Tuesday February 11 2020
Juve need someone to rely on

Maurizio Sarri has several different potential Juventus systems to choose from, writes Emmet Gates, all of them with strengths and major weaknesses.

To stick or twist? That’s the question Maurizio Sarri must ask himself as the season hurtles towards its final straight.

Sarri carved out his reputation as an attacking coach by implementing a 4-3-3 system whilst at Napoli, and religiously sticking to it without fail, to the detriment of his team at times, it must be said.

He continued to do so at Chelsea, however English football fans only saw the brief snippets of ‘Sarrismo’ that made his Napoli side darlings of the 20-second vine era on social media. Like vines, Sarrismo has all-but-disappeared from view.

Sarri had fully intended to continue with his beloved 4-3-3 at Juventus last summer, and they had started the season that way. Juve’s best performance of the season was arguably in the first 45 minutes against Napoli in late August. Despite conceding three goals in the second half to give an exaggerated score line, the Old Lady were comfortably better in that opening half, and it’s the closest the club has come to truly adapting the foundations of Sarri’s style.

Sarri’s switch to a 4-3-1-2 only transpired due to the injury to Douglas Costa, who Sarri is known to adore as a player, yet the 29-year-old Brazilian has muscles made of porcelain, and has repeatedly missed chunks of the season due to a plethora of injuries.

Sarri, to his credit, realised remarkably quickly that Paulo Dybala lacks the characteristics to play as a right or left winger, and so Sarri alternated systems, placing either Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi or Aaron Ramsey as a No 10 behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain.

However, the 4-3-1-2, an old system of Sarri’s from his time as Empoli coach, seemed to stilt Juve’s play: their play became stuffy, with too many bodies in central areas, and a dire lack of width to stretch the moves.

There was a clamour to play Ronaldo, Higuain and Dybala together from the off, but Sarri hesitated, and then finally relented in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Both Higuain and Ronaldo seemed to relish playing with Dybala, it might come as a shock to some Italian coaches, but world-class players generally like to play alongside those of a similar quality.

It looked as if Douglas Costa was back to full fitness after a period in which Sarri reduced him to 10-minute cameos, prompting a potential change of system yet again. However, the Brazilian’s explosive legs imploded once more and made the decision for him.

He’ll certainly be in the stands the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 with Olympique Lyonnais, and this site is the best place to get tickets for that tie.

Douglas Costa started against Fiorentina last week, his first start in the league since the first meeting between the two sides in September, at the expense of Dybala in a 4-3-3 system.

If, and it is a massive if given his track record, Douglas Costa can remain fit for any length of time, it would give Sarri the option of alternating between both systems, options that most teams in Europe would love to have. If not, can Bernardeschi be used there, or even potentially Juan Cuadrado, who let’s face it is not quite cutting it as a right-back?

Can an entire team be taught to play a system that only depends on one player being fit? Sarri has Plan A and B, now he might need C as well.

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Have your say...
melt down on individuality! This was the reason these players were brought to Juventus to begin with! Eg: Bernardeschi once on the rise and force with Alegri now rendered completely ineffective with this pass game, Ramsey also an individual force
for his runs in the box also completely ineffective, just to name a few, before dumping a whole block of talent on the market Juventus must come to an agreement with Sarris future with the team, coaching creates the best or worst of a teams players
on the 16th February, 2020 at 2:04am
A lot of hot air with a lot of comments on this board about players who aren't good enough truth is Juventus is comprised of many great individual talents who are being harnessed the wrong way under Sarris pass first passive system of play, these talents have become impotent under Sarri ball, this is why so many players no longer look like much under Sarri ball, compound Ronaldo on the team where now all players must feed him first before thinking of goal themselves we have a individual melt
on the 16th February, 2020 at 1:54am
@a Varsavia - If you dont have anything intlligent to add, then please just go away!! The same old boooooring and brainless theories we have been hearing over and over and over. Juve fixed the referees. They fixed the weather. They fixed the density of the grass. They fixed the seating plan. They fixed the traffic jams outside the ground... blah blah blah. How about the good old......ref got it worng?? Its a lot more credible than the nonsense the likes of you come out with.
on the 14th February, 2020 at 5:35pm
They already have: Serie A and Coppa Italia[n] referees. Juve always rely on them.
on the 14th February, 2020 at 2:16pm
@Juventino de manado

"That Ronaldo shot would've been a very beautiful goal for Juve, but STUPIDLY cancelled by a hand"

Are you insane???
on the 14th February, 2020 at 11:39am
@juventino, maybe the cuadrado incident was a penalty but having seen the penalty given for way. No guarantee ball was going in and the defender had his back to the ball. Same incident 24 hours earlier with Napoli v Inter. No penalty because player could not see the ball. One rule for Rubentus and one rule for everyone else. Same incident in Brescia v Calgliari where it was decided no penalty should be given in those circumstances but Rubentus had their mate on VAR.
on the 14th February, 2020 at 10:51am
1) strong elbow on cuadrados face in Milan box when he's chasing the ball goes unpunished. Unfair.
There should be punishment for this.

2) that Ronaldo shot would've been a very beautiful goal for Juve, but STUPIDLY cancelled by a hand.
A Juve goal canceled by handball.
So, penalty is a fair decision.
Ronaldo get another chance to shoot,
Milan still have donarumma to block it.

Stop crying.
on the 14th February, 2020 at 1:38am
From the title the first thing that came into my head was the refs!
on the 13th February, 2020 at 1:25pm
When Juve wins, its beacsue of Ronaldo's goals. When they lose, its Sarri's fault. I lay the blame fairly and squarely on the directors. They want to propel Juve into the group of elite clubs - but they opearte with the mentality of a provincial club. Always on the hunt in the bargain basements for players who are either out of contract, or hardly get a game or are just fed up and want to leave their club. So, they end up with a mish mash of players who dont blend and add no value.
on the 13th February, 2020 at 1:01pm
Its a lot of things. Nedved and Paratici are as much to blame for the awful players they brought in. Terrible signings from Danilo, to Rabiot to Ramsey. Less than 6 mths, there is already talks of Ramsey being shown the door. They have even managed to ruin De Light, whom in my opinion, can be a world class defender - but not at Juve. The boy has lost all his confidence. Then, there is Mr ego himslef. Ronaldo has created a massive wage disparity at Juve.Under Moggi this would not have happened.
on the 13th February, 2020 at 12:47pm
Next week:

"Juventus are stellar as ever" after defeating Milan in Coppa Italia


"Juventus are in shambles, is everything coming to an end" after losing to Milan in Coppa Italia

Watch this space, this nonsense is regurgitated ad nauseam as the site and its writers have very little original content...
on the 13th February, 2020 at 9:00am
Juve need patience from everyone especially from arrogant and spoiled Juve fans who have been accustomed to watch Juve win comfortably in Italy. Hopefully all players will be on their peak in March and I believe in Sarri to be able to transform Juve's play style from Italian football to Spanish football next year.

P.S: Sarrismo is a childish brand invented by media.
on the 13th February, 2020 at 6:24am
A fit costa would be amazing add no one can deny this, but also Douglas is known to hide his injuries and act like he is fit to play, he did that in WC.
This issue with juve is phycological not just formation and tactics, players like bonucci always forces the team to play deep defense, which breaks the high tempo press the midfield was doing, just check the verona game, we scored, we were pressing them and we had the ball, all of a sudden bonucci decided its time for deep defense!
on the 11th February, 2020 at 9:17pm
Look on the bright side. At least when we lose we don’t
Have to listen to real losers complain about cheating refs and blah blah blah
on the 11th February, 2020 at 7:32pm
Juventus have dipped in quality as they dropped the number of Italian players in the was always a strength....
But at present Tey are hard to watch
And yes..I agree so often the midfield fail to see forward players runs
on the 11th February, 2020 at 6:57pm
That's the one thing I liked about Allegri. Plan B and game management. That 3-0 drubbing of Barca was the best of Allegri - shame he couldn't build on it!
on the 11th February, 2020 at 6:50pm
Sarri needs to fix the horrifically slow tempo that he himself has created and as Firetruck says the midfield are killing the team with their never ending cumbersome sideways passing. I've seen practically every minute of football from Juve over the last 10 years and I do believe the current squad has significant potential. Although, I have very serious reservations about Pjanic. He must be the most overrated player Juve has ever had. He has practically no creative ability (free kicks aside).
on the 11th February, 2020 at 5:35pm
The fact is, Sarri is not a big team coach. Never has been, never will be. His behaviour whilst at Napoli was proof of this. We need to endure him this season, qualify for Champ League next season (because that is ALL we will achieve this season), and hope that Juve's management comes to their senses and gets a proper European level coach.
on the 11th February, 2020 at 4:43pm
please agnelli! dispose sarri,higuain,bernadeschi matuidi,khedira,ramsey,pjanic rugani. all these persons bring nothing but shame to our great club, and besides too much money is wasted on them for doing nothing, let channel all that resources to new crop all aplayers who will give us the desired passion to believe in this team.
as it stands now these crop of persons cant give us the champions league we have waited for so long.its even clear juve is going to end this season trophy-less.
on the 11th February, 2020 at 3:39pm
Good blog post, and I like how you casually added some advertisement in it.
on the 11th February, 2020 at 3:30pm
Also how many times in each match does Higuain or CR7 make a run thru the defense only for Juve's midfield to ignore them. Then play a sideways pass to Sandro or Cuadra so they can take a brisk jog down the line in slow motion and send in an amatuer cross to nobody
on the 11th February, 2020 at 2:19pm
I don't know if Sarri even has a plan B. No matter the lineup or shape, Juve still seem to play slow lazy 2 touch football that for the most part involves alot of passing sideways (for like 80% of the match)
on the 11th February, 2020 at 2:16pm

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