Club Focus – Juventus – A marginally better Juve

There really is not much to say about Alberto Zaccheroni except that he used to be a rather good Coach – used to being the operative words in that statement. However, after a string of defeats and uncoordinated displays, Ciro Ferrara’s time was up and many will continue to grieve the loss of the Bianconeri legend. Nonetheless, a strong message was needed to be sent to the squad, failure will not be expected and with that Juventus welcomed Coach Zaccheroni.

Zac020210

This Juve was certainly a little more co-ordinated but the problems are still evident. They still fail to attack open spaces, they still force passes when it may not be the better option and the defence still seems easily threatened. In the first half, all passes were being directed through the middle, something that should happen when playing through a diamond midfield but it allowed the team’s efforts to be predictable and afforded Lazio and easy way to stifle the opposition. This formation has yet to prove its benefits and it is either because it is heavily dependent on attacking full-backs and a sensational trequarista that it appears the Bianconeri are missing or because it truly is a hard formation to master.

Watching the game, it is easy to spot a massive gap between the three midfielders and the two strikers up-front with all this space in between reserved for Diego to produce magic which he has so far failed to do. Whether it is to do with having not yet acclimatised to the league or whether it is because he is surrounded by such average players making his job a tough one but either way, the player is not cutting the mustard and he is not exploiting the space afforded as much as one would like to see. As for the full-backs, Paolo De Ceglie put in a starting jersey winning performance. He provided the width when Juve attacked, he tracked back into defence, covered for his teammates, delivered reasonably good crosses and combined well with Antonio Candreva with whom he seemed to have a good understanding. Had Juve had Martin Caceres on from the beginning, perhaps the Old Lady’s attack would have had more bite but Zdenek Grygera offers little more than defensive tackles. Against Lazio, the players were trying to do too much when simplicity would have been the answer and panic too quickly instead of controlling the ball.

As for the back three, they seemed reluctant to push forward and attack the spaces Lazio left exposed and with Diego directing all his plays through the middle hastily, Juve’s game was unimaginative in the first half. The Biancocelesti knew that as long as they crowded the middle of the pitch then Juve would run out of ideas and would have to start passing the ball around aimlessly searching for a route. As such, it would be better if the formation was to change was 4-2-3-1 or even 4-1-3-2 to offer the attack more help. The defence did a marvellous job in the first half by holding the line so far up the pitch and it allowed Juve to pin back the opposition who could not even get past their own half. If they can keep this up without faltering on the counter, then it would serve the Old Lady better if the midfield players all moved further up the pitch to close the gap between themselves and the strikers. By deploying a more attacking formation, there would be more players at the top eager to make use of free space and would divert the attention away from Diego who is constantly hounded by opposing teams. By forcing the likes of Candreva to push forward and take the initiative, Juventus would hold the advantage. Additionally, Diego needs to be encouraged to roam across the midfield, from side to side, looking for free spaces to attack rather than restricting himself to the centre and then retreating to fetch the ball. But of course, any offensive formation would require a true target man so until either David Trezeguet or Vincenzo Iaquinta are recovered, then it would be difficult to produce the desired effect with the out-of-form Amauri.

Naturally, and as one would expect from this current Bianconeri team, they were unable to keep up the good work. The moment they scored, they eased off and began to falter and after they conceded, they relinquished their fight for all three points and that, above all, needs to be a mentality Zaccheroni must change. Improvements were recognised and Zac’s post-match analysis allowed his audience to relax in the knowledge that he had identified the major areas for concern and will begin to solve them slowly. He may not have won but he only had two days and the squad still lacks their heavy artillery players and whilst he may not be the fans’ first choice for Coach, he should still be offered a chance to prove himself.

Juventus Club Focus 2009/10

Week 1


Great expectations
– August 21, 2009

Week 2


When in Rome
– August 28, 2009


The decline and fall of the Roman Empire
– September 1, 2009


World Champions – One in, one out, one remembered
– September 4, 2009

International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)


Children should be seen, not heard
– September 7, 2009

Week 3


Diego lost to injury in victorious Roman repeat
– September 15, 2009


The reserves exposed
– September 18, 2009

Week 4


Transforming the formation
– September 23, 2009

Week 5


The cruel blow of lady injustice
– September 25, 2009

Week 6


Haunted by the ghost of last year’s defence
– September 29, 2009


We’re meant to be happy with one point?
– October 2, 2009

Week 7


Is it now time to be negative?
– October 6, 2009


Ferrara: public enemy #1
– October 9, 2009


Bad or just misunderstood?
– October 13, 2009


Let the bitterness commence
– October 16, 2009

Week 8


Oh Ferrara, will you ever learn?
– October 20, 2009


Ferrara, thank you for listening
– October 23, 2009

Week 9


Sampdoria will provide the real test
– October 27, 2009


Introducing the real Juve
– October 30, 2009

Week 11


Why are we not surprised?
– November 3, 2009


The many faces of Juve
– November 6, 2009

Week 12


A team of hyperboles
– November 10, 2009

Week 13


And we’re back
– November 20, 2009


Del Piero returns as subordinate players give encouraging displays
– November 24, 2009


Failure reverberates throughout the club
– November 24, 2009

Week 14


Is it all over?
– December 1, 2009

Week 15


Oh Lord, make our enemies ridiculous
– December 4, 2009


Destroy Bayern and we will really start to believe
– December 8, 2009

Week 16


Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification or so they say
– December 11, 2009


Sanctification is going to have to wait
– December 15, 2009

Week 17


Deliver us from disgrace
– December 18, 2009


Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up
– December 22, 2009

Winter Break


Less talk and more action
– December 29, 2009


Change is all we wanted for Christmas
– January 5, 2010

Week 18


Does this mean we have to keep him?
– January 8, 2010

Week 19


From the sublime to the ridiculous there is only one step, and Ferrara found it
– January 12, 2010


Maybe just maybe, Juve is back in business
– January 15, 2010

Week 20


We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope
– January 19, 2010

Week 21


Is John Elkann the real reason for Juventus’ failure?
– January 22, 2010


Another day, another defeat
– January 26, 2010

Week 22


A marginally better Juve
– February 2, 2010

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