Club Features

Raiola and his slimy kin…and other black and white mutterings.

July 7, 2017 - 3:16 pm

“When a club is faced by other competitors, especially big European clubs, it has no choice but to accept requests that run counter to any logic,” he told the newspaper.

“We must regulate the role of these professionals, who are sincere but also very greedy.”

Beppe Marotta spoke recently of the problem we are facing, not just as a club, but as a sport, with the horrific, yet unsurprising rise of the agents. Who have become closer to the true owners of a player than any club. To whom they simply loan their asset for a set period, whilst they search for the next mega pay-off received through engineering the next move of the player.

First there was Kia Joorabchian, then Jorge Mendes, and of late, the most prominent member of their cult of extreme greed is none other than Mino Raiola. Who was majorly responsible for Pogba’s departure last year, is now clearly pulling the strings of Donnarumma and will assuredly cause us bother in the future with Bioty Kean.

It is a surreal state of affairs to find the controversy of an 18 year old playing in the first XI of the team he has supported and trained with since childhood…well, perhaps since infancy would be more apt as he is hardly yet a man. The offer made was huge for an 18 year old, he was in a brilliant position, heralded by many as Buffon’s obvious successor, loved by the fans as one of their own. Raiola had (many) other ideas, and of course he would, because his ambition first and foremost is to make as much money for himself as possible. He is aware of the financial muscle of the top clubs, a canny operator with the media and a bullish creep holding all the cards when dealing with negotiations. This has now settled with the kid signing a new contract, which guarantees his departure…when his minder/owner considers the moment opportune to seek the largest fee, for himself. He has played the club and the player like an out of tune banjo, and will continue to do so, not just with AC but with the clubs of all the players he ‘represents’ until or unless some form of serious regulation of agents is put into place.

I find the situation appalling. Yet have become equally appalled by fans who place trophies and star players over any semblance of a club ethos focused on respect, dignity and loyalty. They come across very much a fan more of Raiola’s world than my own. One in which success should and must be purchased, at whatever cost. Loyalty is for amateurs, Greed is for the strong. A mirror of society in so many wretched ways…

We have been a rich club for aeons, and it is churlish for me to suggest otherwise, for we had a very long time indeed where we could compete with, if not outspend most clubs on the planet. However, for a number of reasons, we are not now in that position. We are forced to build a team knowing full well that agents will be able to find deals of mammoth pay rises and huge fees for any of our players, the more-so as we consistently remain near the top of the elite. This is something which endears the likes of Bonucci and Pjanic presently, none more so than Buffon, for these are players who have developed love for the club. They want to win in black and white, not earn the top wage available on the planet. They are part of something bigger and more noble than the lucre. And when players play for money more than glory as part of a team, the game loses it soul.

I felt a disservice afforded to those truly suffering under real trafficking when italian politician, Matteo Salvini labelled Raiola a ‘human trafficker’. For there is an obvious difference between being coerced to move from Milan to Paris whilst earning millions and fighting for the survival of your family. Yet I understand and agree with his muddled assertion.

Raiola represents everything that is horrid of the modern game. And it behooves both UEFA and FIFA to focus on the subject of agents or ‘intermediaries’ as they are now known, if they have any respect for the long tradition of fairness and purity of the beautiful game. For these fiends are running amok, ruining what was once worthy of the passion which now feels not just in others but often in myself as mere echoes of a world long gone…It feels like a longing for a love long finished, which my heart refuses to give up. That retarded knight in the throes of death on the battlefield, the enemy striding away, yet I raise myself on a bloodied shoulder and squeal ‘come back, kill me again’…

Which leads me onto more cynical mutterings of many younger ‘fans’. Who pick up on every rumour and are suddenly an expert on players they have never seen play, yet quickly googled. Who demand changes in management when we reach our second Champions League final in three years, or more annoyingly, suggest and buy into bizarre conspiracy theories of half time fall-outs to explain why we didn’t win. Who call for the club to sign the latest fad player, when others are offering mega money, and yet the players in question have achieved nothing more than a solid season in the apparently indomitable french league and a decent showing in european competition. They seek the showbiz aspect of football, the glitz, the baubles, more than the often heart wrenching mission of loving a club inside out, rising and falling with their fortunes, come hell or high water, and simply demanding, wanting, knowing, feeling that every player in our colours gives his all for the cause.

As a brief, but needed aside…My own analysis of the final is as follows:

We had a plan, which focused hugely on the selected first XI staying on the pitch deep into the second half. We did well in the first, could even have been in the lead, but 1-1 was a fair reckoning. Unfortunately, two key players had knocks, Pjanic and Mandzukic. Max took a risk, for he did not feel the time was right to bring on 1 or 2 subs. It didnt pay off. Mainly due to the lessening of pace and fitness of those two key players, also due to the system which relies hugely upon the 2 CMs covering an immense amount of ground and screening the defence whilst charging through the middle. I like the way it allows out attacking quarter to power forward, but due to the fact that our 2 starting CMs are both very much offensive minded, with little natural defensive zeal, we are prone to lose the midfield, in the middle, which counts for EVERYTHING against top opposition.

Yes, we can marvel at the tackles of Mandzukic, the backtracking of Higuain, but I do not want to see a LW or CF in our own half, let alone defending in our own third. What this leads to, and led to (in the final), is a horrifying routine of finding most the side in our own half, with barely a target to hit facing three or four opponents as an outlet. This was not isolated to the final. Which is important to note. I had seen it during the season, with the same players. Against teams who on paper we should be trouncing.

Max changed the system in February, which added focus to our attacking talent and we became instantly more entertaining, but I had not forgotten the tendency for a side packed with power and technique to on occasion, simply cower…cause me to cringe as I watch us crawl and become unsteady and nervous for a victory or draw or appear to seek damage limitation. Such horror comes down to mentality. Belief. Confidence. Which must be addressed.

How so? Well, the most obvious position we need to strengthen, or simply include a player who is a specialist in the role, is a defensive midfielder.

Pjanic had a good season, a tough season, but was nowhere near as consistently superb as he was in Rome. Where he had often both De Rossi and Nainggolan as extremely physical enforcers in close attendance. In our set-up, he has Sami. Who is physical but not defensively sound, nor is he aggressive, nor is he quick or a monster in the air. Which leaves the central midfield area, where tight games are often won or lost, rather flimsy. Great going forward, other than which…porous.

No, I do not believe in a half time argument, or any other warped theory. We simply lost the midfield, then subsequently lost the game.

This is a problem I have only seen of the juvefc flock, dar black ever expound upon. Perhaps, like myself, he is rather long in the fang, and has watched so much football that he sees beyond the hype and tendency to focus on the top end and back line. We live in an age where the regista and DM roles seem rarely to earn the limelight. And yet…the game has not changed so much to negate the immense value of a physical presence as the linchpin of the side, a player able to screen the defence, scrap, impose himself physically on the midfield, dictate the pace of the game and move forward rarely, solely when we are in the utmost ascendency. A ‘water-carrier’ as possibly/probably my favourite footballer of all time once remarked of Deschamps, is often unheralded, rarely shows any hint of flair, yet without him, players like King Eric would never have found so much space and opportunity to excel in their own particular area of expertise. In short, we need a water-carrier.

Rincon could perhaps do the job, but he is a dwarf. Sturaro has clearly failed to earn the right, in the eyes of Allegri to even be given a rare cameo in his most natural DM role, which leaves solely Marchisio, who is intelligent enough for the role, but nowhere near gifted with the physicality I suspect we need. Mandragora seems capable, but is likely to be loaned out. Bentancur also fits the bill, yet is presently youthful and slender and may not even be registered in our ranks. He probably will, yet what place will he find in the pecking order, with Khedira, Pjanic, Marchisio and perhaps one of Rincon and Sturaro to contend with?

Ideally, we would be seeking a player in the Viera/Keane mould. We lack spite, bite and rarely do I see any of our players, other than Chiellini and Bonucci, throw everything they are into a challenge.

So whilst I am overjoyed to find Bernardeschi for the RW a serious possibility, Keita/Costa for the left, De Sciglio for RB, Schick for vice Higuain, all of it is brilliant, but without a physically imposing linchpin at DM, I fear the same problems of this season past will manifest.

As my certainly kin in passion and berserker zeal juvefc member Seb suggested as part of a lively rant of late…we need warriors, those willing to charge through walls, attack the enemy without fear, for this is something we lack.

This is the main reason I am no major fan of Cuadrado. He epitomises what I feel is a major issue for the side. For he is all bambi heart, with some talent. He looks like he might cry when he falters, he whines emotionally when he doesn’t play and whilst he is clearly more happy than for many moons since leaving Florence, are we to be a club who keeps players because their happiness, not their success in our colours is of paramount importance?

Juan has an appalling mentality as a professional footballer. I respect his devotion to the club, and his improvement, generally speaking, since the turn of the year…yet look at his ‘performance’ in the final…Entering the fray when we were 1-3 down, he picked up a needless yellow, then fell foul of Ramos playing the cunt. This ended the game as a competition. Which isn’t to suggest I am judging him solely on this one game. It is merely an example of his mentality and lack of cutting edge talent, the latter of which he simply does not show regularly enough to warrant a starting berth in a squad which aims for the ultimate glory.

I ponder that he wont recover mentally and emotionally from the final. No doubt players have had their arm around him, dried his tears on their shoulder, but thought whilst doing so ‘we will never win anything with this soppy goon in the team, lovely lad though…’.

We are too nice, too decent, too pleasant. We need some muscle, hustle and gladiatorial menace in the centre of the field. We need Leaders.

If this cannot be found or procured, I will not be horrified if we sign Nzonzi, for at least the DM position is his natural role and he is physically equipped to take the ball, guard the ball, use the ball intelligently, whilst remaining diligent in his defensive duties. He is also huge. We can do better with our money, and I hope we do. Yet even Matuidi has shown me that he can prove more of a bother in the DM role to opponents, than anyone we presently find in our roster…

I would like to believe that the club are very serious in both never standing in the way of any player who wishes to leave (which has its negative consequences, admittedly) and procuring solely players which improve on what we presently have at our disposal. We will soon see.

Until which, I refuse to engage in the energetic plastic fan routine…as I consider our progress sterling. And if 2 CL finals, 6 league titles on the trot, 3 supercoppas and 3 coppa italia titles from the last 6 seasons are not enough for you to continue to support the club as a whole, then my advice is to head back to FIFA on your playstation and find a team with more baubles…

forza juve

(follow me on twitter here)

fall asunder…then wake half baked, pondering my dreams…as meaningfully as if they occurred in my Wake


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  • Avatar
    عبد الرحمان التركي July 7, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    It is always a great pleasure to read the articles that come from the heart on this website.

    Speaking of Sturaro, why do you think Allegri doesn’t let him play DM. Correct me if I’m wrong but he was one of the best on the pitch 2 years ago, in CL semi finals against Real Madrid. He is a true warrior that I really like.

    Do you think that this season (hopefully with no injuries) he could become a solid one and maybe heir to Marchisio? (That will be a great addition I believe to our team this season, a kingdom cannot prosper without a healthy prince)

    And why don’t we talk about Witsel anymore ? (while writing this I checked on wiki…. Fucking chinese league…)

    Please excuse my language…

    Hopefully we will see 2-3 recruits before the start of the pre season!

    When we lost the Final I was really disgusted I didn’t even finish the game (after Cuadrado’s red). Not 3 passes were done in a row for the whole second period… I was so angry… But that is football. And as Buffon said it : We can still win it next year!

    And Forza Juve

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet July 7, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Your words are welcome. ANd where the devil is that name from which I cannot work out how to repeat beyond copy and paste, which I refuse to accept as my only avenue…

      I am glad to come across another who feels Sturaro is a talent we have handled poorly.
      and will respond with more clarity and focus on the morrow…for right now, I am brimming with the happiness forged through home grown herbs and my dalliance with the russian fire water and falling love with this WOman>>

      • Avatar
        عبد الرحمان التركي July 7, 2017 at 4:55 pm

        I am Tunisian, but currently living in Canada, Juve Fan since 4 years old (and Football Manager 1998) . And the name would be Abderrahmen Turki, but you could just call me Abdou 🙂

        PS: The Jam is amazing !

        • thegutterpoet
          thegutterpoet July 9, 2017 at 11:14 am

          Welcome to the ranks, Abdou!

  • Avatar
    Mixalis Neskis July 7, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    An Oase as always. I agree to every single word,instead perhaps the vieira/kean part. I want an Edgar Davids for our midfield(my reason for falling in love with the Bianconeri)!Physical,technical and dirty (in the good sense)!

    As of Raiola, well the looks alone says a lot about the attitude! My solution though would not be UEFA but the sporting directors themselves! Agents like Raiola need someone like Moggi! Plain simple ruthless! Donarumma does not sign? Good let him rot in the youth team until his contract expires!Until then the subject will cool down and the best offer he gets will be from Pescara!You communicate to the players as well that is either the club or the manager and here you have it! Pizza guy out of football!

    • Avatar
      RAC July 9, 2017 at 2:01 am

      “Let him rot in the youth team”.. This is called mobbing, and it is illegal.

      • Avatar
        Mixalis Neskis July 9, 2017 at 8:07 am

        It is called, the player does not fit the bill to play for the first team. If not playing someone is mobbing, then what do you call a 18 year old who is being offered 4,5m a year and does not sign because he wants 6 and specific clauses to his contract

  • Avatar
    Cory July 7, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    That retarded knight in the throes of death on the battlefield, the enemy striding away, yet I raise myself on a bloodied shoulder and squeal ‘come back, kill me again’… WOW that is amazing writing. During the final I saw something I can’t remember seeing ever watching a Juve team, a look of of sincere doubt. When Casimeros deflected ball found its way into the bottom corner you could see members on the team think ‘your fucking kidding me right’ their heads dropped and the game was lost. I agree with your views on the teams needs. A beast DM would change everything for the side. I truly believe the CL title we all covet will arrive in Turin before this cycle is over. I know I am all over the place but Sturaro seems to have all the attributes we need for that position. I get tired watching him sprint all over the pitch and in big games I have seen him perform well. Between Game of Thrones and the Transfer Market my anxiety is at an all time high! and for people in the States is anyone going to the Juve Barca game in NJ in a couple weeks?

    • Avatar
      عبد الرحمان التركي July 7, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      I am in Montreal and have a USA visa but tickets are too expensive. But I wanna see my team play a game… But it’s a friendly game so they won’t be all out… but then maybe we get to see them from close? My god… i can’t decide !
      Maybe I could go to Juve Roma ? It’s less expensive …

      Meanwhile I am rewatching the 6 seasons of GoT…

      • Avatar
        Dar Black July 8, 2017 at 11:18 pm

        They may put out a near full strength side in a friendly that is part of a big (read lucrative) pre-season bash. I saw us against Real Madrid at Arsenal’s gaffe as part of the Emirates Cup back when Ranieri was our boss. He put out a near 1st choice team including Alex DP and Trezeguet.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet July 9, 2017 at 11:18 am

      Many thanks for the praise and comments, Cory…I have been stunned by the response from my piece, and have very much missed producing more mangled, heart felt opinion pieces as the match reports take up much of my spare time.

      Other than which…As I mentioned in the flood of words above, I did see this cringeworthy cowering earlier in the season. It seemed masked by the formation change, but clearly it remained an issue. I feel it will be addressed by bringing in some new talent ensuring that they bring with their fancy footwork the right mentality.

    • Avatar
      SMD05 July 9, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Cory, I’ll be there in 2 weeks… I don’t post much, but visit the site often.
      4 tickets, 2 Juve supporters, 1 FCB, and a neutral… (kids!)
      Couldn’t pass up the opportunity, last time I got to see Juve in person is when they played the NY/NJ Red Bulls in a friendly a few years back. I have a several hr drive to the game, but worth every minute until I can finally see one in Turin.

      As far as the transfer market goes, yes a DM is a must, personally I’d like to see us get 2 DM’s (or Nzonzi & and give Sturaro a chance) the way Max asks the outside guys to drop and defend, it may well be worth us lining up in a 4-3-3 (or some variation)

      Solidifies the middle of the pitch, put Gonzalo high and make him stay there!!!
      Bernardeschi and Dybala just behind, both drifting out wide or in the hole (10) to maintain possession and create numerical advantages with the ball…

      Just my somewhat long in the tooth opinion…

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino July 7, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    God I love your writing GP. Bless you. Just on a sidenote, the younger fans among us should not fear posting their ideal players, formations, ideas.. there is simply a (perhaps thin) line between youthful exuberance and downright idiotic muttering.

    I count myself as a young fan still, as I am a post 2000 Juventino(it began in 2002 for me)

    If I may hand advice to the young guns on this site, take articles written by people as GP to heart. Cherish them and learn from them.
    He knows what he is talking about, like a wise old monk (he even looks like one!)

    And with that said, I think too many of us are in a negative spiral after the lost final. This team and management wrote history for crying out loud, they arent stopping now.

    On and on we go, for we are Juventini!

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet July 9, 2017 at 11:25 am

      My friend, thank you. Your kind words have brought a smile to my Sunday night here in the garden as I sup russian firewater, struggle to accept that I can not write deep into the darkness for a return to my corporate obligations in the citadel looms ever larger on the horizon.

      Not sure about my resemblance to a monk though!hohoho!

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino July 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        Just grow the beard a bit longer comrade! You have the eloquence for it already

  • Avatar
    Dar Black July 7, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Midfield, midfield, midfield….. it is either the start, continuation or end of everything good that happens in great teams. We must get this right next season.

    The Devil ™ Raiola will be the death of football. His actions will sadly become a benchmark, a line in the sand and an inspiration for young agents. His picture makes me feel ill.

    Great writing GP.

  • Avatar
    Kieran Buckley July 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Great piece
    Grinta as they say is everything.
    We need an enforcer.
    As s Virkman we had one-Roy Keane
    Need I say anymore.
    Forza Juve

    • Avatar
      Dar Black July 8, 2017 at 11:11 am

      Roy Keane. Iron in the team (although UTD have had many of those). Of course he was a Forest man, stolen away from us by Fergie…. And now possibly the best non-bulls*t tv pundit. Tells it like it is.

  • Avatar
    Kieran Buckley July 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    As a Corkman

  • Avatar
    VonKellef July 8, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    As always I enjoyed reading the words of our own poet. You have clearly watched a few games throughout the years. You have been around long enough to see players like Zlatan come and go. To see players like Buffon come to stay. Your experience, insight and expertis is always welcome.

    You seem to be a true football romantic, but not so naive that you think that the likes of Moise Kean and his fathers tractors will be around until he hangs up his boots. You will never forget about the Calciopoli, the players that fled and why they did so, the players that stayed and why they did so. You do not go around and believe every rumor out there. You are aware of our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. But no matter what happens, who stays, who runs the show behind closed doors etc. You will always have a big Juventus heart.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet July 9, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Touching comments, comrade. It is contributions such as your own that make this place the finest virtual niche for juve fans I have come across. A place to seek and find solidarity as well as to absorb and ponder the different views of others and perhaps even change stance accordingly. I find the most astute thinkers and am often forced to reconsider what I was going to express, as someone else has made perfect sense which I had missed with my own eyes blinkered on the field.

      With the ever worsening plight of humanity never providing a moment’s solace, I remain jolly and grateful for the chance to collect with others of like mind, like heart here at juvefc. Rav has done a sterling job for which he rarely receives the praise that is warranted.

      I hope, that like me, you are feeling excited about the mercato and already counting down the days until battle once more commence!


      • Avatar
        VonKellef July 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm

        So the badminton pros real name is Daniel? Well, I will continue to refer to you as The Gutter Poet. The artist/stage name suits you well.

        Do you still find time to run after the feather?

  • Avatar
    RAC July 9, 2017 at 2:22 am

    Good stuff GP. I agree with everything except the agent bit. Donnarumma signs a contract which he honors, and then he is free to move on with his life. Same for every other player. I don’t understand why people speak of betrayal; no player should be bullied into signing a renewal by the fans. This is someone’s life we are talking about. Why should he be judged for how he decides to live it? He can still be an honest professional who honors the contracts he signs. I, too, as a young individual of any profession, would want to take advantage of opportunities for a new scene and possibly greater benefits. The notion of FIFA stepping in is more appalling in my view. This is what contracts are for. Clubs have the option of tailoring their contracts to anticipate and curtail any risks they feel they are exposed to..

    As for Raiola himself, I think there is a reason he has such a good relationship with all his players. He protects their interests. Let’s not assume Juventus weren’t implicit in the Pogba saga. People blame this event on Raiola, while our management had years before given him a contract which effectively worked as an incentive to hike Paul’s price for his eventual sale. This would not be the case had the club truly not wanted to cash in on him. Raiola has no problem with shouldering all of the backlash for his players, and I think there is no one I would rather be represented by if I were a professional.

    I understand your romanticism in this case, but I think we are witnessing a shift in the footballing balance of power for the better. I prefer players being intelligent and having more power over their destinies than clubs do.

    • Avatar
      Dar Black July 9, 2017 at 3:09 am

      I can’t believe what you have just said RAC. You really believe that evil fat piece of shit is good for football? That he is trying to protect the poor downtrodden player against the evil advances of tbe clubs! Try to project his actions, his power and influence into the world of ordinary men and women and realise how extraordinary the world of his clients are in relation to the the average person on the street, and the almost negligible power they have with and against their employers.

      He is a shameful son of a bitch. Think again about your beliefs.

      End of.

      • Avatar
        RAC July 15, 2017 at 1:15 am

        Supposedly, the way Pogba’s contract worked was: if you sell him for €10 you get 1%, if you sell him for €30 you get 5%, if you sell him for €80 you get 15%, etc.. The reason we paid raiola such a large fee is because we gave him the incentive to raise pogba’s price and activate his own rewards. This is something we were definitely aware of…

        I may not like raiola personally (we are talking about a guy who celebrated pogbagate by buying himself al capone’s house), but you can’t deny his clients seem to get consistently good deals.

        Pogba was earning a ridiculous amount of money, granted. His agent helped him realize that was not even near his potential, and then pulled the strings to help him get on course for that potential. Does he have to get dirty? Yes. Is it despicable work? Sure! But that is what agents are for, and this guy seems to get huge rewards for his clients on a consistent basis. Pogba always had the chance to say “no, thanks”, as I believe Nedved did on more than one occasion to the same raiola. It is just his job to shine a light on the possibilities.

        And I am with you 100% regarding the real world, which these superstars do not inhabit. But that is a gamble they take when they choose football as a profession; the spoils are for the lucky ones.

        I guess my point is the guy is just doing the textbook definition of his job, to greater effect than most. Look at the improved deal he got donnarumma after the big mess he made! The giant baby is still in Milan, but with the level of pay he would have received in Madrid. I hate him as much as you do, but if I were a pro, you can bet your ass I’d hire him.

    • Avatar
      4ZA-JUVE July 9, 2017 at 4:34 am

      It’s how these players decide to leave and how they talk at their new clubs, Pogba kisses the badge, promises to stay another year then vanishes, and follows it up with.. I’m back from vacation! WTF?
      Players come and go, Tevez made it clear that he’ll stay 2 years and then go back to Argentina, as a fan I was upset he left, but respected his decision as he said when he first joined what his plan was.
      For Raiola to act like Milan isn’t the right place for a18 year old is ignorant and greedy from him, he’s looking after himself then the player, like he always does, Raiola is a snake and nothing more

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet July 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      It is not a case of necessarily muddying the name of Donnarumma, more-so an attack on the movement of power over players from not just club, but even family and friends, to agents such as Raiola. A club has a responsibility, especially with young players, to care for them, nourish them, for their own interests but also those of the player. My suggestion of regulation would be focused on capping the fees agents can receive. This in one fell swoop would change the game for the better I believe.

      Also, I do not believe that simply seeking the highest fee and highest wage is always, or even often, in the best interests of the player. There is that aspect to the game, as there has always been and will always be, but there has always been players whose focus is about more than money. An agent should indeed try to get the best possible deal for his client, yet with younger players, under 21 for example, I do not see the benefit of agents having what seems like total power over their destinies.

      Raiola is basically one of the best in the business, yet this is a largely unregulated business – financially speaking, where he operates and his capital is human lives. The same could be said to a lesser degree of the club, for their capital includes the stadium, staff and the fans. When I see a 17 year old whose contractual issues are causing an issue between club, family and agent, I begin to wonder who has his best interests in heart, let alone head. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Raiola already has contacts, plans in place, to send him elsewhere. Yet what does he tell Bioty? What can a 17 year old know of the world? It is my assumption that part of the reasoning behind families signing their youngsters to Juve is that they receive an education, superb health care and all decisions are discussed with the family. This is markedly different to how Raiola behaves to the same. He works solely in greed. His greed and the greed of his clients.

      As a club, we always appear to treat players very respectfully when they wish to leave. Largely to our economic detriment, some could say. We do not use them as solely capital, we respect their wishes, and often end up selling for less than I would expect other clubs to demand.

      It comes down to something as simple as –

      Do you feel it is right for an agent to be guiding a 17 year old? What investment does he have in that player other than to wow him with figures? Bioty is just a kid. DOnnarumma is just a kid. I understand the need for them to have representation, but I do not believe that Raiola has any interest in players beyond how much money he can make. The club evidently treats them with more respect and care.

      • Avatar
        RAC July 15, 2017 at 12:36 am

        Well, yes.. An agent can push a naive (for their youth or whatever reason) client in the wrong direction. I don’t disagree with this. It is the concept of allegiance that doesn’t convince me. It would have taken a remarkable amount of self-sacrifice for Pogba, for example, to renounce his commercial potential just to continue to wear our colors (because we don’t have the platform to make him the world icon he can be). This is something modern players are more aware of, I think.. I guess I didn’t express myself correctly the first time around.

  • Avatar
    4ZA-JUVE July 9, 2017 at 4:02 am

    Just a thought… And I know it’s off the wall, but at times I feel Mandz can be that destroyer, he pretty much does everything but score ( he misses so many chances it’s not funny anymore) he can hold the ball ( kind of), doesn’t stop running, defensively sound, he’s literally the definition of grinta.. He has to be on the field but not on the wing or as a #9, I feel that he could have been the games top DM but ended up a #9 somehow, maybe I’m being foolish but I definitely would try it out!

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet July 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      There is sense to what you say, though he isn’t mobile enough to play at DM I surmise. And if we do sign Costa, his game time will diminish sharply, for where else can we play him? Costa will be the starter. No doubt on that score.

      Not sure where he will fit in, but am happy to find him in the ranks. If Higuain gets put down, Max will opt for experience of Mario I assume, over Schick.

  • Avatar
    Kushtrim Spahiu July 10, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Hi! Totally agree with the agent part piece. Something has to change. As you, I’ve been a long Juve fan, since the days of Pavel Nedved missing the Champions League final in 2003 (stating that as I’m often accused of being one of those kids who recently started watching football). Often because I suggest that Marotta & Paratici sometimes mess up with transfers (note sometimes, they’ve still done marvelous jobs so far).
    Personally, I hate it when Juve is linked with average players. Hence, I absolutely hated the links to nZonzi. I hated it when we bought Cuadrado who I think is just average, something you explained so well. My view is, save the money for next window, spend it on world-class players. Give the youngsters a chance to impress, which Serie A as a whole fails miserably in.
    Anyway, I totally understand how Juve need a physical, conventional DM. After reading your piece, I’m a bit more OK with buying n’Zonzi, although I still think giving Mandragora or Bentancur a chance (as long as they are fit is the smarter option). Signing both Costa & Bernardeschi would be a major coup. I keep saying that the technical level of the team is very low compared to Europe’s elite. Aside from Sandro, Dybala and perhaps Pjanic, the rest aren’t technically gifted which shows so often in Champions.

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    EL Terriblayy July 10, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Why the fuck did Allegri decide to use 3 center backs. Juventus was doing superb with 2cb and higuain up front of mandzu dybala and Cuadrado. 3cbs lost us most matches or gave us very lousy victories.. That’s what lost us the final

    • Avatar
      عبد الرحمان التركي July 11, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Because they are the best 3 defensive players in the world probably ?
      Because he knows what’s better for the team ?
      Because he wants to win ?
      Because he spent 3 years with them ?

      What lost us the CL isn’t the tactics, it’s the mental weakness of the team in the second half. It wasn’t Juve that was playing. it was some ghosts taken from the cardiff graveyard…

      • Avatar
        EL Terriblayy August 1, 2017 at 4:47 am

        are you serious? those 3 center backs were supported by strong fire power and when they departed(Vidal, Tevez, Pogba, and Pirlo), the tactics changed failing a 3 cb system. check out most of juve’s losses theyre all by adding 5 defenders on the field. And obviously he didn’t know what was better for the team at the final moment.. I like Allegri but sometimes he fucks it up, like by being up 4-2 bayern and he takes out MORATA (The main one raping the bayern defense) and puts in Mandzu. Got smashed 4 goals in 20 mins.