Now back in the good old days, matches against the likes of Catania were relished as they were considered three easy points. However, with the fear of mortification – a new sensation Ciro Ferrara has introduced to Turin – easy games no longer exist. Every match will be considered as another opportunity to further humiliate a club so fearful of tarnishing the winning reputation they hold so dear.
Considering the current crisis Juventus is facing coupled with the vast amounts of injuries they have to contend with, it’s difficult to see how they are going to conjure up a win on Sunday. You have to wonder about the credentials of the medics who not only embarrassed Juventus with the whole Fabio Cannavaro and his bee sting debacle but have now drawn criticism for their recent handling of Mauro Camoranesi’s injury. Practically every squad member has been sidelined this season and many have taken months to return to action. Ferrara though must be secretly happy that not even his staunchest critics can now call for the 4-2-3-1 formation without the ever technical Camo on the right wing. As such, Ciro will probably opt for the 4-3-1-2 formation this weekend which perhaps might work a little better this weekend considering there’s an actual defensive midfielder available – Felipe Melo.
Despite the criticism Melo has suffered, he really is one of the greatest defensive players but has been poorly handled by Ferrara since his arrival in Turin. Melo’s worst habit is his tendency to surge ahead and leave the defence fending for itself – a habit he can get away with when playing for Brazil as he has Gilberto Silva to do all the dirty work for him. However the man is an artist at tackling and stifling the opposition. As such, it’s Ferrara’s responsibility to step up as Coach and force the midfielder into remaining put in his own half and providing the necessary cover the defence needs to allow for the attacking half of the squad to push up. Should his instructions not be adhered to then punishments must be dished out. Melo has already proved that he cannot be the registra Juve required so he should at least attempt to provide the cover the Old Lady so desperately needs at the back in the absence of Momo Sissoko.
What Ferrara really needs to work on for this game are those two midfielders that will sit just ahead of Melo on the wings. These two will have to do all the running and provide the needed link from defence to attack. Tiago Mendes will now surely be given a chance since Christian Poulsen is suspended for the match but it would be interesting if Hasan Salihamidzic was fielded instead. He may not possess Tiago’s technique but his bullish attitude will certainly scare off his opponents and his defensive capabilities will come to good use should Melo require back-up. The only problem Ferrara will have is deciding who to play alongside David Trezeguet. Alessandro Del Piero and Amauri have already proved their wretched form thus far into the campaign so would it not be an interesting idea to play Sebastian Giovinco as secunda punta? The boy marvelled at the top alongside Amauri in the match against Real Madrid in the Peace Cup and by playing so far up, he can exploit his best assets without allowing defensive duties to hinder his performance.
Unless Ferrara finds a viable solution to the Giovinco debate, it’s difficult to predict how much longer the Old Lady can keep hold of her prized asset. Rumours of possible moves to the Premier League are now a daily recurrence and Seba’s agent was forced to deny reports of a swap deal that would involve trading the youngster for Aleksandar Kolarov in the transfer market. The Atomic Ant was voted Man of the Match by numerous websites after the Real Madrid match so surely Ferrara can take a gamble on the starlet against rock bottom Catania?
Speaking of the upcoming transfer market, it appears the Bianconeri will be active having watched their squad plunge into darkness. Obviously, the defence which has conceded seven goals in the last two games should be the chosen area to bolster and yet most of Juve’s interesting targets involve midfielders. Fernando Gago of Real Madrid and Maxi Rodriguez are two interesting options. Gago would fit perfectly in Serie A and is known for his ability to link up play with his pace and slide rule passes. However, he has been known to be rather inconsistent so most would favour a loan deal. As for Rodriguez, he would be the ideal replacement for Camoranesi. He already has a similar mentality to Juve players in the sense that he never gives up and will give his all until the final whistle. He is speedy down the wings and can play on either flank and has a great shot. Many critics already believe he can add a whole new dimension to Juve’s attack.
Juventus Club Focus 2009/10
Great expectations – August 21, 2009
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
Diego lost to injury in victorious Roman repeat – September 15, 2009
The reserves exposed – September 18, 2009
Transforming the formation – September 23, 2009
The cruel blow of lady injustice – September 25, 2009
Haunted by the ghost of last year’s defence – September 29, 2009
We’re meant to be happy with one point? – October 2, 2009
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
Oh Ferrara, will you ever learn? – October 20, 2009
Ferrara, thank you for listening – October 23, 2009
Sampdoria will provide the real test – October 27, 2009
Introducing the real Juve – October 30, 2009
Why are we not surprised? – November 3, 2009
The many faces of Juve – November 6, 2009
A team of hyperboles – November 10, 2009
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
Is it all over? – December 1, 2009
Oh Lord, make our enemies ridiculous – December 4, 2009
Destroy Bayern and we will really start to believe – December 8, 2009
Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification or so they say – December 11, 2009
Sanctification is going to have to wait – December 15, 2009
Deliver us from disgrace – December 18, 2009