Wednesday May 7 2014
Vialli: Juve can improve further

Gianluca Vialli says that Juventus can improve further in Europe, particularly the strikers, but that action in the transfer market is needed.

The Old Lady is celebrating a third consecutive League title after Week 36’s results, but an element of scrutiny has still been on the team’s shortcomings in European competition.

For one of the club’s former strikers, who now works in Italy as a regular pundit, the early Champions League exit and the Europa League semi-final elimination cannot detract from the domestic accomplishment.

“The first Scudetto was down to Juve’s talent, the second more so their character. The third has been a bit of everything, but multiplied to the cube,” Vialli has explained to Tuttosport today.

“Do not make the mistake of judging Juventus on the exit from the Cup. Juve have had a fantastic season. We have seen a stratospheric Juve win, taking into account that Roma were also extraordinary.

“The Giallorossi have forced Juve to travel at unimaginable speed. At the same time, however, because of Roma, the Bianconeri have paid in Europe for their tremendous effort in Italy.”

Vialli was asked where the club need to improve if they are to make progress in the Champions League.

“If Europe becomes the main goal, Juve should make specific choices for the benefit of the Champions League.

“This group can take a further leap in quality, and I do not think just about experience. The attackers, for example, were formidable in the League, but in Europe were less decisive.

“I say this softly, because players like Tevez and Llorente never give less than 10, but in Europe the level is very high, and as well as heart they must score goals.

“And the goals of the attackers are crucial to move forward in a Cup. In this sense, they could do better. The tone would have changed too, if Tevez had starting scoring earlier in the Cup.

“Juve next year in Europe need strikers who defenders fear exactly as they do in Italy. In Europe they need to take inspiration, first to deserve to be in the Champions League and then to win it.

“Juve must first walk the steps taken by clubs and teams such as Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. The core of the squad can be improved, even if it is already at a high level.

“Atleti and Dortmund don’t have big names? If both have won the chance to play in a final it is because they have shown that much can be done even without that. Their paths have been a great victory for football.

“That said, improvement is a must. I do not think that Agnelli, Marotta and Conte cannot think about the next Champions League without improving Juve. The first thing to do is to understand how much money is available.”

Speculation is that Antonio Conte is looking to revolutionise the squad, if he is to stay on as Coach beyond this season.

“After such a season it may be enough just to bring in one reinforcement of superior quality for each department. Three players of a high level seems to me the least - I would be surprised if they didn’t arrive.

“Meanwhile, I hope that the team propose a different style of play. Conte has brought in the 3-5-2 and that did come back into a fashion thanks to some new ideas and a higher intensity than an average game. It would be nice, now, to see Conte go with a 4-3-3. It would fascinating to see his principles in a new style of play.

“Conte may leave? The key is that the Coach and the club nourish the same ambitions. Then, with the money they can do what they can. They have to spend well and, as Conte says, they need ideas, method and discipline.

“Juve have always played with pride and quality, and this is what Conte transmits to the players. He has been monstrous in the continuity of the team, and he has been the most important asset. You do get tired over the years, but I don’t think there will be a 360-degree revolution.