Thursday February 13 2014
The enigma that is Osvaldo

On the pitch, Dani Osvaldo can bring a lot to Juventus, considers Dave Taylor, even if his temperament could prove an issue.

Ninety seconds after being brought on as a sub for Fernando Llorente, Juventus new boy Dani Osvaldo nearly scored with his second touch. He timed his run superbly, collected a perfect pass from Andrea Pirlo, left his marker stranded and sprung Verona’s offside trap. In less time than it takes a cobra to strike he was then bearing down on ‘keeper Rafael, rounded him and fired in an angled drive that skimmed the far post. Five minutes later he had another shot blocked before having a goal disallowed not for any fault of his own but due to Kwadwo Asamoah, who delivered the ball, being ruled offside.

Not a bad 25-minute cameo for one of the supposed crazy characters of calcio, who showed, at least in that game, that he can work with Carlos Tevez. The question is, will he prove to be the Argentinean’s best partner? More importantly will he prove to be right for Juve?

Certainly Juve’s former transfer guru Luciano Moggi feels he will on all counts. “He’s a good buy, he may be useful in finishing the team’s play and I see a fight between him and Llorente for the starting spot,” the controversial figure has said of late. “Maybe he can create some problems in the process of inclusion in the group, but Antonio Conte will be able to manage him.”

Moggi of course hit the nail on the head as more than a few eyebrows were raised when Coach Conte first showed interest. But, did they rise any higher when he approved the arrival of those other two ‘bad boys’ Carlos Tevez and Paul Pogba from England? Perhaps both arrived amid doubts, but no-one can argue with their success. If anyone can sort Osvaldo out it is Conte and his senatori in the dressing room - captain Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Giorgio Chiellini.

It’s not as if Conte doesn’t know him, first spotting his potential when he shone for Lecce in the second part of the 2006-07 season and he has reportedly wanted him ever since.

Of course with Tevez and Llorente ahead of him plus Fabio Quagliarella, Seb Giovinco and Mirko Vucinic, he may find that games are hard to come by, which in turn could lead to frustration. Sadly we all know what ensues when that happens. One of the many reasons Roma got rid of him included slapping former teammate Erik Lamela in the face for not passing to him when they played Udinese. He also had frequent arguments with then Giallorosso boss Andrea Andreazzoli, who then publicly criticised him for continuously ‘moaning and whining’. In the end he proved to be more trouble than he was worth.

Off he went to the Premier League to link up with his old Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton. However, despite some excellent performances he could not keep his head down there either. In December he was banned for three matches and fined £40,000 for a major part in a touchline clash against Newcastle. A month later he allegedly head-butted teammate Jose Fonte in training, was suspended by the club and told that he would never play for them again.

Given this sinister aspect of character, should Juventus have taken a chance on him? On the plus side he has taken a massive wage cut to play on loan for Juve and is undoubtedly a talented player, someone who can turn nothing into something. Apart from anything else he unnerves opponents, bearing down on them like a cross between Khal Drogo and Alex out of Clockwork Orange. Furthermore he now has time to gel with the rest of the team in line for next season, if he stays. Certainly if Juve are to make any impression on the Champions League they will need at least three top strikers performing at their best.

The bottom line is that if you want a great player you sometimes need to put up with his idiosyncrasies because that’s what drives them. And if he can temper his character he could be a very worthwhile buy and his obvious skill will outweigh his obvious flaws. As one of Juve’s best strikers of the modern era Gianluca Vialli said: “The Old Lady will be useful for him as well and help him grow from all points of view.”

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Have your say...
Quag and Vucinic are much better players. Osvaldo provides a different look though. The fact tha hes a mean, big, physical player is precisely what separates him from other Juve strikers. La Formica has not lived up to his potential. He should probably leave and end up getting more playing time at a small team. Works for all parties.
on the 23rd February, 2014 at 11:36pm
one thing that everyone over looks is hes at juventus,juventus dont mess around roma southampton are like butlins compared to juventus you play hard and put a shift in if you dont your benched like pogba was today.the other thing that no one seems to get about football on here is this you have many roles for strikers and he is exactly what juventus are crying out for he plays on the shoulder and wants to run in behind defenders llorente and tevez come short osvaldo wants to run in behind
on the 16th February, 2014 at 7:45pm
This is a low risk loan to test out a 4-3-3 formation for next year. I personally feel Juve should only field a 3-5-2 if Braz, Bonnucci, and Chilieni are starting. Any other time, go with a 4-3-3.
on the 14th February, 2014 at 6:08pm
A poor mans Balotelli. And that is saying something this season.
on the 14th February, 2014 at 1:58pm
Lot's of fellow juve supporters are worrying about this and there's truly nothing to worry about.He's with us for the rest of the season, 3 months more or less, in which time i doubt hell fight with anyone, if he does hes out, if he doesn't play well, he's out and if he amazes everyone, southampton can't ask for a lot seeing as they really don't want him.It seems pretty good to me and in the meantime he is a great sub/2nd player for Ewropa.Better than gio,quag and vuci
on the 14th February, 2014 at 10:49am
I would like to see our Serie A seasons start a week or two earlier, that way our players will be more match fit & our teams more gelled together. Doing this might actually help the National team win an early season friendly and get off to a good start in qualifiers. Going back to Osvaldo, I'd rather see Immobile feature for Italy; he is a pest to opposing defenders. His movement would really benefit from Pirlo's & Verratti's vision.
on the 14th February, 2014 at 9:40am
He was very impressive in Spain, & at Roma-whilst playing Zeman. He has great ability (just look at his highlight reels), but he isn't clinical enough & often doesn't show up. Have to disagree with Capello; Juve just didn't play with their usual intensity & organization in the CL. Also, Tevez & Llorente were still finding their place in the team. lol us, look at Napoli; they were in a tougher group, did well, & were unfortunate. I believe that our teams are good & are getting better tbc
on the 14th February, 2014 at 9:29am
on the 13th February, 2014 at 10:42pm
And Quags takes another Conte slap! I guess thats what you get for being a team player with a positive attitude and skill, Quags can thank Conte for being overlooked for Italy, he needs to be reminded we went farther with his failed 3 5 2 in the Champions league before all the new forwards arrived this formation is Conte's undoing in the Champions League and nothing else, Asvaldo will help juve as for Giovo, Quags and Mirko need to move on where they can play and be appreciated
on the 13th February, 2014 at 10:40pm
An unnecessary buy. Juve already have 5 quality strikers. Quagliarella, Giovinco and Vucininc were not getting enough time. Why return Giovinco from Parma when he just gets the odd sub appearance. Quagliarella and Vucinic are great back up to Lllorente and Tevez. 6 strikers is extreme for a club in only 2 competitions. It seems like Juventus brought Osvaldo because he was available rather than having an actual need for him. Juventus are above the level of a Southampton player. Another Borriello.
on the 13th February, 2014 at 9:32pm
Just get Di Maria or Cuadrado!
on the 13th February, 2014 at 8:37pm
Why are we just discussing his temper? Discuss his lack of skills. It's one thing to be a hot head and a good player who can score (occasionally Balo and Cassano) but Osvaldo hasn't done much for Italia and did nothing for Southampton. Still can't believe he gets called over other strikers or that Conte wants him over Quag.
on the 13th February, 2014 at 8:24pm
Like death, taxes, and the overwrought pride of Juvetini, there are a few certainties in life. Osvaldo will wake one morning and turn on those that have supported him. Loved the Savile Row hippie get-up when he landed in Torino! He's your headcase now.
on the 13th February, 2014 at 8:04pm
@Des. I agree 100% completely about Conte being a lion Tamer. Where as Osvaldo was playing with boys in Roma, with kids in southampton, and "NOW" He's amongst men with JUVE. FORZA E FINO ALLA FINE. @ Mustaafaa give the lad a chance and see.....he might surprise us all!........
on the 13th February, 2014 at 7:22pm
Osvaldo is a decent player (as is Quagliarella, as is Vucinic) and maybe can compete for a starting spot with an off form Llorente, or at least keep Llorente on his toes and that's why Conte brought him. He will do great in Serie A when he gets his minutes but ultimately we should not dish out 20 mil for him unless we have another 50 to spare. Especially since we have strikers like Immobile and Berardi that we can bring in for nominal fees and both have many more years to grow and show their potential. If we will be spending priority should be wingers because that's where we have fallen short- our formation can be too flat and predictable in Europe and quick players who can win one on ones help u resolve these situations tactically. I think cerci, cuadrado, and a left back (maybe Zuniga) is what Juve needs. Keep osvaldo but not at the expense of priorities.
on the 13th February, 2014 at 7:14pm
So many great fight match ups at Juve, Osvaldo vs Bonucci is my top pick, god i love the story about how he slapped Lamela!
on the 13th February, 2014 at 7:01pm
a great player shame that his temper over shadows that
on the 13th February, 2014 at 6:45pm
...great...lets buy another midclass striker for 16millions so there is no money left for wingers in the next summer. AGAIN. means stubborn conte will stick with his stupid 352 until he makes us crush out of the CL three times in a row. conte is a good serie a coach, but nothing special at all. and how about marrotta? can he even sell players?!
on the 13th February, 2014 at 5:56pm
Conte is a lion tamer, he'll be the one doing the punching, he'll make a small boy of him
on the 13th February, 2014 at 5:53pm
What a disgrace to Juve and Azzurri!

Borriello shelved Matri before, and this idiot shelved a strong candidate for La Nazionale. I do think that the writer is somewhat high as he gave me the impression he's talking about Ibrahimovic not Osvaldo.

I hope he tries to punch Chiellini as he might get his teeth kicked in.
on the 13th February, 2014 at 5:51pm
I don't know what Conte and Co. were thinking when they decided on Osvaldo! But if he delivers the goods and helps Juve win both domestically and in Europe...
on the 13th February, 2014 at 5:45pm
I wonder which teammate he will punch or slap this time. The suspense is mounting.....
on the 13th February, 2014 at 4:50pm

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