Wednesday November 7 2012
Juventus in need of a reaction

Juventus lost their unbeaten record on Saturday and, as Luca Cetta writes, they need to rediscover their hunger tonight against Nordsjaelland.

There was something in the air in the black and white half of Turin on Sunday. It was a sensation rarely felt since May 2011. Then it was another in a line of continual disappointments. This was more unexpected. After 49 Serie A games without tasting defeat, Juventus witnessed their run come to a screeching halt at the hands of bitter rivals Inter. Not since Parma’s 2-0 win in Week 37 of season 2010-11 had they placed a stroke in the L column. Nine games prior was the last home defeat, against Milan. Like a never-ending goods train Juventus chugged along undefeated.

Antonio Conte now faces a first in his Bianconeri stint – rebounding from a loss. They’ve lost before under the former captain, the Coppa Italia Final last term. But on that occasion they did not have to bounce back four days later. This loss dented their aura of invincibility, which Conte needs to drill into his players again. Perhaps he will turn to the mythical ‘bat of nails’ to gain the required reaction. It did wonders for joker in the pack Simone Pepe last season.

Short of greeting every player with a whack of the bat as they entered Vinovo after the loss, Conte would have reminded his squad at training that this season is no cruise, even for the deemed favourites. Recent performances – even if the right results were obtained – proved that. Saturday also proved that.

It followed the recent trend. Starting well, switching off then finishing with a late flurry. Perhaps after taking the lead Juventus expected to walk away with a win, after all it had occurred so many times during the past year. This was to be different. The Bianconeri were punished by a team in fine form who tactically out-thought the Turin giants. As they pushed at the death Juve were hit at the other end.

Captain Gianluigi Buffon felt Juventus were carefree. “I did not like our attitude after we went 1-0 up. I don’t understand why we sat there waiting for them outside our own box, we were far too carefree. In my view we could’ve dealt with the game differently, but after 15 minutes we just left the initiative to them.”

Not since the demolition of Roma have Juventus battered an opponent. Gone are the swashbuckling displays of 2011-12, replaced by in-part brilliance and individual moments. With the additions to the calendar it is to be expected the level of intensity will not remain at its peak constantly. And after the drop, it is up to Conte to remind the team only with hard work will they prevail.

Aside from the change in mentality, the visit of Nordsjaelland is a chance to alter personnel. Bring in players hungry to succeed, players with something to prove. Paul Pogba, Fabio Quagliarella and Mauricio Isla fit the bill. Another has been guaranteed a spot from the first whistle – Alessandro Matri will start in place of the injured Mirko Vucinic.

The Old Lady is aware anything less than a win over the Danes will signal the end of her Champions League campaign. This means snapping the European draw-a-thon. They must put Nordsjaelland to the sword, boosting confidence and qualification chances. Use anger of the weekend loss to spur them. Channel their inner-Conte and Juve will be on their way towards victory.

As Buffon indicated the run had to end at some point. In context of the Champions League, possibly it came at the right time as Juventus looks to rediscover their verve in a must-win circumstance. As far as Serie A is concerned, Juve remains first with the second best attack and equal-second best defence. One loss is not a disaster. They just need a reminder of what this Juventus is about.

Have your say...
Juve need a worldclass striker! Not only a scorer but someone who keeps possession upfront.Giovinco & Quagliarella lose possession in 3 seconds after the first touch!We will never forgive Marotta if he doesnt do it as soon as possible.My concern is that Marotta never managed a big club before Juve,hence he doesnt think big. He's satisfied with average players.
Juve are still superior in SerieA.Europe is our weakness!Anything less than 3-0 tonight is a sign of imminent elimination!
on the 7th November, 2012 at 12:14pm
Well, the run had to come to an end at some point. Let's just move on. Plus, let us not forget that Juve is missing their leader on match days. No matter how much traininig they do during the week, little tweaks here on there on match days and instructions shouted from touch line, can make a huge difference. I am just looking forward to when Conte will be back in Dec.
on the 7th November, 2012 at 12:10pm
I don't think all the blame has to go to Alessio, but we all have to give credit to Inter for winning especially after falling behind on a offside goal. I still don't believe that Inter were the better team they got some help and ultimately they were ready to take the help and turn it into a fine win. It is clear that our Juve is still not mature enough to deal with both domestic and International demands. If we prevail this year & have no more issues with courts, we can expect more next year.
on the 7th November, 2012 at 12:01pm
The way Juve play now will determine whether they ready to compete in Europe. I mean a team that folds after 1 loss in their domestic league is hardly CL material. BTW Luca, what do you mean by " bat of nails"? Speaking hypotheticaly I hope ;)
on the 7th November, 2012 at 11:50am
Well said, good article but i have to say at the beginning of this season the first 6 games to be exact we were more effective than at any point last year winning games by 2,3 goals every time out (in serie a) the past couple of weeks have been very different with lucky wins and/or wins by 1 goal.So as you said towards the end it could be that this loss was needed for us to rediscover that hunger, starting with tonight. FORZA JUVE!!
on the 7th November, 2012 at 11:31am
i completely agree with Mustafa
on the 7th November, 2012 at 11:30am
They need to play with more tempo and play in behind teams rather than in front of them, for me they need to counter quicker with more urgency use the width more more with the switch which is on mo
st of the time and the cb need to bring the ball out of the defence into the midfield rather than playing the ball into the midfield pogba needs to play more in my opinion
on the 7th November, 2012 at 11:19am
why u juve fans keep shouting about conte cos juve lost on the pitch and inter beat them on the pitch not by waiting for official favour cos that is what juve believe in. Thief cacciopoli team
on the 7th November, 2012 at 11:03am
Alessio jus does not seem to have any kind of personality at all & does not seem to pass anything on to the team on match days, Carrera seemed to be more involved. Conte cannot come back fast enough but i feel we need to rotate the midfield and switch back to the 4,3,3 which we played very well last season. if we lose possesion using 3,5,2 and play against pace we are in trouble its happened already, also lacking in pace in the forward line, plus we need a top left side as the teams not balanced
on the 7th November, 2012 at 10:42am
Juve certainly need a big reaction. Marti is rubbish cant believe it looks like he is starting. Quags should be starting its ridiculous. Mirko out is a big blow for Juve. Keep saying it, get llorente in january and villa in the summer and get rid of matri and lucio. Its win or bust tonight. Milan need 4 points from there last 2 games, its going to be tough but I think milan can do it. We desperately need milan and juve in the knockout stages for the sake of our football.
on the 7th November, 2012 at 10:37am
Juve needs to stop rotating the forward line and pick a solid duo. Quagliarella is in the best form so it should be him partnered with either Vucinic or Giovinco.

Juve must also aim to win all of their remaining group matches. The CL is the ultimate competition at club level and if Juve progresses to the next stage and beyond it will reflect better on the Serie A. The rotten performances by Italian clubs this season has to stop and Juve can start by beating the Danes.
on the 7th November, 2012 at 10:37am
A home loss against an eternal rival, Juve already got what they NEED, a lash on the back of their players. Now all of their opponents will be miserable.

I also agree with Mustafa, not trying to say that Alessio is bad, but Carrera emulated Conte better than Alessio which was panicky against Strama, not to mention Carrera already won a trophy for Juve so Conte should use him to lead the boys on game days instead of Alessio.

on the 7th November, 2012 at 10:32am
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.
on the 7th November, 2012 at 10:24am
Everybody knew there would be time that Juve would struggle since he was banned. They couldn't beat him on the pitch so they went to courts.

For the time being, I would rather see Carrera back than Alessio. Since he took over, Juve performance' been dropping game by game.

Juve just need Conte back.

on the 7th November, 2012 at 10:01am

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