Champion’s problems: Why Juventus became weaker than in was last season

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Champion’s problems: Why Juventus became weaker than in was last season

A
year ago after twelve rounds Juventus took the first place, being
ahead of Roma with four points. Now Bianconeri take the second line
and lag behind Napoli with one point. At the same time, Turineses
scored ten goals more than it did last year. The leading players got
used to each other, and collaboration between Dybala, Mandžukić,
Cuadrado, Higuaín can’t but impress but if to look more attentively,
it is easy to notice that Juventus concedes to itself as it was last
season. Yes, during this championship Turineses gained more points
but a year ago they really had hard calendar whereas during this
Series A in the first seven rounds against Juventus were playing
opponents that strongly conceded to the defending champion in a
class. Allegri’s team didn’t undergo the first serious testing, at
first having drawn with Atalanta, and then having lost to Lazio. In
addition there was also a defeat in Catalonia and the last match in
the Champions League against Sporting the Black-and-Whites had played
not ideal.

Last
Champions League final took away from Juventus not only a chance on
treble but also as it became clear later, two excellent football
players. The leader of defense Leonardo Bonucci and the head coach
Massimiliano Allegri had not an ideal mutual understanding and after
a match in Cardiff a point of non-return appeared in their
relations. However, when from Turin to Paris creative but not
comfortable for calcio Dani Alves had left there was a hope that
allenatore and Bonucci will manage to bury the war axe. Alas, some
time has passed and in Italy the real information bomb jerked.
Leonardo Bonucci is going into a camp of the chief trigger of the
Milan’s market for €40 million. The history, of course, doesn’t
respect a subjunctive mood, but it is very interesting, what could be
the fate of the full back if not huge investments of the management
of the red and blacks. He would go to the Foggy Albion where Antonio
Conte was dreaming of him? Would he move to Inter where his football
career started? Or, maybe, it was possible to solve all the
disagreements with Allegri at supper? Anyway, Bonucci is wearing the
red-black uniform and Juventus was forced to look for two new full
backs at once. It is interesting that despite all purchases,
Bianconeri are working with their inner reserves so far. On the right
wing the beginner De Sciglio is not let into the starting line-up by
the experienced Lichtsteiner and Höwedes because of injuries have
never put on a black-and-white shirt.

Bonucci is wearing the red-black uniform

Allegri
in general was forced to rebuild the central axis seriously. Sooner
or later the era of the great three of central defenders of Bonucci- Chiellini
– Barzagli had to come to the end. But, of course, not like this. At
first thirty-six-year-old Barzagli who was playing less than usual
last season would leave the field, then Chiellini’s turn would come
and under an unceasing applause at Juventus Stadium Leonardo Bonucci
had to leave. The simplest thing that Allegri could make was to rely
on Rugani instead of the football player who went to Milan in the
scheme with three central defenders, when Daniele gained some
experience and for a long time is ready to receive more game
practice. However during last season it became obvious that Barzagli
isn’t capable to play the largest part of a season any more and due
to this fact Rugani started to get more time and Juventus didn’t get
a new strong center back. In this situation the shift to a game with
two central backs was the only right decision. Chiellini and Rugani
are frequently forming a link in the center of defense, and Barzagli,
if necessary, comes for strengthening the back. Fortunately, for
Allegri, Ruganiis quite confident as the main central back there are
no complaints on his game. Daniele is now the qualitative football
player who is ready to be one of the team leaders, and he is only 23
years old. By the way, Barzagli when he was 23 began to participate
at Series A.

And
nevertheless the problems while changing the basic scheme couldn’t
but arise, but misery loves company. The center of field unexpectedly
began to sink. It was noticeable also in the first matches of a
season but more obviously the problems of Juventus were bared by
Barcelona having literally broken off Italians with the cutting
attacks. Allegri was constantly saying the whole last season that the
team was lacking in the typical holding midfielder capable of burning
out the center, and at a game with two central defenders he is simply
necessary. As a result, two defensive midfielders came to the team
during the shoulder-period: creatuve Uruguayan Bettencourt and the
best football player of France of the last year Blaise Matuidi.
Allegri was especially happy because of the representative of Ligue
1, hoping that now the center will be finally concreted and Khedira
or Pjanić will receive more freedom and some space for creativity.
However everything turned to be not as the coach had expected. The
backbone player of bianconeri Khedira was injured and not immediately
but the center of half-backs began to glitch. Frequently, free zones
started to appear between full-backs and midfielders, and gradually
opponents of Juventus learned to use them. To tell the truth, Matuidi
had to become an anchor across which opponents would come but the
Frenchman who got used that in PSG near him was sluggish, but
talented in Mott was constantly rushing forward leaving his zone and
here there was nobody to insure him. Surprisingly, but Juventus plays
better in defense when Pyanich and Hedira are playing in the center
whom it is impossible to call in any way destroyers than when there
is someone from holding midfielders in the center of the filed. As a
result, Matuidi turned into the person who appears in the field
during the second half when “the old signora” needs to
defend more as, for example, in a match against Milan and, of course,
it doesn’t suit to one of the leaders of French national team.

problems of Juventus

After
all, even despite all problems of Juventus, the main obstacle to
another scudetto are not these factors but the high competition level
in Series A. For a long time Bianconeri didn’t fight for the
champion’s title against anybody except themselves and forgot about
serious battle. Two years ago Juventus lost the start and all the
same the team had managed to win a tournament and last season Roma
and Napoli only whispered about their participation in a race for a
title. Now, situation is absolutely different. All Italy admires airy
Napoli and charismatic Maurizzio Sarri, Luciano Spalletti is building
new Inter, Eusebio Di Francesco had made of Roma the most unbeaten
team in Series A and Simone Inzaghi together with Lazio has already
managed to beat the defending champion. In these conditions Juventus
for the first time is forced not just to score the goals but to
participate in the real race where Allegri’s players aren’t
favorites.

However,
those who have already put on gold medals on the players of Napoli
are hurrying. Juventus is scoring more goals, Higuain, Dybala,
Cuadrado and Mandžukić are capable to upset any defense, and
Allegri has technical Douglas Costa and one of the main Italian stars
Federico Bernardeschi. In the first matches of this season Juventus
often had problems because someone from football players of the
attack was leaving game, first of all, we speak about Higuain. Now
Gonzalo is gradually returning to his best fit. The old signora is
facing rather easy calendar but December will become the real check
for Juventus. In one month Juventus will play against Napoli, Inter
and Roma. Allegri has time to prepare the team for this most
difficult period in which it can dramatically change the position at
champion’s race for scudetto but only in case it will manage to
solve the problems and to find the right way.

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