Juventus continue to struggle as Zaccheroni’s troubles only just begin



Filippini 26


Legrottaglie 41

This was a game Juventus should have won. But poor choice of starting XI coupled with questionable in-game decisions left the Bianconeri with just one point and further away from top-four finish.

As expected, Zaccheroni employed a 3-4-1-2 formation with Nicola Legrottaglie being an addition to the back-line. Fabio Cannavaro’s performances have declined alarmingly as the season progresses and there were voices calling for Legrottaglie to start over Cannavaro. The devout Christian justified those calls with the equalizing goal and a solid, composed defensive display.

Amauri was at his usual worst yesterday. There was not a single pass or cross that he could connect to properly. He could not even hold the ball up front, something expected from a prima punta. The only notable thing Amauri did in the game was control the ball with his arm and shoot wide while being just a few feet away from the goal. His work-rate was abysmally low, he was too static and he whined every time he did not get the ball. It is ironic how he was shackled up by the former Juventus flop Dario Knezevic. Marcelo Lippi seems to have shut the door on Amauri’s Azzurri ambitions, but in any case, no Coach in his right frame of mind would take him to South Africa. Surely, Ciro Immobile and Michele Paolucci can do no worse than Amauri.

Felipo Melo, as usual, contributed nothing to the team. His passing was extremely poor and the only thing he seems to be able to do is commit a number of fouls in the midfield. He earned both the yellow cards through incredibly stupid tackles. With one man down, Juventus were in jeopardy for the last 10 minutes or so. Livorno pressed forward looking for all three points and if it were not for the solid Gianluigi Buffon in goal, they would have certainly heaped more misery on the Old Lady. The disastrous form of Amauri and Melo are a real corundum and Zaccheroni seems no closer than Ciro Ferrara towards solving it.

Zaccheroni’s personnel selection and decision-making was questionable. Fabio Grosso is a shadow of the player who dominated the left flank at World Cup. He seems to have lost his crossing ability – every attempt wayward or blocked by his marker. The three-man defence should have allowed the wing-back to contribute more to attack, something which he is good at. His defending was no better as he was at fault for Emanuele Filippini’s goal. Paolo De Ceglie – who had an excellent game against Lazio – should have started over Grosso. In the 15 minutes of playtime he received, De Ceglie put on a cultured display with crisp, short passes and decent runs. Juventini all over the world are crying out for Sebastian Giovinco. The youngster has returned from injury and was not given any playing time today. When the chips were down, Zacceroni brought on Manuel Giandonato instead of Giovinco for Alessandro Del Piero – a sign that the new Coach was perhaps happy with a draw.

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