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Friday, August 19, 2011

Where is Juventus heading to?

It has become familiar now that there is a 'revolution' every year at Juventus. It starts with a change possibly in every level of management. Sometimes, it's the transfer director or the CEO, even more often are the coach and the players! However, this time it is the turn of the coach and some players, and a new stadium adds to further freshness. Antonio Conte, fans' favourite during his playing days at the Bianconeri, has now been handed the responsibilty of bringing Juventus back to the glory days.

Just when his reign hasn't even started with an official match, Italian media is already buzzing with talks of Conte deploying a highly attacking 4-2-4 formation. In reality, though, it can only be played with a safe 4-4-2 as Delio Rossi, former Palermo coach, pointed out. With such little experience in managing a serieA team, there are inevitable signs of the extent Conte could succeed. When Del Neri was appointed, he stuck to a strict 4-4-2 but the transfer activity was blamed. Now, with Conte, they're all doing the same thing again: Sell majority of the players who didn't seem to be good enough, buy another set of mediocre players. It's hard to call certain players they bought this summer as 'mediocre' but for a team who finished 7th in serieA (presently, not the best league either) last season, this set of players isn't the solution to make the giant leap in quality. Not to mention the number of spots to qualify for the Champions League being reduced to just three. It's simple to illustrate, just a comparison of how complete the squad is with the other contenders fighting for the those three spots in Italy. Inter might be on the verge of selling Eto'o but there have been useful additions to a team with a proper base. Napoli have shown their intentions too, and Milan is already riding with a complete team.

August 19th isn't the best day to pass judgements on the transfer dealings as there are still 12 days for the clubs to pull off some signings. Marotta's promise of 2-3 more signings have made the news in Italy but the significant part is how big those signings will be. Interest in Emanuele Giaccherini of Cesena is exactly the fault Juventus management is committing. Last year's overhaul resulted in a squad filled with Martinezs, Pepes, Mottas! Vidal is one of the few impact makers emerged from the summer shopping.

If the team looks like this at the start of this year's championship, what was the point in changing the coach at all? Marchisio cannot play at the left and changing his playing positions constantly is hampering his development already. Michel Bastos was the ideal player that was linked with the Bianconeri for a long time. And for good reason. His pace, skill and workrate could have been the spark what Juventus needed with Krasic on the other wing. His performance on the crucial Champions League qualifier against Rubin Kazan was outstanding and would have increased his market value if he decides to move out of Lyon. If Juve buys anyone other than Bastos, or a player inferior to his caliber, is a huge step down. No Calcio fans want such a great club walking backwards every season.

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