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Friday July 27 2012
Who could replace Conte?

Juventus may need a new temporary boss with the possibility that Antonio Conte could be banned. Antonio Labbate suggests an unlikely candidate in Cesare Prandelli.

Juventus have stood by Antonio Conte from day one. Ever since his home was the subject of a dawn raid by police to Thursday’s confirmation that he would be facing a sporting tribunal for allegedly failing to report attempts to fix two games while in charge of Siena.

“I have personally known him for 20 years,” President Andrea Agnelli said at a hastily-arranged Press conference in May. “I am aware of his human qualities and I want to make something very clear before any speculation starts. Antonio Conte is and will be our Coach next season when we return to the Champions League.”

That was certainly the hope, but the reality may be somewhat different – at least for part of the campaign. Juventus insist he is innocent, the tactician is just as adamant, but it would be unprofessional of a club of the Old Lady’s stature to not already be considering what they’d do should the former midfielder be suspended after the August hearings.

Just what kind of ban Conte could get is still a subject of speculation. There is a risk of a six-month stop for such an offence, but also the possibility that figure could be cut to three or four months if he considers a plea bargain. In doing so, he would be admitting to something which he vehemently denies and something that doesn’t seemingly sit within his character.

So what are Juventus’ options should the tactician be forced to sit out a spell on the sidelines? The outfit probably couldn’t turn to assistant boss Angelo Alessio or Christian Stellini, as those two members of Conte’s coaching staff will also have to prove their innocence as part of the same investigation.

The most likely internal option being discussed presently is handing Massimo Carrera the reins. A former defender in Turin, he won the Scudetto with the Old Lady back in 1994-95 alongside Conte. Juventus added him to their technical staff in 2009 and Carrera, who has a Category B licence, has been part of Conte’s team since last summer.

It would be a convenient fit even if there are massive question marks over his in-game reading of matches and his ability to make a difference from the sidelines, especially at the highest level.

The other option is that Juventus appoint a second Coach on an interim basis, but who is available to continue the kind of football that Conte preaches? Especially when you consider that the champions’ transfer strategy this summer seems to have been heavily influenced by the Lecce native.

Now here is where Juventus could get creative, even if the chances of what is about to be proposed is quite possibly the longest of long shots, maybe as implausible as Inter and Fiorentina doing some business with each other on the transfer market. What if La Signora evaluated a bid for Cesare Prandelli? Hold back on the insults – at least for now.

For the sake of argument – and not wanting to pre-judge Conte as guilty – let’s say that the former Bari boss is banned for four months. Would there be any harm in asking the Italian Football Federation, despite past tensions, to loan them Prandelli, for a fee, on a part-time basis?

The former Fiorentina man has already made it clear that he misses the day-to-day management of club football. And is being a national Coach really a full-time job? Between now and January, the Azzurri have four World Cup qualifiers – Bulgaria and Armenia away, Malta and Denmark at home. Obviously he’ll return to the Italy tracksuit in the build up to those encounters, but he could potentially be working with a lot of the same players at club and international level given Juve’s heavy influence within his Giro Azzurro. That would be an advantage for both club and country, one could argue.

Others could just as easily contend that such an appointment would be a conflict of interests, especially those at rival clubs. Anyone else already hearing a President of another side moaning that Prandelli was protecting or resting ‘his’ Juventus players on international duty ahead of a Serie A tie?

Prandelli himself may not fancy the hullabaloo that such an appointment, even on a temporary basis, would bring in terms of media coverage. He was already well and truly stung by the criticism he got for naming his son as part of his staff at Euro 2012. His every move would be placed under the brightest of spotlights, with questions being asked with regard to which side were his top priority.

The former Parma tactician is also unlikely to agree with the idea of basically working as a puppet, being told to follow a certain footballing path that he may not agree with. The Federation could also be unwilling, for understandable reasons, to share the man who is contracted to them given the importance of a World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Prandelli-Italy-Juventus triangle thus remains just fantasy football in a summer crammed with the odd impossible transfer. But at a time when money is tight and quality Coaches are all tied up to other clubs, it may need a touch of invention from Juventus to replace a man who, right now, is seemingly irreplaceable.

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Have your say...
After Angelo Alessio, Prandelli would have been ideal, but that is simply not happening. I would settle for another high-profile proven coach like Claudio Ranieri, Le Blanc or Gasperini for a few months. It would be disastrous to bring in someone who never coached like Nedved or ADP.
on the 31st July, 2012 at 10:34pm
If just Angelo Alessio could step in... but he too is charged in this affair it seems.. I think Nedved or ADP is completely out of question, and so I hope we let one of the current staff members take the job. For anything Conte can still pull the strings from the sidelines...
on the 29th July, 2012 at 12:19am
I wouldnt be surprised if Inter were pulling the strings this time, like in Calciopoli. Moratti needs to grow a pair and stop being such a child about everything. I believe Conte, I am sick of all of these supposed scandals. As a Romanista, I am happy we are never involved in this.
on the 28th July, 2012 at 7:04pm
Prandelli coach of Juve for short period of time helps Italy although for juve its a shame but would be the best option
on the 28th July, 2012 at 5:38pm
How about Baggio? Didn't he just get his coaching ticket? What better inspiration, experience and leadership could they get than form Il Divin Codino himself!!!
on the 28th July, 2012 at 3:10pm
FIGC is a disgrace.

I would be ashamed if I were Italian. The governing body of Italy lack vision and professionalism and try to make up for it by chasing made up scandals
Calciopoli was a joke, and if Conte (who was not proven to fix any matches) is banned. I would seriously reconsider following Serie A.
on the 28th July, 2012 at 2:35pm
How, exactly, does someone PROVE his/her "innocence" ? Especially in a situation like this where there is a he said/he said situation?

This is why I hate the "inquisitorial" concept of "justice". It ain't just.

Anyway, if Conte is suspended, can people like ADP or Nedved even step in/ Don't you need some sort of coach's license to do so? I am not aware either have that.

No easy answers here, but an asst. is most likely though will probably not be very effective.
on the 28th July, 2012 at 2:00pm
What a great idea. Will never happen mind you, but interesting. A lot saying Nedved on here, but has he got the necessary licence? If Conte is banned, then I think Juve will have a problem.
on the 28th July, 2012 at 11:13am
No other coach needed, other coach will have their own idea and this good project might get hampered. Either Nedved or ADP as interim boss will be the best solution
on the 28th July, 2012 at 8:12am
The tribunal could let it go. What was Conte supposed to do? Tell on his follow professionals and alienate himself? Nah.

On the other hand, there needs to be tough penalties for fraud so a punishment would send out the right message. If this is the case, Conte will just have to take the bitter with (all) the sweet (successes he's enjoyed). That's a small price to pay. Remember Peruzzi took the fall early in his career and he came back to win everything.
on the 28th July, 2012 at 5:50am
@Kareem

Note: Conte is NOT charged with sporting fraud but rather with failure to report potential sporting fraud. Initially, he was questioned with the tribunal believing he was responsible for sporting fraud but they soon discovered that this charge was not strong enough and could not stick with Conte. They lessened the charge to simply not reporting.
on the 27th July, 2012 at 10:41pm
A club with great honor was huntered and dented. The flame is still on, we can trace it back to avert another inferno. Why Juventus? Why this great Club? Why not fight us directly and let the whole world know the killer of the game it Italy. FIGC is killing the game. Conte is innocent. Why hunting an innocent achiever while there are many culprit hiding behind the FIGC. Juventus will continue to shock you all no matter what.
on the 27th July, 2012 at 10:20pm
viktor he was giving an example,it wasn't literally
on the 27th July, 2012 at 9:23pm
I feel this is a great but unlikely idea. On paper it sounds good to me however we all know it probably won't happen. On another note I'm so sick of Juve fans Feelimg sorry for themselves. It's so pathetic I can't even explain it. Anytime an article about Juve is posted on any site I'll I see I'd Juve supporters complaining like a menaposal women. GET OVER IT. It it was it is. You have no clue what's going on behind the scenes yet act like your all eye witnesses. FOrZa ROMA!
on the 27th July, 2012 at 7:59pm
Why would the Italian Football Federation & CP agrre to this and risk any possibility of it disrupting the World Cup qualifying campaign. Just imaging the outcry if the campaign got off to a slow start. I'm sure if Conte does get banned Juve will find some way of having a puppet controled by Conte to run the side. They could always order more laundary baskets for match days.
on the 27th July, 2012 at 7:12pm
@Viktor and@evo1953
Both Allegri and Conte have been charged with sporting fraud.Conte recently as coach of siena and Allegri back in the day as a player for atalanta. Just FYI before you go at war with each other.
on the 27th July, 2012 at 6:57pm
Juve dont have plan B because Conte is innocent. Italy is a stupid country. They try to pull u down when u take the initiative of going forward.Juve back to winning ways, best defense in the league, best coach, best project, best stadium, the devil and demons are not happy so they attack or at least hinder the team.
on the 27th July, 2012 at 6:20pm
i think is better nedved cause u now is player that's why im said
on the 27th July, 2012 at 5:40pm
The FIGC are taking the word of one man, when over twenty people in the same dressing room heard nothing. The same man's wife had fallen out with Conte's wife and then he makes this accusation and the FIGC choose to believe him! Would this happen to Milan or Inter, not a chance! The powers that be tried to destroy Juventus before and now we have fought our way back to the top of the Italian game, they are trying to do it again, but they won't succeed. We will always prevail, because we are Juve!
on the 27th July, 2012 at 5:10pm
Pep :)
on the 27th July, 2012 at 3:21pm
You proposed and then dismantled your own argument. Rightly-so.
on the 27th July, 2012 at 3:10pm
I like the idea of Del Piero as player/coach until Conte comes back.
on the 27th July, 2012 at 2:18pm
ya prandelli can be a good choice. but then again why not go for deschamps?
on the 27th July, 2012 at 2:15pm
Roberto Baggio, Nedved? ADP? who knows hope it doesnt come to any and its thrown out for the rubbish that it is
on the 27th July, 2012 at 2:14pm
CONTE WILL STAY FOR SURE AND NO INTERIM COACH WILL BE ASSIGNED, THE MAX. SENTENCE, I BELIEVE WILL BE FOR A MONTH AT THE MOST..FORZA JUVE!!!
on the 27th July, 2012 at 1:50pm
Unfortunately Juve is always injustice. This is nothing to do with Juventus FC This is related to other clubs and players Knth
baggio is the best choice this time :(
on the 27th July, 2012 at 1:29pm
Ferrara? Yep, he would resign as Samp Coach wouldn't he? Take over at Juve for three months and then not be allowed to Cioach again until next season because of Italian rules. As ridiculous ideas go, that takes the lead.
on the 27th July, 2012 at 1:18pm
If anyone from the outside comes, Lippi or another former Juventino or Ferrara would come in for a few months... even if they have appointments elsewhere. otherwise it would be internal. Stop dreaming with these ridiculous ideas...
on the 27th July, 2012 at 1:12pm
@ Viktor - i think it was just an example mate. ok not the best one to pick but oh well. But yeah to be charged for summat u may have heard that may or not be true??!! how on earth can that be proved or not?? reliable witnesses? i think not...not when ur own neck is on the line ppl will say ALOT to get outa it.

But hey its a sad day ESP when Serie A is under the kosh from all over Esp here in the UK! saddens me..but im sure Calcio will bounce back and we need Juve no matter who u supprt!
on the 27th July, 2012 at 1:10pm
@evo1953

Leave allegri out of this. This is about CONTE and not allegri,
Typical.. When under fire, instead of prove your innocence you start accusing other coaches. Pathetic
on the 27th July, 2012 at 1:03pm

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