Friday November 2 2012
Juve striker rotation misses target

Antonio Conte’s rotation policy is one of the reasons why Juventus may lack a consistent goalscorer, writes Antonio Labbate.

“I don’t think there is a problem in attack,” stated match-day boss Angelo Alessio after Juventus’ 1-1 draw with Nordsjaelland in the Champions League. “We have five forwards in our squad and we firmly believe in their qualities. Sooner or later, these qualities will shine through.”

Not everyone is as convinced as the stand-in tactician. No matter what they say in Turin, there are those who are adamant that the Old Lady are missing an attacker who can net them 15-20 goals a season, a player who can resolve those complicated encounters with a single shot.

Indeed, the club’s much-publicised attempts to sign a big-name centre-forward which they constantly spoke about in the summer does little to strengthen Alessio’s claims. Especially when their search ultimately resulted in a desperate transfer deadline day loan swoop for Nicklas Bendtner.

Perceptions, however, do sometimes cloud reality. Look at the goals for column in the Serie A League table and Juventus have 22 in 10 games. Only Roma can match those strikes – and three of theirs were imaginary after being awarded victory for the postponed Cagliari encounter in Week 4.

Of course, only nine of Juventus’ aforementioned 22 have come from forward players, while midfielders Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo have netted just as many as Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella. Yet, when you deconstruct the statistics a little bit further you have to wonder how much of a problem there really is ‘up top’ in Turin.

If anything, boss Antonio Conte’s rotation policy when it comes to his attackers is giving the wrong impression. He’s over-rotating them, thus depriving any of his men in that department a consistently long enough run in the first team to find the kind of form that could deliver as many goals as the illusive ‘top player’ they didn’t sign would have.

In their 14 official games this season – including the Italian Super Cup Final – Conte has fielded the same striking combination in successive ties on only two occasions. Break that down further and Giovinco has been named in the starting XI in five straight matches, Mirko Vucinic three, while Alessandro Matri, Bendtner and Quagliarella have done the same on just two occasions each. That lack of consistent playing time is undoubtedly a factor in performances and a lack of individual goals.

“Saturday’s Inter clash will be a great match, but I don’t know whether I will play as the Coach rotates all of the strikers he has available,” Quagliarella admitted after scoring the opener in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Bologna.

The individual case of Quagliarella is one of the most interesting. He is, by some distance, Juventus’ most potent attacking threat in Serie A this season seeing as his three goals have come in only 307 minutes of action. That’s an average of a goal every 102 minutes and is comfortably superior to Bendtner who has no goals in 202 minutes, Giovinco’s three in 604, Matri’s one in 200 and the rarely prolific Vucinic’s two in 620.

Quagliarella’s numbers don’t just look good inside Vinovo either. Open it out to the events of this Serie A campaign and he compares favourably to Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy who is getting a top-flight goal every 119 minutes, Napoli’s Edinson Cavani on 124, Miroslav Klose of Lazio on 140 and Diego Milito’s Inter average of 176.

That’s not to say that Quagliarella is necessarily the answer to Juventus’ so-called problems in attack, but he remains more than a decent striker, one who would be on the fringes of the Italian national squad again if he was at a smaller club who could guarantee him the playing time he needs. And that’s because when talent alone isn’t enough, form is the next best thing.

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Have your say...
If Juventus had Daid Villa and Fernando Torres this blog would never had been written. Total cost somewhere between 30-45 mill. Bendtner is slow and useless. By the way I would love to see two row of seats above the VIP seats instead of pictres and if Juventus could find a way to remove the cables in the four cornes, streching from the roof to the ground, it would improve the view and architecture in an already impressive stadium. Forza Juventus.
on the 7th November, 2012 at 10:27am
@ Sam De Martino

I agree with your arguement for bringing in Llorente in January and David Villa next summer. I think the problem at the moment is that Quagliarella, Vucinic and Giovinco are all 2nd strikers. Llorente would give us a reference point up front and allow the others to play off him. Bendtner will go back to Arsenal and I think Matri will be sold. David Villa would be an amazing signing and like Di Natale his age is irrelevant as he is a natural goalscorer and that will never alter.
on the 7th November, 2012 at 3:52am
2 things I'll never understand:
1. WHY did Marotta have to bring Bendtner in? Just for the sake of bringing in a striker? He's not even near what Juve searched for in the summer. I'd honestly take Borriello over him though, if these 2 were the only options, I'd bring in nobody, 4 players already play as strikers + it'd not be a bad idea to try Giaccherini out in that position as well IMO.
2. What are Conte et al saving Quagliarella for? The best goalscorer Juve have and they play Bendtner...
on the 5th November, 2012 at 3:00pm
Quagliarella should be a regular. He is scoring so why keep rotating the attack? Does Conte expect him to score in every single match?

It seems that the rotations won't hurt Juve in the Serie A but it's going to hurt them in the CL. The bianconeri need to win every single match in order to progress.
on the 3rd November, 2012 at 12:22pm
@Henry354, I disagree with you re: SES. He does deserve praise. He works hard for the 90 minutes and the goals are his reward for this. He cannot help it if his team, aside from Montolivo, are not playing well. What I like about SES is his hunger. Too many players, play in fits & starts, whereas SES always shows for the ball. This is one of the things that I love about Messi, & it appears that SES also has this ethic.
on the 3rd November, 2012 at 9:59am
We can score the goals with our strikers now, but he switches it up far too much. Matri scored something like 10 or so goals last season before Conte started rotating him out. We're all aware of Quags ability, he also found the net consistently before his injury last season and finds the net (usually) when he plays this season. blame is on Conte on this one.
on the 3rd November, 2012 at 1:17am
Daniel gambrone is right we need to let marrone and pogba to play more often so pirlo marchisio or Vidal can get more rest and the same. Goes for rest of the squad..conte needs a 2nd 1 st team squad so the team can be fresh for seriea and cl. Anyway I still think the two best strikers to play are matri and quags..vicinity is too wasteful and isn't a threat. Her can e very good to watch but a lot more times he will be wasteful
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 10:12pm
thats why the forwards dont score they are always playing infront of the defense when they shouldnt for aguero be careful what you wish for i believe hes agent or father or both said that why would he play for juventus he wants to play for a big club hmm really clearly haven't looked at the history difference. south American players are mercenaries for the most part always have been and it isnt hard to score in the spanish league or prem lets be honest just look at the scores in week.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 5:10pm
when man utd and arsenal was at their best they used this to great effect if we all had a pound for the amount of times when arsenal and man utd scored after defending a corner we would all be loaded 15 /20 seconds later from defending a corner it would be in the back of the net at the other end.juventus get this week in week out numerous times to break out of defense but pirlo vucinic and vidal kill the break by slowing the game down its so annoying and becoming a joke.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 5:07pm
i have to comment on this the strikers at juventus should have 30 goals in them at least but i say it again juventus dont break quick enough when they turn the ball over the midfield just dont go back to front and hit the front men early enough its as simple as that pirlo and vidal take the pace out of a counter all the time and as a striker like matri quag it kills their run and the yard of space has gone.whats worse conte should be seeing this from the stands.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 5:04pm
Those of you who think you will get torres and villa for 35 mill are mad. They will cost uou that 35, EACH
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 5:01pm
I hope juventus looses hard vs inter,they should vê banned from calcio
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 4:15pm
Matri was at his best playing cf in the 4-3-3 with Vucinic and Pepe on his wing. The problem with this formation is your sitting on of your CB's who are probably the best back 3 in football.

They haven't created a good duo up front. I think it should be Quad and Vucinic.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 3:46pm
don't people think that its wierd that the highest goal scorer in the leagues team is 12th??? doesn't this imply that they aren't good team players if they get goals but there team doesn't win games???

i don't see why people are praising el sha, when his team is 12th.

i think a lot can be said for 4 strikers who don't mind being rotated at the top level, and want to contribute each time they are on the pitch, and shows a great overall team ethos.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 3:21pm
Juve need to pull out all the stops to get llorente in january, and focus on getting villa in the summer. Also ditch Lucio in January he is past him best. They need to get rid of Matri also in January and use that money towards signings. If Juve can manage those signings then next season they can have a really good crack at the champions league. Villa, Llorente, Vucinic, Quags and Giovinco would be an amazing attack. Quags just needs more playing time and to stay injury free.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 3:13pm
It is kind of ironic when Conte rotates most of his team, apart from his oldest outfield player. Pirlo is a fantastic player, but I would like to see him given the occassional breather, just to keep him at his sharpest. What compounds this, is that Prandelli does the same thing, especially when he has Verratti waiting in his squad. Both Juve & Italy are far too dependent on him, and really should blood Marrone &Verratti, so they have a tested back-up plan, should the maestro get injured.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 2:53pm
@ pat - where did i ssay get Aguero?! read whats written properly pal
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 2:40pm
Good point! Rotation doesn't really help the strikers, just like Allegri's rotation of Milan's cb's doesn't help cohesion.
Juve create a lot of chances, but maybe not enough for the strikers. The midfielders and wing-backs often shoot instead of supplying the front line.
Somebody on here said that it doesn't matter because Juve are unbeaten in 49. I say it does, especially when it comes to the CL, and higher level opposition.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 2:37pm
I can see most of the things people are saying but just don't really disagree or agree. At the moment we are doing enough but if we had a striker that could score early in the game then games smaller teams will fold a bit earlier and we can give players like Marchisio more of a rest. The one clear mistake Conte has done was Boriello being elevated above Matri last year. Matri hasn't be the same since.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 1:23pm
Del Piero - Trez = Gio - Bendtner. If we can agree on the fact, that Juve doesn't have a world class striker, the solution will be to assemble the best strike force. We all now Conte will play with at least two strikers in all matches and with exactly two in about 90 per cent of these, so lets rank duos and not waste time on arguing where Juve strikers rank internally. I reckon a Gio/Bendtner combination will get Juve most attacking possibilities and the best strikerate. Runners up: Matri/Vuc.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 1:13pm
I am very positive about Bendtner. A few more games and he will find the net. He really stands out from rest of the strikers in the squad with his physics.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 12:58pm
There is no problem in my view. Juve depend on the team as whole and do not focus on the attack, or midfield or defence. Everybody attacks, everybody defends.

As a result, every single player in the team scores. That's Conte's philosophy.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 12:53pm
@pat I think @manni is saying that Juventus could've signed Aguero before Man city did and he's right, we could've easily signed Aguero if we didn't waste 9mil on Elia, that money could've gone towards a world class striker. In this day and age it's near enough impossible to buy a world class striker on the cheap, the only realistic targets I can think of and who would cost around 30million is Suarez, Lewandowski, Fernando Torres and Higuain.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 12:45pm
This is a squad that plays like a team, and yes they lack the " big name" forward, but maybe that isn't such a bad thing? But I think that when you have 25 shots on goal and only 9 on goal, something has to be done. Yet they don't need to splash out for a big name which will mean a big ego- maybe they should spend more time on target practice?
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 12:34pm
Undefeated in 49 league games. Who the hell cares who's scoring? If Juve signed my grandmother and they still remained undefeated I wouldn't even care. Plain and simple, they are winning, they are scoring, they are healthy. We don't need to dump 40 million on a striker unless we were losing. Save your cash, develop your youth, keep your current squad confident.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 12:34pm
So far great comments and i must agree with most of them. Benny you have a point Quagliarella is prolific but he either scores or he doesn't not much else that he does during a game. Vucinic is scoring at the right moments he never was a 20+ goal scorer he is the answer when all else fails. Matri is too static in my opinion and Giovinco simply to small to make much of a difference in the box. Dzeko and Aguero would have been perfect for us but neither will join us now from City.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 12:01pm
The scoring rates of Quagliarella are indeed remarkable. But I think with him there is a problem of being invisible too much. Even when El Shaarawy and Cavani don't score, they still remain dangerous and they contribute on other aspects of the game. Quagliarella doesn't. Or he scores, or he doesn't with little other contributions. I think that's the major reason why he doesn't get a run of games. It's not all about statistics.
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 11:18am
Qaugliarella has just come back from a long injury but is still our most prolific striker, and has the experience to. Make great movement take his chances and works well with the entire juve squad except with vucinic cause there always left in each others way, if juventus was to bring in a target man like Llorente or Dzeko then u'd need qaugs or giovinco to be the creative force, we need another del perio + trezuguet partnership!
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 10:40am
@manni wat world do u live in?? juve couldnt get rvp suarez or lorente.. how the hell do u think juve could sign aguero???? why would city selll and wy would he leave??? u dont knw much about football
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 10:38am
When matri was on scoring form that's because he was getting a run of games and would have easily stayed on form if he got more games to start, as for giovinco he can be played as a wide player to or 2nd striker which he enjoys the role and creates havoc for opposition defence, vucinic I have lost patients with, against good goal keepers or not he doesn't live up to the potiental he showed towards the end of last season espically superb goals against milan fiorentina..
on the 2nd November, 2012 at 10:29am

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