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...
Where the hell to begin, first off the complaint about playing 3 games in 1 week and hearing Conte NOT MOAN! NOT USE AS AN EXCUSE! but to say the team is fatigued thats why we did not play our best as,

Second - for Viktor's comments ... to say our football is boring mr balotelli reliant? we had a fast paced and great attacking game against fiorentina, the physical battle we spent defending (besides litchsteiner) defending and countering amazingly to win 3-0! first leg, and then base it on..
on the 17th February, 2013 at 7:41pm
@Viktor

Would you be able to elaborate on which competition "Ac Milan have done hella lot better then Juve so far this year"?

Is it Serie A, where Milan sits 11 points behind Juve, needing penalties in 2/3 of their games to collect maximum points? Coppa Italia, where Juve eliminated Milan? Or Champions League where Milan scraped through their group with a .500 record and will be dispatched by Barcelona in the Round of 16?

Please specify for everyone.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 7:19pm
@Mustafa

Lol you need to chill mate, anyway Barcelona away is a much harder game than Celtic away. Juve scored 3 goals away to Celtic which is fantastic but they were dominated for a large part of the game. So Mustafa a word of advice "Think Before You Speak" ;) xxxx
on the 17th February, 2013 at 6:57pm
Will first of all in all other big leagues teams playing in the cl are always preferred Over others. Second of all Milan is playing on Wednesday in the cl however they had their game schudeled as one on Friday the other Sunday do they get at least one day of extra rest beside when u r on the road at Europe it is preferable to have the next game at home . This must be considered for all teams playing in Europe and not only juventus
on the 17th February, 2013 at 6:44pm
Oh hey, what do you know, here's Susy Campanale with another Juventus-bashing article.

Please remove her from this website. She's not fit to write about anything since she can't handle her biases.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 6:15pm
FOR MY FRIEND VICTOR...why can't you admit that Juventus at this moment, this year, is the best team in Italy...Whole Europe agrees that Conte did a great job and Juve is stronger and stronger. Even Mourinho, who was Inter coach, said that he wouldn't like Juventus in CL... But, Victor, you know football better than Mourinho...You should be his consultant
on the 17th February, 2013 at 6:00pm
Viktor

For a change, try to be more objective in your comments, not so stubborn...It doesn't matter who is your favorite team. For me, it is okay that milan played on friday, because they play CL on wednesday. But, what is the problem if they treat Juve the same?

How is it possible that someone can say that Milan is doing hell lot better than Juve this year, when Juventus has 11 points more? And the whole world is talking that Juve should be example to everyone in Italy. But you know better...
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:54pm
victor is not smart at all lolol .
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:54pm
@victor: Good for them. They really did a lot better than Juve such as; Selling key player without proper replacement, pushing 4th with "silent" 2 penalty controversy and on top of that THEY EVEN GOT THEIR FIXTURE MOVED BECAUSE OF WHAT??... THEY WILL PLAY CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:52pm
@ victor .

you are an idiot . juve is the best and will always be the best in italy .end of story .
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:50pm
Juventus has one of the largest squads in Europe but conte is not using it to its best. Conte is not yet the finished product but he is surely on the path to become the best. He will learn from this. Use marrone, giacc, gio, beltrame...
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:41pm
Susy really has a jealous hate of Juve's greatness. For people who say that Susy is 'Just' making a valid point, let me ask Susy something. Why is it when Juve play a great game and win, Susy NEVER writes anything complementary about Juve? Why is it whenever Conte says something, Susy is always there to criticise? Where was Susy when Juve destroyed Celtic away from home 0-3???
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:37pm
What susy said was true. She got herself some important point. To complained about packed schedule should not come from the top teams. Juve just enter this tournament but may lacked in depth of squad soon. Good luck if they can go further. Inter problem was not the "strain" but rather taking a different ideology back then which is was rather stupid after all the hard work Mou did for inter. Inter should have not messed up the most complete Inter squad to date by changing tactics! But move on..
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:37pm
anti juve again from you build a bridge and get over yourself ,your views bore me
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:35pm
Viktor - the ref blew the whistle after 3 minutes 56 seconds and the corner about to be taken. Don't say "5th Minute" when we never got through the 4th. Napoli got 5 minutes added on (I don't know where 5 came from) and played 5 minutes 34 seconds. Conte never mentioned the time, or the corner not given . . . so, why are you?
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:34pm
[..What should Napoli say, after playing in the Europa League on Thursday evening and again on Sunday afternoon?..]

Nothing. Total disgrace both in Europe and today :)
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:33pm
@anonymous

"Juventus is currently the only bright spot for Italan football"

Gahaha, dude ... So Napoli, Roma, Lazio, Inter , Milan etc aren't "bright" spots?

Ac Milan have done hella lot better then Juve so far this year
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:24pm
I'm not gonna waist my time about susy's hatred towards Juve we all know that,so let me just ask you ignorant milan napoli or rest of the italian team tifosis you clearly just like your teams but not italian football because we all know freakin FIGC could have moved this game to sunday or monday and have done many times in past for milan,inter and even for juve back in days so why wouldnt they do it this time? I have no answer to it, other then maybe it is corrupted just like whole italy, Shame!
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:24pm
The man just want to delay it for 1 more day so they can rest a little bit.
What's wrong with that. It's the right thing to do.
FIGC should have give their support for any club who played in CL or EL.
Not TACKLE them any given chance.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:23pm
@mewstafa

Still hatin' on women I see. That sir is pathetic. You sound like a juve fan tho, constantly moaning and whining. It would give me the greatest satisfaction if Napoli snatches the scudetto right in front of Juve. The been moaning this season so much on it would t surprise me if that will cost them the scudetto.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:17pm
napoli did play thursday and then sunday, but then again, this still does not add up to 3 games in 7 days now does it?

and what difference does it make for napoli anyway, they maybe go out on the field in EL, but they sure as hell do not play.

with that said, complaining about this is pointless. i dont hear manu, barca, bayern etc whine about this. just deal with it. but then again, why couldnt roma-juventus been played on saturday instead of sunday?
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:17pm
No shocker to wake up to even more conte complains. I read from some post that juve are the only team that plays good football in seria a. What a bunch of crap. They play so boring football. Against Roma yesterday they even have the nerves to complain about a corner int the 95 minute (even tho the ref gave 4 mins stoppage time) I mean who does that?!?!

Stop bragging bout your Celtic win great result I salute you for that but entertaining football? Hardly.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:14pm
Juve played in Glasgow and were denied a one day move for their League game. Travel days are not rest days. Milan will be playing against Barca at home, but get extra days between League and CL. That's what Conte is talking about. Both CL teams should be treated equally. Conte is asking for fairness, not favoritism. His request is not too much to ask.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 5:01pm
Does this Susy really need to be allowed to write articles? Nothing good comes from her fingers.

Why allow someone to write article who can barely write about anything but slander a prestigious club as Juventus?

Surely there are better 'writers' out there that can fill this space. Someone that doesnt go on and on about their obvious dislike for a certain team. Why are these kind of writers allowed?!
on the 17th February, 2013 at 4:52pm
And why does Milan play in Friday while they're facing Barcelona in Wednesday ? I've always described you in one word Susy,

PATHETIC !
on the 17th February, 2013 at 4:51pm
She did not bash juventus. She just said juve is suffering because the strnght in depht of serie a. In my book that is above all a complement to juves achievements. I just dont get how you could interpret that as an insult.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 4:39pm
I'm a Juventino. I think Petković is right: it's the price we pay as a top team.

Mazzarri, though, can shut up for a moment. Lazio field a strong team in a continent. Juve do. Napoli don't.

Mazzarri has a point that they have two days off before Samp, and Juve three. But it doesn't matter if you don't take the EL seriously.

Conte, though, has a point. Here's the fixtures:
Juve: Fiorentina 2 Celtic 3 Roma
Napoli: Lazio 4 Plzeň 2 Samp

Why can't Juve play on Sunday and Napoli on Monday?
on the 17th February, 2013 at 4:29pm
It is indicative that Jose Mourinho played virtually the same starting 11, except switching Motta and Stankovic around during the treble success. There was no complaining of fixture list problems because you dealt with it as the games came. They should write an open letter to the FIGC as always explaining that they shoukd be treated like no other club on the continent is treated. As Arnold Swarzenegger said "stop whining"
on the 17th February, 2013 at 4:19pm
Susy, for your information, there are lots of situations in which Football Associations help their teams that play in Europe by rescheduling their games. They respect their teams playing in Europe and try to help them if possible, because playing in CL should be appreciated and protected, and not trying to destroy that teams in domestic championship. They rescheduled Real Madrid game, because of playing in CL.
on the 17th February, 2013 at 4:06pm
I am a huge Juve fav here but even I must admit that Conte shouldn not complain about that. A heavy fixture list is unfortunately the price of being top of your respective division.
Other teams can do it, it's just Juve's depth isn't quite as good as the other bigger teams. Juve change a few but still use the main star players when they are playing to win.
If they are able to invest in another creative midfielder that could be a good alternate for Pirlo and another defender, that will fix it..
on the 17th February, 2013 at 4:05pm

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