Juventus are slowly spiralling out of control and once again were comfortably defeated by another team this week. Neither Bordeaux nor Cagliari possess the quality Juve have, they do not have the history Juve are so greatly famous, and so greatly infamous for, nor did they spend the millions of Euros on players, as the Bianconeri did, this summer. And yet, despite all the money, the ever-changing tactics, the furore over this new and exciting season, the Old Lady has already faltered and is well on her way to crashing out of the Scudetto race.
But you see, this is all Ciro Ferrara’s fault and he must be blamed for the entire mess and if you don’t agree, well then you just don’t understand anything about football. Wise men know that when a team does not perform, you must blame the Coach. It’s Ciro’s fault for purchasing Diego, despite the fact that Juve’s entire system would have to be altered to suit the Brazilian fantasista. It’s Ciro’s fault for getting Felipe Melo, despite his insistence on buying Gaetano D’Agostino instead to fit into the formation that was built for Diego. And it’s Ciro’s fault for buying Fabio Cannavaro to partner Giorgio Chiellini, despite the fact that both lack the necessary speed and vision to control the defence line. You see it’s all Ciro’s fault and management should sit back and continue to blame him for this embarrassing season while they assure themselves that they did a good job of spending the club’s profit this summer. Note the obvious sarcasm of course.
When Jean-Claude Blanc warned the Bianconeri a few weeks ago that mistakes will no longer be tolerated, what he was really trying to do was threaten Ferrara into delivering. Luciano Moggi, who proves day after day that he is in fact a genius and an irreplaceable figure at Juve headquarters, said of Blanc: “He vented his disappointment at the weakest target – the coach. That’s a familiar method for those who don’t know anything about football.” Adding: “If Juve have showed problems against Napoli, it is down to a transfer campaign that was much celebrated but not at all pondered.” A round of applause, everyone, to the only man who seems to still understand the dear Old Lady.
Ferrara is by no means the greatest Coach in the world and his substitutions, lack of preparation for games and shallow vision makes you want to scream until it jolts the team back into performing. But this conundrum the Bianconeri find themselves in is not, and should not, be blamed only on him. President Massimo Moratti of Inter is a hated figure to even most of his own team’s fans because of his insistence on acting as a Coach despite his lack of knowledge of the game. He always purchased the greatest stars, hired the most renowned Coaches and put them all together and demanded results. He never allowed the Coach complete freedom to create his own team, purchase his own players or create his own style. He preferred to impose his own ideas, hence why Inter failed to achieve success for so many years.
Diego and Melo were brilliant purchases and many, including this writer, applauded the management’s willingness to invest in such stars. But ultimately, these decisions were made without the Coach’s full co-operation. Diego was bought because everyone bemoaned Juve’s lack of creativity last season but he was bought when Juventus were still without a full time Coach. In no way is this meant to imply that the player is less than brilliant in his job, because he is an absolute gem of a footballer, but when a team is desperately trying to pick itself up from the floor, it should attempt to integrate small improvements and changes slowly. They should not go and purchase a handful of new stars, change tactics and hire an inexperienced Coach to cope with all of this and if he doesn’t win everything, sit back and watch him take all the criticism alone while you point the finger. Yes an experienced Coach would probably have done a better job but not even the likes of Jose Mourinho could turn this unbalanced squad into the next Barcelona.
Ferrara has proved that when it comes to a team like Juve, experience is vital in the search for trophies. He simply wasn’t prepared when facing Cagliari. This is an extraordinary team that plays exciting football and are extremely quick at uncovering spaces. The way to win is by scoring more than they do. So why did he field Claudio Marchisio alongside Diego? And why was Marchisio preferred to Sebastian Giovinco who is about the only player capable of outrunning the opposition? It’s understandable that Seba is at times left out due to his lack of defensive capabilities but surely when scoring is the team’s only task then a speedy attacking player should be chosen to add a new dimension to your attacking force. Instead Ferrara opted to put seven defensive players on the pitch and depend on only two creative players to feed the ball to the static and wasteful Amauri at the top.
Ferrara is aware that he’s getting it wrong and it was obvious that he panicked when he attempted to win the game by taking off a defender and throwing on Giovinco only to concede another goal. The squad is also letting him down as they only rediscovered the famous Juve fighting spirit at the very end of the game and, by then, it was all over. Perhaps Juve were unlucky, they did deserve a penalty after all, but this mess of a team doesn’t make you long for another Coach, it makes you long for Juve’s old managing trident. But for the moment, Ferrara is the Coach and the fans must have a little patience and allow him the time to learn. Look at Leonardo, at the start of the season it looked like he was going to get Milan relegated and they now lie in second place. Maybe with a little more time, Ciro will turn this campaign around for Juve.
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