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Saturday March 8 2014
The new Marchisio

Il Principino’s versatility has made him stand-in regista at Juventus, where he is proving to be a worthy protégé on the eve of Fiorentina, says Jeremy Lim.

The silly booking picked up by Andrea Pirlo against Milan means he misses the first tie of Juventus’ triple header with Fiorentina this weekend. Ordinarily, the prospect of facing such a redoubtable opponent as Vincenzo Montella’s men without their midfield maestro would leave the Bianconeri faithful quaking. Not this time, however - this time, they have Claudio Marchisio. Specifically, Marchisio in his newest guise as Pirlo’s understudy and closet regista.

Serving as stand-in normally fell to Paul Pogba. The French sensation’s wide array of skills and ability to change a game established him as a mainstay in 2013. Wowing the club and public alike with his precocious ability, Pogba began making up the engine room alongside Pirlo and Arturo Vidal, displacing Marchisio from the starting XI. Previously unthinkable, the shuffle was testimony of how much the Italian champions had moved on.

It would not be the last Old Lady supporters saw of Il Principino, though. Instead of becoming disenchanted with a lack of playing time, Marchisio evidently spent his time on the periphery upgrading his skill set. The player’s versatility and willingness to improvise ensures he has stayed relevant over the two decades spent representing his boyhood club; first as an attacker, then a midfielder, followed by out to the wing, and again back in the centre.

Now the crowd favourite has been rediscovered slotting in front of the defence. Pirlo’s knee injury in December presented a golden opportunity to force his way back into the reckoning. Coach and former midfielder Antonio Conte went against the grain and thrust the keys to midfield into the hands of the man he has constantly built up in his own image.

Showcasing remarkable intuition and speed of thought versus teams such as Sampdoria and Trabzonspor, pass completion rates of 90% would become the norm for Marchisio in his new role. Demanding proactivity and responsibility never fails to transform the Turin native into a world-beater. “Marchisio is proving he can move very well as a deep-lying playmaker,” teammate Vidal affirmed in glowing tribute. “After all, we already knew Claudio can do anything in midfield. He can be the inside line pushing forward or the man who sets the tempo.”

Pinging precise cross-field passes around may have defined the rejuvenated workhorse's positional exploits, but neither has he shunned the dirty work entailed by the position. Indeed, after seeing him put in robust performances to his usual high standards in important results away at Atalanta and Lazio, it is difficult to comprehend why someone who has seemed so natural for the part was not considered for it before.

Juventus have ordained a candidate to be Pirlo’s heir through their diverse use of Marchisio. Pondering a tangible future for the club product in the regista role, particularly with their current mainstay in the waning days of his career, does not seem so far-fetched anymore. Now dictating play with the best, Marchisio will seek to cement his status as a worthy protégé with another influential display come Sunday’s clash with Fiorentina.

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Have your say...
Marchisio is not a deep-lying playmaker but he is not an attacking midfielder, by ANY STRETCH. Conte has turned him into something else, which is why they were eliminated in the first round. And Pogba, as talented as he is and as very good as he's been, has not been great the way people pretend. He's been well beyond his age, especially considering he's out of position (box-to-box or not, he is a DM PERIOD).

Marchisio is much like Vidal, just a bit more attack-minded. And he is world-class.
on the 14th March, 2014 at 12:19am
To say that marchisio is limited,it shows that your knowledge about football is "nada" .
Marchisio has been picked up regularly by the juventus and Italian coaches regularly for the last 5-6 years.
He is the most versatile player in Italy, playing in numerous position.
His best position is playing an attacking midfielder and he can be deadlier than vidal.
His drop in form wasn't due to him not doing enough.
Conte decided to choose,whether to stick with a consistent player or growing pobga.
on the 11th March, 2014 at 9:14pm
@ Luciano Moggi
You are making some statement when you say that no other player in Serie A would be ahead of Marchisio in the Juventus pecking order. I agree with all of Daniel Giambrone's alternatives. I would also include Dries Mertens & our own Luca Marrone. Marrone does everything Marchisio is capable of, he is also more creative & can also play in the defensive three. If Manchester United really want Marchisio, then I would suggest a swap deal involving Shinji Kagawa or Robin Van Persie.
on the 11th March, 2014 at 7:50am
@Luciano Moggi, I'm not so sure about that. DDR, Pjanic, Valero, Jorginho would all have a chance of getting into Juve's midfield. Personally, I also prefer Montolivo, Cigarini, Hernanes, Cambiasso, Hamsik, Strootman to Marchisio. I'm sure that I could list even more. I totally agree with Gabriel's views.
on the 10th March, 2014 at 5:08pm
Gabriel, the fact is Marchisio is the 1st option off the bench on arguably the best midfield in Europe. Considering nobody in Italy would even come close to contending for a Juventus midfield spot, that is nothing to be ashamed of.
on the 10th March, 2014 at 2:44pm
I have never been convinced by Marchisio, but he has played well as regista. That, for me, is the only position he really has an influence on the team. When he plays further forward, he often losses out physically and surrenders possession too easy. He is now fourth choice, that is a fact, and come the big games, when everyone is fit, he doesn't start. I understand why the Pro-Marchisio camp back him, but if he wasn't from Turin I wonder if they would have the same support for him.
on the 9th March, 2014 at 11:16pm
Il Principino was on today. Pinpoint passes spreading play to the wings. Barely put a foot wrong today. Glad to see him rejuvenated. He's a class act and to see him accept his role and now excel in it just indicates what class he is.
on the 9th March, 2014 at 8:16pm
Marchisio was an absolute best today, especially in the first half nearly more precise than pirlo at times. WOW!
Real pity we couldn't finish note chances as I'm sure we could have scored a if three clear chances I the first half alone.
on the 9th March, 2014 at 2:01pm
So he's been turned into an Italian Xabi Alonso
on the 8th March, 2014 at 9:25pm
Claudio remains an excellent midfielder, in any of the roles the team requires him to fill .
on the 8th March, 2014 at 6:46pm
@ Adam

spot on, same as my view.

Actually, he reminds me of Chritiano Zanetti. It doesn't look he doing much, but take him out and you would see that something is wrong.
on the 8th March, 2014 at 3:25pm
@ Daniel Giambrone

In Azzurri, it's different. It's not as we don't have the required midfielders, but it's how they should be deployed. Believe me, when you claim that he goes missing, you're wrong as he always has to adjust tactically (by the coach) as the game goes on. Also, Conte switched postions between him and Pogba (when Pirlo doesn't play) because Pogba doesn't provide the necessary covers for the defs, not because Marchi doesn't perform as box-to-box.
on the 8th March, 2014 at 3:21pm
Don't be surprised if Marchisio is shining at the deep-lying register role because it's his normal position. Marchisio is no below Vidal or Pogba, he is as important as them. Last year he suffered from injuries and playing non-stop. It's normal you see dip in form. Don't forget the first year under Conte, and I do want to see that Marchisio again.
on the 8th March, 2014 at 3:14pm
I am a huge fan of Marchisio and I think it has been a mistake that they have relegated him to the 4th of the 3 central defenders. He rarely has a "bad" game. However, due to the fact that he is conservative when it comes to his offensive play (but a lot more responsible defensively than any of the other mids), it often looks like he isn't doing much. It is a little frustrating for Marchisio supporters because he actually has tremendous skill on the ball, but often chooses not to use it.
on the 8th March, 2014 at 1:34pm
I'm not his biggest fan, but I have to say that he has impressed me in the 'Pirlo' role. As a box to box midfielder, he often goes missing, & has a limited effect in games. This new position allows him to be constantly involved in the play. A problem with Italy's cm's is that most of them: Pirlo, DDR, Monty, Motta, all prefer this role. This is perhaps a reason why we looked a bit static vs Spain. We need to produce stronger, more dynamic cm's that can make a difference in both boxes.
on the 8th March, 2014 at 12:48pm
Brilliant article. There has been rumors about Claudio leaving Juve For Man U, even though they are absurd rumors... for a supporter of Juventus they did tend to frighten me a little- you just have to read my blog to understand how I felt!
on the 8th March, 2014 at 11:57am
I love CM8, favourite player, so glad he's been given a chance as a register - just shows how versatile he is.
on the 8th March, 2014 at 11:18am

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