Sunday December 9 2012
Welcome back, Conte

The four-month ban is over and Antonio Conte returns to the touchline this afternoon, as Susy Campanale sees the Juventus wild animal unleashed.

He looked like a caged animal, prowling back and forth in the little Perspex box high above the pitch of various stadiums around Italy and Europe. Interrupting the constant nibbling of nails only to shout and scream at players who couldn’t hear him, the experience must’ve deafened director Fabio Paratici, whose job it was to sit next to Antonio Conte on match days. Now, after 122 days, the Coach is finally back on the touchline as Juventus visit Palermo in the Stadio Barbera.

The reasoning behind the four-match ban for failing to alert authorities to a potential fix has been covered before, so I shall leave that to one side. That is in the past and what’s done is done. The important thing now is that Conte is where he belongs and is the real mid-season reinforcement Juve needed.

This is a team that needs to be shouted at, which is why it is absolutely no coincidence that the Bianconeri dipped in form during Angelo Alessio’s brief tenure. The assistant manager is a lovely man, bless him, but really not a shouter. He is quiet, reflective and tends to sit in silence on the bench looking a little forlorn. Massimo Carrera may only have been a member of staff rather than Conte’s right hand man, but he embodied more of the charisma, determination and leadership qualities than Alessio could ever muster. I’m pretty sure half-time team talks were left down to Carrera in Conte’s absence, for when you need a hairdryer treatment rather than a mini-fan.

None of that matters now, because The Boss is back. Conte was an essential figure in the Scudetto triumph because he brought his personality and desire to win into the team. These perhaps aren’t the most skilful or spectacular players in Serie A, but as a well-drilled unit they stand above the rest. They are only a unit because of their General giving orders and keeping everyone in line.

It’s true that Conte’s ban did not stop him leading day to day training and pre-match talks, but Juventus have shown they can dip in intensity and need to be kept on their toes. You’ll see that they daren’t let up by an inch when the fiery Lecce native is there to snap at their heels. The wild animal is out of his cage, so you’d better run...

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Have your say...
I'm sorry but I can't welcome back a man that was proven to have turned a blind eye to max fixing,but hey this is juve were talking about.I shouldn't say that rem welcome back conte!
on the 12th December, 2012 at 10:01pm
@ Savonarota

A Juventus dip lasts one game and if you think we will not be able to handle (note the correct spelling) the pressure of duel European and Serie A campaigns, you are going to be left very disappointed. We are so mentally tough and one player away from blowing all challengers out of the water. Inter are liable to lose any game at any time and Napoli can't win the big matches. Neither are consistent enough over a prolonged series of matches to be considered a serious threat.
on the 10th December, 2012 at 8:33pm
Juve donimated every game they played in Serie A this year. Expect the two losses and the tie against Flo. Why, because even though the team had their pep talk the week leading in, they needed a mid game move to change things. This was their handicap without Conte. Now he is back. I can't wait for these return fixtures.
on the 10th December, 2012 at 6:08pm
@Daniel Giambrone

I agree with you, he should be punished if for nothing else the yellow card and his suspension for the next game.

However our image doesn't suffer from these incidents as the player immediately apologized and i think most neutrals found this rather funny.
on the 10th December, 2012 at 2:46pm
@Daniel Giambrone - shut up and go play hop skotch, leave football to the real men
on the 10th December, 2012 at 1:17pm

Bonucci should not be punished, he was funny !

I laughed like a drain !
on the 10th December, 2012 at 11:49am
Off topic, but what do you lot think of Bonucci's dive? IMO it has to be the most pathetic thing that I have seen on a football pitch. It was was so bad that I had to laugh. I hope that Conte has a word with him, because actions like this do not do Juve's public image any good: which is the last thing that Juve need right now. Quags got disciplined for his misbehavior, although Bonucci's offense was different, I hope that he is also punished internally.
on the 10th December, 2012 at 9:48am
1) I think our interim-coaches did winderful jobs: more points in the league than last year and took 12 out of 18 points in the CL! Juve have lost the energy sometimes, this due to the higher amount of games and not because of the coach on the touchline.
2) juve are compared to soldiers with little talent. really, what is talent? is it kerlon holding a ball on his forehead? I believe talent is the combination of pace, intelligence and instinct, like marchisio. and he is not the only example...
on the 10th December, 2012 at 8:39am
I can see milan, inter, napoli and the rest of the seria and CL clubs lamenting over the return of the wild animal that has just been set free.I and the remaining juventino in nigeria here are seriously celebrating the return of lord Conte!!! Forza Juveeeeee
on the 10th December, 2012 at 7:52am
@Savonarota: let's see how long you will keep supporting your arrogant coach. Conte is back, now I want to see how your coach will defeat juve. Milan have also found their spirit back, so don't be so cocky.

I am more worried about milan than your team. Allegri is much better than your overrated arrogant coach.
on the 10th December, 2012 at 5:21am
A very well drilled unit, and I dont know what the writer means by not the most skillful players in serie A! Pirlo is clearly the most skillful player in Italy, and probably the best Italian in the last decade and added to that Juventus have Marchisio and Vidal, two players with a higher skill level than anyone I can thin of in Serie A. We have the best defenders too, and Buffon as GK! The only players in serie A who would really make an improvement to Juve's skill levels are Hamsik and Cavani
on the 10th December, 2012 at 3:07am
At last
Our coach has come along
Our lonely days are over
And Juve will be strong!!!
Welcome back Antonio,
We've missed you a lot.
God bless you!!!
on the 10th December, 2012 at 2:14am
@Formica anonima

Actually along with Lewandowski, Ibisevic has always been one of my favorites, i have followed him since his Hoffenheim days before his long term injury, i remember he was breaking goal scoring records that Gerd Muller had set during his playing days. However the injury prevented him from actually breaking the one record that counts. He is also amongst top three rated forwards in Germany not sure how much worth to put on that but in 287 games he has scored 111 goals
on the 10th December, 2012 at 2:00am
Yes he is a good coach, but run away !!!

Maybe because he always jumps like a monkey and shouts like a crying baby!

Let's hope Juve is up to the task in CL =)
Conte is over rated.
on the 9th December, 2012 at 11:59pm

Ibisevic is nowhere near good enough for a team like Juve. If he hadn't scored a hat trick the other day I'm sure you wouldn't have had him in any list of possible buys
on the 9th December, 2012 at 9:08pm
Lol this blog and the comments r hilarious. Yes, conte is a good coach and yes I am glad he is back. But saying "so you'd better run" lol that is relly corny and makes it sound like the return of lord voldemort or something. Ppl need to relax and just observe how conte handles the CL. If he wins the treble then I will join in and make corny comments, but if he doesn't then you guys really need to stop the butt kissing. I'm guessing knee pads will be your presents for xmas then
on the 9th December, 2012 at 6:03pm
With Conte back, we have a win over Palermo, the question now is who do we sign in January?

Question on the Juventini, What are your thoughts on the following players? if they could arrive in January:

Lewandowski, Ibisevic, Llorente, Drogba!

I personally prefer Lewandowski or Ibisevic based on their age and ability!
on the 9th December, 2012 at 4:19pm
Juve will find it tough to Handel pressures of Europe and serie a, I see a dip in form and inter winning scudetto
on the 9th December, 2012 at 4:10pm
Good to have Antonio Conte back on the bench.
His intensity can only help the team remain focused
Juventus now have to dip into the transfer market in January.For a Striker to get those important goals!!
Especially if they want to progress further in the champions league.
on the 9th December, 2012 at 3:28pm
....I'm more excited than Conte for his return! EUROPE BETTER WATCH OUT!
on the 9th December, 2012 at 11:28am
on the 9th December, 2012 at 10:42am
Yes, excatly "you’d better run"

Let's see how Stramaccioni & Allegri can beat Juve again !

"which is why it is absolutely no coincidence that the Bianconeri dipped in form during Angelo Alessio’s brief tenure."

"Massimo Carrera may only have been a member of staff rather than Conte’s right hand man, but he embodied more of the charisma, determination and leadership qualities than Alessio could ever muster"

FINALLY, somebody admits that !

Me, and every Juventino knew that all along.
on the 9th December, 2012 at 10:41am
A message to the rest of Serie A teams, your happy days are up, now each of you will taste his wrath, his army will strike terror and bombard their opponents whoever they are wherever they may be.

Bentornato Mister Conte!
on the 9th December, 2012 at 10:31am

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