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...
firtly, conte was an amazing player, and played in an excellent squad. Secondy, Juve played with a high intensity gainst Pscara with many first team players missing (Chiellini, Brazaligi, marchisio, Pirlo), they then lost Giovinco and prior to that he and vucinic were linking up excellently and creatng chances and if the keeper had not of had such a great game, Pescara woudhave been 3 down in the first 25 minutes and their morale broken. The fact they rode their luck so much gave them heart.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 7:24am
What the heck is this? Conte far from world class? Show your trophies and medals and then we talk.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 7:20am
susy you are an idiot .
on the 7th April, 2013 at 6:29am
I think we'll see a very different Juve on Wed.....forza juve..silence the arrogant Germans who already think the tie is over...still bitter after 2006 & 2010 and let's not forget 1982 either....
on the 7th April, 2013 at 4:35am
Whilst I agree that the slow tempo creates an almost Jeckyl and Hyde Juve the last sentence is uncalled for, and a big slap in the face for Conte!
He Deserves Better!
Conte and Juve deserve more respect!

Bayern have been teetering for a CL win for the past 3 seasons and actually lost last seasons final.
It is unreallistic to expect this Juve to Win the CL at the first attempt!

This Juve squad is really missing Pepe this season as with him we easily can revert to other formations!!!
on the 7th April, 2013 at 3:47am
Dear Suzy,who needs your tales? when reading through the lines we can only see jealousy,bitterness and envy towards Juve. Write about AC Milan,inter,Napoli,etc.
But please,leave Juve alone!!!
on the 7th April, 2013 at 3:35am
Hope with some players rested this weekend they will be able get their intensity and determination against bayern.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 3:33am
We played a Bayern team who are still smarting from last season's CL Final, who play in a 2-team league, and only have to contend with 34 games in a domestic season. It's no coincedence that since Serie A accomodated 20 teams, we have struggled in Europe. We'll see the real Juventus on Wednesday, don't you worry about that!
on the 7th April, 2013 at 3:09am
I'm sorry, but were you watching the same game this evening. A repeat of the 6-1 scoreline in Pescara would not have been undeserved. You need to stop with the criticism, because every time our boys are doubted, they respond! The same happened before the Shakhtar and Celtic games. Like Conte said, nobody expected us to even get out of the CL Group Stage, so to be here is an achievement in itself.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 3:07am
Now I know the answer to the question: why Football Italia has regressed so much recently.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 2:49am
Suzy, please, Conte was a world class midfielder and majority underrated by other nations.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 1:40am
On this occasion I 100% agree with Susy. The depth of the Serie A coupled with Conte's lack of rotation has seen Juve pay the price heavily in Europe. Perhaps if players like Marrone, Isla, Matri and Caceras had been used more regularly throughout the season the team would be in better shape physically.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 1:36am
If they are not at their best physically they are no where near as good- true. But surely that is true for any team, especially in the fast paced modern game, and especially against this Bayern. Which team could last against Bayern if their players were tired? (Juve's players had just had a tough game against Inter and international duty). I doubt even Barca would have lasted against long
on the 7th April, 2013 at 1:26am
Juventus are are shocking when it comes to playing UCL and serie A in one season. That's why the UCL is not Juventus' competition. The Serie A is the only thing that they can really win.

The UCL is AC Milan's competition!!!!!!!!!

A pathetic Juventus display. Just terrible.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 12:37am
How can u say that juve lack intensity when they clearly created more than 7 or 8 clear cut chances ? They maybe lack an eye for goal. but intensity is wjat won them the game.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 12:35am
I can't figure out the point of this posting? Postings should tell us something new, or have a new slant on something old, but this post doesn't do either. If having all week off to train leaves teams "fresh as daisies," then what's happening to Inter, Fiorentina, and Roma? Shouldn't they be topping the table by now then? Especially Roma, what with getting three points for not playing a game at all. You don't make sense.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 12:29am
One more thing I would add Susy ... decent, determined and intense hard work pays off.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 12:21am
All good points Susy, but I hope it's just a hiccup and Conte is treating the disease and not the symptom.
Hats down to Bayern as they achieved something truly remarkable in the Bundesliga. It will be very hard but far from impossible in Torino next week.

Forza Juve!
on the 6th April, 2013 at 11:52pm

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