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It was reminiscent of something from a bygone era, a sepia-toned memory brought into living colour, like a remake of a 1930′s Cinecittà movie directed by James Cameron. More than anything it was a signal that, although seemingly everything has changed in recent times, there is a very real sense that things are very much the way they were.

Almost twenty-five years after his uncle and father were shown around the construction site of the old Stadio Delle Alpi, Andrea Agnelli took his cousin John Elkann on a detailed tour of the as-yet-unnamed new stadium being constructed on the same site as its predecessor.

That Studio Hutter creation for the 1990 World Cup was widely criticised while the team that played in it went from drought to dominance within five years. Echoes to that team as the 80′s gave way to the 90′s are clear in the current squad as aging champions retire and behind them a new crop of unheralded names is assembled. Of course the new home brought new revenue and star names like Gianluca Vialli and Paolo Sousa were added to the mix and the silverware was not too far away.

Nearly twelve months into their plan the current regime is widely criticised but may have this week discovered the resolve and perseverance to continue along the path it set out upon only last May. In keeping with the traditions of that ‘lo Stile Juve’ created by their most famous of families, the current Agnelli generation sealed it the same way their fathers would have - with a handshake.

There has been much speculation that the coach of this new Juventus, Gigi Delneri, is living on borrowed time, that one more negative result will see him relieved of his duties and a replacement brought in. That could not be further from the truth as was proven in the way the Mister was greeted by the President of EXOR and indeed the Juventus President as the two men entered the Vinovo training complex after their stadium visit.

It is no leap of faith to state that is is the real construction site and that Delneri has a far more difficult rebuilding job to do than Massimo Majowecki, the stadiums chief engineer. Three losses in a row to Lecce, Bologna and Milan have damaged an already fragile mentality and it will take all his experience to ensure that this weekends game against Cesena follows a different course.

Yet despite results and poor performances it seems that visit from the owners and custodians of Juventus has galvanised the coach, that he has been given a reassurance that his job is safe, at least until the end of this campaign. In Fridays press conference when asked if he would resign should a fourth consecutive defeat be suffered he was defiant;

“To be clear, it does not go through my head for one second to think of resigning, whatever the circumstance”

Clearly backed by the board, Delneri must now get the team displaying that same defiance, to stand up and give a good account of themselves over what he described as ‘ten finals’. Sacking the coach is all too easy, as was proven last season when Ciro Ferrara was replaced, sticking with the current incumbent is often far more difficult. If team and tactician can regather themselves and display a collective belief then the two men will be proven right and the Old Lady can hold her head high once more.

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3 Responses so far.

  1. Ted says:

    Hey Adam.

    I’m intrigued to see what Juve will do in the summer. A little quality and they’ll be OK..

  2. Ted says:

    I think Juve missing out on Champions League, will effect their ability to sign ” quality ” players. Now a days, every player wants to play in the Champions League, or even the Europe League.

    Maybe Juve will go for Dzeko again? He hasn’t exactly been ” lighting ” it up in England.0 goals, in 7 EPL games.

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