Del Piero 50
Totti (pen) 67, Riise 93
Roma came away from Turin with three points and many of the game’s plaudits. Despite losing their new-found talisman in the opening few minutes, Claudio Ranieri’s men demonstrated a togetherness and assuredness that earned their victory. Juventus’ performance was anything but, with their only glimmer of hope a slight improvement in Diego.
Diego showed sparks of his skill and vision and it seems that he had found a position in the team when he could provide opportunities to his teammates despite their seeming reluctance to take him up on them. The Brazilian arrived at the club with a huge reputation and transfer fee, winning Player of the Year at Werder Bremen and countless times winning the monthly equivalent too. It is an understatement to say he has struggled so far. His continued lack of familiarity with his Juve midfield teammates has been a cause for concern, but is it his failure to adapt to the tactical viscosity of Serie A, or is he the biggest victim of Ciro Ferrara’s floundering with the formation?
It certainly does nothing to help his case when his Coach refuses to settle on a formation and style of play that would bring out the best in the little Brazilian. Ferrara has gone from a 4-4-1-1 to 4-3-1-2 with Diego sitting behind the front two, to the traditional 4-4-2 so many times. It is inevitable there will be some confusion within the team, with the forward-line needing time and consistency to create and develop working partnerships. Hit by injuries and poor form by some of his front-men, Ferrara has been granted some flack for the poor run of form, but the lack of tactical certainty is hitting those in the first XI hard, most notably the No 28.
Diego’s performance against Roma was encouraging, but alongside Claudio Marchisio he provided the grit and ability that was so desperately needed from the entire team. Marchisio was originally a second striker but has found his form and position in the midfield, demonstrating again why the Juve tifosi hold his future in high regard.
The game was a disaster for Juve, and only the latest in a long line of disastrous displays. However, Diego and Marchisio are showing signs of the way to go, but they need stability and faith, from their teammates and from the coaching staff. Whether Ferrara is the man to recognise this pair as the one to spearhead his turnaround, or if a new man is right for the job, only time will tell. Time is not on Ferrara’s side.