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Juventus Don’t Understand How to Grow Anymore

Juventus again got a draw at Cagliari headquarters. This is the umpteenth draw which widens the points gap with Milan in second place. Actually, comparing the competition between Juventus and Milan in Week 33 of Serie A is no longer relevant.

These two clubs with a history of big names are becoming increasingly superior to Inter. Simone Inzaghi’s team now appear more stable, not just attractive or aggressive. They successfully collected 83 points, from 26 wins, 5 draws and 1 defeat. Therefore, deciding that La Beneamata, who successfully reached the Champions League final last season, will replace their failure with this year’s Serie A Campione is an inevitability. Unless the elections in Indonesia are repeated.

So, after months of restraint, let’s re-read a project from Mister Allegri’s school. Entering the end of January 2024, the Old Lady’s eyebrows, La Vecchia Signora, are increasingly difficult to win. This squad routinely cycles through draws and losses. Like a mid-table team caste that is suffocating. How can it be like that? Let’s look at the following statistical summary.

On 27/02, Chiesa, et al were held to a draw by Empoli. Then they were beaten by Inter and Udinese, then drew again with Verona, and closed the February schedule with a narrow win over Frosinone. Entering the beginning of March, they were beaten again by Napoli, drew with Atalanta and Genoa, and then lost to Lazio at the end of the month.

Then, entering April, a narrow win against Fiorentina, followed by two draws against Torino and Cagliari. In a month filled with news of the election dispute trial in Indonesia, Juventus did win over Lazio, but in the Coppa Italia event. This series of results made it feel like Chiesa, et al. were towing an aircraft carrier with a boat. It’s heavy, it’s chest-pressing but we can’t leave it alone.

Obviously, statistics are just one thing. What about the way they play, develop a game plan? Juventus seems to be getting used to a fast attacking scheme, similar to the fast-break scheme demonstrated by Ten Hag’s troops in England. This scheme does not want to take too long to manage football possession, as demonstrated by Man City or Arsenal. But that doesn’t mean it depends on the performance of the counter attack.

For this season, Allegri’s squad is not in the top 5 Serie A teams that play possession football, including not being in the 5 teams with pass accuracy above 80% success. At the same time, from the fast-break mechanism, attacks on the opponent’s goal as quickly as possible produce goals by exploiting the hollow side. This transition is supported by fast winger movements, in Juventus’ case, mainly from the left with a percentage reaching 39% (Whoscored).

This style also requires a midfielder composition that is equally quick to spot cracks in the opponent’s defense line. Unfortunately, Juventus does not have a creative midfielder like Zidane or Pirlo. Even someone at Bruno Fernandes’ level, they can’t afford it. Apart from that, for almost the entire season, Juventus chose to stick with the 3-5-2 standard; The standard that once dominated Serie A during the BBC+B trio: Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini plus Buffon at the back.

With this strategy, Juventus managed to create 28 goals from the open play mechanism or 60% of their goal production; minimal amount. Because with the same formation, Atalanta scored far more goals from open play, namely 47 goals or twice as many. Why Juventus?

One fact that is clear is that when playing without Vlahovic, this team often relies on set-pieces. You know, with this limited squad, Vlahovic managed to rank second in top scorers with 16 goals, meaning he contributed around 34% of Juventus’ total goals.

In short, without this 24 year old striker, the Old Lady is as if a pile of mobs with balls that are quickly kicked into the goal (Allegri’s shots per game statistics are ranked 5th most this season).

So, what else do we want to say? Wisdom: Winning like losing is only the result of process, consistency, and all disciplined efforts. That’s why the value obtained from the process never has a title, rank, let alone bonuses from sponsorship. Long story short, in the process, we witness the movement of what is growing, developing; increase capacity and exceed limits. Is Juventus growing in all this?

At least they are in the Champions League zone, unlike last season. And still involved in the fight for the Coppa Italia championship. Some of the young talent is a product of its own, such as Miretti, Yildiz and Illing-Junior were also given playing minutes.

The orthodox Allegri succeeded in making this team not going to win, but also not denying it. To be honest, I didn’t want to close the article this way. The hashtag #AllegriOut is still working in my head and the longing to see the Old Lady playing attractively and entertainingly is still burning. But the reality, at least from the screens and sports website statistics, says so.


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