Monday July 27 2020
A Scudetto without splendour

Juventus finally won their ninth successive Scudetto on Sunday night but, as Livio Caferoglu explains, there wasn’t much cause for celebration.

Juventus should be on cloud nine after clinching their ninth consecutive Serie A crown. Their fans won’t be present to join in on the title celebrations but, even with them there, this won’t have felt like a Scudetto worth cheering about. That’s not to say the Bianconeri don’t deserve credit for making more history, exposing the laughable lack of competition, but that is precisely what allowed them to get away with doing the bare minimum. For a club that prides itself on setting the bar high, its standards seem to be dropping.

Of course, there have been some positives. Paulo Dybala, in particular, has been a shining light, finding his feet in Juve’s front three with 17 goals and 14 assists. Such has been his impact this season that the Old Lady have not lost in Serie A when he has played and made a goalscoring contribution. And through all of Maurizio Sarri’s trials and tribulations in trying to transform the team’s style of play, they haven’t lost their ability to ground out results when the chips are down, even after a three-month break and global health emergency.

Sadly, they are far outweighed by the negatives. Some haven’t been of Juve’s own making, namely their lack of continuity at centre-back, characterised by the loss of captain Giorgio Chiellini to a serious knee injury. Most of them, on the other hand, are. As I’ve already highlighted in a previous blog, Andrea Agnelli and Fabio Paratici dealt Sarri a poor hand last summer, expecting him to work wonders with a squad so drilled into the Max Allegri ethos – the polar opposite of ‘Sarrismo’. The results of that work, so far, have been painful to watch.

That said, it is a damning indictment on Serie A as a whole that the worst Juve side for some time are able to win the title with two games to spare. Atalanta’s sudden surge in form, while admirable, was too little too late. Lazio looked like pushing the Bianconeri all the way, but a thin squad coupled with buying into their own hype a little too much proved costly. Then there’s Inter, who appointed Antonio Conte and backed him to the hilt in the transfer market but still came up short, failing to capitalise on every one of their arch-rivals’ slip-ups.

In Juve’s defence, however, this was always supposed to be a transition season and Sarri has still managed to deliver a Scudetto, not discounting the Champions League if he masterminds a turnaround against Olympique Lyonnais. The recent 2-1 defeat to Udinese was a microcosm of where the Old Lady are at the moment. The result and how they threw a winning position away would normally be dismissed out of hand as a misstep. Yet the coach is doing away with the pragmatism and introducing a more holistic approach.

“We lost our shape and organisation in Udine, but the positive aspect is we did that because we were trying so hard to win,” Sarri said before the visit of Samp. “I prefer that as a reason to lose rather than being passive, which is what we experienced a few other times. I like that desire to win, but we weren’t perfect in the execution. I do like always going forward, but you have to read the situation too. I am not going to deny I prefer the all-attack mentality, though ... Faced with evident difficulties, I think the team has done well.”

What seems certain is that Juve won’t be able scrap out another Scudetto without being punished. The signings of Arthur Melo and Dejan Kulusevski, coupled with Miralem Pjanic’s sale, suggest they are moving in the right direction, but they are still two full-backs, another midfielder and another forward away from reasserting their dominance on Serie A. For this freak season, Juve should refrain from celebrating, keep the champagne on ice and move straight on to the Champions League. That is where the real success lies.

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Have your say...
Is it still possible to get Pogba? Or I don’t mind buying Modric for two seasons. Juventus needs a world class middle field player that can dribble and assistant. Bentancur is very disappointing and should be sold to raise fund. If possible, get another top middle field player.
Also need someone to replace prone injured Costa. Chiesa is not good. TBH, currently there is no good Italian young player at all.
If still have money left, a right back and a CS.
on the 27th July, 2020 at 7:07am
It was as usual for Juve but for us. there was so much to learn from this year run. now on surely we are the sole rival to fight for scuddetto....... let it enjoy this way INTERS Lads. If conte stay he got to shut his mouth off and we got to confirm iur on way if expressing irrspective of what people think about us. signings should go this way:hakimi.pogba.jimenez. Good luck to us, Congrats to Juventas...
on the 27th July, 2020 at 5:04am
5? Let's also not forget that this was an exceptional year in Italian football with goals scored.
Atalanta managed 90+...
In 1996-97, Juve managed to dominate the super Milan of the era, to cement their dominance of the era, even with a 6-1 San Siro win...
Only scoring 51 league goals, top-scoring rights (& rites), split between Del Piero, Vieri & Padovano, at 8 goals each...
This has been a mad & unusual year....
on the 27th July, 2020 at 4:25am

The chasing pack really need to sort themselves out. Quit signing average players that are unlikely to work out, especially overrated/over-payed epl has-beens

They also need to stop hiding behind excuses, referees, and anti-Juve rhetoric

Juve are run , for the most part, very well. Milan have been a joke for years, Inter are going in the right direction but still under par. Roma are a supermarket

Napoli and Atalanta are run well but lacking Lazio have an average squad that has overachieved
on the 27th July, 2020 at 3:51am

It's an achievement, but no big deal

I imagine that Italy and the rest of the world won't be taking Serie A seriously while this continues

Although they were pushed far harder than the winners of most other leagues, it doesn't change the fact that they were average for most of the season and the chasers just weren't up to it - as usual

Can we finally get a CL/EL winner this season? Maybe, but unlikely.
on the 27th July, 2020 at 3:45am
Congrats to Juve. Shame on the rest of the league for allowing Juve to win yet another title. All of you. To the bottom teams that folded when Juve turned up to the top teams that choked. You're all collectively pathetic. Hopefully the sense of shame will mean you put up a fight next season. Or else it'll 10, 11, 12, a row. Maybe Celtic, PSG, Bayern and Juve should start their own leagues....
on the 27th July, 2020 at 3:25am
4. I think it's an insult to the rest of the teams in the league to write off Serie A as this blog seems to. It's almost always been a tight run, until the endurance part of the season kicks in. Ultimately, in the last few rounds, it's been the Grinta & holdfast attitude that has meant that Juve has kept in the points.
Even if the end of this season has seen them drop wins, everyone else has too. But when they've really needed to nail the coffin shut, they have.
It's been a f'ing odd year. Forza
on the 27th July, 2020 at 2:25am
3. Napoli have had huge changes, and have really struggled, finishing way below their usual. Inter have improved vastly, Atalanta have been brilliant, and improving projects at Milan & Sassuolo have proven tough as each round has progressed. Yes, Juve didn't win 38 games with 200 goals scored and none conceded, and only won the league with 2 games to spare, but that is because they are in transition, in a tough league. None of their last 9 league wins have been easy. They've always been pushed.
on the 27th July, 2020 at 2:21am
2. still that points' safety...
Every top team bottled points in the last few rounds, which just goes to show how tough this period has been for everyone. Juve went into lockdown with a tight advantage, and finished the league with a tight advantage. It's been a tough season. I find it ridiculous that people continue to say that Juve just walk it every year.
Serie A is a top quality, tough league. Even with huge changes in the Juve set-up, they've managed it...
on the 27th July, 2020 at 2:16am
1. Well, I don't think I agree with this blog.
It's impossible for us non-professional footballers to imagine what the last few games have been.
In your heart, even with a points-lead in the league, you know you have to win win win, but some part of your head still knows you have the lead... And there's the fatigue of playing every few days with fewer days rest...
Yes, in the World Cup & Euros, the space between games is similar, but there's no nagging thought in your mind that there's still...
on the 27th July, 2020 at 2:13am
i do know editors/bloggers only have so many words to forward an insight, but when the sum total adds up to 'on the one hand they did well under certain circumstances, but on the other they didn't do so well under certain circumstances' it amounts to a zero sum.
did they do well, or did they not? the size of the celebration isn't really a valid metric in such an abnormal year
on the 27th July, 2020 at 2:06am
No wonder why Italian football is so boring, and nowhere near where it should be...This criminal organisation disguised as a football club, which has been corrupting Italian football, and buying from referees,to federations, to media, even EUFA, for decades, will definitely kill it if it is not stopped, and all its members put in jail, its fall will come sooner,than later, and will certainly be very loud. (what goes up, must come down, it is the law of physics)
on the 27th July, 2020 at 2:04am
winning a scudetto is no easy feat. just ask the likes of milan, inter and roma who hasnt won it for years. give sarri credit he has found a way to get ronaldo and dybala to play together. lets not forget juve were looking to sell dybala because it was felt by allegri and co that dybala and ronaldo coudnt play together. look juve has had the best defence in serie a for years and have failed to deliver the c.league. perhaps in the c.league you need a gambler like sarri to deliver it. u never know
on the 27th July, 2020 at 12:40am

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