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Thursday October 29 2020
Juve waiting for Dybala

After Juventus' first defeat of the season, Rocco Fasano argues Paulo Dybala is the player who best embodies the delicate moment of a work-in-progress under new coach Andrea Pirlo.

Paulo Dybala is hot on everyone’s lips. Paulino, as former Juventus coach Allegri used to call him, seems lost. Clunking, chasing defenders he never catches up to, he appears to be carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Paulo Bruno Exequiel Dybala is, to use military parlance, missing in action.

A run, a missed trap, a touch too heavy, a run too slow, a poor free kick. Dybala is a shadow of the player who led Juventus to glory with “heavy” goals in key matches against Lazio, Milan, Atletico, Barcelona and more.

What’s missing? Dybala was born a trequartista at Instituto AC of Cordoba, where he first began bending blades of grass in northern Argentina. At Palermo, he transformed into a forward and then learned the craft of becoming an excellent second striker when he moved to Juventus in the summer of 2015, scoring 23 goals and providing seven assists for the Bianconeri in his opening season.

In Pirlo’s Juve, so far, Dybala has struggled. And that’s an understatement. Playing in a position not dissimilar to that undertaken in Allegri’s first season, he has created next to nothing over the course of 34 minutes against Dynamo Kiev, 90 minutes against Hellas Verona, and 90 minutes against Barcelona. The sole exception? A crossbar that he hit against Hellas.

The Argentine forward bemoaned his exclusion from the match against Crotone. “He was supposed to play”, Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said in Calabria, post match “but then we were left with 10 men and the opportunity dissipated”. Rumours close to the Juventus camp said that the 41-year-old coach and the 27-year-old forward cleared the air afterwards. Dybala would soon get his chance in Ukraine.

In Kiev, however Dybala’s first appearance - a 34 minute cameo - proved Pirlo right. Dybala needed to accumulate some minutes. Comprehensible. Dybala’s impalpability shown against Dynamo Kiev crystallised against Hellas Verona.

Dybala, arguably the second most talented player in Serie A, was expected to come out of his shell and provide a magisterial performance like that shown in Turin in the spring of 2017 where he undid Barcelona’s defence with a brace that is seared in the memory of Juventus fans.

The expectation was that his form, still reeling from a recurring muscle injury suffered in the ill-fated round of sixteen that saw Juventus unceremoniously ousted from the UEFA Champions League by lowly Olympique Lyonnais, would eventually click and his shell crack against Barcelona on Wednesday.

Within literary canon popular among high schoolers one will find a Samuel Beckett play named Waiting for Godot, in which two characters, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), engage in a variety of discussions and encounters while awaiting Godot, who never arrives.

Let us be reasonable: to judge him on the first 214 minutes of his season, immediately following two consecutive muscular injuries and yet to find physical fitness is unkind and reductive. The forward will surely find his form in short order, find the net, and lead Juve to victory like he often has; inducing detractors to yet another standing ovation.

But Dybala’s continued lack of maturity on the field in Juve’s biggest matches, always playing second fiddle to a bigger striker, be it Gonzalo Higuain or Mario Manzukic or Cristiano Ronaldo, is worrisome. It makes waiting for Dybala a little like Waiting for Godot. A blossoming into an elite player who’s locked inside this above-average Argentine that’s yet to come. And will it?

Have your say...
Never thought I would say this but it actually might be time Juve consider selling. At least consider it. I have little respect for players that start demanding all kinds of money yet continue to get easily muscled off balls and show more crying and complaining on the field than results. Thats how he has started this season lets hope he gets his head back straight before its too late.
on the 31st October, 2020 at 12:44pm
@Firetruck totally agree with everything you said! Dybala needs to sign his contract and STFU! He almost got into a fight for not getting playing time against Crotone only to play poorly against Barca. Where was he during the Barca game not even noticeable on the field. Yes he hasn’t been playing in his favorite position and yes at times he didn’t get to play but he is no longer a teenager he is 26 years old that needs to grow up and start working for the team!
on the 30th October, 2020 at 9:33pm
One of Juve's biggest problems is the silly fans defending Dybala... he is a child with no mental strength. Yeah ok, he can score a few pretty goals every year. But where was he vs Madrid in the final, or against Ajax or Lyon or this past week against Barca? Sorry for someone who wants to demand playing time and yell at Paratici he just doesnt deliver enough. Juve can cash in on him and get what we need.
on the 30th October, 2020 at 4:39pm
Ronaldo worst thing happen to juve selfish as a person selfish as a player. As predicted would fail in Italy that is why Messi wont come. La liga is garbage along with EPL and Ligue 1. These so called stars cannot hack it in Seria A. Juve is a failed team and has been other then domestic titles which are disputable it will not flourish and has not for a long time. They destroy home grown talent and they are destroying dybala. He should leave while he has some stature.
on the 30th October, 2020 at 4:19pm
So enjoying this...Dybala is class but not for Juventus. Time to leave where he will be appreciated. Real Madrid will be calling soon as they need something as they are poor now. Love seeing Juve buying Fiorentina players who are awful. Pirlo to get sack soon and Juve getting nothing this season. Hopefully they get done or Suarez fiasco and that their debts mount up.
on the 30th October, 2020 at 11:29am
The guy is coming off injury. The guy has a new coach that probably wants him to play a different way. The guy was serie a player of the season last year (worthy or not lol). give him time (and give him ronaldo).. i like pirlo's tactics but he needs to tell bonucci stop the long balls, success rate is low. he and danilo to me are the weak links in this tactical setup
on the 30th October, 2020 at 11:04am
Very talented player, with his time entirely lost in Juve.
on the 30th October, 2020 at 10:15am
The sooner Ronaldo leaves the better. People will point to his goal record but 14 of his league goals came from penalties which Dybala would be on if Ronaldo wasn't around and Dybala would also be on all free kicks which he'd score more of than Ron does. Ronaldos wages are crippling the club now, he's done his job of increasing the fan base now it's time to move on. It's also really hard to fit Ronaldo in these days as he's too slow to play on the wing but doesn't want to play up top.
on the 30th October, 2020 at 9:27am
He is a brilliant striker and I think he will do a lot better if he leaves this joke of a club for a proper club. A club with a real chance of winning something prestigious in Europe. As long as he stick with Juve he will be on losing side. And, the way things look so far, it looks like he will be fighting alongside his team mates to avoid relegation.
on the 30th October, 2020 at 8:37am
i just dont like 3 man backlines. but i think juve problem is in midfield. if juve going play that 3412 then i believe arthur melo needs to play. he seems like the only one thathas the technical ability to make surging runs from midfield. i just found that dybala was coming back too deep to pick up the ball. he needs to stay closer to goal.
on the 30th October, 2020 at 2:54am
First off, Congrats to Zio Rocco on making it to football Italian. I've been a fan and following him online for while.

I agree with headline, Juventini were expecting him to break out a few seasons ago but has regressed with the addition of Ronaldo. At first it was they couldn't play together, then he had an MVP season, and now looks to struggle with his injuries.

Long story short, he was expected to be in the top 5 in the world and hasn't delivered. Time is running out.
on the 29th October, 2020 at 8:38pm
I cringe every time i see Danilo touch the ball
on the 29th October, 2020 at 7:56pm
Wow, pretty heavy read. Think Juve is thinking more like Waiting for Ronaldo.
Dybala is not finding or creating the open space enably him to score. That space is there when Ronaldo occupies defenders and remains a creative playmaker. At 26 years young its hard to think that his injury recover time is inhibiting. Further Juve has a team of young players that want the chance to score themselves and shine. It is up to Pirlo to teach this team how to play for the good of the team and win. Rocky road
on the 29th October, 2020 at 6:56pm
"Let us be reasonable: to judge him on the first 214 minutes of his season, immediately following two consecutive muscular injuries and yet to find physical fitness is unkind and reductive."
But look, I'm going to do it anyway :/
on the 29th October, 2020 at 6:32pm
Stop adding unnecessary pressure to the man. He has already delivered way more than an average forward has done for Juventus over the last 30 years. It is premature to expect a player to be at his top in each match. The worst thing that has happened to the player is Ronaldo. That transfer literally suffocated the development of Dybala into a leader of the team.
on the 29th October, 2020 at 6:31pm
How shoddy and lazy does a writer have to be to do this:

"...always playing second fiddle to a bigger striker, be it Gonzalo Higuain or


‘Mario Manzukic’


or Cristiano Ronaldo, is worrisome."


Seriously??
on the 29th October, 2020 at 6:14pm
Juve waiting For worldclass right and left back,juve waiting for rabiot danilo sondro and bonuchi to be sold,juve waiting for Fabio Paratici to finaly get fired after spending juventus budget for 3 seasons ahead just to bring another fiorentina flop who not only was useless vs barcelona but practicly scored their firs goal whit that shitt deflection.Dybala is d least of juventus problems
on the 29th October, 2020 at 5:37pm
The entire Juve attack looks like they're still learning how to play together and especially yesterday against Barca they lacked cohesion moving forward. The number of passes or layoffs that came up short, or failed precisely due to miscommunication was glaring. I hardly think Dybala is the problem - in the past he's excelled by working his teammates into the match, and then playing off them, that will take some time still.
on the 29th October, 2020 at 4:55pm

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