Another predictable defeat for the Bianconeri and another abysmal performance that now sees the once almighty Juventus languishing in seventh place behind the likes of Palermo.
Are the losses due to the absence of many injured stars? Is it down to horrible tactics and substitutions of new Coach Alberto Zaccheroni? Or have the psychological effects of countless defeats taken their toll on the Bianconeri? Nobody knows anymore and furthermore, nobody cares. The sweet taste of victory seems nothing more than a distant memory now.
Juventus fired Claudio Ranieri for his loser mentality, his determination to play for a draw and his poor substitutions. They then went on to fire Ciro Ferrara for his unfortunate tactics, his ironic adversity towards youth and his failure to invigorate the depressed squad. And now, the Old Lady has remarkably hired a new Coach who has managed to effectively reproduce all the mistakes his predecessors paid dearly for making, starting with the first error of fielding an ineffective striking partnership at the top. At this moment in time, Juve greatly miss the finishing capabilities of David Trezeguet and the work-rate of Vincenzo Iaquinta as they are forced to watch Amauri and Alessandro Del Piero, who are both evidently not on form, continue to be selected to play up-front when it is abundantly clear they do not work well together. Amauri is not a goal-poacher and every time he looked to flick the ball, Del Piero was nowhere to be found. Pace, ingenuity, and hard work was clearly missing at the top and the relentless fielding of these two players may well prove to further damage this deteriorating Juventus.
Furthermore, it is baffling how Fabio Grosso always manages to weasel his way into the starting line-up when Paolo De Ceglie, who proved to be dynamite in the last few games for the Bianconeri, was once again forced to take his place on the bench. Once again this debate on the constant benching of the youngsters rears its ugly head. Perhaps these starlets are not training effectively or perhaps they are not marvelling at Vinovo but surely the poor performances of those the Coach does prefer to play, warrant a change of direction? The arrival of a new Coach always brings with it the hope that perhaps they will choose to field these talented youngsters and yet with each subsequent week a new Coach is in charge, the hope withers away as once again the ancient players take centre-stage on the pitch while the future of the team perishes on the sidelines.
The team once again only attempted to penetrate down the middle, leaving ample space on the wings and creating congestion in the middle as the home team looked to suffocate play. Martin Caceres was screaming for the ball on the right flank as he stood free and unmarked for much of the first half and yet the players, seemingly oblivious of his presence, continued to force the way through the middle, and at times through the Grosso-led left flank, which inevitably resulted in more lost chances. Diego seemed incapable of making the most of the space he had at his disposal, often failing to surprise the opposition and making his attacks increasingly predictable whilst the remainder of the squad sat back and forced him into pushing forward all by himself. Had Zaccheroni perhaps took a gamble and played Sebastian Giovinco then at least the youngster would have taken advantage of the entire field and played down the wings to the detriment of the opposition and not continued to retreat to the back. A true tactician would never underestimate the psychological effect a starting position would have on a youth product. Seba would have worked tirelessly to prove his talent and his desire for the shirt and would surely not have gone missing in the same way Del Piero did. Perhaps even playing Ciro Immobile alongside him and benching Amauri might have injected the squad with a bit of pace to truly terrorise the home side’s back four.
Moreover, to add insult to injury, all substitutions were made late in the game and Zac effectively seemed content with a draw against a side who are fighting for survival. By bringing on Manuel Giandonato to have a run around in the final minutes, Juve essentially gave up on a win and held on for one point whilst leaving influential youngsters rotting on the bench. The three-man defence is the least of Juve’s worries. Zac must force this team to fight for a goal until the last moment. He must learn to take risks on young players and he must teach the squad how to take advantage of exposed space. Until he begins to truly command the team and attempt to lighten their moods then Juventus is looking at a fight for survival than a fight for a place in Europe.
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
Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up – December 22, 2009
Less talk and more action – December 29, 2009
Change is all we wanted for Christmas – January 5, 2010
Does this mean we have to keep him? – January 8, 2010
Maybe just maybe, Juve is back in business – January 15, 2010
We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope – January 19, 2010
Is John Elkann the real reason for Juventus’ failure? – January 22, 2010
Another day, another defeat – January 26, 2010
A marginally better Juve – February 2, 2010
The inescapable failure – February 9, 2010