Pjanic on the ball, they did something but what exactly was hard to tell other than less of Eriksen and Dembele…this helped, but we are giving away one of our major creative weapons to neutralise some of theirs. The battle therefore needed to be won on the flanks, where we had nothing, until the Swiss Locomotive steamed into town like a spritely 25 year old! As mentioned elsewhere we played the first 60 minutes with zero presence on the left flank high up, nothing. very little on the right ether.

    We were fighting a losing battle in central midfield, had no firm grasp of either flank and our back three were battered, to their credit often facing 4 or more to their 3, with on rushing midfielders passing Sami and Pjanic quite easily – as you would expect. When we won the ball back, Higuain was isolated so we either gave it to Costa and said ‘go on, devil…take on 5 and score a goal!’ or we decided to hoof it long or out for a throw, or to someone boxed into a corner by the touchline.

    We should be making more of the talent we have in the ranks. And as with your own thoughts…I feel our major issue is the central midfield, yet now this season also very much the flanks.

  • Jas

    I echo some of your sentiments mate, but I repeat.. only some. This was an injury plagued Juventus squad that literally had no offensive players on the bench. Yes Spurs played more entertaining over the span of two games but we were up 2-0 in the first game and missed a penalty… Would’ve been absolutely robbed in the second game if Kane scored that header, not to mention the penalty no call on Costa. Tottenham were in much better form, they had a full squad – no player was missing. This Juventus team is quite interesting, a sleeping giant by all means. I think people tend to underestimate how good offensively we really are, give me dybala/Higguain/costa/Pjanic and I’d go toe to toe with any team in the world. The problem is quite obvious, our midfield sucks…. Khedira is painful to watch as he is soooo slow, especially against a young paceful squad like Tottenham. Matuidi was equally unimpressive, always out of position and giving up fouls all over the field. This is the million dollar question for Allegri, how do you get the most of out of this midfield… Long gone are the days where we had vidal/pirlo/pogba and could out muscle the best of them. I am very optimistic as Federico’s injury doesn’t look serious per Allegri, therefore he should be back for the next round by all means. Yet the dilema remains, who starts in the middle?

    • Welcome words, mate…and please remember next early morning game for Australia to avoid sending word! Unless its a final or semi-final, for which I will be up.

      Costa may well have terrorised Spurs, but the sum result was one not given penalty. he had too many bodies in front of him whenever receiving the ball, and so for all his good work it led to very little indeed.

      Pjanic was non existent as a creative force, but again, he had no options, as we played without a LM/LW, Dybala and Higuain constantly maked, and Costa up against 4 -5…Pjanic is wasted in such situations. Yet his deliveries from set-pieces were again very poor. He isn’t in a great run of form presently. Maybe a rest will do him some good and I am happy to see Marchisio come in his place.

      If Freddy is back, I see even more reason to try this system with wingers. Let us stick with what changed the game we just played. Why not start with that next outing?

      As for the injuries…I never thought I would be saying this, but…We miss Juan terribly. Even I miss Juan terribly. When is that dancing goon back??

      Not sure how much we missed De Sciglio, as I havent been impressed with him this term. Mandzukic? I’d rather he didnt play, other than a sub to bring on; for he focuses more on defensive duties than offensive, and is often more useful in this way, but to play such a player as a LM is horrid to watch and skews the balance of the team…Who else is out?

      I do understand that injuries have hurt Max’s plans to find a rhythm, find a system, find an identity this campaign but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he hasnt found any of these things. The shining light remains, as it has done for many months…we remain in three competitions, well placed, whilst still not playing anywhere near our potential. Which makes us a little dangerous.

      Perhaps Max has stumbled across something with the 42/424…we have the players for it. Just need to sub my good pal Lichsteiner in the second half, let him run himself down in the first 50-60 then bring on…Barzagli for the final half hour.

  • I won’t share my own thoughts just yet, but i’m pleased so many people are discussing this – Haven’t read all the comments, but just a reminder:

    – Be civil please, no need to insult one another.

    – No comments have been deleted, i never delete anything users post, but if they are really long, they often go into the spam section and i then have to approve them. I’ll take a check now.


    • Storm

      Interesting to see how this forum for the first time, I believe, have turned into a heated discussion where some arguments are a bit below the waist.

      I too, believe that Tottenham was the better team tonight. By that I mean doing what the majority including myself loves and that is bring out the best in football. Taking nothing away from defensive players, because boy o’ boy do I love to see a great tackle, but nothing beats Ronaldiho trickery.

      As Juventinos we are proud to proceed, hailing our tactical approach, team/club mentality and overall abilities. But honestly, quite honestly, we didn’t win the game…. Tottenham lost it. Yes, we had an effect on their lose, but judging who had the strongest ability to influence the game I would go with Tottenham. Thinking of back at Greece becoming European Champions they in some sense outplayed everyone else, still they weren’t winning as much as others were loosing.

      People here seem to get lost in plastic fan concepts drawing the attention away from good debating. You can tell me Tottenham were the loser, Juventus were the winners or the coincidence of missed penalties, red cards, etc. was the reason. Fact is that we progressed.

      Now I believe, Tottenham played “better” football, but I also believe that we Juventus, who without a fixed starting 11 are still able to outplay a team like Tottenham, can be better.

      I call myself a realist. Just like we manage to win ugly games 1-0 in the Seria A I accept that we sometimes are not objective what the majority would call the deserved winners. But we win, because of so many other factors which define our club and that is why I support Juve.

    • Phantasm del Futbolista

      I see, well that explains it perfectly as my post was indeed to long ha ha, fair enough

  • Jack Handey

    I share Gutter’s feelings about this victory. It feels good. Had we lost, the narrative of Italy’s premier team being utterly dominated by the Spurs would have been very damaging to our reputation and that of Serie A. Thank God that did not happen. It helps cement our status as one of Europe’s 4/8 elite teams. We make more money. We live to die another day. It boosts our confidence as we fight on three fronts. That’s all good.

    However, we didn’t deserve to win this tie. Despite all the pundits praising Juve’s experience, history and toughness, we got all the lucky breaks to win. If we rerun the same series in many times in some simulator, we would lose much more than we would win. I hope Allegri and the team don’t drink all this coolaid about experience+history+destiny and expect to win another Champions League series playing as badly as they have. It will not happen. We have gotten lucky against Atalanta, Lazio and now Spurs despite being outplayed, but that luck is going to run out sooner than later. We have to play better and earn our wins!

    • Dar Black

      Juve’s reputation in UK has taken a battering over the course of these two ties Jack. Hundreds of neutrals comments in press and social media describing us as average, poor, outplayed, humiliated, mid-table quality etc etc.

      It has been a very hard couple of weeks to be a Juventus supporter in the Uk. We were not playing Man City, only Tottenham. We should never have been so poor in two matches against the team in 4th place in the EPL.

      • E.Micallef

        I am describing pocchentino words average at best. We could have easily scored 5 at home. Every time we advanced we had to score. Obvious penalty on Costa still nil nil. Two times in the second half. Tottenham is average as well. We’ll be returning to the land of football shortly. If they fail to send us out they are average agreed??

        • Dar Black

          Excuse me, not sure I understand your question….

          • E.Micallef

            If we return to England which I think we will in the next round and they fail to send us out they are average the reporters and their teams.Agreed??

            Just joking man don’t take it personally beside United did not even struck one shoot a Seville. That’s boring play as well.

          • Dar Black

            That depends if we get outplayed again doesn’t it? Man U won’t outplay us as that is not Jose style, and Chelsea neither. But Man City would if they stay on current season form and we stay on ours. Liverpool could, but you never know what team will turn up with Klopp.

          • E.Micallef

            A match between Juventus and Man Utd would be glorious in the quarter. I sincerely hope we get them. Perfect stalemate:) 🙂 🙂

      • Jack Handey

        I think we were spared a lot of embarrassment because of the win. Right now, the main narrative I hear in the media is that Juve are winners and they know what it takes to win. That has mitigated the fact that we were very poor over the two legs against the Spurs.

        Spurs are a fantastic team despite being in 4th place in the EPL. One could argue that they are only second to Man City. Us mildly struggling against them would have been okay with me, but we were utterly outplayed in both matches. We took the kind of defensive posture with Spurs that Chievo Verona would take against us on a typical Serie A game.

        • E.Micallef

          Positions in the league don’t matter that much. An English team is an English team no matter what. They play aggressive football.

          But Tottenham are very poor in defence. If you play that offensive you are to give goals. We can’t play like Tottenham they play with 8 upfront. But they can’t defend. They pressure you but if you attack them dear Jesus do they panic.

          • E.Micallef

            In brief we had three penalties in 2 games scored 4 missed 3 incredible chances that’s a lot at this stage.

          • Jack Handey

            Their defensive record in the EPL and CL looks pretty robust to me. They did make mistakes in this series and that largely explains why we got to score three goals from open play despite creating very few chances.

          • Dar Black

            The point we are trying to make (and seemingly failing to make some understand) though is that there are several teams left in UCL who will share Spurs attacking nature, but who definitely WONT be so charitable in defence however.

          • E.Micallef

            Of course I understand what you mean. Good night to all.

            I hope I dream in black and white. 🙂 ) ).

    • Dar Black

      Bingo. Spot on sir.

  • Let me reiterate, debate and discussion is welcomed – I posted this article, even though i don’t agree with much of what was written – Despite that, my response and comments will be respectful – There is simply no need to start questioning one another’s loyalty – Absolute no need for that at all.

    The world is a toxic place at present, lets try and keep this place a little more harmonious.

    • Tell that to the ‘poet’ who wrote this about our beloved club.

      • i take on board what you’re saying, and in all honesty, this is a fraction of what some Juventini are feeling this season. A lot of people are truly upset at what they see as a season where we’ve played poor football. I can understand that, even if i don’t agree with it. I’ve posted lots of articles here in the past by other people, many of whom have held opinions in stark contrast to me own – I will continue to post it, even if if i don’t agree, because it will hopefully encourage ‘healthy’ debate where we share opinions and discuss as gentlemen.

        I don’t agree with TGP on what he wrote, but i’m glad he wrote it because he will hopefully read the thoughts of others, and vice-versa, and all parties will perhaps understand where the other is coming from.

        If you’ve been insulted or offended, i can only apologise, but i appreciate everyone that comes to the site and takes the time to read whats written here. I’ll try and ensure things are more civil

        • E.Micallef

          Ummmm no need for this moderator. If he feels everyone can write whatever he wants. I love the poet view replied to him many times. We have no problems with it. I have spoken with many Juventini we are still embracing each other even after two days. The feeling is still in the air of a massive achievement in face of adversity. We feared Porto and Monaco for christ sake during the last campaign.

          Every English team in this competition will give you a hard time. We are not at our best still we are competitive in every stage. We lost all our forwards with injuries yet with more no more than 50 per cent fitness we managed to go through.

          There is a link a video on today tuttosport moderator of how Juventus pressured the ref during the game. Words spoken by pocchentino. A true disgrace make a link display the video for us to know what kind of adveries we face. That is truly infuuuccc… Unbelievable. Link it please

          • Dar Black

            I did not fear Monaco or Barca last season tbh. Genuinely thought we would beat Real too. But this season our midfield is even worse than it was last, and we have lost Leo. Performances are reflecting that, and as Rav said many of us fear a mauling is coming our way. We are as the master of understatement Roy Keane said on Wednesday night not going to win the CL due to being ”a little short”. Nail. Head. Hit. Roy, and no mistake.

          • E.Micallef

            I agree we have less chance of winning but who knows we can defy the odds. But I’m happy with were we stand right now. Have you seen the video Mr Black that’s one to go with true sportsmanship.

          • Dar Black

            I have not seen it, but hey are we not used to that? Juve always get that! I didn’t see anything like that during the match except for the penalty we should have gotten but did not. Which is fair enough, to surround a ref when he has screwed up. Did you see anything go on?

          • E.Micallef

            I did not frankly only a penalty not given many yellow cards including the Alex Sandro one and a header on a metre offside. If the refs have upset pocchentino by these decisions maybe he should write to the uefa. Regardless one can’t say angelli marotta surrounded the ref at half time to condition him.

          • E.Micallef

            Maybe you did not Mr Black but many here did and I think my fellow man you remember as well:)

          • the reply wasn’t for you amico, it is for the others who may feel offended. We are a community after all, we are all cheering for Juventus

      • Dar Black

        So we can only say and write things that don’t offend you and your delicate nature of being upset when anyone says something less than nice and fluffy about Juve! Really? Quick, where is the exit door from this debating room….

  • BartWos

    Did I accidentally write that they have more luck than brain?
    (Why not play with true wingers, solid fullbacks and strength through the spine? With Marchisio deputising for Pjanic OR Matuidi.)
    Because this man isn’t a tactical genius, only an average coach attached to his own strange visions. What he was showing in Milan.
    The saddest
    thing in this situation is that after such a game it would be
    rational to approach the employment of a new manager and be able to
    carry out normal transfers. Transfers at the level of the old Juventus, in which the Golden Ball winners, European and world champions were played.
    It is sad because nobody will draw such conclusions. Not in the club,
    which two days after the second defeat in the Champions League final
    (the second in three years) extends the contract with Allegri.
    That’s why it was the last match I watched. Until the manager changes. I sit by the river, I cast a fishing rod and wait for his corpse.

  • Jas

    Just lost all respect for this shit off an unsuccessful club, Poch is a sore loser. The referees gifted them the game, Costa had a penalty and Kane was a kilometer offside on the last chance. This guy has no class.

    • E.Micallef

      Thanks for the link and words are true. Truly unbelievable

    • Phantasm del Futbolista

      Wow! I am surprised “the Gurdian” would publish such rubbish! Aren’t they the biggest news outlet in europe? (I’m not european, that is just how it seems in america).

      I lost respect for Spurs a long time ago. I use to respect them, because like Liverpool, like Burnley and like Liecester(Other team i used to respect but no longer due, because of what they did to Raneiri); they all manage to go toe to toe with the big spenders (City, Utd, and Chelsea). However I lost all respect for SPurs after the Liverpool game where they Dived themselves for two goals and OBIOUSLY had the refs in their pay book, as the linesman celebrated the ref giving Spurs a penalty for diving. I followed spurs closely after and every game they all (Alli, and Lamela, the biggest offenders) start diving thier way through matches. Even in both our legs and far more in the first leg They where diving left and right! But the ref wasn’t buying it! (maybe those are “The dark arts” Poch refers to ha ha.

      • Alli is a diving swine…Lamela just seems fragile, rather than always looking for the foul. I often see penalties and cards given in the PL for happenings which in Serie A wouldn’t even receive a free kick, especially against Juve. Unfortunately refs still worry of being accused of favouring us so we often see our flock brutalised. I’d be happier if we had one or two more able to give as good as they get, for after the defence, its hard to find a player who really puts himself about, other than Mandzukic, and he can’t help it as he is a sloth giant.

        Rest of the SPurs squad seem decent, honest footballers to me, by any standard I apply in Italy or England or beyond.

        • Dar Black

          I agree. Spurs are lightweight, but not cheats generally – except Alli.

      • Dar Black

        The Guardian? They are one of the smaller ones – but first choice if you are a die hard liberal or very left wing inclined.

        • Phantasm del Futbolista

          Interesting! Yea well in America Liberal Media is king, and especially in the hell hole of California(As far left as you can possibly get). But that explains it because yes, whenever i see any European news it is always from “The Guardian” being cited by Yahoo, or CNN etc…

    • Disappointing, Jas. I felt my respect for one of my favourite managers shake a little but not vanish…He is but a pup by managerial standards and this was the first time in his career one the touchlines where he could almost begin to seriously imagine making history with Spurs by reaching a CL final, perhaps even winning the thing…why not eh? They crunched Madrid with a positive, powerful showing late last year, won their group and to many fans also outplayed us for the majority of the game in Turin making mincemeat of our much vaunted defensive record, then put themselves in a great position at home after again dominating in every aspect for an hour.

      This was the closest to serious glory which would etch his name and those of his players into history he has yet reached in his career. And whilst I suspect most of the squad will remain intact, some might be lured away, partly due to feeling like this is as far as Spurs can take them, rather than focusing upon how far they can take Spurs.

      Still a great manager, decent chap, just clearly very hurt and emotional, lashing out a little and in some way perhaps feeling like he is sticking up for his players who many feel didn’t deserve to lose…yet deserve is a tough one to delineate.

      Hope he keeps that squad together, for they are my favourite team to watch in the premier league. No real vermin – even Alli behaved himself against us…some great young players mixed with solid experience and great quality. One of the few teams other than City where I can see several players I’d very much enjoy in black and white…Dembele is a top 5 CM for me. Has been for many moons. The elfman and Kane also world class, with the englishman far more expansive a player than many seem to give him credit for.

      Son is also an interesting player…

      Still, they will learn from the experience. I am however more interested in if we will also learn from the experience.

      • E.Micallef

        Dembele I agree it would be mostly needed in our midfield more than Son for sure. He never losses the ball never he looks like a grown up Pogba. Technical powerful and wise.

  • Poch knew what he was doing when referring to Marotta and Agnelli. Frankly I thought he would take it better than he did, but it’s pretty classless to insinuate that we had any control over the ref. He missed a stonewall penalty in our favour and the two goals we scored weren’t in the slightest bit contentious.
    Remember the poor call when we played Bayern and Morata’s perfectly valid goal was ruled offside? Not a complaint from Allegri, he just took it on the chin and moved on, as he does in every match. I think rather than claiming Spurs need to learn about the things off the pitch, the real lesson is how to carry yourself in defeat.

  • Vilizar Yakimov

    There are some descent points in this piece, but overall it is a very poor and negative article. De Sciglio has been solid for months and, although being far from his best, Alex Sandro has produced some better displays recently. Chiellini was a MONSTER against Tottenham and Allegri knows what he is doing. Hope is not the only thing that we have – we do have the quality & the mentality and our game has improved recently. Not so many teams have all three. It seems that the team is starting to click at the right stage of the season, so we have what it takes to challenge on all three fronts.

    Stop saying that Chiellini and Barzagli are old & slow and that Allegri is twisting the team too much. Instead just give them some credit and Fino alla Fine!

  • Jack Handey

    Anybody watching the media coverage of ManU’s elimination from CL in the hands of Sevilla? That could have been us had we not won. We can and we should play better going forward.