Wednesday July 31 2013
Conte interview with La Gazzetta…

Coach Antonio Conte expects his 3-5-2 Juventus to be tested in Serie A this season as they look for a third straight title.

The Old Lady will start the campaign as favourites, but the tactician respects the threat of numerous other clubs who will be targeting the Scudetto.

“The values of clubs are changing, our rivals are getting stronger,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “It will be a very open championship.

“Juve, Milan and Inter are traditionally title contenders. Napoli have spent €75m-€80m and have reinforced with Rafael Benitez, a great Coach who has won it all.

“Fiorentina have legitimate hopes. Not only do they have Mario Gomez, but also Giuseppe Rossi, who some are maybe underestimating.

“Lazio have amplified their squad and are tough, tactically strong.

“Roma, meanwhile, will try to invest the money they got for Marquinhos [€32m from Paris Saint-Germain]. They should be complimented for that move, that was a great deal.”

Finishing the season in first place will be the aim in Turin, but Conte has underlined that winning is not the only objective.

“We want to grow as a club and that doesn’t necessarily mean by winning,” he added. “Inter did the treble, but they built nothing that season.

“I’m certain that we will continue to grow this season. We are approaching an economical balance which will allow us to open our wallets in the future.

“We don’t have that possibility right now, we continue to spend less than our rivals.”

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, however, recently identified Juventus as a strong financial force in the European game.

“Guardiola is stuck in his time at Brescia,” the 44-year-old responded. “He’s gone to a club with little money, hasn’t he…? It is better that people just look into their own homes.

“Compared to the big European clubs, we are playing catch up and we hope to reach them. Anyway, we’re ahead of schedule. When I arrived at Juventus the target was to win the Scudetto in the third season…

“Since I arrived, the gap between money spent on signings and money received from sales has been contained.

“In the year of our first Scudetto, eight starting players had come from two seventh place finishes. Arturo Vidal was signed for €9m, Napoli paid €18m for Gokhan Inler in the same summer.

“I don’t like hearing nonsense that we spend a lot of money.”

The Turin giants have netted Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente and Angelo Ogbonna this summer for roughly €25m in total.

“Tevez is extraordinary. He’s a great professional, a splendid person who puts himself at your disposal. He works in an exceptional way.

“Llorente is a model athlete. He has the right mentality, it is a pleasure to watch him train.

“More signings? We’ll see. I’ve spoken with the club, but I won’t tell you what I have said. I know that sales are needed first in order to buy.

“Sacrificing Emanuele Giaccherini [to Sunderland] was tough. We haven’t sold anyone else for now, but we know what to do.”

There were suggestions that Conte would be considering a system change this term, with an eye on being more competitive in the Champions League.

“The principles of our game remain the same – ball possession, high intensity, movement as a team, organisation, aggression and balance.

“The shape can change, but the 3-5-2 is the most suitable for this team, it enhances the characteristics of the players.

“It's a cliché to say that with the three-man defence you can not win in Europe. For the 4-3-3, however, I don’t have the wide players necessary.”