Club Focus – Juventus – A win for Italy

Adriano Galliani concluded that it would be Juventus’ fault if Italy lose a Champions League spot after Bayern Munich drop kicked them out of UEFA’s big boys’ tournament. It is indeed funny how the tables have turned.


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Just one day after Manchester United thrashed and dumped Milan out, in a game that made most Calcio lovers cringe, Juventus flew the flag for Italy and comfortably defeated those pesky Premier leaguers. However, it was a shame that the English side that they did defeat happened to be one of the most loved English clubs. A hard working squad led by an honourable ex Serie A Coach who has miraculously managed to revive the team’s fortunes and turn them into a strong force that ironically managed to beat the very team that thumped Milan. The Juventus win was not only a slap in the face for those ITV commentators who seemed certain of their defeat but it also allowed Italy a chance to collect points in Europe.

Many winced when Alberto Zaccheroni released his starting line-up for the game. Giorgio Chiellini was injured and with Martin Caceres still recovering, the Old Lady was depending on defenders well past their 30s, and their prime, to keep the speedy English footballers at bay. Miraculously, however, it worked as they not only managed to defend well but between them managed to score two out of Juventus’ three goals. Fulham, who were expecting a sluggish and faltering side barely able to muster up a performance against Ajax, were left stunned as the Bianconeri started the match by playing 30 minutes of beautiful football to resuscitate their dwindling reputation in Europe. The visitors were overwhelmed and could do nothing but defend – and defend badly. The Old Lady kept possession, dominated the midfield and controlled the tempo to make the Italian football critics arch their eyebrows in wonderment.

However, one fluke of a goal thanks to a deflection gifted the Englishmen an away goal and a chance to get back into the game. That silly goal spun things around in the first half and the home team were forced to defend as Roy Hodgson’s men, who were now reeling off the confidence boost they had just been handed, were pressuring for the ball in hopes of equalising the score. The Italians, who had been sorely disappointed at conceding an away goal looked troubled and nervous and only managed to survive Fulham’s onslaught thanks to a wonderful Alex Manninger save. ‘Trezeguet Trezeguet cuando gioca sempre senga Trezeguet.’ Finally the goal poacher, who has been so greatly missed, found Juventus’ third to restore a two goal lead and allow the home fans to breathe a sigh of relief. But Juventus were lucky, as prior to that goal, they had begun to lose self esteem and nearly lost their grip on the game as they allowed Fulham to get comfortable and search for that second all important away goal. That never say die attitude is beginning to come back as Trezegol scored but they need to develop enough faith in their abilities to fight for the win despite the knocks.

Zac again should be praised for the win tonight. He has slowly begun to turn this team around and one cannot help but admire his work in Turin. He has organised defence, interrupted the Bianconeri’s losing streak, begun to achieve points, taught the players the art of efficiency and has now even managed to get them to play well. This was a marvellous game as for the first time since the match against Sampdoria we saw a side that was both confident and comfortable on the ball. Zac cleverly chose to start Christian Poulsen who distributed the ball well, fought for possession and aided in keeping Fulham away from his team’s half. As for Jonathan Zebina, the villain for most Juve fans, he put in an awesome display to merit keeping his position in the starting line-up. Then there was Antonio Candreva who once again battered the opposition and pulled defenders away to allow for Juventus to march on and score. Alongside Diego last night, they pulled the midfield strings to put Juventus ahead.

Admittedly this was not the Fulham side many were expecting. For a side known for their defensive capabilities, they were shockingly poor at the back. They allowed Juventus free headers and even moved out of the way to allow Zebina a shot on goal. Their midfield was weak and conceded possession repeatedly and now with Jonathan Greening suspended for the next match, they lose their vital plug in the middle. Whether or not they manage to turn things around remains to be seen but with a tough match against Manchester United this weekend, the Old Lady will be hoping her opponent will be too tired to even try. As for her, Siena will be her next test as she continues her battle for fourth place.


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

Week 23


Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending
– February 5, 2010


The inescapable failure
– February 9, 2010

Week 24


Starting from stratch
– February 12, 2010


Can they continue winning?
– February 16, 2010

Week 25


A twilight victory
– February 19, 2010


Patience and fortitude conquer all things
– February 23, 2010

Week 26


Grinding out the necessary results
– February 26, 2010

Week 27


One step forward, two steps back
– March 2, 2010


Who will take over?
– March 5, 2010

Week 28


A win for Italy
– March 12, 2010

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