Well, they did it again. Max Allegri’s men emerged victorious in the most traditional Max Allegri fashion. Juventus didn’t play particularly well when they hosted Udinese on Saturday, but at the end of the day, Leandro Paredes and Federico Chiesa came off the bench to combine in creating the late winner for Danilo.
So in conclusion, the Bianconeri managed to extend their winning streak to eight domestic matches in a row all without conceding a single goal and the club now temporarily sits second in the Serie A standings, just four points behind Napoli.
But most importantly, Juventus were able to pay a fitting tribute to the late Gianluca Vialli by dedicating the victory to his memory.
So here are three takeaways from Juve’s hard-fought victory over Udinese at the Allianz Stadium.
While the world “Calma” has existed in the Italian dictionary for centuries, it has now become widely associated with Allegri. The manager’s vivid preach for calm has become a running joke amongst Juventus supporters on social media, especially during the disastrous run earlier in the campaign.
But finally, it appears that the tactician’s adopted motto is paying off. The Livorno native repeatedly urges his players to maintain composure and focus, and it seems that players have embraced the “Calma” cult, as they’re now fighting until the very end, while knowing that they can always snatch a winner… but only if they remain calm.
Good to Have Depth
This may be the most obvious of statements, but our last two wins have emphasized the importance of squad depth, especially for a club with major aspirations. Once again, Allegri was able to raise the tempo by introducing to top stars in the second half, much to dismay of his opposite number. Eventually, Chiesa and Paredes proved to be decisive.
But while our injury situation has vastly improved compared to the first part of the season, it’s worth mentioning that we still have some major absentees in the form of Juan Cuadrado, Leonardo Bonucci, Dusan Vlahovic and Paul Pogba.
Admittedly, Allegri is unlikely to ever have what resembles a full squad at his disposal, but when the team isn’t ravaged by a major injury crisis, this club possesses enough talent and depth to challenge any other side, at least on the Italian landscape.
While depth is undoubtedly a blessing, it seems that it could cause the manager some selection headaches. For instance, Adrien Rabiot and Fabio Miretti both started alongside Manuel Locatelli as Juve’s midfield trio against Udinese. But the issue is that both of them prefer to lean towards the left.
So while the Frenchman started the match on the right side in order to accommodate his younger teammate, he didn’t seem to be at ease in this position, so Allegri rapidly switched the two players. But while Rabiot benefitted from the change, Miretti was less productive on the right.
So essentially, both players produce their best when on the left of the midfield trio, and to make matters even more complicated, this also happens to be Paul Pogba’s ideal position.
Therefore, Allegri might have a major selection dilemma looming on the horizon.