Match Review Coppa Italia

Juventus 2-1 AC Milan Coppa Italia Match Review & Player Ratings

January 26, 2017 - 9:50 am

Player Ratings

Neto – Could do nothing about the superb strike from Bacca which came out of nowhere. He got down well to save from Fucka late on and finally made a comfortable block on Deulofeu. Considering he barely features in the starting XI this was a impressive effort from the Brazilian. 7

Bonucci – Finding his finest form after his injury lay-off. Has looked sharper and more confident on the ball. Also made some superb interceptions. 6.5

Rugani – I am glad that Allegri has finally found whatever he needed in order to continue Daniele’s development in the first XI. These kind of games will teach him so much. His performance was calm, measured and capable, especially so in the air. Made no errors and distributed the ball intelligently. 7

Barzagli – He is not a RB nor a RWB and asking him to play so wide, I believe is a recipe for disaster. At 35, and never a player of searing pace, he is prone to attacks by fleet footed opponents, yet to be fair, he was fine in the first half, and quite solid in the second. Admittedly, Allegri had tasked Cuadrado with keeping pressure on AC’s left flank, which offered some protection to the veteran. Still working his way back to his best, in body and mind. 6.5

Asamoah – Going from strength to strength and on this form, Sandro will be hard pressed to walk straight back into the side. He dominated the wing from top to bottom in the first half, was instrumental in both goals and yet slowed down dramatically after the interval, as was to be expected. If we can improve his stamina, his return to the ranks as a LB/LWB could prove as valuable as a major signing in that position. His tackling, pace and final product were top notch for 45 minutes. He was the best player on the pitch until he tired. 8.5

Khedira – It is high time that Khedira was given a roll of the dice as the fulcrum of the side. Had Allegri attempted this early doors this season, I truly believe we could have avoided so much bother in terms of the consistently haphazard form we have endured. He was and remains the most obvious replacement for Marchisio in front of the back four. Why it has taken Max this amount of time to realise this can only be explained by the value he places on Big Sami playing higher up the field. He was powerful throughout. Physical, reads the game amazingly well, wins the ball on the ground and in the air, not just starts attacks with key passes but then joins the attack. Was unlucky with a chance in the box which hit a team-mate, and Lady Luck was again turning the other way when his tackle lead to the Bacca wonder strike. 7

Pjanic – With a big lad beside him and a plethora of options to pass to up top we are beginning to see the best of Miralem. His work on the ball was classy, his free kick sublime and Donnarumma did well to stop the midfielder’s dipping volley from reaching the net. The Bosnian is finally blossoming in black and white. 8

Cuadrado – Hit and miss, but perhaps one of his better games. Managed to assist defensively, making a wonderful sliding challenge late on in his own box to deny the opposition. Helped create the opening goal and never stopped running. The other side of his game was also on offer; wretched passing, losing possession too easily and poor decision making. 6

Dybala – Took his goal splendidly and worked hard between the lines. Found chances hard to come by yet it was his departure which seemed the final nail in our offensive endeavour. 7

Mandzukic – Guilty of the worst miss of the season when it looked far easier to score, the goal gaping, and also sent wide another great opportunity. Full of running as always and effective in the air. 6

Higuain – Worked damn hard, could not capitalise on the small handful of openings conjured but gave his everything for the cause. Wonderful to see him charging back to not just relieve the pressure on the defence, but win the ball and bomb back up the field with guile and class. 7

Sandro – Looked rusty; poor touch, sloth pace. Offered nothing of value except winning a free kick in a dangerous position.5

The first 45 minutes of both our recent games has produced the best football of the season. With the midfield highlighted as an issue for many moons, Allegri has cunningly forged a new system which brings us so much closer to the sum of our parts. Khedira is superb at the base alongside the ever improving Pjanic. And with always several players to find higher up the field, we have become too much for opponents to handle.

A brief mention of the lack of discipline and decency of our opponents. Their whining, contesting every decision and a fair few nasty fouls, was not becoming of a side of such storied prestige. Fucka should have been sent off and at times the ref was losing control. It was pleasing to see at least Big Sami and Mario give some back. For we lack that spitefulness, which can help a team pull together and fight as a unit, one for all and all for one. We are often too nice a team to play against. Whilst the line can be thin between aggression and outright viciousness, the difference between AC and Juve when conceding, is that we have a tendency to retreat and hope to hold out, whereas AC bare their fangs and go for the jugular.

A magnificent outing from Asamoah.

Asamoah is revived and rejuvenated. His performance was staggering and his domination of the left flank in the first half won us the tie. However the largest single change to our potency is the bodies we are getting into the box. Teams cannot deal with Higuain, Dybala, Mandzukic, Cuadrado and support from Pjanic, Khedira and the flanks all flying into their rear-guard at pace. This is why we have demolished -albeit before half time – our foes so swiftly of late. We are also showing more hunger, greater eagerness to be first to the ball and hunting in packs. It is when we switch, for no good reason whatsoever, to sitting deep, that the offensive elements all remain in our own half, that we court trauma.

Why the devil we sat off after the interval is beyond me. Was this at the direction of the manager? Or further suggestion of an issue with mentality? Regardless, we still carved out further gilt edged chances to make the score-line more comfortable. And this is becoming another problem. Profligacy.

We are finding trouble finishing the countless opportunities we create. I counted 3 for AC and 10 for us. Against superior opposition we will be made to pay if this lack of end product continues.  On the other hand, we have shored up defensively. Even after sitting back, inviting pressure, and to some degree late on looking liable to list under the waves of AC pressure heading towards our goal, they scored a wonder strike out of nothing, and created just two other decent chances. Neto made one serious save from Fucka, one comfortable block, other than which was far from busy. I will err on the side of hope and positivity and assert that sooner or later, we are going to give an opponent a brutal hiding…

Still much work to be done, yet I am mightily impressed and overjoyed to be regaining enjoyment and excitement from watching Juve play. Such wondrous sensations have been missing for too long.

Asamoah deserves to retain his starting berth. As does every other player on the field, perhaps other than Barzagli, who I am not keen on as a RB. He is a CB. One of the best in the business when match sharp. It will be interesting to see how much Allegri rotates over the coming weeks. Other than the Inter tie, we have plenty of opportunity to bed in to the new system, grind off the rustiness and move towards becoming a winning machine which not just racks up the goals but entertains.

I am unsure how suited Marchisio is to this system. The Khedira/Pjanic axis offers a brilliant combination of guile, physicality, cunning and creativity. I am loathe to see the budding partnership chopped and changed just as it is beginning to bear fruit. However, such is the class of Il Principino, I would be happy to see Pjanic moved into Cuadrado’s new position, Lichsteiner behind him and Claudio take up a central position alongside Khedira. We lose Juan’s searing pace which is a weapon against any side, and gain Pjanic’s world class playmaking in the final third. Problem there is that I feel Pjanic works more fluidly when central….I would rather we continue exactly as we are. It is working.


Former Juventino – Paulo Sousa

We are moving in the Right direction, but plenty of room for improvement remains.

On another note entirely, it was intriguing to read Sousa’s comments when asked if he would manage Juve.

“Let’s say I try to make the best decisions for my growth, to improve myself first so that I can then improve my players.”

It would not surprise me to learn of informal discussions taking place in the shadows, between not just Allegri and the club in terms of his openness of ambition to manage elsewhere, namely England, but also between former Juventino Sousa and the club. Paulo may have been sounded out as an option, if the job becomes available. Perhaps even this Summer. It is a high pressure job, Max has been managing in Italy for many moons. He is learning English and has been linked to Arsenal, yet who can say who else may be seeking a highly experienced, successful coach. Guardiola may well self destruct at City…If we go far in the Champions League and repeat the domestic double, he may feel its time to cash in his chips, when his stock is high. More on such matters in May!

forza juve

(Follow me on twitter HERE)


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  • Avatar
    JuveMarchisio January 26, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Great game, until we had to fight 10 man, than we were very poor. But I really liked the first bit. Asamoah was truly fantastic and MotM. Pjanic and Khedira were great as CM. With Marchisio back on full speed, we have 3 very good options for 2 positions. (Hernanes, Sturaro, Lemina, .. in spite). I really love this 4-2-4 system and if everyone fights hard, it is defensifly stable. I hope to see it in CL as well. And with Pjaca, sandro, alves, we have plenty of options on the wings. I’m not a great fan of Cuadrado, but you have to give him some slack, if you see Mandzukic working hard and missing chances at the end of the game. You should give Cuadrado the same appraisal, besides his faults. Both a 6 is a little bit harsh because they really have to work very hard. In defence they need to close down the midfield and in attach they have to run very deep. Just wondering if they can do it as well when the attacking speed of the opponent is twice as fast (Barca, Real, …)???

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet January 26, 2017 at 11:57 am

      I understand your points on Cuadrado and Mandzukic. However, Mario missed a chance which I would have scored, no defender near him, and this will prove a problem against better opponents, as in the champions league. He was immense against Lazio, worked damn hard against AC but missed a glaring opening, under no pressure, Higuain even left him the ball…

      As for Juan…as i mentioned, I would prefer to keep him in the side, but other than a typically haphazard touch to Dybala and decent cross or three, he was up and down. he is capable of much better and we have not yet been able to improve him as a player. Which perhaps you can say is down to Allegri, or the player is already playing to his optimum potential. I have come to appreciate his pace and endeavour, but his passing and decision making, as well as his finishing, is often awful.

      • Avatar
        Storm January 26, 2017 at 1:21 pm

        I have to agree here. Even though Mandzukic and Cuadrado were both finding themselves in some challenging and bit unfamiliar positions, I too think that Mandzukic did it better.

        I am not a huge fan of Cuadrado for the mere reason that he is unreliable, as he goes from brilliance to stupidity in a second. The amount of fail passes and bad decisions makes the 6 a perfect fine score. Said in another way, it seems like Mandzukic is doing everything in his power to do better whereas Cuadrado is “daydreaming” / taking to easily on things.

        All in all, happy to see them both contribute to another great game and important win.

        • Avatar
          Al Marenco Saenz January 26, 2017 at 9:20 pm

          That all said, Cuadrado created I think 3 goalscoring chances (including the assist to Dybala), MArio just wasted them. If by your assessment, Mario is doing things as best as he can, yet he is this bad, while Cuadrado “daydreaming” can directly impact the the outcome of the day, you’re basically implying Mario sucks (can do no better even if he tries) and Cuadrado could do much more. It also means you are judging them both on perceived effort and not performance, which if you pardon me saying makes no sense.

          • Avatar
            Dar Black January 26, 2017 at 10:16 pm

            Mario like all strikers can and will miss sitters, and they are allowed some off days. But as long as he is putting in the effort to be on the end of crosses and Juan is putting in effort to make crosses which are good enough for Mario and co to get on the end of then they have both done their jobs i’d say. Sometimes even Messi and Ronaldo don’t score…It happens like that sometimes. But lack of effort is unforgivable.

          • thegutterpoet
            thegutterpoet January 26, 2017 at 11:20 pm

            No question of their effort, and considering my long standing unease with Juan, I am reporting on his work far more positively of late. Precisely because alongside the errors, he creates a problem for the opposition and often a chance or two for others. His crossing has also improved of late, or perhaps just a purple patch…

          • Avatar
            Dar Black January 26, 2017 at 11:27 pm

            He seemed bright last night from what I saw chap. He is a cheap deal too, with get out clauses afaik. So I don’t think he is a big harm to have in the squad as long as he doesn’t fug up too much. I guess it comes down to a balance of asset vs liability, a judgement call Max and Beppe have to make at end of season. Perhaps he is swinging things back to asset right now.

          • thegutterpoet
            thegutterpoet January 26, 2017 at 11:39 pm

            I could even drag myself as close to saying…Cuadrado has improved. His work rate is increasing, his tackling less dangerous, the need to cover the whole flank in both phases of the game more evident in his endeavour, and he never stops running. Less times do we see him lose the ball, he has simplified his act….could be just for a few games, could be the start of long overdue development of his skillset, worked on by the management. His pace remains always a major weapon…to add in a greater % of successful key passes would make him a very good signing indeed.

          • Avatar
            Storm January 26, 2017 at 11:05 pm

            You got a good point in saying Cuadrado could do much more than Mandzukic. My point is that on the field Mandzukic through 90 min. seems to deliver more. Yes, Cuadrado has one or two sparks of brilliance, but don’t forget the dreadful things that could just as well end in a goal to the opponent.

            It doens’t change my opinion about Cuadrado which has a kind of Balotelli to him, in the way that we fans think and wish that he could do so much more, but for some reason this is not fulfilled that.

            I prefer stability over risk and in my opinion 90 min. with Mandzukic is more stable than with Cuadrado. Maybe that is why we have seen Cuadrado excel most when he is use in “Inzaghi style” as a super sup.

          • Avatar
            DutchJuventus January 26, 2017 at 11:29 pm

            “Mario is doing things as best as he can, yet he is this bad”

            Exactly this. I have no doubt of the effort he puts in, even if he plays a different role, he must score those chances. Especially when he’s completely open.

          • thegutterpoet
            thegutterpoet January 26, 2017 at 11:42 pm

            Who else is there who can play LM, win every ball in the air, pass well enough, tackle, cover ground, hold up the ball when necessary and never stop running? I am fine with him maintaining his present role. It is more often than not positive for the team than negative. As I wrote elsewhere…can Pjaca defend? Can he hold up the ball? Can he tackle?

            Perhaps his attacking zeal is so fierce that the decrease in defensive potency would be greatly outweighed by the offensive value rising?

            We will likely see Pjaca given a chance in the LM role, but it is very much a hybrid position…Somewhere between a CML and AM.

          • Avatar
            DutchJuventus January 27, 2017 at 12:04 am

            I have no answer for that and you might be right. Doesn’t change the fact how frustrating it is when he misses those chances. All strikers miss chances but Mandzukic seems to do it more than can a topclub can afford lately. Whatever his position or role is shouldn’t matter at that point in a game, he should only be thinking about that situation.

      • Avatar
        E.Micallef January 26, 2017 at 2:44 pm

        Same thoughts on the goalscroring ball. Would it have been Porto not Milan i would have stayed all night swearing at the Manzu. How can a striker not finalise those chances and its not the first time this year.

  • Avatar
    DutchJuventus January 26, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Which makes no sense (as reply on JuveMarchisio). Why would we have more trouble with 10 than 11 players? Did they underestimate the 10 men Milan?

    Also, i had no idea Allegri might be leaving us in the summer. I just started liking him…

    Will we sell Mandzukic this summer? He keeps missing headers that are supposed to be his speciality. I didn’t wanna write him off yet but 2 of those chances in 1 match to finish off the opponent can’t be ignored.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet January 26, 2017 at 11:59 am

      The 10 men did not change the game massively, other than it gave AC added wind in their sails. We changed after the interval. Players stopped pushing and flooding forward.

      Dybala missed a chance in the supercoppa, yet I will not write him off. Neither will I do so with Mario. He is playing a new role, and giving his all. If we ask him to train as a CML his work as a CF will suffer. Or at least his sharpness.

  • Avatar
    Juventino Persa January 26, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Great assessment, as always! About this new 4-2-3-1 system, I like the idea of playing bolder and fielding a more attacking side, in the first goal, we had Mario, Higuain, Dybala and Cuadrado all in Milan box, and we all know the result. I totally agree with you that, with all this men forward, we are too much for almost every opponent, and I think we can finish off the games in first half!
    But my concern is the lack of back ups in the squad for 4 position of CF, LAM, AM and RAM. As I can see we can only add Pjaca and Pjanic to these positions, maybe Alex Sandro as well. That’s interesting to see how Mister is going to rest the players. In my humble opinion we maybe even add Kean to the mix an have this type of formation for those 4 upfront:


    Mandzukic/Pjaca/Sandro?, Dybala/Pjanic/Pjaca, Cuadrado/Dybala/Pjaca

    Cheers from Barcelona!

    • Avatar
      Sebastián Quiceno January 26, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      Dybala/Pjanic/Pjaca (Sandro) + Higuain any day. I think Pjaca already had too many tactics academy sessions. He might eventually turn out a coach after such drill, but before he turns coach first we need him for quite a number of years as a player on the left flank.


      • thegutterpoet
        thegutterpoet January 26, 2017 at 11:25 pm

        I would say that could be our strongest attacking unit, Seb, but Mandzukic offers a tremendous amount of value deeper, not just in midfield, but also the defence on occasion. He also wins 9.99999 aerial challenges and provides knock-ons, can hold the ball up. Now from what I understand of Pjaca, he is an out and out top striker, who plays on the flank. A wing forward…At best, a very attacking midfielder. Has he any experience offering defensive cover? If not, I doubt he will usurp Mandzukic.

        I really see no reason to change anything at the moment. Other than to bring back Lichsteiner. Marchisio can sub in for Pjanic at some stage v Sassuolo. Chiellini can have a 30 minute second half run-out. Perhaps offer Pjaca a chance for Dybala for a similar period. Also, we need to get Sandro fit, which means he must get more minutes. He was awful against AC!

        • Avatar
          Sebastián Quiceno January 27, 2017 at 3:34 am

          Yes Poet everything you are saying is correct and on point (because you are talking from the vantage point of Allegri), The thing is I just answered Juventino Persa´s suggestion not as if I was Max Allegri, but just in the way it fits my taste in the purest way. (Because I don´t need to think like Max, he would never do what I would, nor do I endorse all his ideas 100%), and I´ll go further to say I have my own defensive philosophy totally unrelated to that of our current coach.

          I just can´t remember what article was which I read this week, on it an ex Milan player said Sacchi would have training drills 11 players vs a 4-2 defensive (6 players) setup. I think it was Gullit who said the defense mechanism was so tightand well oiled they never managed to score 11 v 6.

          Even before knowing who in the world Sacchi was, and since I don´t care 2 cents what Milan do either, All my life I have always believed a 4 man back line with 2 midfielders (nevermind if they are creative or defensive) MUST be able to defend on their own (just like Argentina in last world cup fielding Di Maria, Messi, Lavezzi with Aguero/Higuain up front leaving placing a 4-2 behind them and leaving them pretty much all defensive responsibility).

          It may sound outdated or old school but I actually deeply believe on that concept.

          Because honestly I´ll go even further and state I have a hardcore belief a team who praises to be good at defending MUST be able to manage and defend any threat situation against any number of players with 6 and even only 5 players (being realistic opposition won´t commit more than 6 players to attack, unlesss they are Bayern who actually commit 8 -freaking blitzkrieg freaks-).

          Meaning in most cases you may find yourself 6 vs 6 and should handle it easy, if you are caught with your pants down you must always be at least 4 vs 6, you will struggle but defense must pay, must deliver and make up for their mistake of being surprised by managing to delay, and then contain the situation . And in the most extreme case you might find yourself 4 vs 8 (in which case if it actually happened would entitle the 2 missing players to be benched 2 to 3 games for being so careless, slow, or unattentive).

          In all fairness I have always stated 4-2-3-1 is one of the more attacking systems so that if you actually pick it but start placing defensive duties on your attacking players you are somewhat backpedaling or neutralizing your own system (Which is something I have found many coaches are expert at, and which wouldn´t be my 1st choice).

          So yes you are right Mandzukic is the right man for what Max wants, hence why Max has used him there instead of Pjaca. But if it was up to me my preferred 4-2-3-1 would be.

          Alves Chiellini Bonucci Sandro
          Khedira Marchisio
          Dybala Pjanic Pjaca

          And instead of having Pjaca take a myriad of tactics and Juve way of life academic drills I´d have the defense, the 4-2 be the ones taking the defensive and juve Roman phalanx tactics Phd, and i´d let Pjaca do his thing and do it his own way up there.

          Now again all I just said is not aimed to contend your reply, we are just talking two entirely different things. I am not hoping to see my 4-2-3-1 anytime soon, besides 4-2-3-1 might not even be mi preferred system, I think I prefer good old 4-4-2, is naturally more balanced since it doesn´t overload defensive duties on certain players, but on the team as a whole. Have talent be the one to tip the scale, 4-2-3-1 kind of forces it.

          I hope i can find that article again, I was surprised how accurately it showcases my point.

          • thegutterpoet
            thegutterpoet January 27, 2017 at 5:40 am

            Alves Chiellini Bonucci Sandro
            Khedira Marchisio
            Dybala Pjanic Pjaca

            Chuck in Lichsteiner in place of Alves and that looks our strongest offering…at least on paper…with a 4-2-3-1. Less pace on our right flank but lots more on the left. And it will be interesting to see how Sandro fares in this system…he is much happier going forward than defending, whereas Asamoah is more balanced for the position.

            Also…we lose the huge value of Mandzukic’s omnipotent aerial prowess, as well as his tackling and covering.

            I really have yet to find Alves clearly superior to Lichsteiner offensively and he is nowhere near as sturdy at the back.

          • Avatar
            Sebastián Quiceno January 27, 2017 at 3:24 pm

            I had not seen this reply of yours.

            I really appreciate your effort to try and reach to my end considering my man picks, although I am not dead serious about my picks, I would not marry that lineup nor system.

            Stil I´ll have a go at a more realistic lineup Max could actually use:

            Lich (Alves), Bony (), Chiello (), Sandro (Asa)
            Khedira (Rincon) Pjanic (Marchisio)
            Cuadrado () Dybala Mandzukic
            Higuain (Pjaca)

            Realistic Notes:
            – I am sure Max will start Asa instead of Sandro when he wants defensive balance
            – I am sure Max will insist with Khedira RDM, Pjanic LCM,
            – I am sure Max will insist with Pjaca as 9
            – I am sure Max will insist with Cuadrado RW since he doesn´t fit naturally anywhere else, and has been harder than expected to tailor him to another position

            Max insists a lot when an idea reaches his mind and takes him several games and criticism to let go if it doesn´t work.

            Where I differ with Max:
            – Would I award Cuadrado starter spot consistently? Not at this time
            – It is a question mark what Marchisio´s role will be if he loses his spot to Pjanic. It could turn a worry (if benched) or an opportunity to use him somewhere else (has Marchisio ever been TQ? I am sure he´d intercept plenty of balls high up the pitch and his mid distance shot would shine again).
            – The fact Mandzukic doesn´t start doesn´t mean we lose his skills we can always replace someone at min 80:
            – Higuain if not on his day
            – Cuadrado: to make it the previous trident up front:
            Dybala, Higua, Mandzu
            – Even better I would do this

        • Avatar
          Sebastián Quiceno January 27, 2017 at 3:57 am

          Honestly in essence to me the only difference between 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 is the former allows you to use a TQ, the 2nd one doesn´t, end of story. So if you desperately want a TQ then go ahead use 4-2-3-1, if you don´t then go ahead use 4-4-2.

          Funny thing is besides Pjanic we don´t have a proper TQ, so if we are not fielding Pjanic there theoretically we shouldn´t even be using that system until we bring James or someone of that ilk.

          Now in all fairness and to give due praise to Max for having balls and creativity to come up with the idea the new system has worked really well and we have performed great on it.

          I will say I can see why Max thought of it, it is all about evolving 4-2-3-1 or taking it astep further in the same way Guardiola evolved 4-3-3 with a false 9 (Messi).
          Apparently for Max its all about placing a 4-2-3-1 a la Guardiola only that instead of using a false 9 we are using a false 10 (Dybala) and a true defined 9 (Higuaín).

          Thanks Poet for making me think of it, I actually came up with all this as I am writing. I don´t know how heretic it may sound but I don´t think I am that off the mark with what I am saying. I did not see taht perspective until you invited me to think of it.

          Well done Max Allegri, way to go!

          • thegutterpoet
            thegutterpoet January 27, 2017 at 5:35 am

            Hola Seb…Pjanic appears more versatile than simply useful as a trequartista. At Roma, he played often as a deep lying playmaker. Which is exactly where he has played in the new system for the last two games. He is not playing as advanced as a trequartista. Dybala would be that player in our recent attempts at 4-2-3-1. Khedira and Pjanic are remaining mainly central, and fairly deep, taking turns to stride forward when opportunity permits.

            Pjanic could also play in Dybala’s position, as could Pjaca I assume.

            It is early days. We still have issues with mentality and dropping off terribly in the second half of games and with our finishing, but the early signs are promising…

          • Avatar
            Sebastián Quiceno January 27, 2017 at 1:49 pm

            Of late I have noticed your posts and comments to be more open minded, sharp, accurate, and lucid than before. You should share the secret with the rest of us, did you have a nice vacation or was it a certain place?.

            Everything you just said is totally correct. I am happy and pleased Max Allegri is redefinind himself and our team even amidst subpar results and criticism.

            Losing 6 games by mid season is just NOT GOOD ENOUGH for Juve, but the last couple of games give me optimism we can stop derailing our Serie A season and actually come back on track to success on all fronts.

            Having a more aggresive option to approach games greatly improves our chance of succes especially in Europe. Although like you suggested there´s is still much we have to improve on the 4-2-3-1 if we are to use it often and/or in games where stakes are the highest.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet January 26, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      If we are to truly give the new system a chance…

      RB – Lichsteiner/Alves/Barzagli
      CB – Bonucci/Rugani/Chiellini/Barzagli/ Benatia
      LB – Asamoah/Sandro/Mattiello
      DM- Khedira/Marchisio/ Rincon/Sturaro/ Hernanes
      DM – Pjanic/Marchisio/ Rincon/Sturaro/ Lemina
      RM – Cuadrado/Dybala/Pjaca
      AM – Dybala/Pjanic/Lemina
      LM – Mandzukic/ Pjaca/ Sandro/
      CF – Higuain/Mandzukic

      I would happily keep Lemina well away from the starting line-up. A shame he was injured at the ACON, as he could have improved his value. He has impressed me less than any other player this season.

      We are close to overstocked in midfield now, as we have only two places for a central midfielder. Which should be 2 from Khedira/Pjanic/Marchisio. If Pjanic plays higher, Marchisio and Khedira would be tidy and solid. Where we are to find minutes for Rincon/Sturaro/Lemina/Hernanes is beyond me.

      yet the 3-5-2 remains. And even if we stick with the 4-2-3-1, Allegri has a habit of resting players before big games. Leading to more opportunity for the second and third string.

      Perhaps if Mandzukic or Higuain become injured, then Kean might get a place on the bench. Other than which I doubt we will see him in the seniors again this term.

  • Avatar
    Xx RForcE xX January 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    It is not Fucka! His name is Juraj KUCKA, i already mentioned this when we played them before and before and…

    • Avatar
      E.Micallef January 26, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Good one. 🙂 I thought this was done on purpose

      • Avatar
        Xx RForcE xX January 26, 2017 at 2:49 pm

        when ive read it for the first time i told myself – who da fuk is Fucka? i checked their squad and realised that it is my country man Juro Kucka lol,

        • Avatar
          E.Micallef January 26, 2017 at 3:00 pm

          I like the man for our midfield btw.

        • Avatar
          DutchJuventus January 26, 2017 at 10:56 pm

          I thought that too lol. Unlucky guy named Fucka. Now it makes sense xD

          • Avatar
            Xx RForcE xX January 27, 2017 at 1:21 pm

            yo Dutch, where’s your buddy Dominic lol

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        BelgianJuventino January 26, 2017 at 9:07 pm

        It is, as far as I know

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino January 26, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      Pretty sure GP knows that, he just hates the player and turns the name in a pun

      • thegutterpoet
        thegutterpoet January 26, 2017 at 11:17 pm

        Can’t stand him, mate…A wretched thug of a player. Decent technique, but he never fails to irritate me with his whining and hacking. One of those players who look as nasty as they play…

        • Avatar
          Dar Black January 26, 2017 at 11:21 pm

          We are not talking about Bacca then?

          • thegutterpoet
            thegutterpoet January 26, 2017 at 11:26 pm

            No, comrade…Bacca is a whiner, who looks likely to cry and stamp his feet with his little hands outstretched by his side with tense stricken arms…hardly a major annoyance though.

        • Avatar
          BelgianJuventino January 27, 2017 at 7:10 am

          I knew I read it in some earlier post comrade, he’s a butcher eh

  • Avatar
    DutchJuventus January 26, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Someone gave our new logo a little twist mixing it with our old logo.

    • Avatar
      Dar Black January 26, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      Seen that elsewhere, but yes it is a sh*t load better than the official one. Ten minutes on Photoshop and look what can be done!

  • thegutterpoet
    thegutterpoet January 27, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Aside from the discussion below…Bentancur should sign after the South America U20 tournament finishes in February. And could well join the first team squad in June. There was some rumours of our eagerness to bring him to Piedmont in February, but Angelici is up to his usual tricks and demanding more money than the 9.4m option. Also at the SA U20 championships…Rogerio is emerging as a very bright hope indeed…featuring as the starting LB for Brazil in 2 of their 4 group games, a sub in another. His side have qualified for the knock-out stage, Bentancur’s Uruguay will probably do likewise (Rodrgio was sent off in a fiery affair with the Argies in their 2nd group match so missed the next game. he is a first XI player for his national U20 side).

    Our Lithuanian dynamic midfielder Slivka has headed to Ascoli on loan…Marzouk has headed to Chiasso…Pisa may be interested in offering De Ceglie a new start in life…Our interest in Swedish international Robin Quaison (at Palermo) seems real. His contract expires in June, some interest from Samp and England perhaps, but we can match the money been offered with ease 2-3m and possibly just a matter of our preference to loan him to Empoli in January, rather than leave him rotting in Sicily! Interesting player, decent age, versatile and already accustomed to italian football and culture…

  • Avatar
    Kemas Rashad January 27, 2017 at 12:30 am

    i want Massimo Carrera if Allegri leave us. cmiiw we always win when Carrera replaced Conte few times.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet January 27, 2017 at 1:05 am

      He is faring brilliantly at Spartak, which is great to see, but he will need far more experience to be considered for the Juve job, or stunning success in the near future at Spartak…e.g win the league then prove a surprise package in next year’s CL. Sousa is also an ex juventino and has been managing as a head coach for the best part of a decade, in many different leagues and has shown progress as a Serie A manager…Bring them both home eh!

      • Avatar
        Kemas Rashad January 27, 2017 at 1:27 am

        at least Carrera have tasted how to manage club like Juve even though only several matches. from what i’ve seen he’s also flexible with formations and tactics. the major reason i don’t like Sousa is i’m not impressed with his spell at Fio. average coaching skill and doesn’t have charisma as a manager. yeah he beaten us last week but it’s more like we played bad also exhausted.

      • Avatar
        Peter January 27, 2017 at 10:20 am

        Sousa was standing out of the Hungarian manager swamp as a pimp in a whorehouse.

        It could have been the contrast, but his team played great: defending when they had to, and attacking with precision, punishing seemingly every chance they had.

        His biggest opponent was the league schedule and the lack of quality on the bench.

        I’m okay with Allegri, but if he left, I would be okay with Sousa.

  • Avatar
    Sebastián Quiceno January 27, 2017 at 4:53 am

    Oh boy Poet I won´t even comment on your ratings because it is clear to me noone understands what we are up to or what the rationale of Juve currently is better than you.

    Now, I didn´t even intend to comment anything but you got me fired up.

    Although we squandered the chance to finish the game with a 3-0, we sat back too early and for too long (especially 11 vs 10) it sure was not a perfect game, but last game´s performance was superb especially on attack.

    Don´t get me wrong I don´t think 4-2-3-1 is the holy grail, our silver bullet, neither the solution to all problems, but what i like so much of having seen it is:
    – Max showed balls. Fielding such idea in the midst of strong criticism.
    – Max showed some stark creativity

    Also the team showed, hunger, determination, mobility, physical and mental strength.

    This leads me to say I think 4-2-3-1 can pave the way for a new phylosophy for game approach. For many years we have relied on getting ahead on the score 1-0 or 2-0 and defending our lead because “our defense is the best” and “it is the juve way”.

    Still more than once having narrow leads and not being able to defend them (opponents effort, luck, paid/rigged refereeing) has come to bite our rear end. To me therés nothing wrong with aiming for narrow leads or narrow leads AS LONG AS WE WIN as long as we actually pull it off. The thing is in the current state of world football sometimes we jus´t don´t do it and we either tie or lose when it matters most.

    So I thing at least until we have a defined starting XI that has played each other for at least 3 years and knows each other´s mind and moves by memory. (like Barca did during their years of dominance replacing players one by one like Puyol, Xavi or Ronaldinho and not 3 to 6 in the same year), until we reach that point I think WE SHOULD NOT aim to get ahead 1-0 or 2-0 and defend our lead.

    Along those lines I think an approach like the one 4-2-3-1 implies comes in handy, with an aggressive system we should siege harrass and ultimately run opposition over in the 1st half get ahead 3-0 4-0 5-0 full pedal to the metal with our attacking talent, great defense, with order. And only then sit back and defend our WIDE lead. Obviosuly it may not turn out that way every game but, if it doesn´t is no big deal because then it becomes a match like any other we have played in the last 5 seasons.

    Getting a wide lead would allow our players to manage their energy much better. We could do subs earlier, protect our key players, reduce the mental strain of not closing a game until the end.

    Pjanic said very well that we could have gone 3-0 or 4-0 and it would ahve ended there had we taken our chances. I was very impressed by Miralem´s words. Until that day I was not sure if he was more of a mercenary than a Juventino, but after listening to him state “We are Juve” with such passion and belief on our squad and our display i am starting to see him as a true Juventino.

    Is it a coincidence Pjanic has shined in both games, as have done many others like Mandzukic who was a beast against Lazio, or Dybala who is lethal. Even Cuadrado has performed much better. This team has just too much quality, we will profit so much more if we unleash all that talent with an aggressive setup than if we contain it with a 1-0 win approach, because with so many new players it is not guaranteed.

    We can always aim to win 1-0 games if we want to once we have a defined team where players know each other to near telepathic level, but for now i´d rather pick a more aggresive approach like the one 4-2-3-1 has given us, even if we don´t use it all games. I am glad we at least have that card up our sleeves if needed.

  • Avatar
    E.Micallef January 27, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Against Sassuolo i would try Pjaca instead of Manzu or Rincon for a 433. Pjaca is not Manzu defensivly but he showed real class going forward. Asamoah in current state can hold the back on his own.