Former Juventus midfielder Liam Brady believes Gonzalo Higuain is “too static” to be a game-changer in the Champions League.
The Bianconeri take on Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow night, and Corriere della Sera took the chance to talk to a former Juve and Arsenal player about the tie.
“Juve are not favourites, it’s 50-50,” Brady warned.
“Tottenham has well organised, they have a good Coach and three great forwards in [Christian] Eriksen, [Dele] Alli and [Harry] Kane. You need to stop them in midfield to prevent those three from hurting you.
“Does Juve’s attack convince me? Not completely, because I think we’ve already seen the best of Higuain. It’s hard for him to make the difference in Europe, he’s too static.
“Dybala, who is another great up-and-coming talent, is no longer a surprise and opponents know how to counter him. You need more to win in Europe.
“Kane has a character which drives him to constant improvement. After [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Robert] Lewandowski there’s him, the numbers tell you that. And he’s only 24.”
Brady actually release Kane when he was in charge of the Arsenal youth academy…
“Unfortunately yes. He was chubby and not very athletic, but we got it wrong. Even Tottenham loaned him out to the lower leagues three or four times though.
“He’s building a great career thanks to his determination, and he deserves it.”
The Irishman was famous for his left foot, and Juve have several left-footed players.
“It’s better to have them than to not have them,” Brady said.
“I like Alex Sandro a lot, but Douglas Costa not so much: he has technique and can dribble but it seems like his teammates are trying to understand his game.”
Brady was then asked how the Italian league is viewed from England.
“I think it’s getting better. It is obvious that there is also a problem in terms spending capacity compared to the Premier League. But the problem seems to me to be above all to do with Italian footballers.
“For 20 years I was the Director of the Arsenal Youth Academy and I came to Italy many times, to follow young players who interested us.
“We took some of them, like poor Niccolò Galli [who died in a moped crash at the age of 17] or Arturo Lupoli.
“But what I saw in the youth tournaments I think was totally wrong, in Italy you think only of tactical development and cunning, trying to waste time or snatch a draw.
“That’s now how young players grow.
“Let them express their talent, with technique and motor skills. For you everything is about the result.
“That’s why players who can decide a game have disappeared: where are the great Italian registi, mezzali and centre-forwards?
“Was I surprised by the failure to qualify for the World Cup? Not really, the decline was already clear at the World Cup in Brazil.
“No-one has taken [Andrea] Pirlo’s place, the defenders are still the same but they’re older. Then in attack there’s no-one who can resolve big international matches.”
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