Saturday April 6 2013
Where's the Juve intensity?

Juventus have shown if they are not at their best physically, then it’s a very different team, warns Susy Campanale.

The side wearing black and white stripes in Munich last Tuesday really did not look like Juventus. They were wearing Juve jerseys and had the right names on their backs, in some cases even the right beards, but they all seemed like cheap copies of the originals. That can’t have been the real Juve... Yet the performance against bottom of the table Pescara provided more of the same. I fear playing in two competitions has taken its toll on Antonio Conte’s men and taken away their distinctive characteristics too.

We have been saying since last year that the Bianconeri excelled in Serie A by working harder than any other team. They do not have a ‘top player’ in attack, so have to swarm the opposition with runs from midfield and smart passes to create their scoring opportunities. Their defects became their strengths, but that was a very unusual campaign. New Coach Conte had all week to prepare his players for the games, drilling his style of football into their minds at the same time as they trained six days a week to remain fresh as daisies. Winning the Scudetto brought other responsibilities with it, namely playing in the Champions League.

It was inevitable that Juventus could not dominate Serie A the same way while sharing their focus with European commitments. So far they have managed to keep on top of both competitions, but the last two performances against Bayern and Pescara suggest that fatigue is finally filtering through. Slow down the tempo and the work rate, you end up with a very different Juventus altogether.

The most telling thing about the 2-0 first leg quarter-final defeat in Munich was the way Juve continually gave the ball away under pressure. Andrea Pirlo was the worst culprit, reminding me of the reasons Milan opted to release the midfield maestro on a free transfer. When given time and space on the ball, Pirlo is simply in a class of his own. When harassed, he loses his habitual cool and opens up a motorway towards Gigi Buffon’s goal. Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio are meant to act as his bodyguards, but without full fitness levels they are not enough to protect him.

Italian commentators said during the game that “Bayern can’t possibly keep this tempo and intensity up.” They could and they did. Italians must stop assuming everyone needs to take a breather during a game the way their teams do, like a soccer siesta. This weekend Bayern Munich mathematically clinched the Bundesliga title with a ludicrous 20-point gap at the top of the table and for several weeks have been able to succeed even with second-string sides. Juventus change a few men and scrape a 2-1 victory over 10-man Pescara, who are propping up the table with one foot in Serie B. It’s no wonder the Germans looked so fresh and energetic compared to the Bianconeri.

On Saturday Juve dominated Pescara, but did so in a slow, sluggish and frustrating fashion. Ivan Pelizzoli played a blinder in goal, but even then the finishing was poor and the intensity sorely lacking. This team really was built in Conte’s image, based on grit, determination, hard work and intensity. Without them, Conte was a decent, but far from world class, midfielder. 

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Have your say...
@Mrgud 'Juventus will never be successful there as they never were'.

You may not be old enough to remember but Juventus have reached 4 CL finals in the last 16 years. They are considered by many to be in the top 10 teams in Europe right now and so I'd try and not let your obvious Juve-hate cloud your judgement if I were you.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 12:56pm

I rather have Monty at the moment then pirlo. So no, we don't wish for pirlo evey day.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 12:51pm

Easily the best team in seria a?? Lol, yeah lately they've been very entertaining (sarcasm). Their gonna win the league for sure, but easily best on the league, I doubt it
on the 7th April, 2013 at 12:48pm
Mrgud - Juventus have played 7 CL finals, it's a shame they won only two however getting in the final is a success in my opinion. In the last 2 decades they were 4 times in the final.
Also if Serie is not a serious competition for you than watch PL and don't write your stupid comments here.
You are the one who should wake up and educate yourself you moron.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 12:25pm

on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:56am
I can't believe that anyone expected some result from Juventus in CL. Wake up, it is Juventus and CL is a serious competition. Juventus will never be successful there as they never were.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:37am
Juve are easily the best side in Serie A, only after Wednesday can we criticise them in Europe!
on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:35am
susie we are 12 points clear ?? last year the league was alot tighter,what are you talking about ? complete and utter nonesense once again ,we are still a work in progress ,next couple of seasons champs league will be more realistic target forzajuve
on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:34am
susy.. for once, could you please separate professionalism and your hatred towards conte?

For the first time, I agree with all your points. This article would be great, if only you didn't write this:

"Without them, Conte was a decent, but far from world class, midfielder."

Conte was not ronaldo, messi or zidane. But far from world class? I don't think so.. only a stupid or blind people who said that. Which one are you??
on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:30am
The result of the long passes going into forwards that are not good at holding the ball up is that there was no play in the final third and thus few chances. Bayern shut down Juve's 'slow build up' game. Bayern played a better tactical game and with Juve's errors (especially Buffon the result was a foregone conclusion). The failure in Juve's performance was not intensity as you write but an inability to adapt to Bayern's tactics whether this was Conte's fault we will find out on Wednesday
on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:19am
The game yesterday was all about Pelizzoli prevented an easy 5-1. Had the game finished 4 or 5-1 then this blog wouldn't have been written, let's be honest here.

Juve against BM looked jaded but yesterday I saw long periods of intensity. I think maybe Susy saw a few seconds of the highlights and drew her conclusions from those. There were close to 30 shots made (13 on target and 1 post hit). Pelizzoli performed 3 miracles and a handful of other good saves. Not comparable to Tuesday last, sorry.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:14am
Suzy, If you knew what you were talking about you would explain how Bayern pressed Juve's back three into making bad passes and that if the ball reached Pirlo he would be pressed from the front and once having turned pressed by the forward players from behind essentially being double marked. U also would have remarked at how Robben's movement down Juve's left nullified the attacking threat on that side. Further u would have highlighted how this forced long passes in the air to the forwards
on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:10am

Every blog you refuse but to make a fool out of yourself. But hey ! That's not the first time, and it won't be the last.

1- Your lack of football knowledge can't even distinguish between first and preserve team.

2- "finishing was poor", how about Pelizzoli was amazing ?

3- "Conte was a decent, but far from world class, midfielder", LMFAO

World class in your view is Nocerino, right? because he was signed by half a million.

How about this: you're far from being a writer :)
on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:05am
Ppl stop making excuses about finances, juve spent 50 mil on melo and Diego not too long ago, but then got tortured by Fulham. How much did Fulham spend?

It isn't just juve, it's all Italian teams. If they have money, they don't know how to spend it. Serie relies on juve to carry it because the other teams r hopeless. Now juve basically need 4 goals against bayern, they're out, now for another hopeless performance in next seasons ucl from Italian teams.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 10:33am

Firstly, there are 2 many delinquents posting on here. Great blog, its what i have been saying for ages. Serie a is full of one minute men. They have no stamina and are overrun by the fitter and stronger European sides. They didnt lose to bayern because of fatigue, they lost because they lack work rate. Look at barca, they keep the pressure on for 90 minutes. Serie a is so slow that when they play n Europe they think European teams r slow like them, they then get a reality check.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 10:27am
I am afraid as much as it pains me to say it I have to agree with the blog....pirlo we all know is world class but harass him and he looses the ball and then it is that autostrada to Buffon. Now couple that with pace, I.e. Robbin and we are in for another torrid time....chiellini or peluso are just gonna haul him down. The game changed for me when they brought Robbin on we just can't cope with pace and people running at our defence. Our attack is also lacking pace. Kwado is also poor these days
on the 7th April, 2013 at 10:10am
Speaks is more easily rather than the facts. Look at Man. City, Man. Utd, Chelsea, How much they spent this season? Compare to Juve only signed Asamoah, Isla, Peluso. Juve go far in UCL with them compare to RVP, Hazard, or Aguero. I proud for Juve. O yeah Bayern also spent more than 30 mil.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 9:50am
People, ENOUGH! This trolling is ridiculous, not to mention vile.

The point Suzy was making is very simple: Conte's game as a player was very much built on mentality, dynamism and athleticism. Did he have the technical skills of Paulo Sousa, Jugovic, Camoranesi, Davids and Emerson? No, but he did have a better spirit, which is why he is my favourite ever Juve player. That's her point.

She's right: yesterday we did lack intensity and sharpness. Vucinic's miss from 1 metre out proved this.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 9:49am
I think Juve have been very impressive this season both in the UCL and serie A.Bayern were the better side on tuesday.Just expect a different tactical approach to the game in Turin on Wed cos it isn't going to be childs play for the Germans...Forza Juve!!!!!!!
on the 7th April, 2013 at 9:34am
We can all state the obvious when it comes to watching a match,that did not go the way we wanted it to go!!!To be honest this blog was boring and i think all true supporters of Juve know that the intensity is applied in every game.

on the 7th April, 2013 at 9:24am
I agree on the part that we didn't look the same against bayern last tue but that's it, the rest of it is a bit of nonsense, I mean did you watch the game against pescara ? cause i did and we could have easily won 5-1, i actually lost interest slightly after the first 45 since we totally dominated but were unlucky on the day to be against a keeper on fire in pelizzoli.Also I think its imp to remember we are rebuilding !! All of this inc the CL 1/4 final is a bonus.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 9:12am
BALOTELLI - 'Juventus are are shocking when it comes to playing UCL and serie A in one season.'

Juventus won their group, went undefeated for 8 games with the best defence in Europe, are in the quarter-finals and by the way are winning the Scudetto. Yeah, 'shocking', really.

What did Milan achieve? Talk is cheap...
on the 7th April, 2013 at 9:03am
What?!?! Only reason the game wasn't 5-0 was Ivan Pelizzoli. Poor finishing? No, it was Pelizzoli's amazing saves. And Juve were sluggish?! They tried all the time to score with huge amount of shots on target there were so many changes and Pescara had none. You clearly don't know anything about football and you should stop writing these blogs as they are so bad every single time.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 8:35am
Stinks of an anti Juve vibe, If juve dont play to their strengths then there not the same team.So what happens if Juve actually turn tie around against Bayern ? What exactly will you write then? Would make this trash article look even more of an unprovoked attack on a team you clearly dont like after one defeat in Europe and against the top european side. Why attack Conte in the last sentence its disgraceful. Crap journalism from a Milan fan and a website that is becoming a joke like
on the 7th April, 2013 at 8:30am
Management should do what bayern exactly did by strengthen the team in all department especially midfield (we need a pirlo replacement) and finally strengthen the bench as well we need to have 2 teams like real bayern and barca then we would be doing great job both in the serie A and CL
on the 7th April, 2013 at 8:22am
well i do agree fatigue is seeping in but the game against pescara juventus had create many scoring opportunity with 13 shots on target but there finishing was awful the international break did not do them favor as well i think juventus will be able to get the tempo up as conte has rested more than 7 players hopefully he has something different in mind for bayern. finally this should highlights the short coming of current squad and the management should move in transfer market
on the 7th April, 2013 at 8:20am
Susy the dig at Pirlo is very undeserved. He had a poor game in Munich. It happens. But look at the past 2 years and his performances for Juve and the National team. Come on?! Milan regret that decision every day since to allow him to leave. Poor comment to say that reminded you of their decision, how many poor games has Pirlo had since he left Milan? How many titles does he have since compared to Muntari, Montolivi or 'Prince'?
on the 7th April, 2013 at 8:12am
The expectation on Juve is too high. This is a side that is progressing well but we can't expect miracles. No team is the same without intensity or being in good physical shape. The tie with Bayern Munich is a game too far at this time for Juve. They are dominating a competitive Serie A, but the truth is that although it's competitive it is not of a top class standard. Juve's toughest opponents are Napoli and Milan but when entering the Champions League the level is at least 2 steps higher.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 8:08am
I was waiting for an anti-Juve article from Susy.So predictable!!
Juve are on course for a second straight title and have done well to reach the Q-Finals of the CL only to meet probably the best team in Europe at the moment. Regardless of what happens on Wednesday it was a fantastic season. Juve is a work in progress, this Bayern side is a complete team after years of work. Football Italia and their writers are generally biased against Juve but Susy Campanale never misses a chance to bash Juve!
on the 7th April, 2013 at 8:04am
Juve only coneeed whenconte made more changes and he had to, to try and peserve them for wednesday. People forget Juve are building from scratch, a team that before last year finshed twice in 7th. They may have lost a few this year, but they have not drawn even close to the same number, they have best defece and goal rate this term. napoli have been carried by oneplayer and as he struggled prior to last week, they fell beind. Ibra carried milan last year, juve are a team, they all work hard
on the 7th April, 2013 at 7:32am

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