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Wednesday October 9 2013
A more decisive Giovinco?

Having seen limited minutes so far this season, Sebastian Giovinco’s goal proved crucial as Juventus defeated Milan on Sunday. Luca Cetta writes.

With the match between Juventus and Milan hanging in the balance, Antonio Conte made his move just past the hour mark. Given Milan’s aerial frailties, it was thought Fernando Llorente would be unleashed from the start. That was not the case. The spot went to Fabio Quagliarella. When Conte turned to his bench, the Spaniard was again overlooked in favour of Sebastian Giovinco. Perhaps not the popular choice yet it would take less than two minutes for the Atomic Ant to make an impact. His neat finish sent Juve on the path to victory, as they kept pace with Roma and Napoli thanks to a 3-2 result.

For Giovinco, who has fallen down the strikers’ pecking order, it was a weight off his shoulders. His first for the season, one to hit back at the detractors: “I’m very happy with my goal and I want to continue like this... I dedicate this strike to all of those who stay close to me.”

Somebody who has stayed close is Conte. The tactician has in the past shielded the striker from boo-boys and critics: “I am glad that after so many times people asked about this, Giovinco finally scored a decisive goal. I am happy for Seba, as he gets too much criticism from the Juve fans. It’s not fair, as he is as good as the other strikers and needs support. I hope the rapport with the supporters can improve because of this goal.”

As Conte pointed to, the lack of decisiveness has haunted Giovinco in his third spell at the club. Since returning last season, the 26-year-old has scored 12 goals in 47 appearances. As the Gazzetta dello Sport pointed out on Monday, the Milan strike was the first truly decisive Serie A goal Giovinco has netted.

Only one Giovinco League goal last term had a direct impact on the scoreboard, the opener at home with Sampdoria. In the Coppa Italia, Giovinco grabbed the lone strike versus Cagliari in the Round of 16 and an equaliser against Milan in the next stage. Whereas Arturo Vidal was king of the crucial goal – notably in the run home to the Scudetto – Giovinco’s mostly only added to the margin.

That he was influential in defeating the Rossoneri will give the Turin-born attacker a great deal of confidence. As a Juventus player, Giovinco has always lived in a shadow. He was to be Alessandro Del Piero’s heir, a new star to lead Juve post-Calciopoli.

He started well enough, with a fine assist on debut against Bologna. Once returned from a loan spell at Empoli it was hoped Giovinco would develop into a key player. There were highlights, such as his splendid free kick at Lecce to open his account, however the following two seasons proved frustrating. Three tacticians, but limited playing time. Giovinco allowed his frustrations to boil over. He supposed Juve didn’t appreciate his qualities. It led to a spell at Parma and more jibes at the Bianconeri, plus Italy’s distrust of youngsters.

His Juve return coincided with Del Piero’s departure, again drawing comparisons. Giovinco distanced himself from the No 10 shirt, opting for No 12. He aimed to forge his own legacy. He was also burdened by the €11m price-tag needed to settle his Parma co-ownership. Why should that money be shelled out for our own player, some thought. By February, a section of the supporters had turned against him and Giovinco was jeered against Siena. Conte voiced his disapproval.

Giovinco has started just once this campaign, in addition to four substitute appearances. Against the Rossoneri his ‘Romario-like dribbling’ inside the penalty area led to a team-best rating given by the pink paper. Not bad for a player who entered in the 67th minute. His decisiveness in gliding away from Cristian Zapata and finishing past Christian Abbiati was pivotal to breaking open the contest.

Giovinco will hope, months from the World Cup, this goal sparks his season. Following a first Azzurri strike at June’s Confederations Cup he has fallen from favour, with Cesare Prandelli opting against Giovinco for the dead rubber qualifiers against Denmark and Armenia. He still has time to force his name into the hat. “Not long ago Prandelli spoke of Sebastian as one of the best talents in Italian football,” said agent Andrea D’Amico on Monday. “Hopefully he’ll remember that now.”

That remains a long-term goal. In the meantime, Juve face Fiorentina immediately after the international break, where Giovinco will hope to be given another chance to prove how decisive he can be for the Bianconeri.

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Have your say...
@mustafa

I'm pretty certain you never read a book so I will keep it simple.
Dividers from auto-correct. I'm sure you understood that? Yes lil gio dives more then any player even more then balo.

Let's expose u once for all. I could ask you any football related question 5-10 years ago and you would be clueless. However, cheater that you are, you would google it and pretend you knew the answer.

Do us ALL a favor, stay incognito don't bother as no one cares. Get it?
on the 13th October, 2013 at 3:07pm
@ Viktoria

Do you realize that you made a fool of yourself, again, in your post.

And, it's divers, not dividers.

What a joke
on the 13th October, 2013 at 12:03pm
Gio is a gifted footballer, he has suffered from squad rotation and lack of faith from managers,as have matri and quagliarella. just look at his form for Parma.he hit a 15 goal season for them when played in his no10 position. i see no reason why tevez and gio can not start together regularly, just as aguero and tev paired up as two 'little' men who won a league title together.if gio is not given a chance juve will lose another academy player to a rival and regret it.much like criscito,nocerino
on the 12th October, 2013 at 12:15pm
@balodiver

I'm right here son. Don't talk about dividers when you root for a team with a 5.4 ant who dives most of all. Actually he's not diving he's just that weak.
on the 11th October, 2013 at 2:16pm
Whenever Juve wins against Milan, Viktor-ia couldn't be found around here hahahaa
on the 10th October, 2013 at 9:12pm
Giovinco is a tue talent, he is used in the wrong position. The problem of juvenstus this term is the lack o rel wingers and their game plan s very predictable. All teams are packing the box with 7s and 8s and te dipping long balls of pirlo or long passes of marchisio are definitely not for someone like Gio. But juve's real problem was collecting under par players from Udinese (asamoah, isla) and lichsteiner is not that much of a quality player as well.
on the 10th October, 2013 at 6:07pm
I read a lot of blogs on here maldini's heir at least your honest not like the blinkered Victor,gio struggles because of he's size but the bigger problem is the wide players asamoah is awful personally I would play llorente and tevez and gio should flank him tevez will always drop in the midfield it would be like a 4321 juventus play a lot in front of the opponents back four but other than llorente no one can play with their back to goal they are crying out for a forward that can have the ball rolled into him and play off of a point of reference
on the 10th October, 2013 at 11:32am
@ Marc F I'm never short of a rant about Milan even when the blog has got nothing to do with them! I completely agree. This bad start and second half recovery thing is really becoming ridiculous. And this season it won't work because the other teams are stronger. For me Allegri one Serie A the first time round because the other teams weren't up to much. Since then its been a gradual downhill. He cannot win head to heads. Two so far this season and he's lost both. And we've had incredible luck!
on the 10th October, 2013 at 9:25am
Cassano in the italian squad????? are people serious???? get rid of the riff raff it is time for youngsters not old men, totti gilardino and cassano had thier time and it is now over!!!! why put then in the squad? rather gice younger player the chance to see what a world cup is about lets start growing new talent!!!

we insisted on having the old guard at the last world cup and see how well that went!!!!
on the 10th October, 2013 at 7:37am
One goal is a small amount no matter how nice to start writing articles about him imo he has little hope to get much better as is he is too small. but if conte does ever decide to change tactics slightly and have 3 up front with gio on the left i think we would see a different gio.
on the 10th October, 2013 at 7:34am
Good for Gio, Ive always wanted him to succeed and I hope he does. From a Roma fan.
on the 10th October, 2013 at 12:22am
Great to see Gio burst the net against Milan.He can play his part if he goes on a good run then people will lighten up. If Pirlo goes next year he will get a bite a t more free kicks which will boost his tally.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 10:28pm
I always like Giovinco and always prefer him than Matri or Quag. I'm so much happy 4 him and hope ha can continue this way. Yes! We saw a more decisive Gio against Milan. When you look at the acuracy and fastness in his touches b4 the goal, I'm sure u'll see the touches of a champion. Forza Atonic Ant! Forza Juve!!!
on the 9th October, 2013 at 10:23pm
When is Conte and Prandelli going to realise that he's a wide forward & not a striker. With his back to goal he is not as effective because of his height and frame but he would be great in a 4-3-3 with the ball to feet or in his path with his speed, dribbling ability, and quick feet as he showed against Milan.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 9:30pm
Milan are garbage period! I'm a Milan fan but they're not a quality team at all. I'm so tired of players and management telling us that there's nothing to be worried about. And then they all use last year as a comparison. So you're saying it's ok to start of like garbage because you'll have a second half surge?? That's the worst thing to say. Milan won't have that kind of a surge this year. They have zero goal keeping, zero defense. Worst team in Serie A at defending set pieces!! UGLY!
on the 9th October, 2013 at 3:48pm
One goal and suddenly he's decisive? Lol come on now. Giovinco is a talented player, yes. But hes also extremely limited. He's not clinical nor does he have great vision or an eye for a pass. He will never be what we wanted him to be. Insigne will surely be the only forward under 5'6 on the italy squad and rightfully so. The only area gio can match him is at dead ball situations.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 2:50pm
Not really worth writing about gio. He's awful. He spends more time laying on the field then standing. He might be the "atomic ant" but he's still an ant. There's 20 Italians a head of him for the national.

And comparing he's dribbling to Romario style is just over the top.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 1:56pm
I have always liked Giovinco, having watched him at the U21 tournaments but since his move to Parma i have lost all faith in him becoming anything close to a key figure for Juve or the Nazionale. The 11mil spend to bring him back was excessive to say the least. I think the only reason he is still at Juve is nostalgia after Del Piero, But Giovinco is only a squad player and will fade away soon. Can't help but wonder what could have been if he were a little taller and a little stronger.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 1:26pm
I still feel that 352 doesn't suit him. There is little space through the middle & he struggles against central defenders & anchor men. IMO he would be more effective playing on the flanks in a trident. He will have more space there & could fully exploit the gaps which most full backs leave in behind them. I enjoyed watching his goal & still believe that he has much more to offer.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 12:20pm
In Giovinco's defence, Conte's 352 doesn't suit him. He will always struggle through the middle, coming up against big centre backs & tough anchor men. There is little space for him through the middle. IMO, he would fare better on the flanks, where there is more space & could exploit the gaps which get vacated by today's attacking full backs. I still believe that there is a lot more to come from him.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 11:45am
PS I would not read to much into his goal against Milan. Anyone can score against Milan at the moment. We've got the third worst defence in Serie A! Allegri and Galliani and Mexes take a bow...
on the 9th October, 2013 at 11:41am
Sebastian Giovinco should be played as trequartista wearing the Number 10 shirt. I can’t understand why Tevez was given the Number 10 jersey. Conte should make Giovinco first choice in the squad and give him a proper run in the team. Not on off on off. I hate it when managers keep rotating there squads. Your first team should be chosen. The only time should rotate the squad is for good obvious reasons i.e. Tactical, Injury fatigue.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 11:41am
For me Giovinco's main weakness is his size. He is a bit of a light weight and can get knocked around. But he does offer a different dimension. That left sided attacking position for Italy looks very interesting. Rightly or wrongly it's a competition between Insigne, SES, Rossi, Giacherini and Giovinco. That's leaving out Cassano and Di Natali. Italy are looking good in attack these days. Plenty of support for Balo with different options. For me at the moment its between Rossi and Insigne.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 11:40am
Giovinco is nowhere near international class. Hopefully Cesare has finally realised this. Now he just needs to get rid of Gilardino. If fit the 6 strikers going to the WC should be BALO, ROSSI, SES, CASSANO, INSIGNE, then a choice of either DI NATALE/ OSVALDO/GABBIADINI or TOTTI depending on his condition at this time.
on the 9th October, 2013 at 11:15am

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