Friday September 21 2012
Give Quagliarella a go

Fabio Quagliarella has never been guaranteed a place in the Juventus side under Antonio Conte, but Dylan Fahy argues the striker deserves his chance from the start this weekend. 

They say it takes a striker several games to return to optimal scoring form after the fatigues of the seasonal break and lingering pains from the previous campaign. This was not the case for Fabio Quagliarella. Before his exceptional substitute display for Juventus in his first ever Champions League outing against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, the 29-year-old had only played 15 minutes of first team football.

The Italian international netted the vital equaliser in a 2-2 draw and constantly probed the European Champions’ defence for the Bianconeri, in their biggest match of the last three years. But before replacing Sebastian Giovinco with a quarter of an hour left to play, the Neapolitan had only figured in the closing stages of the Old Lady’s 4-1 victory over Udinese over a fortnight ago. And, in all honesty, a collective sigh of “why him?” from some sections of Juve fans was notable when the change was made.  

The Turin-based giants chased Robin Van Persie, Stevan Jovetic and later Fernando Llorente throughout the summer in search of a European pedigree striker. Danish international Nicklas Bendtner was ultimately the man the Bianconeri faithful had to settle with, as he was brought in on loan from Arsenal.  The controversial 24-year-old is arguably no better than the club already had on their books, so the question begged – who will be the main man this season? 

Montenegrin Mirko Vucinic has to date stepped up to the plate up top for Antonio Conte’s side, having netted on four occasions this term, three for club and one for country. The second striker role in the preferred 3-5-2 formation is therefore disputed amongst other players, and Quagliarella has to date proved to be the most consistent with fewer opportunities.

Since purchasing Giovinco outright from Parma in the summer the Atomic Ant has played a predominant role in every match for the Turin-based giants but only scored twice, both of which came against Udinese. His severe lack of muscle against Chelsea was evidently clear, as not once did he get the better of John Terry and David Luiz.

Top-scorer last season with 10 successful strikes, Alessandro Matri has also featured in every game to date, but is yet to find the back of the net.  His presence upfront has been made clear, but squandering chances such as that against Genoa last weekend could prove costly in future.

Bendtner arrived in Piedmont overweight and evidently fatigued from the European Championships, and has yet to make his debut. Denmark did not get out of their group, but a spirited side with the Arsenal man as a spearhead troubled the Netherlands, Portugal and Germany.

On the basis of form Quagliarella deserves his chance as Juventus host Chievo on Saturday evening. Last season was clearly not the former Torino man’s best, but it was his first full campaign back after knee ligament damage. But having signed a contract extension that will take him up to 2015 in northern Italy, it is time he finally cements a place in Conte’s starting XI.

“I always sit there hoping to a) start or b) to come off the bench. Maybe earlier than the last 10 minutes!” admitted the scorer of spectacular goals in midweek. His motivation to contribute could also bring back a small bit of that hunger from last season that has been missing at times.

The fact of the matter is the more time the former Sampdoria man spends on the sidelines the more his match fitness levels will go down. Subsequently, his incredible talent to find the top corner from any feasible angle will go to waste and Juventus, with their striking options, simply can’t afford that.

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Have your say...
Yesterdays performance against fiorentina sums it all up....on the bench outside on the street is where he belongs. Not consistent and number 71 is what his shirt number should be! Forza Napoli
on the 26th September, 2012 at 9:53am
Totally agree, Quagliarella is 10 times the player that Giovinco is. Although Quags didn't especially do himself any favours in the Fiorentina game, he still deserves a run and it should be a case of him + either Vutch/Matri/Bendtner.

By the way, a blog please on why on EARTH Juve are persisting with a forward who has the strength of a 10 year old girl? Not Juve class, never has been, never will be. Sorry, rant over.
on the 25th September, 2012 at 10:36pm
yeah... PROVEN!!!!
on the 24th September, 2012 at 5:16am
I'm sure he would play all the time if he wasn't so injury prone... Very talented player as we're seeing at the moment.
on the 23rd September, 2012 at 3:33pm
Quag is a very good player, when italy bowed out miserably in WC 2010 it was only quag who made something usefull in the thier 3-2 loss. Giovinco should play his game an not wait or the referree to give him a free kick everytime someone comes near him. Against chelsea i saw him more willing to fall than run with the ball. He will do well in Serie A and in CL simply because not all teams have stupid bulls in the likes of terry and david luiz.
on the 23rd September, 2012 at 10:42am
Calling Cesare Prandelli, I have 2 words for you FABIO QUAGLIARELLA.
on the 23rd September, 2012 at 9:38am
It's a funny for they who judge gio is not juve material or whatever while they give hype for quag who just scored. Of course any player needs a time to settle. Gio might not a best performer but during his time at parma, he didn't do at once, he took a while before he can actually played his football. Didn't you remember what happened with nedved when he just arrived? even player his level need almost 6 months before he showed the world he was world beater...
on the 23rd September, 2012 at 12:42am
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 11:37pm
great player hope he carries on scoring!
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 9:38pm
Well apparently Conte must have read this article and started Quagliarella this week. Of course he didn't disappointing by giving Juve a 2-0 lead. One of his goals, a spectacular scissor kick, to give Juve the lead.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 8:58pm
He is an incredible talent: just youtube his Sampdoria goals! He has, in my opninion, scored some of the best goals of all time. His time at Juve has been fragmented by injury, and little playing time. Some people label him inconsistent, but I would argue that it is hard to be consistent when you are not consistently in the team. I would be inclined to give him a long run in the team. He could become another Di Natale, in that he will show his true worth in the final quarter of his career.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 2:47pm
fabio could be scoring against chievo to proof himself.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 1:19pm
I think Gio's technique needs work. Xavi and Messi are little guys, but they never let anyone take the ball off them without drawing the foul. They keep themselves between the player and the ball at all times. Until he develops this skill he will only be useful against the smaller teams in Serie A who 'park the bus', which is what we originally bought him back for. I don't think he is CL material just yet.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 12:26pm
If Juventus where to give Quagliarella a run of games and play him more regularly I believe he could force his way into prandelli s squad. Borini and Giovinco arent good enough for me. Quagliarella has scored goals for us in qualfiers and at 2010 world cup where again he had little playing time. I dont know why people go on about Giovinco, hes had chances at european and international level and always falls short. A good club player for serie A but thats all.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 10:38am
What a great blog. Couldnt agree more Quagliarella is a top striker who is very underrated. He was immense when he came on against Chelsea. I remember in 2010 world cup against slovakia when he came on and scored and had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside he was immense. Lots of passion and fight, he doesnt give up and if given a run of games can further prove his worth. Giovinco is very overated in my view good at club level but well short at european and international level.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 10:33am
As good as Quagliarella is, it seems that Giovinco and Vucinic will be the preferred attacking duo. It all depends on Giovinco and if he can keep providing assists and score goals. Vucinic seems to be the main man in attack but the old excuse of Giovinco's height will be a telling factor, especially if he has to face two tall centre-backs.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 9:34am
Conte and Carrera should let Quagliarella and Bendtner feature in tonights game against Chievo.
I would also like to see Pogba in tonights match. Maybe Vidal will be rested - he is our key player, so we shouldn't gamble with him - and we don't need to with the quality we have in midfield. We got six games in less than three weeks.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 8:11am
He does not deserve his place in the starting line up and should be a bench warmer. He should also wear the number 71 shirt...forza Napoli!
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 6:46am
...and give Pirlo a break too, he looked kind of burned out right now..Isla should be capable enough.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 4:36am
I said it this entire transfer window, Quagliarella is the complete striker Juventus have been looking for and are too blind to see it.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 2:49am
Let's all CALM DOWN! I was happy for Quag but let's not go crazy. He's not better than Giovinco in any way, shape or form. Yes, Gio played terrible against Chelsea and would be better in a 4-3-3 which could be used to break down smaller sides. I agree that Quag deserves a start but Gio is still better and has played good in all 3 league games this year. In reality it was just one bad game, even though it was a big game at that.
on the 22nd September, 2012 at 1:10am
Quaglirella is quality and underrated. I agree with DN giovinco not quit to Juventus standard, maybe super sub that's it.
on the 21st September, 2012 at 8:30pm
Fabio Quagliarella was my pick at the start of the season for a break out year. Before his injury during the Del Neri season he was lights out playing with Del Piero.
on the 21st September, 2012 at 8:21pm
Giovinco would work well with 3 up front, with less pressure on him, where he can work the outside and dot in, but with 2 up front and 5 at the back, where holding the ball up is vital to bring other players in, he hasnt got the muscle or the presence.

as far as im concerned gio should be thrown on the pile with pepe
on the 21st September, 2012 at 7:16pm
We have too many strikers that are all around the same level of quality - making it a thin line and basically guesswork of who should be starting, and who should be coming off the bench.
on the 21st September, 2012 at 6:27pm
Giovinco can't get the better of defenders when they're instantly in front of him, he needs to be able to run at them, like David Silva, who is almost as small and not very strong himself. Witness the trouble he caused Chelsea in 2009 in Turin, albeit from a wide role. He should be deployed as the deeper playing striker, always. That said despite Gio's height he could still put on a little muscle without losing speed I think.

But give Quag a go, absolutely.
on the 21st September, 2012 at 5:54pm
that's what i dont like about today's juve. we looking for solutions that we already have. including let ADP go, something that I never thought possible to happen.
on the 21st September, 2012 at 4:40pm
To be honest, I feel sorry for both Matri and Quags as they have both had an amazing stint of 6 months over the last couple of years but consistency has been poor as Quags suffered a serious knee injury while Conte decided to drop Matri for Borrielli for some reason!!!

I am at a loss as to why Conte brought Giovinco back - he is too short, too weak, too slow, too lazy and basically not juve standard. He looked great for parma because they are a mid-table team - look at Diamanti or Pellisier
on the 21st September, 2012 at 4:12pm
Quags needs to given the faith and decent, lengthy opportunities!
on the 21st September, 2012 at 3:37pm
Absolutely agree, quagliarella showed incredible calm to score that goal against chelsea - one on one chances are easy to scuff but then he took it with just such supreme confidence. Then he went on to skim the bar as well, the club hasn't exactly shown faith in him, he hasn't played regularly since the injury and yet he hardly showed any effects of lack of playing time, and that was in the biggest stage of club football. Quagliarella is back! He needs to be given his fair share of chances
on the 21st September, 2012 at 3:27pm

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