Saturday August 11 2012
Carrera: Conte's surrogate

With Antonio Conte contemplating suspension, Rob Paton looks at the man preparing to take his place on the Juventus bench.

At a glance you won’t notice too much as different on the Juventus bench next season. Stocky in build, dark tanned skin and closely cropped hair with piercing eyes, Massimo Carrera may not be Antonio Conte, but in appearance he is almost as close as Juve could get to a temporary fix.

More importantly, he is the man expected to be Conte’s eyes and ears on the touchline this season, for as long as is needed as Conte fights the 10-month ban handed to him on Friday morning from the Disciplinary Commission that examined his alleged role in the betting scandal.

Last week’s friendly against Malaga provided a brief glimpse into the Bianconeri’s plan B for 2012-13, as will Saturday’s Super Cup clash with Napoli, with Conte sitting in the stands alongside assistant Angelo Alessio, who is also facing an eight-month suspension.

On the touchline will be the calmer figure of Carrera, alongside highly-rated goalkeeping Coach Claudio Filippi, with the anticipation that during the season this duo, and Carrera in particular, will be relaying instructions from Conte, if not live at least pre-prepared.

Conte, a man who has more than once spoken of his training methods as leaving little to chance and creating a side that he can almost ‘remote control’, will as literally as possible be able to put that to the test this season with Carrera the antenna to transmit out his instructions.

Carrera may not have the coaching experience that Juve could have turned to in this unique situation they now find themselves in, nor anything like the similarly explosive nature of Conte to intensely drive the players through 90 minutes. However, he carries the club’s trust and also that of Conte, with the pair known to be close friends, even if in character they are described as sharp opposites.

The 48-year-old, like Conte, was a member of Marcello Lippi’s Bianconeri in the early 1990s and even arrived at the club the same year as the current Juve boss. He served as a defender for five seasons in Turin, as part of a remarkably long 26-year playing career that only ended in 2008 with Pro Vercelli at the age of 44.

Since June 2009 he has been back with Juventus, overseeing youth development in the official capacity of technical director. Since Andrea Agnelli, Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici’s increased focus on this aspect of club development following their respective arrivals soon after, Carrera has been in a position that has grown in respect and prominence from within the club. It is also a role that saw him in regular contact with Conte during last season.

“I experienced every day for the past year working with him, so I do not have a problem replacing him,” Carrera told the gathered media hours after news of Conte’s ban was confirmed. He was talking sat in Conte’s seat at the Press conference and about taking his seat on the bench.

“I’ll try to give advice to the players near the bench, but not on my own initiative, only as a consequence of what we do every day.

“Am I worried? I’ll be sitting on the bench of the Italian champions, I defy anybody to be. We talk about football and I’ve been in it for 40 years…”

Not a well-known name nor notably energetic in his styling, Juve’s choice for Carrera may not immediately suggest a sense of continuity, beyond his comparable physical appearance to Conte. From a technical viewpoint he has minimal coaching experience, even if his extensive and much travelled years as a player counts for something.

Yet, for what he offers Conte, the club and the players, his more conservative nature, coupled with his familiarity around the club may make him the calming presence that is needed in what is otherwise going to be an unsettling situation.

Carrera may not have been the first name to have come to many a Juventus fan’s mind to step in, but as a buffer to all that Conte can be, having known him for 20 years, Carrera may be the only man capable of conveying Conte’s instructions next season. As if by remote control, so the Coach will hope.

Have your say...
As long as juventus manage to buy a 20+ proven goal scorer before the transfer window shuts. I'm confident this dude will do well as a temporary coach. Forza Juve!!
on the 13th August, 2012 at 12:17pm
Another match fixing scandal, whatever the truth is it makes you worry for the future of Calcio. The French and Portuguese leagues are fast catching Serie A up.
on the 12th August, 2012 at 11:50am
Carrera was a very reliable defender for Juventus in his playing days. He was always an automatic in the team selection. He has great experience in reading a match. Let's hope he is brilliant and that Conte will return immediately or at least within the next 2 months. Appeals have a way of working out in Italy.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 3:39pm
In 2006 the FIGC buried evidence of sporting fraud that would have probably sent Inter to the 4th tier of Italian football. Instead they were the ones who benefited from Juventus' expulsion. Now the FIGC take one man's word, a convicted cheat, against 23 credible witnesses. It is just scandalous! Antonio, you are our leader and we support you and Angelo Alessio 100%. Massimo, you are also a Bianconeri legend and we always support our legends to the end. FORZA CARRERA! FORZA CONTE! FORZA JUVE!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 3:23pm
Hoping the appeals on Aug 20 will bring out the truth. What kind of system does not allow you to even question your accusers? Carrera is a good choice because a high profile coach would have tried to implement his own system.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 2:43pm
What a messed up justice system! It's a surprise 'Capital Punishment' was abolished!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 10:46am
You get the feeling that Juventus are on the verge of something special under Conte and I just hope that being hamstrung for 10 months will not derail them too much.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 10:43am
No matter what the haters try to do, Juve will continue to be Juve.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 10:37am
Carrera have our full support and Conte is only banned from being on the bench, giving interviews and entering the locker room. Other then that, he is allowed to train with the team so hopefully it won't affect the team too much...

Forza Bianconeri !!!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 10:32am
Why can the italian federation not recognise that, the italian teams are suffering in Europe, down to three champions league places, and in a season where it is imperative that the terams do well, they remove Conte, based on weak evidence, hearing what they want to. They have yet again succeeded in haulting the progress of Juve. They have dropped the charges against so many other people, it is a disgrace. Juve will miss his passion on the sidelines, but shall try to prevail.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 10:19am
Full support to Carrera! Forza Juvenile
on the 11th August, 2012 at 8:59am
No evidence, only the word of a corrupt parasite in spite of the testimonies of 23 other squad members, and conte gets hit with a ban. Was the judge a former Inter shareholder like in 2006? They fabricated one scandal against Juve in 2006 and it couldnt destroy them, it wont happen now.
on the 11th August, 2012 at 8:47am
In Carrera We Trust!
on the 11th August, 2012 at 8:44am

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