Tuesday December 5 2017
Juventus too negative in Europe

If Juventus want to be considered among Europe's elite, they should be more pro-active in their Champions League games, argues Jamie Thorn.

Consecutive draws against Sporting Lisbon and Barcelona have left Juventus in danger of their Champions League campaign being cut short should they fail to win in Athens.

Though Sporting face the more difficult task of defeating Barcelona at Camp Nou, Olympiacos will want to end their brief spell in the competition with victory in front of their own fans. A hostile atmosphere at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium won’t make it any easier for Max Allegri’s men.

Juventus will likely go through, but for a team that has achieved two finals in the last three years, their performances haven’t looked wholly convincing this time round. They left it late against Olympiacos and in both legs against Sporting, and although they deserve credit for their mental fortitude in coming away from these games with positive results, it was indicative of their start to the season as a whole and the general uncertainty in their performances.

In a season where the Bianconeri fans hoped that they could put last year’s final defeat behind them and make this year their own, they must have been underwhelmed with the start they made.

The loss of Leonardo Bonucci hasn’t helped them. Although his troubles at Milan this season have been well documented, he gave the team a different dimension with his range of passing and excellent reading of the game. In the Euros, with Antonio Conte lacking a playmaker in his Italy squad, Leo pulled it off with aplomb. When Juventus play a back three without him, they lack so much dynamism, as neither Mehdi Benatia nor Daniele Rugani have similar ball-playing abilities.

It seems that Allegri was keen to use the blueprint of Bianconeri success from last season’s European adventure. Prior to their humiliation at the hands of Real Madrid in the Final, their famous triumvirate of Andrea Barzagli (playing at right-back), Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, and the ever-present Alex Sandro shipped an astounding four goals throughout the whole of the competition.

He stuck with the 4-2-3-1, and with the acquisitions of a few options in wide areas such as Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi, the case had never been stronger to continue with it. However, although their tactical flexibility should be applauded, reverting back to a back three in the 0-0 draw against Barcelona in Turin highlights a certain reluctance from Allegri to commit to playing their own football in this competition, even more so without Bonucci sitting at the heart of it.

There’s a fine balance between being pragmatic and asserting your own style of play in Europe’s elite competition. Jose Mourinho had success with Inter by grinding out results against in their Treble season, as did Roberto Di Matteo in Chelsea’s almost comically defensive performances en route to the Final in 2012.

Although the 0-0 against Barcelona wasn’t by any means a bad result, it presented a missed opportunity for the Old Lady. In winning, they could have leapfrogged the Blaugrana and taken top spot, but as Allegri would rightfully argue, had they lost, Sporting would have pinched second place. But for a club as ambitious as Juventus, and with the squad they possess, they shouldn’t be intimidated by Europe’s big guns. Perhaps they were rattled by their comprehensive 3-0 defeat in Camp Nou in the opening game, but in front of their home fans, you would have hoped for a bit more positivity.

Fittingly, with this being the last Champions League game before the new year, Juve are expected to field a Christmas tree formation against Olympiacos, with Allegri acknowledging that this is a game that they can’t afford to lose. For them to be mentioned in the same breath as the other giants of the European game, they should comfortably sweep aside an already eliminated Olympiacos and progress to the next round. After all, that’s what the big teams do.

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Have your say...
Alot of you guys that comment on this blog are senseless. some of you get some form of gratification insulting Juve, but the truth is Juve is an excellent team. Reaching 2 finals in 3 seasons is no mean feat. Atletico Madrid lost 2 finals too, even worse, against the same opponent and I don't see anyone crucifying them. But y'all keep bashing Juve at every opportunity. Y'all need to grow up and appreciate a good team when you see one. I'ts not easy to win any trophy in football. APPRECIATE.
on the 10th December, 2017 at 10:10pm
@ anonymous unless you support real madrid i dont think your team is the best at anything either lol
on the 9th December, 2017 at 6:02pm
Judge: 'Inter lobbied referees'
By Football Italia staff

A new development in the Calciopoli scandal, as a judge ruled Inter’s Giacinto Facchetti “lobbied” referees the same way as Luciano Moggi.

The reasoning behind the decision to clear ex-Juventus director general Moggi of defamation against Facchetti opened up old wounds from 2006.

Judge Oscar Magi wrote at the end of this trial that Moggi’s accusations during a TV show in October 2010 “contained a great deal of truth.”

For years there have been complaints that the taped phone calls between Moggi and the authorities in charge of referees were used out of context, as he insisted many big clubs had this same rather too friendly relationship.

Today Judge Magi backed that view of events, noting the calls were “an important element to qualify a sort of lobbying intervention from the then-Inter President towards the Referees Association.

“They signify a friendly and preferential rapport with the chiefs, whose attitude was not commendable.”

The FIGC Disciplinary Commission had tried to charge Inter, but the incidents had gone beyond the statute of limitations by the time these phone calls emerged.

This too was confirmed by Judge Magi, noting Moggi’s supposed defamation was based in truth.

“Moggi, in referring to the sporting justice system and the behaviour of Facchetti certainly did not invent the circumstances, even if they were less serious than his own.

“Facchetti’s behaviour can therefore be in some way compared to that of Moggi, although not in the courts.”
on the 9th December, 2017 at 2:42pm
We are the best team in Italian history. What's your club best at? That's right. Nothing.
on the 9th December, 2017 at 2:34pm
Anonymous 12:39 Can't even spell my name right, it shows your level of dumbness. Anyway, you're not even brave enough to have a real name, so whatever Mr. Ghost.
on the 9th December, 2017 at 2:11am
rafael1979 arent you a liitle old to still be this dumb.
on the 8th December, 2017 at 1:39am
Juventus can't be an elite club because they are a provincial club only good to win the scudetto. They don't have the history of Milan of succeeding in the CL and they will never will. They are a team of chokers and they will always be.
on the 8th December, 2017 at 12:31am
As for the cl. Well the team you support has way less trophies on the shelf than juve does im sure hence the reason for your irrelevant stupidy. Which is all that matters anyway so continue whining since you and your club are losers and i will simply continue to laugh at you because i will know you are just a sad little salty person that is not used to seeing your team win because they were never consistent at winning ever. Hahahaha what an idiot.
on the 7th December, 2017 at 11:09pm
here we go again with the cheating and the not winning cl again. Ahhh once again take a history lesson about match fixing in italy and it would probably be best to ban everyone and be over with based on what you will find. Anyways since your little mind cant see past 2006 which is even more rediculous since juve wasnt the only club punished. That was actually another clubs 2nd time as well. Jus saying lol you know yourself.
on the 7th December, 2017 at 10:58pm
I don't normally call out my coach, but Juve play the way they do because of Allegri's tactics. He becomes so negative, just to hit certain targets, because Juventus have set revenue goals that we must hit. This turns the team into an anti football squad. Case and point when we score first, and then drop back. Whether it's the league or CL. Negative. Lippi would never have done that, neither would Trapps. Which is why we won Europe under those two. Juventus are wasting so much firepower.
on the 7th December, 2017 at 9:18pm
Or maybe back then in Italy it's much easier to cover bribing ref policy from the media, but couldn't risk getting caught to do the same in europe.

Almost every team in Italy had the same opinion about Juve.

No european titles at all prior to 1980s, the best achievement only 1 final in 1970s. Choker.
Inter & Milan did much better and they did it with less chances of entering the competition.

Calciopoli is actually a bliss for Juve, Now they learn how to win legitimately, good for them.
on the 7th December, 2017 at 5:57pm
It's funny how you talk about the European cup prior to the Champions League as something worth winning. There was no big cash pot in Europe back in the day, and winning Serie A was considered way harder than winning any European cup. Juventus focused on Serie A, and clubs did not have these monster squads that we do today with 2 players for every position.
on the 7th December, 2017 at 11:51am
this artical is most likely written by interista. This is the only thing worth to comment here.
on the 6th December, 2017 at 7:43pm
"we have the second most finals..." So you're proud to be the second biggest CL loser in history?
on the 6th December, 2017 at 5:26pm
@ juveman. Thank you for not being dumb, deluded and overly jealous or biased as some ppl here are. That is all.
on the 6th December, 2017 at 2:57pm
As for people bashing the serie A then stop watching and leave this site, it's that easy. But right now Italy has the most interesting league by a long shot and has 2 out of 3 teams through the group stages, so where youre getting this weak league bs I don't know. Even people saying juve always win is stupid cause don't you want the team strong enough to end up in 2 finals in 3 years being the best team in Italy, it only makes sense.
on the 6th December, 2017 at 9:29am
and even then it takes a lot of things coming together to be successful in UCL. PSG, Chelsea and City have been inundated with money for a decade and look where that has gotten them 1 UCL (fluke) over the past decade combined. You make it seem like it's nearly simple to win the UCL if youre a decent team yet for the past ten years the same 3 teams have won nearly all of them.
on the 6th December, 2017 at 9:26am
it takes time and a lot a lot of money to get the kind of team which can beat any other team on any given night. For me the finals should be a two legged tie if you want any sort of underdog to stand a chance, as it is the team with most firepower is nearly ALWAYS going to win in a one off game. that's exactly why over the past decade teams like Atletico, Dortmund and juve have been to about 5 finals combined yet have not got a single one.
on the 6th December, 2017 at 9:24am
Anonymous you can go on and on about the fact we only have 2 UCLs and I will continue telling you yeah and we also got to the second most finals of ANY team in the world. It's a single game, shit happens. As for the other Anon unless you're the same (I don't see why you don't just come up with a name) no we are and were not built for the UCL realistically, and its not exactly a surprise. this is a team that has come out of the ashes of calciopoli just 7 years ago.
on the 6th December, 2017 at 9:21am
Another preposterous performance that could of seen the opposition winning at some point in the game. Attacking were once again lacking in precision. Good thing it is 10x better than the one against Napoli as this Juve side shown a bit more bravery.
on the 5th December, 2017 at 10:47pm
Looks like this thread exploded in a weird way, although I'm of the opinion that anyone still naming themselves anonymous should be treated as such.

At times, though, there are a few distinguished characters such as...

Wow, you're still here.

Anyway, the club's history speaks for itself. Tonight, I'm more worried about the unlikely heartbreak. It's in Barca's interest to lose to Sporting, so I don't want to allow them that chance. I saw good signs in the last matches so I'm optimistic.
on the 5th December, 2017 at 8:19pm
Is it a question of payroll in Serie A vs payroll in other leagues? I think Barca spens $100 million more than Juve????
on the 5th December, 2017 at 8:12pm
With 30+ scudetti and 25 since 50s, Juve ought to have more than 2 CL trophies right? Remember, when the format was still Champions cup, only the league champion and the runner up are allowed to take part. Means Juve had more chances than the other italy teams.

If you're talking about finals, prior to 90s, only 3 times Juve reached the CL final, while winning more than 13 scudetti in 30+ years since it was introduced in 1956.

Dominance in Italy, yet toothless in europe. Harder to bribe the ref
on the 5th December, 2017 at 5:55pm
@Juveman - I am bemused by "and last year realistically it was a stretch to think we would win too with a mid of pjanic and khedira (a real reject from 3 years ago)". Then why did the club get him? Why didn't Allegri oppose it? Is this how a club builds up a squad to win the CL? Apologetic buys and mistakes? Does Marotta even have a plan to build a squad that can win CL? I really doubt it. I feel sorry for the Juve fans who are clinging on to this false hope their club can win the CL (ever).
on the 5th December, 2017 at 5:55pm
@Juveman - That is precisely the point I am trying to make. 'Top talents' don't want to play for a club that does not have a serious chance of 'winning' in Europe. To say, we 'WERE' in 2 finals in 3 years, and we 'CAN' win CL 'IF' this and 'IF' that, is just silly talk. The fact is when you look at the cup with the big ears, the only thing that is etched on it is the name of the 'winner'. There is no FYI on the cup that says:"and Oh btw, Juve could have won this cup too".
on the 5th December, 2017 at 5:41pm
Just hilarious watching the rabble that make up the dwindling Serie deAd fanbase fighting over table scraps and their rusted frying pan. Italian sides are a joke internationally, and the nazionale is a joke internationally. Argue and sling mud at each other all you like, you're merely children dancing in ashes.
on the 5th December, 2017 at 5:37pm
the difference tho between juve and the rest of Italian teams is instead of crying about it we get on with what we CAN do and that's win the league, win the coppa, get to the latter stages of UCL and grow our revenue till we can go out and buy the very top talents at every position like the ones who win the UCL year in year out do!
on the 5th December, 2017 at 5:13pm
and last year realistically it was a stretch to think we would win too with a mid of pjanic and khedira (a real reject from 3 years ago) and mandzukic playing at LW ?! This year had bonucci and alves not left yes we would be insanely good and on that level but with both of them gone again its a stretch. At the end of the day getting to the finals with a sub par team and one which isn't worth multiple billions is a rather amazing feat. I cant see teams with double the money managing the same feat
on the 5th December, 2017 at 5:12pm
both of those clubs have a player that exchanges the top spot in world football, they've been the best footballers since maradona. And then they had the likes of Neymar,suarez, Xavi and Iniesta when our attack consistent of a 31 y/o tevez and a 20 y/o morata. Real had modric, kroos, casemiro and asensio whilst our mid had pjanic and khedira !? the year we ended up against barca I don't honestly think many juve fans believed we could win it.
on the 5th December, 2017 at 5:08pm
I dont see why ppl are so obsessed with juve not winning the cl when the other teams they support dont win anything at all.
on the 5th December, 2017 at 5:04pm

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