BLOG ITALIA
Sunday February 17 2013
The Euro problem

Antonio Conte complains it’s not fair that Juventus have to play three games in seven days, but Susy Campanale warns that’s the price you pay for being a top club.

Last season Juventus won the Scudetto unbeaten and not even the most fervent fan can deny their absence from the European stage had something to do with that. I am not taking anything away from Antonio Conte’s achievements when I say it undoubtedly helps to have only one game to focus on per week, a whole seven days to train, study and prepare for a single opponent. Playing in Europe brings prestige, success and a great deal of money, but it takes away an awful lot from a team too.

Conte demands “a little more respect for a club that is taking Italy forward in Europe,” but there is only so much that can be done in a packed fixture list. Teams all over the continent play three games in seven days and do not complain. What should Napoli say, after playing in the Europa League on Thursday evening and again on Sunday afternoon?

I will say that Serie A makes it considerably more difficult to balance the competitions than other top Divisions around Europe. All you have to do is look at the standings. Barcelona are 15 points clear at the top of La Liga. Manchester United can boast a 12-point gap from their closest rivals. Bayern Munich sit on a 15-point cushion and Paris Saint-Germain are five points clear with a game in hand. The strength in depth in Serie A is proving to be a real problem for our co-efficient, as handling the two tournaments simultaneously becomes extremely difficult. 

Napoli are the perfect example, for last season they chose to play their best team in the Champions League and emerged from the Group of Death with flying colours, but the price they had to pay was not qualifying for the tournament again. Wary of repeating that slide down the standings, Walter Mazzarri and his men try to muddle along in the Europa League as best they can, rotating the squad and taking long tea breaks during the game. The upshot of that is a 3-0 home defeat to Viktoria Plzen, but a genuine Scudetto challenge too. Just look at Udinese, who seemed to greet their Europa League exit with a sigh of blessed relief and now look a completely different team.

The only team in recent memory to have united Serie A and Champions League success was Inter in 2010, but they are still trying to recover from that strain to this day. Milan have won the European Cup seven times, but only once – in 1993-94 – did they pair that with the Scudetto. The Double has been achieved 23 times by 15 different clubs, but only three of those were Italian (the other being Inter in 1965).

Yes, Serie A makes it tougher to remain competitive in Europe, but while the Division continues to have 20 teams and the fixture list stays so stupidly packed, there’s not much we can do about it. As Vladimir Petkovic said: “We wanted the bicycle, so now let’s get pedalling.”

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Have your say...
Massive Juve fan and Celtic lol,

anyway majority of these posts are very biased and pretty cringy, Juve got an unbelievable result in Glasgow, very flattering and Celtic deserved something...

This whole debate on too many matches is getting boring from all leagues, Juve lost to Roma fairly, they sucked gotta be honest, I truly hope they manage to start playing some good football, as Bayern, Barca, Real and PSG will not have the same problem celtic had.
FORZA JUVE and peace to all other FANS!
on the 18th February, 2013 at 12:37am
I can't understand all this absurd talk of whining, Other than a few people replying on this blog nobody is whining. Conte makes a valid point. A point that any neutral football fan understands. All over Europe top clubs who compete in CL & EL get help from their FA's by getting some fixtures rescheduled. Personally i don't understand what is wrong with that. Napoli, Milan, Inter, Lazio im sure none of them would complain about getting some fixtures rescheduled. Ultimately it helps all of Italy.
on the 18th February, 2013 at 12:34am
Why fuel the fire with this post? Wouldn't it be more productive of Conte to focus on something else than the fixture list - since when is there a need to excuse every loss? What ever happened to "You can't win 'em all?"

"Shallow" squads are a financial issue - only a handful of clubs are exempt from it. Salaries and costs must come down, all over the line, but in Italy in particular. Doing so while staying competitive is a catch 22 however. Loose the politics and get back to playing, everyone!
on the 18th February, 2013 at 12:23am
To all you whining Juventus fans, I want to tell you that it is hard to compete in the CL, it surely affects the league games. And it is sad that you feel how difficult it is now, AC Milan has had it like this EVERY YEAR, so take it like a man and stop complaining and whining, BECAUSE THIS IS THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE!!! It is a disgrace for Italy to have a bunch of whiners as their league leaders, pls start acting like men and win the CL for a change like AC Milan!!!!
on the 17th February, 2013 at 11:44pm
you are a hypocrite and even worse than that, a complete idiot in all matters football, suzy.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 11:36pm
Yes but what about MILAN susy? They get the privledge of Friday night games but Juve dont.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 11:31pm
I wished you waited until the end of the weekend to write about this subject. I will only ask you one question now, what do you think about PSG, Inter and Napoli latest scores then?
Thank you.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 11:31pm
Champions League fatigue or not, Roma were going to batter them anyway. A victory for Italian football last night
on the 17th February, 2013 at 11:21pm
@viktor

Last year and this year we beat u out of coppa thats a fact. Ot or not we beat u.

We only on the 2nd month stop saying as if this whole 2013 milan played better. Just say milan collected more points this two months. Please think before u post.

Just pray milan go through to the next phase ucl, if not no more thropy again for milan. Lol
on the 17th February, 2013 at 11:09pm
"Teams all over the continent play three games in seven days and do not complain."

You mean big teams like Real Madrid and Manchester United? Because I know both coaches have complained about fixtures right after UCL games.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 10:57pm
@davide
No surprises from a juve supporter. Constantly making excuses and laying the blame somewhere else. Be a man and accept that juve are not playing so well since the Xmas break and don't try and blame the CL
on the 17th February, 2013 at 10:17pm
@juve4ever

Clearly math is not your strongest skill. Milan have converted more points 2013 the ant other team in seria a. That's pure fact. Trashed by juve?? You counter attacked once and scored in et. The game was very balanced (that's why it went to ET..) now please. Think before you post. I never said Milan have done better throughout, obviously they haven't. But 2013 they have. Once again just stating a fact.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 9:58pm
Conte should shut his mouth and accept that Roma gave them a footballing lesson. On another note, yesterday we saw what this Roma squad is building towards. They will win the scudetto in the next 2 years, guaranteed.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 9:45pm
Oh Susy, you Milanista, you. Mazzarri doesn't have the flu, he just couldn't face the embarrassment of being called out on his anti-Juve comments the other day, when his own team fell completely flat after a Europa League game, although Napoli couldn't even beat a Slovakian side at home...
on the 17th February, 2013 at 9:35pm
Hey conte,
Every team in EL and CL had these same conditions. Stop whining and get on with the game. This is typical juve, cry foul when they aren't good enough to win.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 9:25pm
@Viktor

"Ac Milan have done hella lot better then Juve so far this year"

LOL !!!! Juve trashed you at Coppa, and now u sit on 3rd, could be 4th/5th when Inter/Lazio win later.

Please dude stop embarassing yourself, we dont mind to be a die hard fans, but please think before you comment. Your team need a penalty kick in every match. Oh yeah even against juve your team need a NON penalty kick.

Better than juve so far hahahahaha you made my day !
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:55pm
@manny

C'mon man, you can't really be serious and think juve play entertaining football?? Against Celtic you ha amazing counter football? Yeah that's pretty much all undid that game except for parking a buss in your own goal after the 3min goal from Matri
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:52pm
@the real realist

Smart enough to understand the simple math of who have converted most points in seria a 2013. When you know the answer please get back to me after that we can discuss intelligence. Schooled.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:49pm
I knew it this blog will comes up as soon as juve have things to say, and I knew it will be susy, and I knew it she wont say anything when juve beat celtic.

I knew it Viktor will trolling in any blog about juve and always comparing with his milan side.

From all the lost, juve always played bad. I agree with what Montella said before: there is no such thing as anti-juve the only one who can beat juve is juve themself.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:47pm
@ el prin and all others Once again, I said THiS year so far Milan have done better then juve. Lol just look at te converted points why would anyone debate differently. It's numbers they do not lie. There 11 points after juve because of a bad start, last 3 month they have played great and at the moment fully deserve the CL spot.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:47pm
@pado

The ref blew exactly after 4 minutes and 2 seconds. Look it up. Yet the never ending whining from juve carried on.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:44pm
@Steven

Bringing up CL and comparining Juve to Milan is just embarrassing. Juve haven't been active in CL the last 5-7 years. In terms of CL quality we both know Milan have a better history. The game you won I the Italian cup was very even and could have gone either way.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:41pm
@Steven

Gladly. How many points have juve taken 2013? How many have Milan converted. There you go. Milan have converted more points then Juve 2013. Pretty basic statistics.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:38pm
Susy and all other Juve haters,keep hating.Whilst Juve are attempting to improve the co- efficient for Serie A ,the FIGC and the haters who may benefit from extra CL and EL places will gladly accept those places.Juve are not being unreasonable in these circumstances.Strange how the FIGC accommodate others eg;Milan. Keep hating we are your benefactors.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:30pm
Italy need new stadiums DESPERATELY. Juventus went fom 23.000 in average two years ago to sell outs in their 41.000 new stadium week in and out. They get 20 mill. more per year. Then Italy and epecially Napoli MUST take EL seroius to get to CL next year. Otherwise we will NEVER get our lost 4th CL spot back.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:09pm
another defeat. another case of surrounding the referee at the final whistle by Ladri. and now he's crying about playing 3 games in 7 days after spending nearly 60 million in the summer.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 8:06pm
i dont care for anyone who wants to come out with a childish reply to any of my comments but the fact remains and the only way for italian teams to move forward is if teams like intermilan juventus a.c milan find there old former glory back and other teams like napoli and fiorentina who deserve EL need to find squad depth then there would be a 4TH! spot worth fighting for and claiming for themselves like there was before, #GetOverYourSelves Forza Juve, Forza Former Glory
on the 17th February, 2013 at 7:57pm
or when was the last time they got into a final of an FA Cup or League Cup? exactly they now have squad depth to do it so for other teams and people like susy to bash on juventus is absolutely ludicrous and pathetic,

Lastly - for the whole italian nation who love to go against juventus, sort yourselves out!! how can we accept root teams like napoli and udinese who doesnt help the league as a whole in co-of points but just wants to win a league, this is why big players leave the league! ....
on the 17th February, 2013 at 7:52pm
Thirdly, for teams trying to claim juventus are just moaners and the whole "other teams can do it" i've heard rafa benitez and!! Alex Fergison both make comments this season, Benitez - claiming there is not enough squad depth in the team to compete on all fronts, Alex Fergison now claiming he finally has a squad deep enough and near as good as the 99 Squad, and for a team who have reached the final of CL and won 3 premier league titles within the past 5 seasons, what happen those other seasons?
on the 17th February, 2013 at 7:48pm
base it on a roma game we lost from a 1 great goal from totti?..okay... and if milan are doing so much better than Juve then win the bloody title if that's the case, get some goals that isnt from just balotelli since he came in, i do agree juventus is NOT the only spotlight for italian football but alot of these teams such as lazio and napoli need to step the hell up, if squad depth is ur problem just like juventus and fiorentina's is then sort it out! u had 2 windows to do so
on the 17th February, 2013 at 7:45pm

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