Following a horrendous start to the campaign, Juventus finally managed to turn the corner by mid-October, putting together an impressive domestic streak consisting of six wins and as many clean sheets.
But just when things were beginning to look up for the Bianconeri, Max Allegri had to bid farewell for eleven of his stars who took the plane to Doha.
Due to the 2022 World Cup, this most unusual of campaigns has been awkwardly cut in half, separated by a lengthy break that will last for around 50 days.
So will this stop hurt the remaining part of the campaign or instead play in our favor?
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the winter break and its effect on Juventus.
Pro: Recovering Energy
Due to the extremely elevated number of injuries, some of our players had to cover extra shifts. Take Juan Cuadrado for example. At the age of 34, a wingback isn’t supposed to play twice per week throughout the course of several months.
At the end of the day, the Colombian looked out of sorts and received harsh criticism for some sub-par displays, but surely a long break will allow him to recover his energy levels, and the same can be said regarding some of his teammates.
Con: Derailing the Momentum
In the final match of the year, Juventus put on a marvelous show when they hosted Lazio, pummeling their opponents with three unanswered goals.
After finding the right rhythm, the Bianconeri looked like they were heading back towards their rightful place amongst the elite, with only Napoli seeming to be out of reach – at least for the moment.
But one has to wonder if Juventus will be able to restart their campaign with the same momentum on the back a lengthy hiatus.
While the injury crisis eased down recently, Max Allegri still had to do without the services of his star midfielder Paul Pogba, while Federico Chiesa has only been able to feature as a part-timer.
But by January, the Old Lady will receive a major boost in the form of two extremely talented stars who will almost have the effect of new signings.
Con: Additional Injuries?
One would think that in the absence of the Italian national team, Juventus will only have a limited number of players in Qatar 2022. Yet, the Bianconeri will have 11 ambassadors in Doha, which is more than any other Serie A club.
While this might be a source of pride for us supporters, it also opens the door for additional injury concerns and physical issues.
So while our domestic rivals will be able to preserve the vast majority of their players and keep them under their watchful eye, Max Allegri will be haplessly watching the action on TV and hoping to be spared the worst.
Naturally, their are advantages as well as disadvantages for the winter break. Perhaps the cons slightly outweigh the pros, but ultimately it all goes down to the players and how they decide to resume the campaign.
After all, it was the mental aspect that did all damage at the beginning of the season, before playing a significant role in turning the corner when the players finally decided to act like a real team.
So let’s just hope that our players – the ones taking part in the World Cup and those who remained in Turin – pick up from where they left off and maintain the mentality that started what could end up being a remarkable revival.