Wednesday August 28 2019
There's something about Sami

Sami Khedira was meant to be the first Juventus player out the door this summer, but Elio Salerno notes the German keeps coming back.

Juventus fans could be forgiven for having a sense of déjà vu at the beginning of the new season. When the team news was announced prior to their opener at Parma, it was a starting XI that had a very familiar feel about it. A team that was more Max Allegri than that of new boss Maurizio Sarri.

The chosen midfield three was particularly contentious. It has been widely acknowledged for some time that The Old Lady’s options in that area required an upgrade. The recent recruitment of both Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey are a step in the right direction. However, former PSG player Rabiot started from the bench, whilst Welshman Ramsey was left out completely as he continues to work towards full fitness.

The Bianconeri faithful had perhaps thought and hoped that the days of watching Miralem Pjanic being flanked by Blaise Matuidi and Sami Khedira in a functional midfield line-up were over. But come kick-off at the Stadio Ennio Tardini last Saturday, all were present in the Juventus XI. Despite Matuidi and Khedira being heavily linked with moves away this summer, the World Cup winning duo have seemingly crept back into the club’s strategy. That is perhaps as a result of Juve’s own poor planning rather than the pair’s individual qualities.

The presence of Khedira was particularly surprising. A player who over the last 18 months has looked a shadow of his former self, he was expected to be one of the first out of the door as a result of Sarri’s appointment. However, fast forward a couple of months and with Mister Sarri’s OK, there appears to have been a change in stance with regards to the availability of the 32-year-old German.

Sami’s roll of honour is mightily impressive. League titles in Italy, Germany and Spain along with a host of other domestic, European and world trophies that include a Champions League and World Cup winner’s medal. Vastly experienced and having played under a multitude of the game’s top Coaches, why do Juventini want to see the back of him when he comes approved by the likes of Allegri, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Joachim Low and now Sarri?

Khedira is without doubt a supremely intelligent central midfield player. Having adopted a number of different roles over the years, he has shown tactical flexibility and complete understanding of the game. The reliability Khedira brings to his role is reassuring for any Coach. The former Real Madrid player’s interpretation of the game provides balance in both attacking and defensive phases of play. An ability to exploit space with perfectly timed forward runs sees Khedira contribute goals from midfield, but beyond that he understands how and when to press or help the team lock up and act as a defensive shield.

Competent technically, Khedira aids ball retention and contributes in the build-up. Watching Sami play, it is understandable why many of the game’s top tacticians have turned to Khedira over the years and made him a staple of their team. For the supporters currently observing him weekly, all of that is now somewhat irrelevant and it has become clear that Khedira struggles with the demands of the modern game at the elite level.

Against provincial opponents, Khedira has a place in the squad and is useful as part of player rotation. However, as one of those in the top pay bracket at Juventus, he needs to be much more than a useful back-up. A lack of energy box-to-box hampers him against dynamic, fluid opposition. Simple to exploit and play around, he becomes a ghost in the centre the pitch. Without the capacity to break midfield lines via dribbling, he can be marshalled by better defences, severely limiting his offensive output.

La Vecchia Signora have showed a tendency in the past to stay with what they know and at this current juncture – even with the changes Sarri will bring – that remains the case. Khedira has a mentality that is perfectly in keeping with the club he represents. Hard working, ambitious and constantly seeking the next trophy. It is easy to be dismissive of the former Stuttgart player, but he has worked admirably and is currently being rewarded.

A confusing transfer policy has left Juventus in an awkward situation. Unable to move on those players that from the outside, look not to fit in with the direction Sarri will take the team, it has given them a second chance. Super Sami looks to be a beneficiary of his managements deficiencies on the transfer market.

Have your say...
LMAO @Pinturicchio. Are you done?

Now go back to your cave... FAN BOY... LOL
on the 31st August, 2019 at 12:45pm
@Pinturicchio you are right I ought to ignore these guys but let me leave them with this and I am done. @G'M the Pjanic of Roma or the 1 at Juve which is the more effective and why? He was playing further forward for Roma. You have a licence to coach in football not medicine mayne. We are not splitting the atom here we are discussing football. By your irrational idea the fact that top coaches like Lippi, Sacchi and Trapatoni did not pick Baggio, he was not world class and he didnt win wc or cl
on the 31st August, 2019 at 11:58am
@Giancarlo C's Mom or @Mirko are brainless. Giancarlo can't fathom that someone else might have a different opinion than his Serie D2 failed-coaching career analysis, whilst Mirko straight off climbs out of bed from his parents' basement and logs into to make juvenile jibes like "Durr stop playing FIFA". Dennis makes valid arguments and it shatters the fragile minds of these 2 man-children. @Dennis Ignore them mate.
on the 31st August, 2019 at 6:16am

LOL First of all Khedira is not a DM.Put him on that position will be a waste unless you play with double DM but oooh Juve actually play with 2 DM in tight match and don't blame Juve if Pjanic is too small to receive pass in the box. 2nd, yes you act like a spoiled fan boy. 3rd, I know football better than you, I don't mean to brag but I have a license and I'm paid to coaching and you're not. You moan about Pjanic should join attack ahead of Khedira shows you lack in tactical knowledge.
on the 31st August, 2019 at 4:54am
don't really want to do. I would have liked him if he knew and accepted his limitations. There is no reason why Pjanic should be staying back while Khedira joins the attack. He should be snuffing out danger but he doesn't. Ooooh I am a coach that views football from a technical point of view. Mayne stuff your negative approach to football. There are and have been so many great dms in football; Khedira isnt 1 of them. We're not fanboys cos we disagree wiv u. U act sometimes like Juve employ u
on the 30th August, 2019 at 4:48pm
@Giancarlo will you stop that shyte with fan boy fantasy and quit acting like your football knowledge is superior. Who gives a rat's ass about your dubious coaching skills? Khedira is not and has never been wc. Injury probs is why he left Madrid and yet Bale and Carvajal are still there. His skill set should be to allow more technical players shine but that is the problem with he and Can, they think they're all that, trying fanciful stuff and wanting to score goals. The DM they are good at they
on the 30th August, 2019 at 4:39pm
@Edmulam and fan boys,if you watch Juve's game next time,watch closely Khedira's movement with or without ball especially the latter.You'll see how good he is to make the team moves forward.If you still dont get it,I recommend taking a course for a coach so you can appreciate a great talent like Khedira,a player who is needed by fancy player to shine.
P.S: Dybala exchange is a media invention and Cancelo isn't a fullback(lack discipline & tactical awareness),he's a winger and he isnt that great.
on the 30th August, 2019 at 3:46pm
@ Dennis

There is only one reason why Real Madrid let him go : injury problem. The rest is only your personal opinion mixed with typical fan boy fantasy. Khedira is a world class, a proven winner. A smart midfielder who (when in full fitness) can maintain tempo and give calmness to "your world class players" so they don't waste their chances.
on the 30th August, 2019 at 3:23pm
@Giancarlo C mom. Khedira has never been and will never be world class. He is at best a squad player. If he was not available for free, I doubt juve would have bought him.
The reason I say Paratici is a guy I have no faith in is coz while Rabiot is a good move, trying to get Lukaku in a dybala exchange and selling Cancelo eroded all lot of my trust.
on the 30th August, 2019 at 11:32am
At RM and Juventus Khedira’s absence made no iota of difference. He is no Ozil, Di Maria, Alonso or Pjanic. You ask why was he always picked well it’s kind of telling that when he was RM’s midfield they won the league and cup but when replaced by Kroos, Casemiro and Modric they won the league and cl 3 times, once against a juve side that featured Khedira. Managers pick players for different reasons and that should never be a criteria for saying he is world class.
on the 30th August, 2019 at 10:39am
@Giancarlo yes it’s possible to be lucky to get into any side whether you are world class or not. Mourinho and Allegri are not too dissimilar in what they want from players. Some players are picked out of loyalty or perhaps they always listen to the manager, not complaining if they are benched, give their all in training. All that does not = world class. My definition of world class is when you have great talent and you are missed massively in a side with great talent if you’re not available.
on the 30th August, 2019 at 10:30am
Totally agree.
on the 30th August, 2019 at 5:30am
Exactly why I think Matuidi provides more value than Khedira. He actually does the dirty work. Pretty much Juve's version of Gattuso. The same reason Mandzu was also loved. Always showing grit even though Juve really could have used more goals out of him.
on the 30th August, 2019 at 2:05am
Khedira's positioning sense on his day is excellent and as well as good awareness of movement of his teammates. That's about all he offers. 2014 showcased his best with Germany and he had midfielders that complemented his skills and they were at their best. Our midfield hasn't offered him that. He's not a Nedved who'd be happy to take the game to the opposition regardless of who is around him. I'm more concerned that Cuadrado is staying.
on the 29th August, 2019 at 9:52pm
@Dennis, you cant count on luck to earn a spot for starting eleven of big teams like Madrid, Juve or Germany. You must work hard for it and most importantly you must have outstanding quality on the pitch. Khedira is no doubt a world class player for all his atributes, a type of player who will be loved by every coach for his ability to provide balance for the team. You will definitely need Khedira at midfield if you want to control ball possession or play safe for counter attack.
on the 29th August, 2019 at 8:03pm
No i do not think Gattuso was world class. He was a pretty ordinary player that worked so hard to get to the very top. He brought a lot of grit and determination to his role and made the better players around him get away with murder, doing the dirty work. Thats the difference with Khedira, Gattuso was not a wc talent but he was key to a world class team. Khedira makes no difference with his presence or absence. Managers picking him are doing so despite his not being wc not because of it.
on the 29th August, 2019 at 5:21pm
@Everyone bashing Dennis:

So basically Khedira is praised for putting in acceptable performances he's world-class? Do anyone of you remember the last time Khedira set tujhe stage on fire, either in Serie A or Europe? The only time I remember was a hattrick against a bottom 10 club some 2 years ago.

Even with Germany he has never been standout like Kroos or Ballack.

So, before you talk smack of Dennis, try to get down from your high horse and introspect, and come back with facts instead...
on the 29th August, 2019 at 3:10pm
Ok Dennis and that is your opinion. But several professional world class coaches think he’s a world class player and have played him when he’s fit. So it’s not just me or any others on this blog post. It is simply impossible to not be world class and win, not only at club level but also at international level and be a key protagonist for each team. Would you say that Gattuso was not world class cos he had amazing players around him at Milan and for Italy?
on the 29th August, 2019 at 11:20am
Every Germany player played well against a woeful Brazil in the semis. Against France no one really stood out apart from Neuer. Now before you guys try to rewrite history make sure you are aware who you are talking to. At what point did I say Ramsey or Rabiot were better. I have gone on record as saying I don’t understand what juve want with Ramsey. I didn’t like khedira when I first saw him in 2010 we and nothing has changed. It’s got fa to do with his none glamorous role
on the 29th August, 2019 at 10:15am
@Mirko have you ever seen me play fifa? I’ve never played fifa in my life and not sue what it has to do with Khedira never been world class. When was he a key player in major wins? When rm won it he didn’t play in the quarters or semis.Played in the final cos Xabi was suspended then taken off for Isco while Rm were trailing as Marcelo came on to turn the game. We final he didn’t play. Never was their best player all thru
on the 29th August, 2019 at 10:05am
our current midfield couldnt even tie the laces of pirlo, vidal, marchisio, and pogba. They havent figured out yet that its not just the players that need to be changed if they want to win the CL, its the defending mentality that needed to go. lets see how they approach the ucl this year
on the 28th August, 2019 at 10:43pm
I don’t know what this article is saying. On one hand you say he’s tactically intelligent, and on another you say he’s a ghost in midfield against dynamic opposition. So is Sami good or bad ? The starting line up of Parma was really depressing! I think Pjanic is under-utilized at the base of the midfield; he would do way better playing higher up like he did at Roma. Bentancur provides better cover than Pjanic, and does very well in that position. I would love to see Pjanic-Bentancur-Rabiot tandem in midfield. I think those are our best 3. I would test Emre at right back given Di Sciglio’s incompetence; and give Sandro license to roam on the other side. The squad is stacked but a bit dyslexic so let’s see what Sarri does.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 7:29pm
You play too much FIFA. He has been highly rated by multiple club coaches and his NT coach, and played a key starting role in all major trophy wins. Sure he isn’t the most glamorous player but he is a fine midfielder worthy to play at a club like Juve. Despite being injury prone he is still better than and achieved way more than Rabiot and Ramsay who you think should take his place. Watch some actual football before passing immature judgement
on the 28th August, 2019 at 6:07pm
@Alain Giroud

I think he and Di Sciglio both have a copy of it
on the 28th August, 2019 at 5:51pm
Hmm so if you are lucky enough to play with great players for club and country and win the cl and wc, you are automatically a world class player. Take a bow Karembeu you world class beauty. Dude stay anonymous as that status fits you to a tee.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 5:30pm
He's holding a secret Sextape of Andrea Agnelli .. any other explanation is just an imaginary one
on the 28th August, 2019 at 3:07pm
Oh and it's Marotta's mess not Paratici, for you people here blaming him.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 2:55pm
Khedira vattene!
on the 28th August, 2019 at 2:53pm
@Dennis, When you think a footballer who has achieved all major trophies including Champions League and World Cup as a keyplayer in the team is still not considered a world class player, you need a brain check. However I understand completely fan boys rate footballer up based on fancy moves, etc.
on the 28th August, 2019 at 2:02pm
Wow some people are harsh.... yes on the 1st game of the season with an ill coach and a new system let's just throw all the new signings out there and play Sarri ball and win 4-0

Also if the players don't want to leave, then do you want to give them away for free or treat the player like Icardi?
on the 28th August, 2019 at 12:44pm

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