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Juventus: a spread of grievances

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It’s officially “Blue Monday” – the most depressing day of the year.

After watching Liverpool and Manchester United play the draw to end all draws in the middle of an extremely cold January in which you aren’t even allowed out because COVID numbers have exploded these last few months because of the incompetence of the Conservative government. (and breathe), you can see why.

So what better way to “celebrate” such a bloody day than to voice grievances, eh?

Grievances related to football to be precise.

Not about the Liverpool – Man Utd game (you can read more about this game elsewhere on 90 mins) however, those grievances concern Juventus and their appalling performance in the Derby d’Italia on Sunday night.

La Vecchia Signora was, to put it bluntly, hit by Inter at San Siro, and after such an abject performance, the club are going to get a feel for my mind.

It’s true Juventus, I have a lot of problems with you and now you are going to hear about it.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-INTER-JUVENTUS
Rabiot is embarrassed by Barella | MIGUEL MEDINA / Getty Images

Every Juventini who watched the Derby d’Italia was jealous that Inter had a midfielder like Nicolo Barella. A dynamic and creative midfielder who can train his team on the pitch, cover their defense when needed and create chances at will.

And they were jealous because their club didn’t have a player like that. They haven’t done it for five years (since Paul Pogba left).

But look, it’s not that they haven’t tried to find that creativity and that drive.

They have… you know… sort of… with a million free transfers.

I mean they brought players to the club they hoped for would add some dynamism to their midfield, but almost exclusively on free transfers. And when you try to replace a player who left the club for £ 89m with a player who costs £ 0, what do you expect? A miracle?

Sami Khedira has had his moments, sure, but is / was / will always be injury-prone, Aaron Ramsey is / was / will always be the same, Emre Can is / was / will always be still, and Adrien Rabiot is / was / will be. still be as dynamic as a recycling bin.

It is clear now – as it has been five years – that Juventus need to invest in their midfield and get rid of players like…

Adrien rabiot
Rabiot desperately watches football and thinks “what am I supposed to do with this stuff?” | Giorgio Perottino / Getty Images

Many questions have arisen following Juve’s loss at the Derby d’Italia.

One was ‘How are Inter so much better than Juventus?’, another was “Is it funny or depressing that the combined age of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci is 69?‘, but the main one was “Is Adrien Rabiot the worst central midfielder in recent Juventus history? ”

The answer to the latter is: yes, it probably is.

Which says something, because La Vecchia Signora broke some hope at the end of the 2000s.

– Sergio Almiron: Horribly bad, but he only played 10 games for Juve (45 less than Rabiot), so he was less actively damaging.
– Antonio Nocerino: He picked up an obscene number of yellow cards in his only season at the club – 13 to be exact – but you know, at least he actually tried.
– Tiago Mendes: Disappointing and once locked the club president in the toilet… but locking Giovanni Cobolli Gigli is really funny so he gets a pass.
– Christian Poulsen: Bomb scared of a midfielder but at least his mother / agent wasn’t a complete nightmare.

So yes, Rabiot is truly the worst central midfielder in modern Juventus history.

On the next grievance.

Alex Sandro
Alex Sandro just isn’t very good anymore | Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images

While Alex Sandro remains one of the best full-backs in FUT (he’s ranked 85), he hasn’t been very good in real life for a long, long, long time.

Honestly, I really can’t remember the last time he played well.

Perhaps it was during his second season at Juventus which was * checking the scores * five seasons ago. It’s not good.

Sandro’s poor form, coupled with the fact that his only competition is a six-year-old called Gianluca Fabrotta, makes Juve’s left-back options rather depressing.

Leonard Bonucci
Leonardo Bonucci hasn’t been at his best for a while… | Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images

Four or five years ago, the center-back duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci were arguably the best in the world.

But now? Not really.

It was painfully obvious watching Romelu Lukaku bully the couple in San Siro that time and injuries (in Chiellini’s case) had just caught up with them.

Football Champions League GIF by UEFA - Find & Share on GIPHY

Antonio Conte wins 7.5 times more than Andrea Pirlo, and judging by the Derby d’Italia, that’s absolutely fair.

We don’t want to go too far on Pirlo – this is his first managerial job, and it’s a bloody difficult task – but he was wrong in selecting his team on Sunday.

Playing a kid at left-back and then a CM in front of him who, although he started at LM, was clearly ordered to fall back and provide extra body in midfield, was never going to work against a team that relies heavily on the creativity of their RWB Achraf Hakimi. It was a naive mistake from a manager who is probably not ready for such an important job as Juventus.

But then, what did Juventus expect when they hired a manager that you like, financially, under 19 of the club’s senior players?

Like the midfielder problem, Juve tackled their coaching problem with virtually no funding and expected everything to work, you know.

It hasn’t yet, and it probably won’t be anytime soon.

Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey played on the left against Inter | Soccrates Images / Getty Images

Okay, we’ll try something. We’re going to take the Juventus squad and try to build a balanced XI.

You are ready?

“Yes, it will be easy.

Ok, here’s the senior team:

Goalkeepers: Wojciech Szczęsny, Gianluigi Buffon, Carlo Pinsoglio.
Defenders: Juan Cuadrado, Danilo, Matthijs de Ligt, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Merih Demiral, Alex Sandro, Gianluca Frabotta.
Midfielders: Arthur, Aaron Ramsey, Weston McKennie, Federico Chiesa, Adrien Rabiot, Rodrigo Bentancur, Federico Bernardeschi.
Attackers: Dejan Kulusevski, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Alavaro Morata.

‘Ok, big Woj in the goal …’

I can’t argue with this.

‘… Then Cuardrado, De Ligt, Bonucci and Alex Sandro…’

Sandro? Really?

“Hmmm maybe not… What about Frabrotta?”

Did Sunday’s game convince you that he should start for Juventus?

“No… uh… not really… we’ll come back to the left rear.”

Next midfielder.

“Ok… midfielder… midfielder… umm… McKennie and… um… a few other people… we’ll come back to midfield.

Okay, what about the attack then?

“Ronaldo is a cert, Morata also plays very well… and Dybala is Dybala.

How do they all fit together?

“Dybala outside… right?”

He is really terrible.

“Yeah… I don’t know I’m giving up.

They are so ugly !!!

ALL!!!

ALL KITS ARE UGLY !!!

ADIDAS, TAKE A HANDLE !!!!

Let’s call a spade a spade:

Inter and AC Milan are better than Juventus at the moment.

Both Milan clubs have better players.

Both Milan clubs have better managers.

The two Milanese clubs have better kits.

They are both better.

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Alright, alright, alright, calm down Cristiano Ronaldo fans. We’re not saying your beloved CR7 isn’t a great gamer – it clearly is.

All we’re saying is that there is a legitimate argument to be made for Cristiano Ronaldo’s * ahem * to € 31 million per year of salary (after tax – no seriously, after tax) is the reason for many of the above grievances.

As, in layman’s terms, Juventus would have a lot more money to spend on their midfielder, replacing Alex Sandro, hiring a top manager, etc. if they hadn’t committed around 225 million euros for a player. Bloomberg’s report that the club is sifting money while Ronaldo is at the club and, therefore, needs to be “disciplined” when trying to recruit new players.

Obviously, Ronaldo is a world-class player, but financially, the deal to bring CR7 to Turin – thanks in large part to COVID – has not worked as expected. And, honestly, when it comes to football, that hasn’t really worked out either.

Ronaldo still has his numbers, but the reason he was signed by Juventus was to win the UEFA Champions League and can you honestly see that will happen anytime soon?

Exactly.

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