Monday November 10 2014
Player of Week 11: Carlos Tevez

Carlos Tevez ended a recent run of quiet form for Juventus with a spectacular showing against Parma, making him Livio Caferoglu’s pick for Week 11.

It’s the age-old conundrum – do systems or players win football matches? Just ask Juventus.

The Bianconeri have spent the past three years assembling one of the game’s most cohesive units. Such was the force of their dressing room that it probably didn’t matter which style of play they adopted, as the spirit of Antonio Conte’s troops shone through the Serie A abyss.

However, no amount of chemistry or individual brilliance could save the Turin giants in Europe. Tactically, their 3-5-2 formation has been exposed by attacking outfits not necessarily stronger than the Old Lady. Therefore, it all pointed to a systematic flaw within the side’s make-up.

As doubts lingered over Juve’s ability to compete with the very top sides, Conte stood down with Massimiliano Allegri being appointed as his replacement. The former Milan boss sensibly chose to maintain the status-quo, until defeats in the Champions League combined with an injury crisis forced his hand.

Through all the pain, though, Carlos Tevez has best personified the Old Lady’s siege mentality. Never one to shirk responsibility, his committed displays, tenacious approach and explosive instinct have earned him comparisons with Alessandro Del Piero. It’s easy to see why.

Tevez hadn’t scored in his last four Serie A appearances, but on Sunday, he was in full throttle once more. A constant menace throughout the encounter, his knockdown for Fernando Llorente’s opening goal on the 23rd minute was a sign of what was to come.

Not long after, the former Manchester City ace burst through the middle of the final third and played a key pass to Stephan Lichtsteiner, who ultimately set up the Spaniard for his second of the match and Juve’s third of the afternoon.

And just as it couldn’t get any better for Juve, Tevez emerged with the defining moment in the match, and arguably the goal of the season. Picking the ball up from deep, he left several Parma jerseys in their wake, before applying a low finish beyond a mesmerised Antonio Mirante.

The attacker rounded off his afternoon, which earned him a credible 40 points with, with a second in typically instinctive fashion, waiting at the right place at the right time to pounce on Paul Pogba’s saved effort and regain his rightful place atop the Capocannoniere rankings alongside Jose Callejon.

It caps off a sensational week for Tevez, who was also instrumental in Juve’s must-win clash with Olympiacos in the Champions League. Furthermore, the ex-Corinthians star has returned to the Argentina squad with Tata Martino, after a three-year exile under Alejandro Sabella.

Tevez’s sudden return to goalscoring form at the same time as his club’s must come as no surprise. In fact, an astonishing 47 per cent of Juventus’ attacks came as a result of his direct play in and around the left channel. On the basis of his workrate alone, the attacker is fully deserving of a free role.

Now able to accompany their rock-solid core with an improved style of play, Juve are on the path to perhaps threatening the hegemony in European football, providing they can make significant progress in the Champions League this term, but not without the 30-year-old.

Coming in at a grossly-deflated €12 million, there aren’t many players in world football who can claim to share or emulate his unique concoction of hard running and natural flair. Simply put, he is Juve’s new symbol in their quest to become the complete package.

Referring back to the question of systems and players, the Bianconeri now have an answer - Tevez.

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Have your say...
Wrong article bro
on the 12th November, 2014 at 8:22am
Its a concern we have Bonucci, Astori, Pirlo, Florenzi, Insigne all out to name but a few. Gasteldello should have been called up instead of Moretti, he is average at best. Shocking decision. Quags, Gabbiadini both deserved call ups. Rugani should start for me, our brightest defensive prospect. Romulo could be of real use also. Croatia will be very hard, any win would be very positive in my view. If we play like last month we will be destroyed. Forza Italia. Balo has it all to prove.
on the 11th November, 2014 at 11:12am

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