Match Review Serie A

Inter 2-1 Juventus…The End of the World Is Nigh

September 19, 2016 - 2:32 am

We witnessed the passion, belief and grit that was largely absent from the mid-week skirmishes on the European front, and ultimately a thoroughly deserved victory which could truly kick-start the season. Unfortunately, I am speaking of Inter…

I was dismayed but unsurprised to find five changes made to the side which faced Seville. This was not due to a terrible performance, just simply in line with Allegri’s rotation policy. However, opting to bring in Mandzukic in place of Higuain and trialing Pjanic as a regista seemed too many questions to ask of the team when faced with our most hated of rivals, in their own backyard.

Unlike our preceding Serie A games, there was no period of dominance in the first half hour. Or beyond. In fact it was Inter who set out their stall early doors to attack, to truly take the game to Juve. Which they managed well enough during the opening 45 minutes. Which were tight, barely anything to choose between the sides. An adventurous and determined Inter running up against a resolute Juve rear-guard.

Big Sami again let us down in the final third.

Big Sami again let us down in the final third.

The best chance of the half fell to Khedira…Dybala swept a delightful cross field ball to Sandro who launched a perfect pass to the 6 yard box where Big Sami, free from a marker, produced a lame header easily saved by the keeper. He really should have done better.

The second period began with the home side very much in the ascendancy. Candreva went mightily close with a sumptuous volley, and we appeared on the back foot as waves of blue and black flooded forward in search of the breakthrough. Yet it was Juve who snatched an undeserved lead, with Sandro again blazing a trail down the left, flashing a superb pass across the goal for Lichsteiner to prod in from close range.

The joy was not to last though, as within two minutes Inter were level. A corner was flung in and Icardi wriggled free of Mandzukic to loft a header into the top corner well beyond the reach of Buffon’s upper paws. After the equalizer there seemed only one likely winner, and they were not wearing black and white.

Finally on 74′ Higuain was introduced to some optimism from the bianconeri faithful, yet we were undone soon after by an appalling pass from Asamoah which led to Perisic heading in for 2-1. This was one of many truly awful passes made by Juve players. At times it seemed like they had succumbed to some sort of disease, and it was spreading, player to player…

Pjaca was given ten minutes to make an impact which never came, and Higuain came close to leveling the tie with a glancing header from yet another superb Sandro cross.

The match ended 2-1. Inter emerging as clear and deserving winners of a game in which our midfield was non-existent from start to finish.

Player Ratings

Buffon – Not at fault for either goal, fumbled a simple shot, other than which was fine. 6

Bonucci – Not quite as dominant as usual, yet marshaled Eder and Icardi well enough in the first half, then faded into obscurity in the second. 6

Barzagli – Entered the fray unexpectedly. Which is no excuse for what followed as his passing was rushed and poor, marking too tight on occasion and the emergence of faltering composure in the rock of our famous BBC could well be the first signs of a creaking ship. Either he is not yet fully fit or match sharp or his star is fading.5

Chiellini – The strongest showing of the back three. Pushed forward when possible, put in a few decent crosses and performed his defensive duties with typical zeal. However, as with Barzagli, a slither of sloppiness has appeared in his game thus far this campaign. 5.5

Lichsteiner – Unfortunate to find himself booked when pulling out of a challenge high up the field, then grabbed the goal with a gutsy burst into the box in the second period. His lack of playing time – perhaps aligned with the uncouth manner in which he has been treated by the club – proved a nuisance mainly in terms of his positioning. We saw very little of his forward foraging and he had very little support from Khedira in midfield. 6

Sandro – Showed good spirit, pace and technique to push up the left flank, beat his man and sent in a fair number of dangerous crosses, one of which was put away by Lichsteiner. By far our most adventurous attacking threat throughout. Was unlucky to leave the field with just the one assist. 7

Pjanic – My consistent fears of his lack of suitability to the regista role absent of a dog of war nearby to protect and shield and face incoming attacks head on were confirmed in this close to anonymous showing from the Bosnian. When he did find the ball at his feet, his passing was largely weak. He made barely any tackles, offered the defence and attack very little. Absent for large periods, we carried the midfielder, in a position which is of immense importance to our system. It is akin to removing the conductor from the orchestra…Out-muscled and out-played. 4

Asamoah – So much hustle and bustle yet technically atrocious. His pass to set up the second goal we conceded summed up his form this season; high octane yet technically inept. The lengthy period as a LWB, then injury riddled 15/16 has left him a shadow of the dynamic midfielder he once was. There is no place for him in our starting XI. Perhaps I am being harsh, and he needs more time to gain match sharpness, but we cannot afford to be gifting possession to the opposition in such vital areas. 4.5

Khedira – Guilty of a bothersome miss in the first half when played in by Sandro for a free header from 6 yards out. Other than which was playing too high, leaving Lichsteiner and Pjanic regularly exposed and huge gaps for opponents to run and play into. Barely seen in the second half, yet got close late on, only to be crunched by Handanovic. The experiment to play him as a support striker was potent against weaker foes, but the last two games have shown it won’t work against solid defences and packed midfields. 5.5

Dybala – Along with Sandro, Dybala did all he could to stretch the play, open up the defence, yet had little support or success. With Pjanic anonymous, half the side continually playing the ball straight to the opposition, Paulo toiled to glean little joy. This position of roaming deeper  and wider than last year left Mandzukic isolated and often up again 2-3 defenders. It simply didn’t work. 5.5

Mandzukic – Difficult to judge given he was playing 1 v 2/3 with barely any cavalry. He grafted, won a few free-kicks, chased down lost causes and harried the Inter defence, yet with only Sandro showing any ability to penetrate, his was a lonely battle. If we are going to play a lone gunman it has to be Higuain. Big Mario has neither the technique or pace, and his only value in the role is to win high balls and lay the play off to marauding midfielders. We had no marauding midfielders today, hence…his game appeared listless. 5.5

Higuain – Given far too little time to affect the game, yet came extremely close to scoring with a superb header. 6

I have mentioned many times in the past that I am not at all a fan of rotation, especially at the start of a season. To rotate the side before a hugely important encounter to give old legs a rest or avoid a suspension is understandable, other than which I am a strident advocate of playing your best XI as often as possible. This is how to build momentum, how to give players the chance to fall into a rhythm, side by side, not though changing systems and personnel from game to game. That gives the players no chance to work on anything other than their fitness.

Allegri has form for focusing on the long haul and managing energy levels whilst attempting to bring the squad en masse towards match sharpness. It is a risk. For when players are rotated, just when they are picking up form, they take a break and lose their competitive edge.

As with last season, we may not see the best of this side until the return of Il Principino

Last season – due to the wretched injury crisis – the manager was forced to tread very carefully. It is not quite the same case presently. Yes, Marchisio remains absent and he truly is the key to our midfield. Many thought that Pjanic would slot in and prove a worthy replacement, yet I have long doubted this, given he played in a very different system at Roma.  He was indeed often deployed successfully as a deep lying play-maker, but he had that beast Radja next to him, who ferociously locked horns with others in the midfield, screened the defence and drove the team forwards. Absent of that protection and muscle, Pjanic looks lost in that position in our side. He was markedly better last week when allowed to play higher up with Lemina as the pivot.

Higuain is 28 years old. Regardless of his price tag there was no obvious reason to rest him. None. It cannot have been to save him for Cagliari and Palermo. He did not need a break, if anything, he needs playing time. It is the only way for him to reach his peak.

The manner in which we played against Sassuolo suggested the best mix may have been stumbled upon in regards to the starting XI. Pjanic and Sandro were then removed and rested for the Seville game. In which we played considerably better than last night, and should really have won. However, Inter are not Seville; they have been in atrocious form and did not deploy an extremely defensive formation (as did the Spaniards). They came to win, played fluid, open football, with passion, determination and belief in abundance.

I disagreed with a chorus of lunatic squeals for Allegri to be dismissed last week, precisely because they were lunatic squeals. No real fan calls for the head of a manager who has won two doubles on the trot, four games into the season, when we have won 3 and drawn 1. And I am not going to ask for their song-sheet now.

The methods of Allegri will not change. We must accept the irritation which will continue to appear as this rotation policy churns players and formations every few days. This may well not end until Marchisio is back. It depends on how quickly Max feels the need for a settled first XI.

Perhaps more worryingly is that Allegri does not seem to know his best first XI. He does not even know where to play Pjanic. I am not suggesting he is devoid of ideas. More-so that he is tinkering with the players and their roles, trying to work out who fits best where. This may take some time.

Equally, we must understand that the options to change the midfield – where we very much lost the battle – were limited. He could and should have moved Pjanic back to the left of the central trio, brought on Lemina or Hernanes to add some physical presence in the middle. Once Perisic entered the game we were unlikely to see Cuadrado, even though Stephan appeared running out of steam. Other than which, we could only change our shape up top, which we did when Pjaca came on, and suddenly we looked a little more adventurous. Albeit late on, when Inter were tiring. Not enough to confirm that 4-3-3 would have made a huge difference from the start. Yet it might.

We now have two eminently winnable games to recover not just momentum but pride and form before our next European encounter. Inter deserve credit for the manner in which they played, for they were well organised and incredibly determined. However, a small but meaningful fact of the encounter is that despite the poor account of ourselves supplied on field, with one of the worst midfield performances I have seen for Juve since pre-Conte, we actually created 5 clear goal-scoring opportunities to the 4 of our opponents. It is fair to say that on the balance of chances created, we were unlucky to lose. Which is probably the only positive to come out of an otherwise dire display which I hope is not repeated until next pre-season.

Give the boy a chance...

Give the boy a chance…

I suspect that Rugani will be given some time in the coming two games, as will Cuadrado. With Benatia possibly injured as he pulled his abductor muscle in the derby, it is a great chance for the youngster to stake a claim. Only Bonucci of the BBC has been anywhere near impressive so far this campaign. Perhaps time is catching up with Barzagli. Chiellini has been hit and miss in turn, especially woeful for La Nazionale. This may well be the season when we move away from the triumvirate which has proven arguably the finest back-line on the planet for many years. All good things must at some stage come to an end. And with Benatia and Rugani in the squad, and the 3-5-2 presently bringing little joy, perhaps now is the time to try the flat back four. Cagliari and Palermo seem the perfect low risk occasions to roll such dice.

Another confirmation of our defence in disarray is that 3 of the 4 goals we have conceded have come from corners. This is something which needs to be addressed, with haste. The reasons are most likely linked to the changes in the squad and lack of cohesion and momentum which have come due to Max’s rotation policy. The defence functions at its best when playing with a settled side. For example, had Higuain been present, would he have been challenging Chiellini to thwart Icardi from the corner as did Mandzukic? I do not believe so.

This is not the end of the world. Yet it is proof in my own eyes that Allegri needs to find a settled first XI. It is plain ridiculous to feel the need to rest players aged 23 and 28 at this stage of the season. Once we have some momentum, an identity, then we can perhaps allow some of the mainstays of the side a rest now and then, but not 4/5 changes from game to game.

Still, despite my concerns, it worked for us last season and I remain convinced that this squad has staggering potential.

Sturaro will be back in contention for a run-out in the first team next week. Cuadrado and Rugani must be champing at the bit to make their season bow. Marchisio will return in October. Mandragora (our only natural DM) late November. And all being well, we can take Witsel in January.

Perhaps the loss last night will serve as a much needed wake-up call to not just the players but also the Boss. We win, draw and lose as a club.

Now is the time to stake stock of our situation. Yes, it has been an improved start on last year’s horror-show, but our form has been at best haphazard, our squad is not match sharp and we are nowhere near knowing our strongest starting XI. In too many ways this reads like pre-season.

A response to this forgettable showing is required. Beginning with Cagliari on Wednesday.

Forza Juve

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  • Avatar
    Papilaya(John)™★★★ September 19, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Agai. Was only able to catch glimpses of the game, but it seemed we lost the battle in midfield… How do we lose to a midfield with felipe melo?

    Im Marchisios biggest fan and i still lack the understanding as to how our midfield looks so weak without him. Its no coincidence that our best runs during season were when Marchisio played pivotal roles. This including Contes reign as well.

    “Perhaps more worryingly is that Allegri does not seem to know his best first XI”

    This statement seems extremely accurate.

    Despite that, i feel like this continues to be said every year, but the 3-5-2 hits walls.

    Games like these and the one agaisnt sevilla require far more dynamica. Khedira has been our stand perfomer while Asamoah has been poor and Lemina is still not “there” yet and if you shout out khedira, there goes our whole game. Hes been a huge hit and plays a role as big as Principino when it comes to be an influential part of our victories. Shut him down and we have to rely on our wingers and Dybala to do extra work.

    On Another note, Mandzukic is bumming me out. He looks like a tree just rebounding balls back. He works a good deal, but not enough to warrant a start ahead of Higuain. We need Higuain to settle as quickly as possible. That requires minutes.

    Hope Max wakes up. Asamoah is not cutting it and neither is Mandzukic. And i now i also see that lichsteiner may have deserved the call to the cl, but Cuadrado could very well change my mind. Hes putting a lot of faith in the wrong players. I feel Sturaro would have put a mucb greater effort today then Asamoah

    Losing to them makes me want to bathe in acid

  • Avatar
    Dar Black September 19, 2016 at 7:31 am

    We have been average all season so far (3-1 at home v weakened Sassulo is nothing to shout about).

    Who did not see this possible defeat coming?

    I have been worried about this since before the season started, and saying it over again: Midfield, midfield, midfield. That is the problem this year now we have let Pogs go and have CM injured. Beppe said in the final week or two that they were still looking to get 2 more midfielders in before the transfer window shut. We got sort of 1 winger in Cuadrado. Decent at times, but not a solution to the problem we have. Not good enough mercato leaves us weak and substandard in the most important area of the pitch.

    So what is the solution Max until Marchisio returns? Remember neither Asamoah or Lemina would be first choice if Claudio was back and we had picked up Witsel. They should be fallback squad players, subs if needed. Nothing more. Not 1st choice, as they are not great players in a team where all other 1st choice players are great / world class. Last season they would not have been 1st picks.

    When you mostly hear about poor or average performances or mistakes being made by players like we seem to with Asamoah and Lemina then you know they are not making the grade.

    Just to annoy me even more Peyrera is playing very well for Watford so far….

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet September 19, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Right…Having just finished updating the piece above I will join in the comments…

      I hope that Allegri is as generous with Sturaro as he has been with Pjanic and especially Lemina, my friend…for I worry that he sees Sturaro as singularly a Khedira back-up, when I would feel far more confident of Pjanic performing in the middle if he has Stefano next to him on the left.

      Indeed you are spot on, in regards to the reality of our midfield relying upon players expected to be back-ups. It is however part and parcel of the game, and it offers the pretenders a chance to prove they are worth more games. Neither Lemina nor Asamoah are yet giving Allegri any reason to ponder them as potential first XI players. Their form can be attributed partially to barely featuring last season, yet they had pre-season, and as you may recall, what I saw of Lemina in Melbourne was shameful. He could barely pass in a straight line over five yards, a slight upgrade on De Ceglie!

      I am a little disheartened by Asamoah, as I had high hopes that he would hit the ground running.And running he is, but his ball control and passing is horrid.

      Both goals conceded had a helping hand from the squad players you speak of. Mandzukic affected Chiellini’s efforts to beat Icardi in the air for the first goal and Asamoah put our defence in Hades for the second with the kind of pass you expect from retarded children or blind footballers. I have not seen such an error in our colours since…De Ceglie of course!

      The trouble is, a fair few of our players were misplacing passes, not by inches, but by yards…hohoho! Which was terrible to witness. What the devil has got into them eh?

      We could well bypass Lemina and Asamoah, but only once Sturaro is fit, and how many years will it take Allegri to reintegrate Sturaro? I can see him on the bench next August and Allegri saying ‘we need to be careful, he played nearly 10 games last season and must have a break!’…No, I am being playful. I retain faith in Allegri. He could do better or worse with the players still available. My own stance would be to get Sturaro in the middle as Dm or CML as soon as possible. We need his hustle, bustle and bite. He also plays the ball intelligently in the final third.

      • Avatar
        JuveMarchisio September 20, 2016 at 10:27 am

        Same feeling abaout Asa, but you have to give hem some credits, not playing for a long time, he will be back, I still believe, that’s why he should play as many games possible!

    • Avatar
      RAC September 19, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Wow. I thought we needed our best players against inter rather than sevilla; it turns out allegri thinks we need them for.. cagliari? To be fair, almost our entire squad had unusually awful performances. But that isn’t the reason for my reply. I have a different idea for our midfield. It seems to me that most of our “B” midfielders lose their composure whenever they are anywhere near the final third (hernanes, sturaro) or anywhere on the pitch (asamoah. I love him but i don’t want to see him start anymore). The exception, for me, is lemina. He doesn’t mind playing simple and rarely loses possesion. Since the days of MVPP we have exchanged pogba and vidal for pjanic and khedira, and we are apparently working on replacing lichtsteiner with alves. We have lost too much physicality if that is even a word. TGP suggests playing sturaro as a shield for pjanic, which on the sturaro side of the equation makes sense, but i don’t think pjanic belongs in the regista position at all. Pjanic belongs in the hole as a trequartista, where he can collaborate directly with dybala and higuain. If we were to play this way, we need a proper defensive mid, and this is where i think lemina is underrated. He has the physicality we need and has experience playing as wing-back and even as center back in a back 3. He is always guarding the defense and his positioning rarely falters. More importantly though, he is very composed and level-headed on the ball. He is not the finished product yet, but I rate him highly. I think with our current squad, our best option is a 4-3-1-2, and unless we were to bring in a world class defensive mid in january, lemina should start as shield for the defense with marchisio and khedira on either side of him. That would give us three very solid defensive performers in midfield (and two of the best b2b’s in the game) and three devastating players in the final third. With no marchisio, i still believe pjanic should play higher up on the pitch, a la pogba, and i would still start lemina as defensive mid. Whatever the solution is, i hope allegri makes up his mind before the 27th of september..

      • Avatar
        Dar Black September 19, 2016 at 11:01 am

        I think (hope) we all agree with that formation you say RAC, with Pjanic as the creative mid up front servicing the strikers. Makes no sense to me to use him as anything else. But as GP says he was used to heavy duty cover in defensive mid duties at Roma, and that is where I just worry we have nobody up to the mark.

        I do see why Lemina should theoretically be first pick in that DM role at the moment, but is he really good enough or consistent enough? Is he tough enough? I only get to see highlights of the matches after they have finished, but I hear too much of Mario L having bad matches or ineffective. We can’t afford to carry a DM. The DM is supposed to carry the upper regions of midfield!

        I don’t know what the solution is to be honest, looks like Max doesn’t either. Tough it out until Claudio returns and get Witsel in January.

        I don’t see us winning the Champions League this year, but then I did not believe we would this year anyway even before the season started such were my ‘creeps’ at the quality of midfield section we could field with injuries and lack of quality purchases.

      • thegutterpoet
        thegutterpoet September 19, 2016 at 11:21 am

        Pretty much agree, RAC, and I am happy for your emergence on the site. For you analyse intelligently and put your thoughts across calmly, clearly you know the game. As does Dar Black.

        I am very much in favour of fielding Pjanic as a trequartista, yet am less convinced by Lemina. Who flatters to deceive more often than not, yet it is early days in his Juve career, and I am happy to see him given time, especially given our best 30 minutes game with him in the DM role and Pjanic on the left in the middle. Still, that was against a Sassuolo absent of two of their finest players…

        • Avatar
          RAC September 19, 2016 at 7:24 pm

          Yep. And that sassuolo did not play the high press that lazio, sevilla, and inter have used to hurt us so badly. Lemina has his shortcomings, particularly his range of passing which is inconsistent. But we have used him in the regista role of the 352, and lemina is no regista. If we are speaking in theory, and have to choose one of sturaro or lemina for defensive mid in a 4312, i give lemina the nod for two main reasons. Firstly, i think he has a cleaner tackle than sturaro and is less of a liability in that sense. Secondly, the moments when lemina seems to impress is when he has little space to work with. I think he could outdo sturaro under the high press that we should now expect pretty much every team to use against us. Neither sturaro nor lemina have the range of passing we require of a regista, but as defensive mids with bonucci, marchisio, sandro, and alves around them, i think we could offset that deficiency somewhat. In the end, it boils down to my thinking lemina is the better defender/cooler head of the two. Which doesn’t mean we can’t try sturaro, although i feel he is destined to inherit that right mid role from khedira. Or we could just bench them both for a 433. I’m still wondering if that is in the future for pjaca & cuadrado.

        • Avatar
          RAC September 19, 2016 at 7:44 pm

          And by the way, thank you for the compliment. I am nowhere near the league of some of the usuals here. I’ve been a quiet follower of this site for years; it was the needless allegri bashing that led me to chime in.

  • Avatar
    Gerald Quinn September 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

    “””””I disagreed with a chorus of lunatic squeals for Allegri to be dismissed
    last week, precisely because they were lunatic squeals. No real fan
    calls for the head of a manager who has won two doubles on the trot,
    four games into the season, when we have won 3 and drawn 1. And I am not
    going to ask for their song-sheet now. However, the methods of Allegri
    will not change””””

    I strongly disagree sir, The fact that Your main argument is an Ad-Hominem (No real fan
    calls for the head of a manager who has won two doubles on the trot..etc) says much about your argument, and your fighting an Uphill battle in the debate stage. …This stance is surprising coming from you, but you seem to not comprehend the issue at hand; worse of all you brand the opposers as shameless Heathens, who might as well Burn their Juve shirts and support one of the Milans or Roma, for dare! questioning The God Allegri.

    This is what i find surprising that you don’t see Allegri = Mediocrity and Conformism …. The italian league and games within it are hardly a measure of success for Juve, Juve can Play with B and or C team and still finish Top 4 if not champions. Winning 3 games in the league so far, if i must be blunt equates to Jack Shit! Let that sink in…Take the measurement of worth ..the dictation of form it means to win a game in the Serie A……Now add to that the fact that 2/3 games we won we won by luck and add to the fact that in all 3 games we won…and including V inter ….The team was crap! the team was Unimaginative, the team was Lazy, The team was CONFORMIST …our level of play was MEDIOCRE.

    Keep in mind a rule in life for Personal development … a law of evolution even, One MUST be Greedy, one must always SEEK to grow, One can only LEARN SO MUCH from a single Being…and Allegri quite frankly has reached that limit…He quite simply has nothing else to offer Juve!

    Let what I’ve said so far sink in
    – Argument A: we have won games by luck in a weak mediocre league, playing just as mediocre as our oppositions, with a pessimistic attitude
    – Argument B: Allergi has and thus transmits a Mediocre state of mind
    – Argument C: Juve has gotten all the benefits it can and ever will receive from Allegri..Now its time to let go while everyone is still in good terms.
    – SIDE NOTE: his past success means nothing in this argument dwelling on the past gets us no where, it also isn’t valid in a logical sense for the subject at hand, also this is referenced with Argument C

    now enter Realization A – Not just is Allegri Mediocre, he is also Unimaginative, Not only does our team have serious issues of game play, that will take us no where near the final by the way, Allegri in his own brilliance thinks that the same bad formation with the same players will somehow yield different results

    Enter Realization B – I am Very Sorry …SO VERY SORRY… but Not having Marchisio, Is No excuse for not being able to give a descent starting XI with a constant GOOD level of game play, That does not help your Argument in any way,shape or form, and if anything just proves my points of him being Mediocre, Average, Unimaginative, and ultimatley brands him as a faliure of a coach, how can it be possible to work with a base of players for so long and just because 1 player is injured, The team falls apart….Lol It;s LAUGHABLE!

    Enter Realization C stemming from B Allegri is scared to try new formatons, to experiment with new tactics and to give players like Rugani and Pjaca a chance! To other italian and european teams we are known as the team that snatches up some of the best young talent…But never uses it…quite frankly its hard to argue against them because they are correct, we have the young talent…we rarely give them chance to prove themselves.

    Call me an Infadel, call me a fool, ridicule me if you wish, But Yes I am a True Juve Fan, I stand Firm and proud, AND I PROUDLY condemn your God Allegri for how he has handled things thus far …Why you ask?
    – Because i believe Juve is a great team
    – i believe Juve is just a big a power house as and Barca
    – The big teams are laughing at us right now, and any half descent Manager is laughing at Allegri, at how he and we are handling things

    The Issue:
    – Allegri has nothing else to give nor offer Juve, but a poisonous attitude of the Conformist
    – It is clear Allegri has to much talent than he knows what to do with in this current squad
    – It is clear Allegri has a clear Favoritism with certain Players
    – He is a sad and sorry coach if 1 injured man Fucks up your whole team, and your excuse for not playing well is said injured man
    – Allegri is an imbecile who thinks doing the same wrong thing over and over will yield good results
    – Allegri is too scared to experiment with different tactics-formations-PLAYERS, proving his Conformist ideals
    – Allegri is wasting away the youth of Rugani and Pjaca, and dismantling Pjanic’s form from last season…Yes Pjanic is in danger of becoming the Next Shwansteiger
    – Allegri can barely keep Juve afloat in a sorry league that is Serie A and against Average teams the likes of Sevilla

    Now It’s fine if you Dismiss all this and say YES Gery but the results! Yes but we are winning games! yes but he gave us Scudettos …blah blah blah…..That is fine Keep worshiping your god till you see him fall from grace by making a complete fool out of Juve, and then you will be scratching your head and looking at the timeline of events, that will bring you back here…Frankly It is a Lost of Attitude, Spirit, Will Power and Thriving in Mediocrity. But by the time you and the other disciples of Allegri see will be to late: maybe we have a scudetto ..maybe not, We definitely will have no champions league title our Ambitious yet Rechable goal of reaching and Surpassing the Spanish and German Giant/s will be nothing but a failed penny down the wishing well. These results are appalling, this new Mediocre Juve attitude is appalling, and i dare return the Ad-Hominem attack by stating “Those who stand with this fallen from grace savior and Appalling Juve mentality:ARE the ENEMY of Juve….Not thos who question God Allegri.

    Ill leave you with this thought:
    There is nothing wrong in paying homage to a great coach before he falls from grace…it saves him the embarrassment…think of it as a favor, Remember clinging to anything…ANYTHING! even vegetables and water…is Detrimental, Allegri is more of a poison to Juve than a Savior…The mental spell he is putting on Juventus will not be easy to get out off

    • Avatar
      Dar Black September 19, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Oh GQ…. please! You can’t polish a turd! Allegri has proven himself as a great manager (remember he won Serie A with Milan too – never mind all the trophies he has won with us).

      The weakness against Inter was in midfield, and that is because he simply doesn’t have a full great midfield complement to field at the moment.

      His rotation is annoying as GP said, and his positioning of Pjanic is wrong.

      But I suspect he just trying (struggling) to put together a jigsaw that has been bought for him that is faulty – there are pieces of the puzzle missing and whilst he waits for the missing pieces to turn up in the post he is trying to figure out the best possible combination of the pieces he does have to best cover the gaps in the picture.

      What else can he do?

      • Avatar
        Gerald Quinn September 19, 2016 at 8:57 am

        its not unseen in the soccer world for one manager to be shown the spotlight and to reap glory , while in the following season loosing it all…The Jigsaw is a great analogy however not valid: what i really mean isthat any buffoon can cause a complete puzzle of a team and reach glory…let him go coach Bayern/Madrid or Barca…That is why i have no respect for Guardiola and Mourinho…they are nothing but over glorified coaches who are nothing more than privileged coaches whom have everything. A Coach shows his worth when the going gets rough, When the puzzle is not complete…Thats how a coach’s success is measured..Example: Look at Jurgen Klopp…look at his art work that is Dortmund, and his Greatest Masterpiece in the making that is Liverpool.

        i to Suspect he is trying…But he isnt showing evidence of such on the pitch, again his past glory can only carry us so far, and no one said his path isnt correctable, however it must be rectified quickly with great vigor, Correct it to late and we are looking at another failed CL and a possible maybe failed consecutive scudetto

        • thegutterpoet
          thegutterpoet September 19, 2016 at 11:23 am

          A coach shows his worth when the going gets rough…Did you see last season, Gerald? How lowly we were in form and points and what happened after? Perhaps you place the glory on solely the players, with Allegri playing no part?

        • Avatar
          Dar Black September 19, 2016 at 12:15 pm

          Some points of order Gerald:

          To use your love of Herr Klopp as an example (against you I suppose..), as you obviously think very highly of him as a manager – fair enough, he has some good achievement and is very charasmatic in life and his teams outlook. He has taken two different teams to european finals and lost them both! In last seasons Europa League final apart from Sturridge’s subblime goal he and Liverpool pretty much got there backsides spanked by a Sevilla side that by your own admission you think Juve should be thrashing? Sorry, I don’t understand the logic there.

          Liverpool lost 0-2 away at minnows Burnley a couple of weeks back. They had a ton of posession, yet his defense was woeful. He has to share in the blame. So Klopp has failed, does still fail yet you appear to turn a blind eye to the management failings of his, whilst crucifying Max for the same?

          “SO VERY SORRY… but Not having Marchisio, Is No excuse for not being able to give a descent starting XI with a constant GOOD level of game play, That does not help your Argument in any way,shape or form”

          This alarms me a bit Gerald, as it makes me wonder if you have the basics of football down. We have not just lost Marchisio, we have lost Pogba too. Pjanic was not a like for like replacement, you know that. He is totally different playing style and qualities. With Pjanic we have a new Pirlo effectively. I showed a chart of how poor our current midfield is relative to the last few seasons, but you don’t think that is an excuse?

          Ok, so lets throw up some examples to show how wrong you are to suggest losing great players (for whatever reason) and not replacing them does not have a profound effect on a team. Again I will use Klopp against you (sorry 🙂 ).

          Liverpool – lost Suarez and sucked for 2 seasons after leading to a manager sacking
          Tottenham – lost Bale and sucked for at least a season after leading to a manager sacking
          Dortmund – lost Goetze and Lewandowski over a couple of seasons and eventually sucked for a season leading to Klopp leaving….

          If your argument held true Gerald why was the great Klopp not able to stop the rot and cope with the loss of those two players? Do you really think Barca would be able to carry on as if nothing had happened if any of the deadly trio they have left or were injured (extreme example with Messi of course, but nonetheless true).

          “A Coach shows his worth when the going gets rough, When the puzzle is not complete…Thats how a coach’s success is measured..”

          So what happened to Klopp then that final season at Dortmund? He did not show his worth did he? He tanked, he failed miserably… Yet he has recovered, and you still think he is great yes?

          Your argument has some really big gaping holes in it Gerald. Your are of course entitled to your opinion chap, but I do think that until Max has a great midfield section to field you should really cut him the same slack that you appear to give to others who have been through and suffered exactly the same slump that we appear to have at the moment for the same reasons.

          Whether Max suffers the same fate as those other managers remains to be seen. We can sack him, but where is the world class proven replacement to come from? Or we can give him some time and patience to find some solution temporarily until Claudio is back and we get Witsel in January. I suggest the latter is far more a sensible option than the shotgun knee-jerk sacking of a manager who has achieved so much for us and with us.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet September 19, 2016 at 11:14 am

      I have never suggested that any Allegri detractors are ‘shameless Heathens, who might as well Burn their Juve shirts and support one of the Milans or Roma, for dare! questioning The God Allegri.’. Nor have I suggested that Allegri is some form of managerial Overlord. If you wish to enter with me into serious debate, stick to what I have expressed, and avoid paraphrasing what suits your own bluster.

      I will stick to my stance, which is not to defend Allegri at all costs, for had you read my piece above the manager comes in for criticism. It is to analyse the squad we presently have available, understand the very larval stage of the campaign, accept that we have played well in patches and deservedly won 3 in the league and done well enough against a very well organised and capable Seville. We were wretched in midfield against Inter, and unfortunately this is a sign of not just Allegri making bothersome rotations, but also the players on the pitch. They are not robots, with Allegri at the control panel, they are individuals, professional footballers, and I cannot attribute sole blame for the winning goal to Allegri, nor can I do so for Asamoah. Yet what strikes me as something far removed from supporting a club is to be focusing all criticism on the manager, after so very few games, with several players still out injured, all midfielders, and many new players to integrate into the squad, and also, what may be the beginning of the end of the famous BBC.

      I do not hold up Allegri as a demigod, far from it, yet I watch the games, have done for many years and have a fair understanding of football. I present my views based on playing and watching the game for decades, and I never assert my word as gospel.

      And so…I welcome the debate. And I have more faith in a manager who has won two doubles on the trot, taken us to a champions league final, lost out to Bayern last year due to wretched misfortune, and has began the present campaign with better results than this stage last term. Especially when we our midfield is missing Marchisio, Sturaro, Mandragora and Cuadrado is not yet deemed match fit.

      You are welcome and encouraged to share your views, Gerald, but I ask you to avoid blossoming what I write into something bizarre and warped to use as something to hold up and destroy.

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino September 20, 2016 at 8:43 am

        I do not understand the rantings you receive for the article mate. Do people not read what you say or do they twist it in such a way they can conveniently use it to fight some imaginary battle?

        Saying Allegri is doing well with what he has isn’t the same as erecting a statue of him to praise our lord and saviour, holy moly!

        I know our colors are black and white, but not everything you read and talk about is black and white people!

  • Avatar
    Omid Javadzadeh September 19, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Well, totally outplayed and outsmarted by Inter! I could see that coming! Actually again the most disappointed thing is not the result, but the style of the game and mindset of the team! After last game I criticized Allegri (not to ask sacking him or his head) but the answer I got here was we are not true Juventus fan (I’m a Juventino since time of Peruzzi, Torricelli, Ravanelli and Vialli)!!! It’s easy to call others a fake fan when you hide behind glasses and a fake identity, but I think that a true Juventus fan would be extremely angry by losing to Inter! Anyway, here it is not the time for inspirational speech, with Hans Zimmer music to show who is “lunatic squeals”! Here come the tactical points:

    1- DITCH 3-5-2:
    Let’s put it straight, there has been no top team winning champions league with 3 center backs in last 15-20 years! And there will be none in near future! Conte had chosen it cause he had no Dybala, Higuain, etc. Playing 3 CB’s give’s us one less player elsewhere in the midfield or attack, it is to conservative which gives nothing to offensive parts of the game, and our best performances in recent years were with 4 man defense (run to CL final in 2014/15, Bayern away game last year). We should just ditch it, for me 2 out of Chiellini, Bonucci and Rugani should start as CB and no more!

    Those days that we had a world-class midfield are gone! Our midfield is outplayed totally by likes of Sevilla and Inter (Not Barca, Bayern!), partly thanks to our inability to replace Pogba, (though we had all the time and money of the world to do so). We miss Marchisio badly and Asamoah, Lamina and Hernanes are not Juve quality, at most just one of them can start! I would propose Pjanic-Hernanes/Lamina – Khedira to start in all of important matches and moving for Witsel in January!

    The goal of rotation is to have your best players for important matches, hint: Derbi d’Italia is a damn important match, CL is important! 122 million € is paid for Higuain and Pjanic to play in those damn games, not just in last 20 mins, and I’m not buying that bullsh*t that they were tired, how come MSN and BBC play 90 minutes of every single match, when not injured, but our players can’t play twice a week? If they had to rest, that would be for Sassuolo or Cagliari games, not Inter and CL!

    When we play bad and our couch says “it was just final touch which was missing”, when our defender says “we are not Real Madrid”, that says something about our mindset and attitude! The result is this: sitting deep and waiting for a chance to happen or a counter attack and after 70 minutes of disgraceful football, when we are losing, try to attack when it’s too late. Even against Sassoulo at home, we scored on counter, but Sassoulo was on top! Juventus were not passive and coward, they were dominant, even against Barca and Madrid we tried and were dominant in parts of the game! Against Bayern in Munich we were pressing high in first 70 minutes till Mr. Allegri started his supersubs!!! This is all due to Allegri’s super defensive and conservative mentality!

    Sorry for the long post, I love Juve above all coaches and players, Mr. Allegri should change, and we as the fans have the right to criticize him, not just here to kiss someone as*. If we don’t do these changes, we can’t compete with Barca-Madrid-Bayern. I think we are just behind them and ask my team to go forward not backward!

    • Avatar
      Dar Black September 19, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Lots of us may have a fake identity Omid 😉 You know how these days employers and such like search for names of their staff on the web….

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet September 20, 2016 at 1:31 am

      Nobody has suggested that Allegri is beyond criticism. Not in the slightest. I criticize him often myself, during games I am to be found shouting, roaring, squealing…’Higuain, you goon, bring on Higuain…’ as I seek something to smash which can be replaced at little cost…And I have not referred to anyone as a fake fan.

      So I am unsure as to where your criticism of Allegri has been met with talk of fake fandom? I dissect his moves constantly, agree with very little, and yet feel he has done a fine job thus far and will continue to place my faith in him as does the club and players.

      It is simply my opinion that a fan of the club would not be spouting lunatic demands for a manager to be sacked after 4 games, won 3, drawn 1, after the same manager has brought us major success for the last two seasons on the trot. And there are players missing, new players to integrate…Yes I find that something removed from supporting the club.

      That was all. And it is becoming tiresome to repeat. I shall leave such matters be.

  • Avatar
    elisadallomo September 19, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Barcelona lost to Alavés 2-1 and no one shat bricks, because they KNOW it’s not a permanent problem. So that’s what I don’t understand.. why everyone reacts with such high highs when we win and so low lows when we lose. The team has been changed YET AGAIN and, undoubtedly, we will have to go through an adaptation process YET AGAIN. At least this year we have accumulated 3/4 of all possible points AND WE ARE ON GAME 4. So far we have played with the top half of the teams in Serie A (and the other contender for the top spot in our CL group stage, where we got a point even when we weren’t playing at our best)….. so, until I see this display against Crotone, I’m not gonna panic. They know what they have to do. By “they” I mean the whoooole club… players, staff and administration…. I TRUST THEM. Not because I’m blinded by whatever, but because I HAVE SEEN THEM come out of WORSE situations AS RECENTLY AS last year.

    …. and, by the way, don’t even give me the whole “Barça were playing with their B squad” because a big team doesn’t have an A squad and a B squad, they have a SQUAD, period. We have yet to find our starting 11, for one reason or another, and I do hope it happens sooner rather than later…. however, it has been exactly 19 days since we’ve had our (almost!) full squad together.

    I hate losing to Inter, too.. and it will be probably worse for me since both my step-brother and my half-brother are Inter fans, and I eat at my (Toro fan) dad’s house, with them every day. I know what’s coming in a few hours. And I will have to humbly accept that they outplayed us. WHICH I HATE TO DO ‘CAUSE, UGH, INTER.


    Also, to the general public, can we stop with all of these “real fans x, real fans y” accusations? Last place I’d want to prove my “bianconera-ness” is in the comment section of a forum dedicated to Juve.

    • Avatar
      Dar Black September 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Barca have played some great stuff too already this season Elisa, so they have less to worry about as that defeat was clearly a 90 minute blip! We have not gotten into our stride yet have we, and with perhaps no solution to the midfield puzzle Max is wrestling with until at least October then we have a longer period of uncertainty to contend with.
      But I agree generally with your points, we don’t need jump off a cliff over this. We were in much worse shape last year of course – and that turned out ok 😉

      • Avatar
        elisadallomo September 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        Barça hasn’t changed their starting lineup much, either.. only Dani Alves’ replacement. Everyone else has been playing together since last year.

        I think the thing I long for the most for next year, specifically to guarantee continuity, is not a big change in our starting players… hopefully we get Witsel in January and would only need to get an extra young player or two to slowly bring up next year.

        Lirola in two years at the most. I have been very impressed by him not just following the Primavera last year, but with what he’s done with Sassuolo so far..

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino September 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Elisa for president! 😛

      Nah in all seriousness, this is the post that was needed here with things turning sour a bit.

      Nothing lost, the League counts 38 games, we faced 4 of the top teams and emerged with 9points out of it. That is not bad.

      Performances will improve along the season, so despite this bitter loss, we’re still good to go.

      • Avatar
        elisadallomo September 19, 2016 at 4:58 pm

        I mean, we haven’t peaked yet.. it’s frustrating right now, and I understand it, but I’m excited for what’s to come.

        ……… I have to face 2 bitter, annoying, anti-Juve nerazzurri in 45 mins………. dammit….

        • Avatar
          BelgianJuventino September 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm

          Same here, I am confident it will be a good season.

          Call in sick 😛

    • Avatar
      ho Hi September 20, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Yes!! Mascherano did the same like Asa.

      • Avatar
        elisadallomo September 20, 2016 at 12:37 pm

        This is a further example to the high highs and low lows we’re going through… first few games, Asa “amaaaazing, possible MVP” – surpassed only by Khedira because he scored. Now? He’s “awful and needs to be benched and sold”… ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • Avatar
          ho Hi September 20, 2016 at 5:57 pm

          Right. Some here are very realmadrid-like,poor guys!
          Thats fucking shameful…………

  • Avatar
    Dar Black September 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Just because it’s funny. Punchlines at the ready…

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino September 20, 2016 at 10:35 am

      “what you looking at, white boy?”

      • Avatar
        Dar Black September 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm

        Dummy – “I would have been more effective than your team-mates against Inter …”

        • Avatar
          BelgianJuventino September 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm

          Exciting new player announced at the official Juventus website xD

          Evra: this guy doesnt move for anyone!

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino September 20, 2016 at 8:39 am

    A round of grog for everyone!

  • Avatar
    JuveMarchisio September 20, 2016 at 10:20 am

    a thought to switch from 3/1/4/2 to a 3/4/2/1
    barzagli bonucci chiellini
    alves khedira marchisio sandro
    pjanic dybala
    great thing is, we can easily go to a 3/4/3 with pjaca or cuadrado added to the squad.
    barzagli bonucci chiellini
    alves khedira/pjanic marchisio sandro
    pjaca higuain dybala
    creativity all over the place, but the 4in midfield will have to work their buts off

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino September 20, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      I don’t really think the formation is a problem right now, I expect a transition to a 4man backline towards the end of the season perhaps, but certainly not a drastic change. Depending on Barzagli’s form and whether or not Allegri would directly replace him with Benatia/Rugani or change to a different formation.

      That said, I like to think of formations too, but I can never just leave it at one 😛