Disclaimer: Ladies and gentleman please keep your arms and legs in the car at all times while the ride is moving for your own safety. We are in for a bumpy ride.
I can’t think of a player that has been more divisive for Juventus fans recently than Juan Cuadrado. He has as many fans in adoration as he does in derision. It is easy to see why. You can never be certain whether you’re going to get Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde on match day. Every time you see him in the starting eleven on the team sheet there is always a bit of worry creeping in about his performance on the day.
The most recent match with Genoa was nearly the perfect example of all his pros and cons in one sitting. (Side note: I do not personally like this year’s 2nd strip at all. I just can’t get over how distracting and hideous it is. The yellow is way too bright. Unlike the more goldenrod one from a few years ago, and, I felt like I was watching a bunch of NYC taxis zip around. My apologies for the tangent.) He was dismal nearly all game. Roaming into places he shouldn’t, making poor decisions and poor crosses, losing the ball oh so easily, and then in one fell swoop, a beautiful piece of skill and a goal to boot that came out of nowhere. This is well and truly what we have come to expect of our number 7. We expect him to be poor for 85 minutes, with about 5 minutes of absolute mind blowing talent peppered throughout.
The fact that we, Juventus, would go into any game where we expect a starter to generally play poorly, that’s madness. I don’t know about you, but I think we deserve better from a starter than low expectation, and low return. If you haven’t noticed from watching the games recently, teams have even started defending against him lax for most of the game. Apart from footraces to get on the end of a pass, or when he tries to take an opponent 1v1. It’s almost as if even they know he isn’t a threat nine out of ten times. (For those of you who are sitting there absolutely losing it at me 150 words in, please hang with me. Remember, the night is darkest before the dawn.)
He’s nearly 30, he’s not very productive, he makes more than a few mistakes for his occasional flash of brilliance, he certainly won’t be a first team regular by the end of the year, let alone Christmas, and that means one thing and one thing only: his value is plummeting. He’ll have almost no resale value come next summer, which means that we will probably see Juan sticking around the Juve camp for a while longer. Thus, for every problem, there is a solution, and I believe there is one for Juan. While he certainly isn’t a starter for me, there is a more than viable use for him on this squad.
Before we arrive at our solution, we must first identify what qualities Cuadrado has so our solution makes sense. First and foremost, his indisputable best quality is his pace. He has it in spades. He can beat nearly anyone on the pitch from the first whistle in a foot race. Secondly, he does have an engine. He can play a full 90 no problem. He does have bit of trickery to him with his dancing feet, and can beat a defender one on one. He can, and does draw a foul with surprising regularity. He’s a decent enough finisher for a winger and will supply a few goals per year. (Sample size isn’t very large. He doesn’t shoot all that often.) He’s strong enough for his size to hold up play in the corners. He has an ok range of passing, but crossing/long balls are not his strong suit, he’s better keeping the ball on the ground. He’s aggressive in the tackle, probably due to the time he spent playing as a wing back/full back at Fiorentina, however short that was. (Side thought that we won’t go into much depth on. He was brought to prominence by bombing forward from the back on the right side for Fiorentina. So, it could be an interesting experiment to give him a run at that spot again against a team that’s at the bottom of the table.)
Which leads us to the perfect place for Cuadrado in our squad: as a super sub. This solves a handful of problems for us all at once, while also adding a different dimension from the bench. First and foremost, it frees up a starting spot for Costa or Bernadeschi immediately. What really makes this a plausible idea focuses on utilizing his pace. As I mentioned before, he can beat nearly anyone on the pitch in a foot race that is at 100%. Imagine a full back being terrorized by Costa/Bernadeschi and Dybala all game, and then brining on a 100% Cuadrado for the last 15-20 minutes. His searing pace would see him breeze past most any defender. The second thing that this brings into play is hold up play in the corner and the fouls he draws.
At the point in the match we are talking about there’s only a few possible outcomes. 1) The defender is forced to foul Cuadrado so he doesn’t get beat for pace. Bringing the game to a halt and allowing us to regain shape, retain possession, and take a breather. It would be especially useful in exploiting a full back who has already picked up a card. 2) He does beat his marker, and is free down the right side allowing him to hold up possession in the corner and wait for the team to get into the attacking half of the field, hopefully playing it short into the box for a chance, or, recycling play so we can play possession in the attacking 3rd. Using up valuable minutes at the end of the game without being under pressure or needing to use much energy. 3) It opens our counter attacking game when we’re ahead, trying to see the game out, and our opponents are throwing everything at us to get a result. Putting a ball over the top and letting him chase it. I challenge a fatigued player to catch him. Plus, if we do score a goal late utilizing this strategy, it kills the game off. Allowing us to sub in defensive minded players and bring off attacking players to rest. Ensuring the team is as fresh as can be as often as can be.
Beyond that, he has been a member of our squad for several years. He understands the club, the philosophy, and system. There would be no learning curve and it would afford us the opportunity to focus additional energy in other areas during the next few markets. He is a hard worker, and for all his faults, I can never say he doesn’t at least appear to be giving near 100% effort. We afforded him a lifeline when he needed it and he is dedicated to our club because of that. He doesn’t want to leave and he’s made that clear. It seems to me he is the type of personality that would rather be in a side that collects trophies every year and play less, than play more on a team that takes home nothing. Just look at all the time he spent on the bench before we switched to a 4-2-3-1 last year. This allows us to facilitate his desire to stay, while also utilizing him very effectively.
In conclusion, it is my opinion, for reasons stated, and some I didn’t for the sake of readability and length that Juan Cuadrado has a very useful place in this team yet. He’s certainly not a starter, but he can and should be used, to what I believe could be great effect, as a super sub.
(This is the second in the series of pieces offering alternative views than the most common on players within our squad.)
he is just a good guy from the bench,nothing more. his days are over…….still think he is a nice guy, a good mate but not a fantastic player.
Remember Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? Was he a Cantona, a Beckham or a Ronaldo? No. Is he loved by every Man Utd fan? Yes.
Ole’s finishing compared to Juan is basically a different species….no comparison in finishing. He makes cuadrado look disabled or non able bodied with is conversion rate!
The thing about Ole, was that his finishing was superb as was his concentration. You didnt see him joking around with team-mates during the first half, he was studiously focused on the game, looking for weaknesses to exploit, so when he finally appeared he had already ear-marked his own game plan. ANd as mentioned his finishing was unerringly top notch. Juan is no obvious student if the game, and his finishing is more often than not wayward…
Wow, yeah that joking around with teammates sure makes him no student of the game. I guess those years shredding defenses all over Italy with fiorentina were just jests of of good fortune. Never mind tearing up Argie, Brazilian, Uruguayan and Chilean defenses in Conmebol WCQ. That requires little focus and concentration. Nothing like mental jauggernaut that was OLE (lol). “Mate” next time just say: “I prefer white European players with European customs, that prefer to be cogs in a system rather than having players with individuality by way of natural talents.”
When all arguments are lost you can always roll out the race card !
Classy, well done Cam 😉
Such poetry and prose from sheer vapidity. Truly, your special amongst the uninformed. Your “Argument?” FÜCKING INANE !
That Cuadrado “loses” the ball and doesn’t recover it back. The answer: HE FÜCKING SCORES and creates opportunities. He’s job is NOT contention or recovery.
Your “Argument” that he’s not mentally tough because he “jokes” around with teammates. The answer : he’s FÜCKING CLUTCH IN KEY GAMES without him there’s no Serie A title or CL Final. If the team can’t play to or with on an attacking run on the flank, than the problem is the system.
Any idiot whom blames ONE player for the form of a team should go back to washing dishes at their local diner. Or pretending to be a “Poet” on a virtual forum.
No need to be rude. Difference of opinion is very accepted on this website, but careful with insulting. No racist in here, don’t worry. Cuadrado is not Ronaldo or Messi so relax a bit and listen to what others have to say.
Its a fine sign of a healthy community to see on those thankfully seldom occasions when mindless, attention seeking vermin appear, hoping to feel recognized, valued, find their place in the virtual realm – mostly due to absence of the same off the screen – that the community here ignores or ridicules…
Maybe it’s even a sign of the site’s steady growth. As exposure continues to blossom, more writers appear, more decent content, which in turn draws the mindless, attention seeking vermin…thankfully a minute % whose views are so heavily weighted towards idiocy that it doesn’t detract from the otherwise splendid interactions.
A brief bird shit stain on the car windows…the rain and wipers will deal with it through the next deluge.
Hey brother. I totally agree that Ole was a finishing monster. But the point I was making is that he didn’t play 90mins 50 games a season. He was a real “pinch hitter” to borrow from the baseball vocabulary. comes in at the 70th 80th min scores and Ciao.
Some players should understand (as Ole did i believe) that it’s better to play less and have more impact than playing every minute of every game and do shit 90% of the time.
I believe Cuadrado is one of those players that would be useful in the last 10-20 mins.
Hehe great choice of topic! While the points you make about Cuadrado’s usefulness as a super-sub are relevant, I still remain firmly on the side of his detractors. Amounts of 25-30 million euros are being mentioned about him in recent weeks, if there is indeed such an offer he should absolutely be sold. Juventus will never get a better price for him, and with Bernardeschi, Orsolini (currently on loan at Atalanta) and even Pjaca as competitors for the RW position, it’s not like there are no available replacements.
ROTFL MY ASS OFF !!!
Bernadeschi, Orsolini and PfffftJaca are not even in the same stratosphere of talent as Cuadrado. They’re not worthy of cleaning his boots. If you can’t devise a system that will properly exploit the talents of one of the very best RW in European football than you have shįte management.
ROTFL back @ “stratosphere of talent as Cuadrado” – in fact such expressions only show your lack of arguments. The supremely talented Cuadrado who couldn’t fit at Chelsea and whose best performances came at Fiorentina, a club known for being largely irrelevant.
Fiorentina are his level, if he leaves Juventus he’s only going to clubs like Fiorentina and Roma, not better teams like Bayern or Real Madrid.
Devise a system to exploit his talents? 4-2-3-1 was built by Allegri precisely with that in mind, it allows Cuadrado to bomb forward while being covered by a RB. What better system do you have in mind for him? Having a team of 10 Cuadrados on the pitch with Buffon in goal?
Truly, you must be a “D.C. United fan” when you’re not here. Funny how Cuadrado steadily slashed up the defenses of Serie A’s most “Relevant” teams whilst at Fiorentina. Funny how properly did the same during Conmebol WCQ. Far more Hilarious is the fact that you “Believe” a “System” is only dictated by a formation. Why even enlighten you that tactics (movements) give form to strategy ? Seriously, Do you even football ?
Juan, is that you?
From a tactical/player intelligence perspective, Cuadrado is a nightmare. He defends decently, but not enough. He does not seem to be on the same wavelength as his teammates and is often seen running like mad when everybody else is trying to slow down the tempo of the game. He does not know any other rhythm than ‘frantic’, which is an issue. Look at Mandzukic who is playing out of position at LW: he can’t beat his man or sprint like Cuadrado does, but does everything else so well.
You’ve described the Colombian’s other flaws well enough when it comes to crossing and lack of thought about his game. I’ve seen Orsolini at the last U20 World Cup and he already looks a better player in this role. Plus Bernardeschi has arrived too. There is simply no reason to continue to put up with Cuadrado.
People thinking he will be useful as a supersub only looked at his attributes without remembering that his best matches for Juve came when he started instead of coming from the bench. To be effective as a supersub you need more than just pace. You need intelligence to keep counters flowing. Cuadrado is not that player. He plays in his own world and often kills the team’s attacking play. Imo, it’s best that we sell him now and get Keita.
To be good as a supersub you only need to be able to either make things happen, or have a knack to be in the right place at the right time when others create opportunities. JC can do those things but only a few times during a whole match. The knack for it to work would be to make sure that those things happen for him in a small / limited time frame, often under pressure due to scoreline.
You don’t need pace. Famous English Division 1 / EPL supersubs Sammy Lee & Chris Fairclough of Liverpool (probably before your time….), Man U’s Ole Gunnar Solskaer and Javier Hernandez were not superfast sprinters in anyway. But give them a slim chance and they would more often than not take it. These guys are the snipers of football. One shot, one chance, one goal.
“He plays in his own world and often kills the team’s attacking play” – exactly what I’ve been meaning to say, but you put it in better terms! He seems to be doing his own thing waiting for his teammates to follow rather than show any awareness of the game around him.
I also have the impression that Cuadrado is living off his great performance against Barcelona in the first leg last April, when he tormented Jeremy Mathieu. His performances have dropped sharply since that and took another turn for the worse in May when his loan deal was made permanent.
Cuadrado is not playing badly at all, but once fans turn on a player, it’s hard to regain their support. They amplify the negative and struggle to acknowledge the positive. Plus, the addition of Costa and Bernardeschi is giving fans a reason to push for Cuadrado’s ouster. I for one appreciate what he does and I believe Allegri+management do see his value to the team as a starter or super-sub. If there is one reason to sell him at some point, it would be the fact that he relies a lot on pace and his utility will decline as he loses pace over time.
i am thankful for Juan and Sami.
But from now they have to be on the bench.
They earned and deserved the bench,really.
What a bad performances..
I was shocked to see Juanito loosing the ball to opponent and
just stay right there… while mandzu is always there to give a hand to sandro
cuadrado is not even trying…
Sami vs. Blaise… no need to say much.. Matuidi is better,faster,hungrier.
I would even prefer Bentancur if Matuidi is not there. until Sami regains his from.
P.S. Well noted, author!
I appreciate all what he has done but really prefer Keita.
I see the club’s decision to spend huge money on two wingers, both of whom are probably more natural on the right, as clear indication of their plans for Juan…
Which is a sub or to be sold. I dont think we push players out if they don’t want to leave, hence any interest was rebuffed. A little too soft for my liking. Players should be at the club because they are good enough. Not because we don’t wish to upset them. Yet I am sure Max notes the obvious, in that his pace can be a useful weapon on occasion.
As others have commented, he needs ten chances to make something work so I’m not sure how useful he will be from the bench. Also two other points-
He has a very weak mentality. When dropped he rarely reacts by giving a determined performance thereafter, instead he seems to sulk, his head drops. This is not useful in a squad geared towards winning against elite sides.
Secondly, his defensive covering is at times appalling or non existent. Mandzukic offers sandro much more support. The idea of seeing him play deeper horrifies me more than amuses..his tackling is often wild, marking and covering poor, he simply has pace. Barely anything else that sets him apart from a very average wide man but his odd alien looks. And his dancing…
Another good point raised below is his lack of cohesion with his teammates.he plays in his own head more than as part of the collective.
In short, the purchase of Doug and Freddy suggest he is to be phased into a squad player or sold. The latter seems impossible as we don’t want to upset his little heart. And probably not much interest.
Too one dimensional, his moments of quality come too far apart and his mentality is not befitting an elite footballer.
Makes you wonder why we turned the Chelsea loan into permanent transfer last season. Surely we could have conjured up an alternative plan if matches played triggered a compulsory purchase. Now we are stuck with him, as like you say I doubt there will be much interest in him.
Didn’t have any option. Permanent move was triggered by appearances. Would’ve had to dissolve the 4-2-3-1, or play lemina/sturaro in the wing.
I think I may have gone into to much depth with this. In short: he’s not a starter, there’s not much interest, we may as well find a solution, which as you mentioned considering his one quality is pace, could be as a super sub. And that’s praying that he makes the correct decision if he gets the opportunity too. I definitely agree that he does look devoid of ambition when dropped and cohesion with his teammates on a regular basis. But, we all know too well that unless he asks to leave, we’re stuck with him. Even in my opinion the best use for him, outside of a sub, would be as a makeweight in a really good transfer. Cuadrado + cash to get our man would work ideally, but individually, I see it difficult to recoup even the 20 million euro we payed to Chelsea. Could’ve been perfect for a Keita or Schick transfer. I had feeing you would not be amused by my thought on him playing in the defense, but I just couldn’t help but throw it in.
Mate, your pieces are brilliantly written, already a lively, thought provoking experience to read and polished…very polished. A very welcome addition to the community, and I hope you will come to know, or if not, to tell me, if you find my opposition or differing viewpoint less amicable than it was most likely intended. I am long in the fang, and thrive on debate…I mean, just look at the length of my contributions in the comments to your articles already! I am glad for you providing an in depth analysis, which I always prefer to cursory…and as Rav knows, I sometimes find myself at odds with his opinion, as I do with others!
I often feel like opposing some of the things I have written…but thankfully, find others to do this for me!
Also…I am more cynical than most. Only darblack seems to harbour a similar sense of bluntness, which I share, yet expound in a million more words…some others weigh in with startlingly similar analysis and I wish they would do so more, and they will, with your own work added to the others who write for the site…
Thanks for the well wishes for my travels…its been lonely at times, very different to the myriad of travels forged with a Woman by my side through north africa, south east asia, india and sri lanka, and all around EUrope…New Zealand I am happy to do alone, as I rent a motorcycle and the sense of freedom and majestic, gorgeous Nature is too special to ever feel lonely, but with the language divide, and moving around like a flea on a hot tin roof…I am ever so glad and nourished already to be planning my reunion, long overdue, with my own rugged tribe from the motherland…and tomorrow to Brussels, to collide with my italian second family…
Amico, on the contrary. I revel in the verbal joust that is debate. I think that’s one of the cornerstones of humanity is having the capacity to constructively oppose someone’s point and create a dialogue. Furthermore, I have been writing these somewhat divisive pieces for just that purpose. To create dialogues, discussions, debates. I also find your bluntness as welcome as an old friend. Keep giving me your thoughts full stop for it challenges me to take another critical look at my own points, as well as follow up with a counter that’s worthy of your response. One should never change themselves for the appeasement of others.
I think we may be kindred spirits in a way, for I as well typically feel at odds with the universe at large and am also a perennial learner. Stay long in the fang, it’s a quality we all too often don’t have the pleasure of seeing anymore in this modern day of instant information and response.
Safe travels and I will look forward to my stories from your journeys and responses to my pieces. As you should look for my responses as well.
I’m also terrified of Cuadrado in defense in all honesty 😛 it is like playing Barzagli as CF!
for me he’s not a starers but good solid player coming of the bench
Cuadrado = Not good enough to be a starter. I think everyone on planet Juventus with the exception of Juan himself and occasionally Max Allegri would agree with this. However, he does have attributes that make him useful to the team, sometimes more useful than we care to admit. He unfortunately also has setbacks that severely curtail and occasionally outweigh his attributes. I think Cuadrado can be a fantastic depth player with the right coaching/rules imposed on him..
Rule 1: Juan shall not dribble before the halfway line.
Rule 2: Juan shall not dribble at any point before the final 40 meters unless Juan has the cover of his midfield and defense (at least 4 players) behind him.
Rule 3: Juan shall not shoot from outside the box unless Juan has no passing option.
Rule 4: If Juan has the option of a long cross, Juan should do his best to play a short pass in its stead.
Cuadrado’s main weakness, for me, is an inability to choose his moments. All players are disposessed from time to time, but Cuadrado is frequently dispossesed in the worst of times (i.e. transition from defense to attack or starting a build-up). He should be restricted to short passes and hold-up play until the team is fully in attacking shape.
Juan also likes to shoot from outside the box. Juan has no shot from outside the box (I’m intentionally forgetting the Inter game). I would rather we recycle possesion and lose some momentum than send the ball to row Z. Finally, our #7 can ocassionally put in a good or great cross from far down the field, but we will lose posession more often than not when he tries it. It would be much better if he laid the ball off to Dybala who will always be nearby. He’ll know what to do with it.
If we could control Juan’s bad habits, we would actually have a fantastic tool from the bench. He is blazing fast going up and down the field, which means he will be a great help to the defense in providing another body for cover and making opposing attacks uncomfortable (regardless of whether he wins back the ball). He will more often than not beat his marker, is very dangerous inside the box, and provides us with a LUDICROUS amount of indirect free kicks. Cuadrado walking onto the pitch in the 70th minute is pretty much a guarantee for Pjanic/Dybala floating 3 or 4 free kicks into the box in the final stages of the game.
He could actually be quite the luxury from the bench.
I think his weakness (right now) are mentality, especially his vision (confused by giving passes) and anticipation (often to lose the ball)
Even as a sub he isnt trustworthy to perform well – as shown in Cardiff.
He is a one trick pony who scores every once in a while, though his goals are usually important ones.
Should be on the bench and not come off it unless for minor games now that Juve has plenty of options on the flank
Cuadrado = Lichtsteiner case 2.0? 😉
Licht is way more consistent. His qualities haven’t changed for as long as he’s been at Juve. He’s just regressed with age as is expected for any player in the autumn of their career.
This article is interesting, if you’re a football casual that doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
It’s funny to read a few gringos and limeys ponder J.Cuadrado. Easily the most dynamic player on the Juventine side and the only one that adds any attacking flair and thought yet he’s weighed on his “DEFENSE?”
DO YOU EVEN FOOTBALL?
Cuadrado is to play on the right wing on a CONSTANT START and link up with Dybala. You can’t have attacking consistentcy from the bench and he’s Miles better than most RW in Serie A. He’s not a RWB he doesn’t defend. That’ll be like asking the author to understand what he’s writing about or maybe he only understands European footballers and considers Argies and Braz as the only SoAmcans that can play ?
In any case, Cuadrado, Dybala, GiGi, Bonucci and Chielini are the only worthy players you have on that garbage team. If you don’t know how proper deploy his talents than you have garbage management too.
Do you even proof read your posts? You have missed out an important word (IN UPPER CASE TOO…).
Please tell us limeys and gringo’s what team you support! We are dying to know, seen as how we know nothing and have a garbage team to support, so it would be so cool to hear about a team that wasn’t garbage from someone so utterly knowlegeable as you Cam. Please do share……
Wow, you really “Got Me.”
Seriously, were you born stupid or were you raised that way ?
“Bonucci left for Milan a few weeks ago.” You must really think you got a zinger in. You must really think because he JUST LEFT ; the fact that he was one of the best players on the Juventine side is suddenly “INVALID.”
Tell me with argument, proof and fact that Cuadrado isn’t one of the most pivotal and dynamic pieces on this team. Write with fact and proof to his position, play and team strategy that he hasn’t deserved a starting job.
The only thing any of the sordid and sad lot on this page has mentally defecated is that “He doesn’t recover balls.” NOT HIS JOB. “He plays in his own world.” HE SCORES AND CREATES SCORING OPPORTUNITIES.
“He’s not mentally tough.” HE’s CLUTCH IN THE MOST MEANINGFUL GAMES AND HE STOOD OUT WINNING A TITLE AND GETTING THE TEAM TO THE CL FINAL.
Get back to watching MLB.
Yes I did get you didn’t I 😉 You know it too, and so does everyone else who reads it. You have been owned mate….
What is with the MLB? I am not American you idiot. Cam, you’re useless. You can’t get anything right.
Your apathy intrigues me. Have you forgotten your Prozac? Or did juventus possibly beat your team? Leaving your courage, or should I say cowardice, best defined in the bitterness you harbor for juventus, delivered as you hide behind your keyboard. I think everyone here can see that most any argument made in this community is made with ample credence and fact. To disperage the intelligence of one as thoughtful as dar black shows how listless you are. Crawl back into the hole from whence you came.
Also, I am American and I love the MLB, so I’ll just keep on watching it. Thanks for the permission and encouragement to do so.
Every time I see that idiot on the pitch, I pray he gets a red card, or even a knee injury. Hes the only player that would turn me away from Juve games & that is very hard. I’ve felt that way since last year.
Fuck him. I hope he doesn’t get much time.. I’m interested to see our new players. anyway.