Despite how much many of us loathe Juventus, it's always nice to gain some perspective from a Juve fan that isn't pompous or high and mighty, to have a frank discussion free of condescension or contentiousness. It is in that vein that Danny from Black White and Read All Over and I traded barbs about Sunday's nearly sold out Roma-Juventus fixture. It's no secret that Juve has dominated Roma over the past decade, but Danny's a good dude and runs a great site, so let's take look at how the other half lives.
So, yeah. What the hell happened last week? Its not often that Juventus loses their opening match, how would you describe the fans reaction? Would the reaction have been different had Conte still been in charge?
What happened was Juventus ended up being its own worst enemy. They didn't play like total crap, but they basically had one defensive miscue and a bunch of missed opportunities in front of goal come back to bite them in the backside. People overreacted because that's what people do and there's no way of changing that.
I'm sure it would have been the same when Conte was around just because there's that certain expectation level when it comes to Juventus again. Juventus shouldn't have lost, and that's probably the most frustrating part of it all. Was some of the outrage and vitriol warranted? Probably not. But people wanted this new-look Juve to deliver on opening day ... and they didn't.
Following that point, is there any concern that Allegri is a one year wonder? Was last year's title really built by Conte? What steps has Max taken to put his own stamp on the club?
I'm not worried, but I'm sure there are some out there thinking that it might be a one-year thing. The stamp that Max made last year was the fact that he's much more tactically flexible than Conte ever was. It was pretty much 3-5-2 or GTFO Conte's last two years as manager. There was the occasional 4-3-3, but the three-man defense was Conte's calling card and he was going to keep it that way no matter what.
But Allegri has basically been the opposite — adapting to each situation instead of just doing what Conte did over and over again. That's why I think he'll be just fine this season. It's not like Juve has replaced the departed players with crap. It will be hard to replace Pirlo, Tevez and Vidal, but there's a bunch of upside with this group. A lot of it.
Getting to Know Juventus
Getting to Know Juventus
Julian Draxler? Seriously, do you guys really need him? All kidding aside, Juve went heavy on offense this summer, how will they spread out the playing time? Who ends up being the go to guy?
Out of all the new aspects to the team this season, I think that's the thing that I'm most unsure about. In a perfect world, there would be some form of a Dybala-Morata-Mandzukic trident and that would be that. But if Allegri wants to play with two strikers and somebody (like Draxler) in the hole, that's where things get interesting. Morata's second-half production last season shows he's ready for the big time.
Dybala, a record transfer fee for the Andrea Agnelli era, is a pretty unique talent in his own right. But it's not like they signed Mandzukic to sit around and watch the young boys run up and down the field. I think Mandzukic will start out as the go-to guy since he's the natural prima punta, but if Morata or Dybala end up being in that role as seasons end, I wouldn't be all that surprised, either
Let's continue with that line of questioning. Zaza, Dybala, Mandzukic and now potentially Draxler, that's a lot of attacking talent, but is there any area Juve ignored or at least didn't address enough this summer?
I know injuries played a lot into it last weekend, but when you're starting Simone Padoin as the holding midfielder in front of the defense, then maybe your midfield depth needs a little bit of work. Claudio Marchisio will be back after the international break, so I'm not too worried about him. But it's the fact that it took Sami Khedira all of a couple weeks to get hurt after an injury-ravaged season at Real Madrid that has me wanting Juve to get another center midfielder.
The hot name out there is Axel Witsel, which I'm totally okay with. But, at this point, it seems like an either/or situation with Draxler. And if that's the case, Max will get the trequartista he's wanted ever since he became manager last July.
Okay, you guys are coming to our house on Sunday, what does the Old Lady have to do to avoid two straight losses? For that matter, how would the club, the fans and its directors react to an 0-2 start?
It's pretty simple — Juventus has to be better with the scoring chances they will get. Udinese packed the final third of the field with bodies, but Juve were still able to generate plenty of shots. Not many of them were on target, and that ended up being their downfall. There have been plenty of games in the past where their shot total has been in the 20s, yet there hasn't been the clinicalness (is that even a word?) from those attempting said shots. They had a handful of pretty damn good scoring chances, but none of them came to fruition. So yeah, don't be stupid in front of goal.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much will you miss Pirlo's beard?
21. I miss it so much.
I think we can all echo that sentiment. Roma vs Juve is set for Sunday afternoon, we'll have our regular preview for you tomorrow.