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Rami Soufi On August - 20 - 2010

Juventus: Why The Rebuilding Process Is Not Simple

Juventus had a dismal 2009-2010 season but the Bianconeri have since begun the hard task of introducing drastic changes at all levels from leadership through management to the coaching staff and players. Coach Luigi Delneri (many use Gigi Del Neri) has been appointed as the club’s head coach and, more importantly, Alessio Secco got replaced by Giuseppe Marotta as director of football.

To only blame the last three coaches, including Ciro Ferrara, without holding the previous management accountable would be a grave mistake. The Bianconeri signed mediocre players such as Christian Poulsen, handed long-term contracts to aging players such as Fabio Grosso while overpaying the likes of fringe player Jonathan Zebina. This made it almost impossible to offload Zebina, Grosso and Mauro Camoranesi as well as Tiago and Poulsen since they would only leave if offered comparably high salaries close to those paid by the Bianconeri. Fortunately, the current management has been able to sell Poulsen while loaning Tiago to Atletico Madrid once again. The attempts to sell Grosso, Camoranesi and Zebina have so far failed but hope remains to find clubs to sign them.

Other than the obvious failure in the transfer market, the management gambled on coaches such as Ferrara and Alberto Zaccheroni who were not equipped to mastermind the revival of the club. Another aspect which must be considered is that the club’s third place finish after the immediate return to Serie A was down to a core of experienced stars who had too much pride to forget the enforced Serie B season. Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezeguet and Pavel Nedved were all key players with their goals, determination and skills helping the Bianconeri make a swift return to the top flight while finishing third and then second in succession.

Last season the club stuttered because the Bianconeri failed to replace not one but two superstars following Nedved’s retirement and considering Del Piero’s age. The Bianconeri are struggling because they have to find alternatives for two irreplaceable legends who were integral to the club’s success for many years. Nedved made the transition process following Zinedine Zidane’s departure seem to be a smooth and simple one for the team while Del Piero is the club’s all-time leading scorer. For Juventus to start challenging again the signing of good and skilled players will not be enough as the club must add at least one player who has the winning mentality, desire, skills and commitment of Nedved and Del Piero.

Besides replacing bigger than life figures, the Old Lady must continue to rebuild from the back by improving the centre-back and full-back positions. Adding Marco Motta and Leonardo Bonucci while not renewing for Fabio Cannavaro were all good moves but both Motta and Bonucci cannot guarantee immediate success. Juve desperately need a solid left-back after Fabio Grosso failed to impress last season while Paolo De Ceglie has shown time and again he is not the best at defending and covering at the back.

In midfield and on the wings the signings have not been impressive as Simone Pepe might be a willing runner but he is not exactly a difference maker on the level of Nedved. Expected signing Milos Krasic, currently undergoing his medical, will improve the ability to attack from the wings but that alone would not cover all the deficiencies in the team’s attacking department. Keeping Diego was a good move because he offers that extra dimension in terms of vision, passing, dribbling and creativity, but his presence must be combined with other steps. While Amauri played for the Azzurri in Cesare Prandelli’s first game in charge and has managed a few goals in the Europa League qualifiers, he is not the goal poacher the Bianconeri need. He proved that last season and he is already 30-years-old which means his clock is ticking.

The Bianconeri’s upgraded management has already made some positive moves but the return to glory needs more time and adjustments. Re-establishing the winning mentality and adding a few key players as well as replacing legends like Nedved and Del Piero will be key for the club’s revival. On top of that, the Bianconeri ought to sign a younger striker to replace the aging trio of Amauri, Trezeguet and Vincenzo Iaquinta because none of them will guarantee at least 18 league goals a season with their injuries and various issues.

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One Response so far.

  1. Wazzan says:

    Juve blows! They need Moggi back because the only way for them to win is by cheating.

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