NEWS
Friday October 31 2014
Birindelli: Juventus lack fight

Former Juventus defender Alessandro Birindelli believes Massimiliano Allegri’s side lack the fight that characterised Antonio Conte’s reign.

The Bianconeri have managed just one win in their last five games, being caught at the top of the League by Roma after Wednesday’s last-gasp defeat at Genoa.

Birindelli spent 11 years in Turin, and the former full-back thinks the Old Lady are simply lacking in intensity after three Scudetti in a row.

“I think this team is less dynamic than Conte’s,” Birindelli reflected to tuttojuve.com.

“They’re a little more predictable, less attacks down the wing and less quick counter-attacks. When Conte’s team ran onto the field there was a continuous drive to go out and break the defensive lines, greater movement from right to left and full-backs who were wingers as well.

“This year I’ve seen a few games where Lichtsteiner or Asamoah or whoever is in their positions hasn’t had the ball.

“No-one has been particularly bad, but there’s less aggression, it’s a less hungry team which is lacking in that little bit of nastiness to go and get a result even when things aren’t going well.

“In the past few years, rather than losing a game in the 90th minute, they’d win it in the 90th minute. That’s the difference.”

Juventus face Empoli on Saturday, before welcoming Olympiacos to Turin for a do-or-die Champions League clash.

While Birindelli, who reached two Champions League Finals with the Old Lady, believes Juve have the talent to reach the Last 16, the 39-year-old again called the Bianconeri’s motivation into question.

“I think that Juventus have improved [in Europe], and now many of the players have European experience and they should take advantage of that.

“I think this year they have every chance and everything needed to get out of a group which I don’t think is impossible.

“But I repeat, Juve are less hungry than in other years in so many ways, perhaps even because of some of the Coach’s tactical choices.”