Monday May 14 2018
Who can stop Juventus?

After a seventh straight title and fourth domestic double, Emmet Gates wonders when and if the Juventus dominance of calcio will end.

Moments after Nicola Kalinic unintentionally glanced a header past Gigio Donnarumma to give Juventus a four-goal lead in the Coppa Italia Final, a shot of Milan Coach Gennaro Gattuso flashed across the television screen.

He was standing on the touchline, hands on hips, looking utterly crestfallen. It’s impossible to know what was going through his mind, but to hazard a guess, it must’ve been something along the lines of “How can anyone topple this?”

It’s a sentiment that’s echoed by millions of fans around the Peninsula and further afield. How can anyone stop this all-conquering machine that The Old Lady has morphed into over the last seven years? With four Coppa Italias, seven league titles in a row, four consecutive domestic doubles, and financial muscle that leaves all would-be challengers eating dust. If Juve were a superhero, they’d be Thanos from the latest Avengers movie.

It’s a dynasty never before witnessed in Italian football, in statistical terms surpassing everything that’s come before them: the mythical Il Grande Torino, Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan, Maradona’s Napoli, the Inter of Roberto Mancini and Jose Mourinho, and even the Juve sides of Giovanni Trapattoni and Marcello Lippi all pale in comparison. The longevity of their dominance is staggering.

What has been lost by many, or willfully ignored - be they fans of rival teams or onlookers who merely see Juve racking up titles like they’re going out of fashion - in the narrative of this Juve-dominated landscape is that their success isn’t fuelled by Qatari or Emirati petrodollars, or by a Russian oligarch or an American conglomerate.

Their success can be put down to shrewd, strategic planning, forward thinking and perhaps most crucially, all boats rowing in the same direction. They’re the antithesis to the way PSG rode roughshod over Ligue 1. Juve have earned this supremacy.

What has set Juve apart from everyone else in Serie A has been the sheer level of organisation within the structure of the club. To be a little more specific, the proficiency at the top of the sporting hierarchy, from club President Andrea Agnelli down to general manager Beppe Marotta to sporting director Fabio Paratici, they all sing from the same hymn sheet.

It might sound absurdly simple and rather logical, but the trio all work together, along with first Antonio Conte and later Max Allegri, to work out a financial budget and identify transfer targets at the end of the season for the following campaign. Hardly rocket science.

Maurizio Sarri constantly bemoaned the strength in depth of the Juve squad throughout the season. Whilst it’s true Juve are now in a position to spend €90m on two wingers, it must be remembered this wasn’t always the case.

Cast your mind back to the summer of 2011. Milan had just won the Serie A title and Juve had finished seventh for the second consecutive season, and revenues were down to €150m. Club owners Fiat issued Juve a €100m loan to reboot the franchise, so to speak, in a bid to regain their position in the upper echelons of the league. Their most expensive signing was Mirko Vucinic for €15m, but their most important was Andrea Pirlo, who cost nothing.

Milan spent twice that amount last summer, and failed miserably at even cracking the top four, let alone challenge for the league. They signed Leo Bonucci from Juve for €42m, a figure the Bianconeri wouldn’t reach until signing Paulo Dybala in the summer of 2015, after four consecutive titles.

Inter spent just shy of €90m on Stevan Jovetic, Joao Mario and Gabigol less than two years ago, and none of them currently reside in Milan. Money is not the issue, being intelligent with its usage is.

Surveying the decimated Italian football scene, who’s in a position to dethrone The Old Lady? It makes for a depressing sight. Roma and Napoli in recent times have tried and failed – the latter admirably so – ultimately flying too close to the sun before getting burned. The two Milanese giants stagger from one disastrous season to the next, each taking turns in outdoing each other on the embarrassment scale. The city of Milan hasn’t seen Champions League football for the better part of five years, and both look aeons away from a serious title tilt.

What we are left with is one club that’s pulling further and further away financially, which in turn consigns everyone else to also-rans. Calcio’s best hope is for Roma and Napoli to build on, rather than dismantle, all of the good work that was achieved this season. Yet Roma still may not be out of the entangled web of FFP, and you get the sense that the Sarri era at the San Paolo is reaching the endgame, with players also leaving in tow.

One would be very brave to bet against the Bianconeri winning a fifth domestic double next season on Betting Sites. With rumours swirling around Turin of a mini purge of the squad in order to keep Allegri on the Juve bench, they could well be stronger than ever in 2018-19.

There’s always the relegation battle to look forward to.

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Have your say...

I was discussing the cheating and the issues it raises for Serie A. If you believe that is good for anybody to be playing in a league with dodgy referees that change the outcome of games.
on the 20th May, 2018 at 5:39pm
The good news are that JUVENTUS have already started their transfer market campaign.

A cluster of gems will come back to the base:








No mean feat!
on the 19th May, 2018 at 11:37am
@AntiJuve-Mafia: "If Juve continue to dominate, less people will watch the league" Like it's Juve's fault that some team called Inter spends 115 mill on 3 players not even on the roster or AC milan spends 200 mill to finish the same position they were in last year, or that Napoli never rotates their team and burns them out while any player they want to buy says no because they know they will rot on the bench, or that Roma plays too defensive....tell teams to get better - good luck with that !
on the 18th May, 2018 at 1:41pm
@Maldini's heir I was just pointing out that some Juve fans r saying this is a gr8 league because it took longer to officially crown the champs compared to Spain, France, Germany or England thereby making this a gr8 Juve side. @Anon why is it that when RM beat Juve it was becos of Allegri's tactics n team selection but when Juve won it had nothing to do with Ancelotti playing Ramos in midfield? IMo serie A is inferior to BPL and la liga but superior to Bundesliga where are too many crappy sides
on the 18th May, 2018 at 9:47am
Juventus lost to Real because Allegri made the Coppa and Serie A his priority. Playing his top players against Atalanta and Milan. They were tired against Real Madrid and then were unlucky to have a man sent off. They fought back well and proved they are on Real’s level but Allegri lack’s the intelligence to win in Europe.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 8:27pm
Juventus beat Real in the Semi’s the season when they lost to Barcelona and lost to them two yrs later and with a stronger team and more experience but your saying they couldn’t beat Real!?! Juventus might not be the favourites in Europe but that is due to the same mental block, Roma and other suffers in Serie A. Juventus need to sack Allegri! Start with a manger that understands that winning Serie A is not a priority. It is like playing FIFA and playing at the same level and celebrating success
on the 17th May, 2018 at 8:24pm
The World? Europe?

You never know what's round the corner.............


Gloriously, we are godentissimi ecstatic TO DOMINATE AND RULE IN ITALY

Anything else would be a massive BONUS

on the 17th May, 2018 at 11:07am
Anther Spanish team wins the Europa League. It’s not just the Champions League they dominate. Re Juve in Europe when they played Barca in the final, did anyone even think they’d win? Of course not. They lost a comfortable 3:1. And then against Real they were again the underdogs and lost 4:1. They then again as underdogs get smashed 3:0 by Real this season in the first leg and are forced to produce this desperate comeback where ultimately they fail in the last minute. But they’re the underdogs.
on the 17th May, 2018 at 8:53am
Juventus have hardly suffered. 34 Titles and over 20 times in 2nd place! Recently, Juventus have dominated since 1995 on/off. So Juve do not know what it is like to support a team like Lazio, Sampdoria, Inter (1 title outside their patch in 06-10) in the past 37 years.
on the 16th May, 2018 at 10:47pm
Monaco winning the league was good for the French league but instead of using this competition, PSG killed it by signing their best player. Monaco sold too many players. Napoli beat Lazio home and away. Comfortably. They lost to Juventus, Roma and in Florence. Interesting Napoli lost to Roma after Juve beat Lazio will an extra time goal (1st on target). Then the Inter game followed by Fiorentina, It is so obvious that Juve too many glory fans that keep saying double x4. Buy some top players.
on the 16th May, 2018 at 10:43pm
@ Dennis We're Serie A fans and we want the best for Serie A and the current state of Serie A is not good enough for us as Serie A fans. So we don't really care about the other leagues but we would point out that some leagues are both more competitive and higher standards. Nobody can be happy with the current situation.
on the 16th May, 2018 at 10:05pm
I notice a huge wingerada by saddos and envious fans of teams who come much short at the winning line.

OK..... To be expected, but also to be ignored.

They are just LOSERS!

History has been written!
And it reads:



on the 16th May, 2018 at 9:55pm
@ RafaelS1979
"How can Juve fans be proud of winning scudetti every year in a weak league, it's beyond me."

Um. If your team were ever to win anything, wouldn't you be proud?

Us Juve fans remember what it's like to not win, so when we do, we're happy.

Happy to see our team well-run, playing determined & gritty, playing difficult matches against two worthy rivals domestically, punching hard in Europe, and Inter flailing around like they traditionally should.
on the 16th May, 2018 at 4:35pm
In Portugal, Croatia, Turkey, Poland, Denmark and Cyprus the league tables show how close the top 2 or 3 teams are compared to Germany or France or in England, does this mean that those leagues are better or more competitive or does that logic only apply to Italy? I guess you can spin anything to suit your point of view. It is not as though Monaco didn't win the league last season. Ppl keep going on about PSG in CL ignoring that they keep getting Barcelona or other big sides early.
on the 16th May, 2018 at 3:59pm
Juve have a better club structure than City and PSG. Serie A needs reform and Mancini cannot do it himself. Every facet needs sing from the same hymn (values) sheet. These values ought to have changed this yr with the rise of Roma and Napoli. However, if these clubs continue to fail at the final hurdle then others will not bother attempting their style of football. Stick to the tried and tested Juve system. Milan raised the bar, Juve and others responded.Now, the bar is set by boring dull calcio
on the 16th May, 2018 at 3:11pm
Serie A is currently uncompetitive. Juve play at walking pace towards the end of some of these easy games when the opposition cannot shoot on target. Sadly, the current Juventus style of play is effective. Why are they going to change it? Mourinho plays a similar system and he is a winner. This style of football is very effective in league competition but not so easy if you cannot use the right amount of energy in a cup competition. PSG and City spend big (£350+) to have a competitive advantage.
on the 16th May, 2018 at 3:04pm
@ anti-Juve Mafia, I have never heard such nonsense. "Napoli were stronger" = nope, they weren't they got thumped at home by Roma, thumped away to Lazio, and dropped too many points. "Juve played before Napoli" = who cares, both teams knew they needed to win all games regardless of when they played, what a feeble excuse. Napoli also complained about playing before Juve this season too.
on the 16th May, 2018 at 1:10pm
Juventus winning 7 titles in succession does not mean the league is not competitive. Until round 36, Juventus were going to lose lo scudetto - until an unspeakable turn around v Inter crippled Napoli psychologically. Man City had the league wrapped up in October, victorious by 19 points, they are light years from their nearest rival. Barcelona undefeated until round 38. Title settled in March. Bundesliga? Not in our lifetime will Bayern ever lose. Ligue 1? Im not even going to bring that up.
on the 16th May, 2018 at 4:34am
Juve doesn't need stopping what Juve needs is serious competition from it's rivals ie. Milan, Roma, Napoli, Lazio, Inter. Of the clubs mentioned only Roma seem to have some kind of plan while others seem to be fishing in the dark. ADL about to be sued by Napoli's mayor? Inter overspending on foreign players? Milan trying to build a new team every year? Lazio struggling to keep players? No wonder Juve are dominating while I'm happy at Juve's success we play the same style we played in the 90’s! While i sure loved the 90’s everyone else has moved on, All the top clubs in Europe have improved and changed their styles heck Germany changed it’s entire footballing philosophy, only Italy has remained the same and still reminiscing about the good old days and how we used to dominate in the world of football. Well we need change and we need it now if we ever want to get out of this slump of finishing second to Spanish teams and playing boring backwards football!
on the 16th May, 2018 at 1:33am
Serie A and the national team are collectively losing due to the cheating in the late 90s that finally got caught in 00s. The same is going on now, just a little more sophisticated.
Italy and Serie A wins when the competition is raised and others are allowed to grow and Juve develop a stronger identity based on progressive football. I think Carlo Ancelloti should return to Juve. He will enable them to play attractive football again and most likely win the CL.
on the 15th May, 2018 at 10:28pm
If Juve continue to dominate, less people will watch the league. It is boring. When you play football or any sport with an uncompetitive rival, you do not trash them. They give up and they never develop.
Read James Richardson's guardian article on Serie A in 2008. 4 reasons why we fell out of love with Serie A: Corruption, Hooliganism, Tactics & Pay per view (low att). What's changed? Less people are interested in Serie A in Italy in the last 15 years. I think the interest is roughly 15% less.
on the 15th May, 2018 at 10:23pm
encouraged. The most talented lack simple professional discipline. Juve are a professional organisation. It has set the bar with its off the field activity. Verona, Napoli, Milan, Juve & Inter all won when SerieA was at its strongest. This competition propels each other. Juve play easy games & that does not prepare them for CL. Celtic & PSG suffer the same fate, but their leagues are weaker hence they go out earlier. When others win, they grow. They can't currently so they are static!
on the 15th May, 2018 at 9:45pm
Serie A fans want to see a competitive league. In the late 80s and 90s Serie A was strong. Thanks to the quality of Italian players, systems and top foreign players that were nurtured. Financially, Juve have moved way ahead. If Napoli won the league, it would have encouraged teams to be bold instead of playing systems that are not progressive. Dybala and Bernardeschi have gone backwards this yr. Why? They have to play like defenders. They hardly touch the ball. Italians players are not being...
on the 15th May, 2018 at 9:36pm
5. Juve implode. Manager has issues with players. Allegri does not treat his players well. Dybala a sub in big games...
6. Teams challenge Juve and find ways of beating them instead of going through a match & having 0 shots on target. How many times did that happen during the middle of the season!
Napoli and Roma are the closest challengers. Roma cannot afford to keep selling players. Juve have a strong squad but play to win only.
Juve have turned the league into the Scottish Celtic type league.
on the 15th May, 2018 at 9:29pm
1. A club, the fans, players change their mentalities to become in synch to win. Thats means all focused on winning 3 pts every week. Bread & butter wins. Do not get phased by others, become defensive when in winning positions, control the outcomes.
2. Other clubs improve strategy (buy/sell players), business (stadiums, increase revenues).
3. Juve play fairly or find a new manager that focuses on CL football & does not play his 1st team in Coppa!
4. League/refs being fair.
on the 15th May, 2018 at 9:14pm
Inter have serious mentality issues. Whenever they play Milan they lose focus & concentrate on beating them. If they lose/draw this puts them in a losing cycle. Roma didn't bother winning the league after their experience last season. Juve are blocking quality & modern football progressing in Serie A. Napoli's failure to win the league, for whatever reason, will hold Serie A back and Italian football. Clubs will follow the Juve catenaccio 3.1 style. Juve will continue to dominate until...
on the 15th May, 2018 at 9:04pm
Milan have been foolish in the transfer market last season.Bacca was replaced with a former Blackburn striker. Milan rely on Suso. Milan need a better quality of player & give young players like Locatelli& Cutrone a chance to grow. Biglia, Abate, Musacchio, Borini, Kalinić, Zapata are very poor. Lazio did a great deal selling Biglia & replacing him with Lucas. Milan's transfer strategy has been awful. They needed a top striker, a defender (Bonucci & Conte), Kessie & 1 quality attacking midfieldr
on the 15th May, 2018 at 8:55pm
Napoli were better than Juve but Juve got to play ahead of them for the majority of the second of the season. Juve have the league under control and that will not change. Even the shame of cheating does not bother them! Everyone bows downs to them. Teams pass the ball sideways & apply no pressure to Juve's tactical set up of two buses when they defend. They counter attack most teams at home. They are effective at countering but not so good with the ball if they are pressed hard.
on the 15th May, 2018 at 8:48pm
Juve try to win in a sporting fashion but if you watch them every week, its is so boring, they dive and get silly fouls that they do not get in Europe. They get big decisions in their favour when they need them. The referees are part of the problem along with the demise of the Milan clubs. Poor investments and no strategic thinking! Juve are far ahead of the opponents in terms of running a business, organisation and mentality.However, Roma & Napoli have been the best sides in Italy for last 2yrs
on the 15th May, 2018 at 8:21pm
Allegri's tactics are horrendous. He needs to go, Arrigo Sacchi is 100% correct.
on the 15th May, 2018 at 8:03pm

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