Wednesday April 4 2018
Dybala is no superstar

The debacle against Real Madrid left Emmet Gates wondering whether Juventus should build their team around Paulo Dybala going forward...

It’s difficult to know what Paulo Dybala made of Cristiano Ronaldo’s exquisite overhead kick last night. Most likely he wanted to applaud the Portuguese superstar, much like the 40,000 Juve fans inside the Juventus Stadium who did. Just two minutes later Dybala gave his only memorable contribution to the game, clattering recklessly into the midriff of Dani Carvajal to earn a second yellow. Off he trudged, head down towards the tunnel.

It only served to heighten the difference between the greatness in Ronaldo and the supposed greatness in Dybala. While Dybala has never been directly compared to the former - their styles are completely different – Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the measuring sticks for footballers a rung or two down on the ladder. And whilst those are once-in-a-generation talents that have soared above everyone else for so long it’s almost difficult to imagine the game pre-Messi and Ronaldo, Dybala is thought of as a player in the next band of superstars ready to take over the mantle.

Dybala is not even remotely close. His red card last night encapsulated his night. It capped off a poor, at times even cringe-worthy performance that begs the question: should Juventus build their team around him?

Without the presence of Medhi Benatia and Miralem Pjanic, many wondered what tactical scheme Max Allegri would conjure up before the match. In the context of the game and the result, it must be argued that he got his choices right. Juve did remarkably well for a majority of the game, but it was individual errors, a facet Allegri can’t control, that contributed to the seemingly one-sided result.

Dybala was the worst performer from the Juventus front six. On the ball he was ponderous, lacking any real zip or drive. On the occasion that he would attempt to slither away from Madrid defenders, he was easily dispossessed, or would throw himself on the wet Turin turf, arms outstretched, looking towards the referee like a sick dog. Indeed, his first yellow card was for simulation.

There is a genuine question to be asked about the Argentine’s big game temperament. In the Champions League, particularly, he has struggled to assert himself in the way he so often does in Serie A. The 3-0 victory against Barcelona last year aside, when has Dybala put in a performance to warrant his burgeoning reputation? You’re left to trawl the darkest corners of your brain to remember, and ultimately you’re left with nothing.

The mythical ‘half-time fight’ between Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci in Cardiff in last season’s final reportedly stemmed from Dybala – again - picking up a silly yellow card early in the game and letting it affect his performance thereafter. Whilst last night wasn’t a disappearing act in line with the Welsh capital, it shows a severe mental weakness that Dybala needs to overcome if he’s to be considered in that next group of players to supercede Messi and Ronaldo.

Dybala is now at a precipice in his career. He’s 25 later this year, and can no longer be thought of as an up-and-coming talent. He needs to take responsibility on the pitch. His six goals in 23 European starts isn’t exactly the tally of supposed superstars, and allowances could be made if the performances were telling, but they aren’t.

The late Michael Jackson was once asked for insight on how to become successful in your chosen profession. Jackson, without hesitation, remarked, “study the greats, and become greater.”

It’s advice Paulo Dybala could do well to heed, starting with re-watching last night’s masterclass from Ronaldo.

Have your say...
@juve Canada!
ciao amici!
Buffon is not a GOAT!!!! he is a LEGEND /ICON... if it
wasn't for his excellent reflexes it should have been 6-0 what could he do when CHIELLINI made that huge mistake! wasn't Buffon fast enough to save the first shot???
BARZAGLI didn't mark Ronaldo ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!
the good news is Ramos/Nacho are missing so no strong center back for real!
we did beat barca 3-0 so with one more day rest we may win!
DYBALA give us the greatest gift he got Ramos 2nd yellow!
on the 9th April, 2018 at 4:35am
On another note Emre Can as a Mid hopefully next year we get him plus Pjaca is almost back to full fitness as he's loaned out to Schalke 04 which he'll be a force as a striker and hoping Darmian as a full or wingback that can play either side which will add to our team we get as he'll add pace on the wing's plus mostly Caldara in defense will be Massive addition to our defense and Spinnazola will add to the left sided midfield or a wingback,4231 4321 4411or442 433 3421 352 have at our disposal..
on the 9th April, 2018 at 2:40am
on the 9th April, 2018 at 2:06am
maldini's better heir I also agree Marchisio shoulda played instead of Bentacur Marchi is a very strong defensive Mid and when attacking is very assertive in presing forward.
on the 9th April, 2018 at 2:02am
omarza81 I truly believe Allegri hasn't a clue on how to deal with on dismantling teams like REAL MADRID AND BAYERN...HE'S GOTTA STOP TINKERING WITH FORMATIONS JUST LIKE PLAYING HIGUAIN OUTTA PLACE TURNING HIM INTO A SUPPORT STRIKER.IF THAT'S THE CASE PLAY HIM AS A POINT STRIKER IN A 3421 FORMATION OR A 3511 FORMATION SIMPLY CUTTING OFF THE SUPPLY LINES OF REAL'S MIDS.WE did that with Barca last year on both legs and in the Cardiff game changed it "tinkering with what's not broken simple as that
on the 9th April, 2018 at 1:59am
juvecanada I concur about Buffon at this time he is a goat with all due respect of what a great he was and is and will ever be...If Szczesny was playing he woulda given them the push they needed with his no nonsense charge at the goal AND PHYSICAL PRESENCE.Pretty sure it coulda been a 1-1 or a 1-0 score for either team.With Benatia and Pjanic and Bernadeschi plus hopefully Mandzukic we'll be pretty lethal at the return leg in Madrid...FINO ALLA FINE JUVENTINI.
on the 9th April, 2018 at 1:40am
Imho, Juve needs a new coach, this team doesn't know when to attack or defend, really poor decision making on the pitch by the players. Whether that is because of Allgeris instructions or the players, we will se about that. One thing is for sure that Khedira is not the player Vidal is and Tevez grinta has not been replaced by Dybala.
on the 9th April, 2018 at 12:51am
And to those who compare Ronaldo and Messi to Pele and Maradona.. You reckon the competition the legends got, is anywhere close to the competition Ronaldo and Messi gets today? Its so far apart, that its funny. Have you watched highlights og Maradona and Pele? The defenders back then could be compared to the ones in Aston Villa. Having a laugh? Me too.
on the 8th April, 2018 at 4:46pm
Dybala is a world class player and these writers shouldn't forget he's still getting back to full fitness. Juve's problem is quite simply the coach. 4 years no Champions league trophy,while having an almost certain monopoly on Serie A. Even when Allegri's teams get to the final they capitulate. From a clinical standpoint, they're far too inconsistent to beat top teams. You can get away with that in the league. New coach, midfield, attack & fresh tactics are needed.
on the 7th April, 2018 at 5:06am
Today Allegri told in his press conference that Dybala's game last Tuesday was one of his best. A player growing in the European games. That's what I saw too. If he was as bad as this article suggest Allegri never would make such comments assuming he doesn't want to look like idiot
on the 6th April, 2018 at 11:24pm
Poor article really. Dybala didn't play as bad as suggested. There is some truth in question marks about his mental toughness overall but when he has the ball he's such a pure football player that keeps a team ticking. You don't have to be flashy to be brilliant. Also let's not forget that Varane-Ramos are the strongest defensive duo today. It's absolutely ridiculous to taken on Dybala with this excessive criticism while acting like his markers were average idiots.
on the 6th April, 2018 at 11:20pm
Enough with all this blame game it was not the coach that instruct your most reliable player make mistake when you have the momentum in the game.
As much as I would have love Marchisio starting you do not see him in training everyday and above all what's the probability that we gonna win if he plays stop complaining and move on anything can happen.
We wonder but not dead yet!!!!!
on the 6th April, 2018 at 2:53pm
It's so frustrating when I see fan putting all the blame on the coach after a defeat.
Did the coach instruct chiellini and Buffon to make that Mistake
2. Did the coach instruct Barzagli to lose his marker on the first goal
3. Did the coach instruct Dyabala to make that reckless challenge.
He has his fault but putting all the blame on him is just funny when you had your most reliable player make those mistakes when you have the momentum in the game common just end all this blame game.
It's old.
on the 6th April, 2018 at 2:49pm
Dybala doesn't have an entire team built around him like Ronaldo does

Our attack to make chances is almost entirely dependent on Dybala

Ronaldo has the luxury of doing as he pleases in the box and will receive service

Ronaldo could have scored 4 goals against Juve because he was given chances to score

Totally different players and play styles you can't compare them since one plays in a team that lacks basic attacking skills
on the 6th April, 2018 at 9:14am
And is it any wonder Juve has won so much domestically and not so in the CL? Allegri
has mastered the art of grinding games out in Serie A, but free flowing attacking games in which teams like Barca and Madrid can play pose something completely different in what we are used to, you can't make a living grinding games out then try flipping the switch in the CL, this is why Dani Alves said if Dybala wants to reach his max potential he needs to leave, we need new a new coach to stop this from happe
on the 6th April, 2018 at 4:24am
Sure lets get rid of our young talents while we continue to play our aging players, Allegri must go if we lose this year as his tactics and decisions have failed on too numerous times! He must take responsibility for the players and tactics he choose for that game as Juve has blessed him with more options this year! This was his mess
Dybala needs to grow up a little more yes, Juve needs to move into a different direction with regards to CL
on the 6th April, 2018 at 4:08am
I must disagree with the unrealistic demand that Dybala live up to arbitrary & ridiculous "superstar" labels. He has plenty of time and talent to contribute decisive goals like a Milito, Inzaghi or others who are not ranked among the very best in football history. Juve spent far more on Higuain --for goals in exactly this type of game.
on the 5th April, 2018 at 9:50pm
Oh and another thing, Messi and Ronaldo are being compared with Pele and Maradonna because of what they are doing right now. They are that level of greatness. Then comes the rest who are very good but not exceptional to the extent of Ronaldo and Messi. If those other guys (Neymar, Dybala etc) are superstars then fine but it just means CR7 and Messi are mega superstars. They're a whole different level. ppl need to know levels and stop confusing extremely good players with legendary players.
on the 5th April, 2018 at 4:55pm
So disappointing to see Dybala fail to shine and make difference in big game. Obviously the mentality is the issue as shown by his silly diving and a reckless foul leads to his red card. He's still superstar in the making and needs to learns a lot. But I have no doubt that he will be there to compete with Neymar and Griezmann soon after Messi-Ronaldo duopoly era ends.
on the 5th April, 2018 at 5:31am
The night was too big for young Bentancur. And Barzagli is too old, although i liked him vs Spurs, but they did not have another sub except a young CB. The backline made errors on two goals; i think the attack shouldnt be getting the blame. Chiellini and Barzag had major errors.
on the 5th April, 2018 at 4:18am
Allegri got his tactics wrong. ppl might be deceived about Juve holding madrid at bay for 60 mins but that's not true. The stength in Real is that they know when to attack and when to def. Juve had effectively 4 attackers and 2 mids which was overkill on attack. Betancur is no Pjanic, either Mat or Marchision shoudl have started. Sandro should have stayed LB and Mandzu LW. That would have given more balance to the team. Costa is an excellent sub late in gm.It's what he is best at
on the 5th April, 2018 at 4:13am
Yes, JUVENTUS will change some players just to refresh commitment and to bring down the average age of the footballers.

It will not be a summer of drastic changes, unless offers too good to refuse will be put on the table for some STARS.

It looks like Lichtsteiner, Asamoah and Marchisio will move on.

For the rest there might be speculation but unless serious money is offered, no give-aways will happen.

Question marks over Buffon and Chiellini, who are both at the end of their contracts.
on the 5th April, 2018 at 3:18am
Everyone keeps talking about Madrid's fantastic midfield trio, but I saw weaknesses in it. It just proves that with some astute tactics u can stop their midfield from dominating, which is what Juve did. I saw a madrid bereft of ideas for close to an hour, unfortunately juve didn't convert its chances. No one is talking about Chiellini's error, but the truth is that it was absolutely decisive. Neither dybala nor costa cost us the game. It was Chiellini's and Buffon's mistake. That's the thing.
on the 5th April, 2018 at 1:30am
Dybala will leave at the end of the season. He's young, many clubs after him, and nobody wants to play for rubbish club like Juventus. Dybala will leave, their target like Can will choose Madrid or Munich and don't even think about Martial. Juve can only attract old, cripple, unused players. That's their transfer strategy anyway.
on the 5th April, 2018 at 12:20am
The main problem is the JERK Allegri. The clown of coaches. When he was getting his butt kicked by Barca and Atletico during his Milan's days, they said he hadn't support from management nor had deep squad. In the past three years, He made us fools and cemented his legacy as the biggest jerk of the modern era. Defend him. Blame Dybala and Higuain, and defend your jerk.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 11:28pm
ciao amici!
Dybala is a fantastic player if get's a decent ball!
there is a very good connection between him and higuain just I takes more time!
he is no Messi or Ronaldo but he is fast and intelligent!
still without him we have a chance to go through for the following reasons!
1-Ramos won't be there and we have pjanic in!
2-we will have one more day to rest than real they play on sun!
3-we could beat Benevento by our b team and rest buffon /chiellini/higuain!
4-real will play Atletico!
on the 4th April, 2018 at 10:56pm
I dont think Dybala was the the problem. We keep making those huge errors in big games and players like Ronaldo and Messi will make you pay. I cant fault Allegri's tactics. we had a good game just missed some chances which would make a big difference. I still think Real Madrid can loose their soul if they go down 2 goals and thats what Juve have to do attack early and score. We cant concede first and early in the game. Just look at the two Finals against Madrid and Barcelona. Have to score first
on the 4th April, 2018 at 10:26pm
Dybala is pretty good. The problem is the old and slow players. Barzagli is alnost 40, Chiellini mid 30's. Bufon 40. Khedira past his best. Juve need to spend instead of getting free layers. Ronaldo is amazing but he and Messi play with amazing teammates. Juve need two young quality midfielders. At least a top young CB and a right back minimum.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 10:25pm
Absolute garbage. This level of tripe begs the question, did you even watch the match? Douglas Costa was far worse on the night, and the mighty Higuain, missed chance aside, was a mere spectator for most of the contest. Dybala is not the problem. He can't attack and defend, and the system Allegri deploys is frustrating for a player of his qualities.
on the 4th April, 2018 at 10:03pm
What makes a Club tick is a combination of various factors and there is no magic formula.

We all know that Italian GIANTS Juventus were gloriously capable of beating Barcelona and Real Madrid thanks to the likes of BIRINDELLI and ZALAYETA......

As always football is NOT an exact science!

As far as Dybala goes he is now rated at N.6 in the "fantasistas" rankings!

We'll see...........

on the 4th April, 2018 at 9:09pm

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