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Wednesday November 29 2017
Mad Max should load new guns

With Juve’s new additions starting to find their feet, Max Allegri should stop tinkering with the line-up, writes Vilizar Yakimov.

It’s time for Juventus to step up. December promises to be a key month not only for the Scudetto race, but also for the Bianconeri’s European hopes, as the next few games can define their whole season.

A longjourneyto league leaders Napoli, a crucial clash with a Champions League qualification at stake against Olympiakos and a mouth-watering Derby d’Italia against Luciano Spalletti’s high-flying Inter at the Allianz Juventus Stadium. That’s how Juve’s schedule for the first week of December looks and Massimiliano Allegri cannot afford any wrong steps due to his side’s shaky start tothe season.

Mad Max has arguably been the main reason for Juve’s inconsistency, as he’s been playing with the starting line-up and until recently was refusing to play regularly most of his new signings. A clear example is Douglas Costa, as despite his obvious impact every time he enters the field, the ex-Bayern Munich man has just begunto earn some significant playing time in recent weeks.

The emergence of Costa should limit Mario Mandzukic’s playing time on the left, as the so-called ‘mad idea’ of playing the big Croat there has handicapped Juve’s attacking potency in some games recently, despite the effort and the dedication that Super Mario always puts in. Mandzukic should now return to his better-suited roleand be mainly played as a centre-forward rotation option for Gonzalo Higuain, who looked exhausted at the end of last season.

The situation with Blaise Matuidi and Federico Bernardeschi is similar to Douglas Costa, as (putting his horror showing against Sampdoria aside) Bernardeschi has always had a positive impact even with very limited playing time. The 23-year-old can be a valuable option not only on the right wing, but also as a back-up for Paulo Dybala, who similarly to Higuain ran out of steam towards the end of the previous campaign. On the other hand, Matuidi already proves to be the aggressive physical midfielder that Juve lacked last term, but both heand Bernardeschi are yet to earn Allegri’s trust and a more constant presence in the starting XI.

Having the likes of Sami Khedira and Stephan Lichtsteiner as regular starters week,in week out doesn’t seem to be doing any good to Juve’s performances either, especially in games against more prestigious sides. And while Khedira can still be a valuable squad member, the soon-to-be 34-year-old right-backis already well past his prime. With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, plusMattia De Sciglio’s and Benedikt Howedes’ returning to fitness, the once mighty Swiss Express should be singing his swan song in a Juventus jersey very shortly.

De Sciglio and Howedes looked good against Crotone. While the Sharks are far less formidable than Juve’s next opponents, the new duo’s performances are undoubtedly a promising sign that should earn them more playing time in the next few games.

The same applies for the rest of the new Bianconeri signings, as they are not only capable of helping overcome the next few obstacles, but playing them more regularly would allow Allegri to keep his old soldiers fresh when the end of the season approaches. With what seems to be the tightest Scudetto race in recent years and a clear goal of reaching the latter stages of the Champions League, Juventus and Allegri should be smart enough and show that they learned their lesson.

Allegri is well-known for his cautious approach when it comes to easing new signings in to the squad, as he did a remarkable job with the likes of Dybala, Alvaro Morata and even Higuain. However, Juve’s tight schedule and early-season struggles might actually do them a favour, as they will force Mad Max to load up his new guns probably earlier than he would’ve liked. After all, what’s the point of a soldier having an AK47 if he’s keeping it in the closet?

Have your say...
2017 well that was a major screw up. We have good ol best defender in the world captain i slap my team mates because i think it motivates them because i think they are dumb little girls like myself and need personal motivators to mask my complete uselessness. Combined with that samba dancing over excited idiot. Well there you have it. No names even need to be called.
on the 2nd December, 2017 at 5:00am
@ ravanelli your points are valid but i will argue the result against barca in 2015. I think they played the best they could have against the best attack we have ever witnessed. The sheer number of goals that season among msn is rediculous. Barring the foul on pogba in the area we couldnt really get back into it. Not many teams would have done much better in that final tbh. Also imo pirlo should not have been the player infront the defense. I think it was just a huge gap in quality at the time
on the 2nd December, 2017 at 4:52am
Mad Max should ignore critics because he proved them WRONG ONCE AGAIN.
on the 1st December, 2017 at 10:11pm
"Mandzukic should now return to his better-suited role and be mainly played as a centre-forward rotation option for Gonzalo Higuain, who looked exhausted at the end of last season."

I agree. I also would argue the same for replacing an exhausted Cuadrado with Berna. At least every other game.

As for Allegri, well there's so much to say about him.

He gets so many thing right, but then when it really matters he somehow manages to screw the pooch.

Anyone remember Bayern? taking Morata out when we were dominating only to get thrashed.

vs Barca in the final? Playing overly defensive against one of the best Barca squads ever. (Though that defeat was less painful since it was vs great team)

vs Real Madrid in Cardiff. Switching the formation at the last minute before the game, when the previous formation proved to be very successful.
What on earth was he thinking?

And many examples where he keeps tinkering for the sake of tinkering.

I will say though that he's a better tactician than Conte. Conte is a great motivator and makes a well-drilled team, but that doesn't last long.

Allegri just needs to find something that works and stick with it until it doesn't work anymore. THEN he can tinker his heart out.
on the 1st December, 2017 at 5:24am
Juve need to get their act together and win the Champions League. Its about time. Spend the money get some top players. Not beating Barcelona without Messi at home was embarrassing. Im sick of this.
on the 30th November, 2017 at 8:27pm
@mez
Clearly you haven't been following what I've wrote. My expectation for the team is off the roof. Your statement about the team struggling every year just took it to a ridiculous level. You can say that Juve struggled in the final, but struggling every year for the past 6 years really?
on the 30th November, 2017 at 6:05pm
This Juve is a strong one and should be eliminating anything within their path, but so far into this season they've been particularly underwhelming. Just because they've been doing well in one game does not erase the fact that they were poor in the other. I would only admit a defeat if the team had given their all. Haven't seen that in any of our loss.
on the 30th November, 2017 at 6:01pm
@j86
As far as I can tell, you have more than just me that needs addressing to. I wasn't making any sort of opinion like yourself and others. An opinion is not validity, a fact is. Your opinion for stating that the team is doing well with recent performance is simply not true. How do you explain the Samp's disappointment? Did the team accidentally trip on a rock or the inconsistency that got them into that situation.
on the 30th November, 2017 at 5:56pm
@mnm - Clearly your expectations(if you're a Juve fan) are so low that, you will take two lost finals where Juve were humiliated and taught a footballing lesson, as a triumph. Oh dear!! We have probably seen the best of Juve in this competition. This is as best as it will ever get for them. If there is one guarantee in the world of football - is that If Juve manage to make it to the final they will always finish second. At least they broke one record - the team who has lost the most finals.
on the 30th November, 2017 at 12:36pm
You know what? This team was assembled to win CL!

As such, this team should dominate, demolish, and obliterate every other team that are on its path!

So far, all I can say is this team and its performance was 2/10 at best!

Way too much disappointment and looks like we have to wait longer for CL cup!
on the 30th November, 2017 at 11:52am
@mnm
You wanted me to address you personally? I may have considered it but then you threw a nonsensical statement of your own with ableist language.

Saying anymore is repeating myself at this rate. To those in disagreement, it's your valid opinion. I'd still want to maintain a certain level of respect for this great team, players+staff included, so I'll only critique when they've truly disappointed themselves. They did against Sampdoria, and are correcting that mistake well so far.
on the 30th November, 2017 at 10:26am
Talk LESS, do MORE.

That's what Allegri does in Juventus. When majority of Juve's fans are poisoned by media to mock his rotation policy, he is standstill by doing what he knows best: FINDING BALANCE.

And I believe Allegri has found what is needed to be a balanced Juve... ONCE AGAIN.

He promised by the end of November, you will see the real Juve as the players will reach their peak fitness level. So, stop your mumble grumble now and let's see if it's true or not started with Napoli.
on the 30th November, 2017 at 10:00am
Guess this is when someone has got nothing to make a logical respond and decided anyway to go ahead and make one that can pull everyone into a spiral of confusion just to make yourself sound like you've just made a valid point. Nice attempt, could of work on a retard but you won't find one here.
on the 30th November, 2017 at 8:50am
Guys, I'm the author. Thanks for the feedback, we are aware of the missing spaces - they are caused by the software.

When it comes to Allegri, I've been one of his biggest supporters after his first 5-10 games at Juve. He has his flaws and is no error proof, but who is? Let's remember how he turned Juve's fortune with the crazy formation change last year and how Conte struggled in Europe. We'll have a better idea on how he's doing after New Year, as December will be crucial.
on the 30th November, 2017 at 5:38am
And something important to add about CL objective:

- Considering that it's Allegri who gave you that dream, it's nothing more than a dream.
- It'll only be an objective when we can afford 1/2 a Messi/Ronaldo. We can't even afford a Luis Enrique. Try making sense of THAT if you can.
- Di Francesco and Spaletti are doing well as tacticians. Sarri? I expect him to run his team ragged again and end up in Europa. Napoli is nothing more than a distraction, and falling for it again is getting boring.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 10:47pm
500 characters have their limits so I couldn't say everything at once.

- Allegri made and will continue to make mistakes. We all feel the same about that.
- I thought his cycle would've ended this summer, and yet we're playing well now with improvements on the horizon. When he leaves, Italian replacements mostly have doing less with less.
- I despise the mentality of complaining too much, especially with hindsight. Right now, we can't differentiate CL finalist from 7th place finisher.

cont->
on the 29th November, 2017 at 10:35pm
@juvenitini86,
Allegri's benchmark now needs to be CL. This is a tired train Juve have been on for several years now and if anything they look farther from winning the CL this year then last. I can name you several Italian coaches who's teams are playing better football then Allegri's with less resources. Think about that for a second especially when some of the same problems occur year after year. How can that be? Does Juve want to be a team of only 'came close or at least got to' forever?
on the 29th November, 2017 at 5:33pm
To date, Juve (by their standards) have had an average CL campaign and a decent domestic campaign. Given the players Allegri has at his disposal, he should be demolishing teams. I have lost count of the number of times Juve have fallen behind in games against good teams. Let's see how well they do against Napoli - the real benchmark in the league. Nobody is asking for Allegri to be sacked but he needs to stop tinkering with the team now and think seriously about his starting 11.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 4:45pm
Btw, I am not in any way supporting @mez. The guy's an idiot for saying that "the team struggles every year". Only months ago Juve were a UCL finalist. Do you even know what's a finalist, you goon?
on the 29th November, 2017 at 4:37pm
Our voices make them aware that its time to stop being stubborn and ignorant when things aren't working out. So I have to humbly disagree with you, and I wish not to hear this optimistic talk about being fortunate. It is the same pest crap that's always talking about how fortunate Juve are today when we lost UCL, where we could still be stuck in 7th placement. A bunch of idiots said so 5 years ago, some idiots still saying when lost against RM. This lot of people just couldn't grasp the tim
on the 29th November, 2017 at 4:35pm
I believe I can very much tell when a team is playing badly and who are responsible and I do have the rights to criticize because I feel for the team and no one love losing, particularly Juve. If we voice together, that message will get into the locker room where it would be too awkward for the team to deal by themselves. Players are human, as much as they can be professional they can also be led astray.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 4:31pm
@j86, not sure if Im getting u correctly, but are you saying that we shouldn't be criticizing Allegri because we are fortunate to have a coach that did better than Conte? You might as well throw in the fact that Juve is a 6x champion and lets close shop this season because we were all fortunate enough to witness Juve winning 6x already. And no matter how badly the team is doing this season that is going to cost that 7th, it shall be forgiven.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 4:28pm
@juvenitini86 no one is wishing allegri leaves, but the dude DOES need to wake up. He needs to stop changing the entire back lineup from game to game and he needs to stop playing mandzu as a winger when you have 80 mil worth of top notch WINGERS on the bench. Also he needs to stop saying things like as long as we're in the running come march we're fine. you have to win every game NOW to be in the running in march. It's starting to send a bad signal to our players.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 4:24pm
a testament to the fact that our defense is by far our main concern is that attack wise even though we could actually get way better we've scored 40 goals in 14 games :O more than we have since 1950, more than the, ever so attacking and sexy Napoli by 5 goals ! On the other hand we've conceded 14 goals, by far the most from the top 4 which is really not a typical juve trait. We conceded just 5 more than we have so far in the entire season last year.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 4:13pm
Great article even if giving a quick read for missing spaces would have helped :P I find so strange that everyone under the sun this season has seen all the mistakes allgeri is making except for allegri himself.For me even more important than having costa on the field nearly at all times (and I find it very important) the 2 CBs have to be decided on and STUCK TO.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 4:09pm
Some of these critiques against Allegri are insane. I hate to think he makes no mistakes whatsoever (his lineups do leave much to be desired at times) but everything that's said against him is only with the benefit of hindsight.

To my fellow Juventini, you have to realise how lucky we are to get Allegri after Conte left. Barring Ancelotti (who already failed at Juve by our standards), how many proven coaches are left in Italy? Be careful what you wish for if you truly want Allegri out.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 3:09pm
@mez And yet this yes man surpassed Conte in all metrics that matter. He won more trophies, he defeated both Real and Barca in knockout while coming close against Bayern (vs toothless), he maintains this team's level even with key players leaving yearly and he lasted longer than Conte.

Winning Scudettos after back to back 7th place finishes is a great achievement. But this team needs to go forward, and it won't be under someone who gets bested by Benfica or Galatasaray. Allegri >>>> Conte.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 2:58pm
Napoli (and Inter) will eat Juve alive. Sometimes the best medicine to wake this lazy Lady up is a big defeat.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 1:57pm
Allegri is a yes man who just wants to please. That is why every year he ends up with a mish mash of players he needs to work with. He does not have the balls to tell Marotta get me that player and this player. Rather like a chef who has to come up with a gourmet meal with whatever ingredients the restaurant owner manages to find in the trash can of other restaurants. This is why the team struggles every year. That is why Conte left - he did not get the players he wanted.
on the 29th November, 2017 at 12:57pm
Bottom line, no one can blame Allegri when the player conditions are met to provide a maximum effort. Our top players haven't been performing!
on the 29th November, 2017 at 12:09pm

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