Club Focus – Juventus – The Juve project has begun

The wheels of revolution have begun to turn in Turin and Juventus have started to work on making the next campaign less catastrophic and more in line with expectations that walk hand in hand with their prestigious history. Andrea Agnelli has now officially taken over as President of Juventus and Luigi Del Neri’s start date as Coach will begin on July 1, 2010. As for Giuseppe Marotta, the much heralded Sporting Director has already begun work on the mass exodus that is expected to happen and has even managed to sign a new winger to accommodate Del Neri’s beloved 4-4-2 formation in the form of Azzurri midfielder, Simone Pepe.

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Admittedly, for a club that once boasted top level signings such as Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane, the players that the Bianconeri have been associated with this summer seem hardly comparable and not players that excite the fans who have watched their team collapse spectacularly last term. However, whilst they may not be huge names, they certainly will fit into the desired system planned for next season. Simone Pepe has had an exceptional season with Udinese and alongside Antonio Di Natale, has performed consistently to keep le Zebrette safe from relegation. He may not be beautiful to watch but he certainly gives his heart and soul on the pitch, a quality that should be required when joining Juve. He is a proven ball winner and will work tirelessly to provide service to the forwards. His speed will prove vital to this slow Juve squad and his versatility and ability to play in most positions is the exact reason Marcello Lippi took him to South Africa.

As for Milos Krasic, he has proved a sensation in CSKA Moscow and has worked his way to prominence in the team. His masterful trickery, his competence on both feet and his renowned vision will be useful to this uncreative squad. Furthermore, he fits perfectly into Del Neri’s formation and will relish the opportunity to retreat the ball and run at the opposition from the right flank. Despite a less than impressive performance in Serbia’s World Cup debut match, Krasic is ready for a move and Juve are hungry for some attacking flair.

Thankfully in Marotta, the Bianconeri have found a Sporting Director who is well versed in the art of negotiation and whose shrewd business sense has meant that the Old Lady’s precious money will not be thrown about nor should teams expect the giants to overpay for anyone. Aware of the pressure and risk of failure, Marotta agreed to sign Pepe on a loan for the forthcoming season with the option to purchase him in full should he prove successful. A wise move from a man who has watched as Juve’s big names crashed and burned in Turin last year. As for Krasic, not even Inter’s interest in the winger has forced Marotta to bump up his offer any higher. Juventus have valued the player, offered what they feel is fair and if CSKA Moscow do not feel it is enough then Juve will walk away. That is indeed how one does business and Alessio Secco should take note.

With continued talks regarding the expected overhaul of the squad, many Juventini fear for their youngsters who may be traded off for paltry sums in order to attract bigger players. With recent comments attributed to fan favourite, Sebastian Giovinco, concerning Juve’s lack of faith in his abilities, no-one would be surprised to see the pint-sized hero sent off to ply his trade elsewhere as Juve gear up for a cracking new season. Wingers are the players targeted this summer but one reassuring thought is that both Pepe and Krasic are better on the right flank perhaps leaving the atomic ant with a slim hope of owning the left hand side of the midfield come the start of next season. However, this news will hardly comfort Mauro Camoranesi who now looks destined to warm the bench next term should he decide to honour his contract until the very end. Despite his temperament and his injury prone body, his departure will sting the Juve faithful as the Argentine has proved to be a hero for the Old Lady, passing and attacking the right flank with incredible flair. But all good things come to an end.

Juve’s interest in wingers has somewhat worried fans who feel the necessary purchases required, such as defenders and a strong striker, are being put off till the very end. The defence should be the Old Lady’s priority this summer as they cannot afford to continue fielding ancient defenders who depend entirely on the skills of Giorgio Chiellini. A fast centre-back with great vision is needed alongside two full-backs who can handle both defensive and attacking duties. And yet, once again the club seem interested in sorting out their midfield first.

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