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No player is bigger than the club.

July 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To surmise:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

forza juve

Daniel

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

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