Tuesday October 17 2017
‘Not just defenders responsible’

Giorgio Chiellini says the whole Juventus team is responsible for conceding more goals, and wishes Leonardo Bonucci well.

The Bianconeri have been renowned for their defence in recent years, but so far this season they’ve conceded 13 goals in 11 games.

“With all due respect, when we don’t concede goals I’m the first to say it’s not thanks to me, or we defenders,” Chiellini pointed out in the pre-Sporting Press conference.

“The defensive phase is about the team, otherwise it would be too easy, we’d be playing an individual sport, playing tennis with the defender against the striker.

“This is a team game, so it’s about balance, the equilibrium is sometimes delicate and we all play for that.

“We definitely have to improve the defensive phase, and we’re well aware of that.

“Bonucci? Leo is calm, it’s difficult to change scenery and we’re all cheering for him as a person, because the relationship between us is very good.

“He can return to the levels we’re used to from him, but always behind us.”

Some of this summer’s new signings appear to be having trouble gelling with the rest of the squad…

“It was like that last year too. You saw Dani [Alves] in the new year, seven months passed and then he was a superstar for four.

“[Miralem] Pjanic and [Gonzalo] Higuain were left out for the first few matches and they struggled early on, as you all said.

“It’s always been like this in the past few years. [Blaise] Matuidi and [Rodrigo] Bentancur have been forced to enter more quickly.”

After winning the Scudetto for six years in a row, are Juve just more focused on the Champions League?

“Juve, from the President to everyone else, always think about the league,” Chiellini insisted.

“You can only get to the Champions League by doing well in the league, they’re two different tournaments. We have to get to March still in the hunt for everything.

“My renewal? I’ve never talked about it because I’m in a family here. Five minutes will be enough for me, now I’m thinking of the pitch.”

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