BLOG ITALIA
Saturday November 24 2012
Asamoah making the difference

As Juventus go from strength to strength, Alex Mott explains why Kwadwo Asamoah is the reason behind their dominance this season.

The 2011-12 Serie A season was an historic one for Juventus. After the nadir of the Calciopoli scandal in 2006, last term was vindication for six years of ridicule and hard work.

A succession of Coaches have come and gone since then, some good and some bad, but with Antonio Conte in charge, it was hard for Bianconeri fans to remember a time Juve dominated Italian football the way they did for the entirety of that season.

The Turin giants didn't so much beat sides last term as pulverised them. 4-0 wins over Roma and Novara, plus a 5-0 victory against Fiorentina that confirmed their Scudetto credentials. It wasn't the high-scoring games that impressed fans and pundits alike though. What was most unnerving for the rest of the peninsula was the way they could dominate a game for start to finish. Of the 38 matches they played in 2011-12, 17 of them were won by a one or two goal deficit – and not once did they look like losing.

It was hard to see then how they could improve on that monumental campaign, but with 13 Serie A games gone and a Champions League group stage almost complete, it seems they may just have done that with the addition of Kwadwo Asamoah.

The Ghana international joined the club from Udinese over the summer in a co-ownership deal. The fact that Conte's side fought off Manchester United tells you a lot about the quality of the 23-year-old, but with his performances so far this term, it could be argued that he is now a lynchpin to the Old Lady.

Alongside Stephan Lichtsteiner on the right-flank, Asamoah has made the left wing-back position his own and turned their 3-5-2 formation into a fluid and free-flowing tactical system.

Fabio Capello called it 'a step back' for the Italian game, but as they proved on Tuesday against reigning European champions Chelsea, Juve have turned the formation into an entirely positive one – giving width and defensive stability all at the same time.

Asamoah has been given the task of doing all these things at once, but instead of shrinking in the high-pressure environment of Turin, he has prospered into one of the best wide-men in Europe.

His pace, agility, natural fitness and decision-making have seen him lay on six assists already for his teammates, and score two goals at Genoa and Pescara. Replacing Paolo De Ceglie in the position has been a massive positive for the Bianconeri, and has made them genuine contenders at home and abroad.

We've seen all too often the difficulty with juggling a domestic and European campaign. Manchester City haven't been able to make it out of the group for the past two years, Borussia Dortmund were felled by Arsenal and Marseille last season. And yet, Juventus are close to doing it, thanks to the extra dimension offered to them by Asamoah.

Fans and media outlets clamour over the majesty of Andrea Pirlo, the warrior heart of Arturo Vidal and the home-grown talents of Claudio Marchisio, and rightly so. But for my money, the person who has really made La Vecchia Signora tick this season has been the youngster from Africa, pounding down the wing.

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

Have your say...
Asamoah is still half a player,he is not complete. In he match Juve against the REF Juve were very nervous and very tired. Alesio is not made for coach, doesn't have the flair for it. Carrera delivered better results.
on the 28th November, 2012 at 2:52pm
Asamoah has been a great player for Juve but I was really impressed with the way De Sciglio handled him in the real derby d'italia
on the 27th November, 2012 at 1:43pm
Asamoah is a great player to have done what he has. He was used to playing CDM for Udinese and Ghana now he has adapted to a LWB role which i honestly think he is very very good at. He will grow into an even better player in time but at the moment the guy deserves alot of praise dont talk it away from him plus his ability to score good goals alone is worth alot. WE DO need a striker thats is for sure and a player like Llorente/Cavani/Jovetic is what we are missing in alot of matches.
on the 27th November, 2012 at 10:30am
Many clubs in The English Primier League are even adopting th 3-5-2 fomation thedays.
on the 27th November, 2012 at 8:58am
I will always support juve even if they are in serie c!! Its the mentality of the team that only us, the real fans understands.. Thats what makes juve unique.. But let me complain abt how we played!! Its too onesided and we cant afford to do this.. We just dont play in front of the penalty box and make short passes in from there.. We end our attack by crossing crappy balls in.. If we r gonna play like this y sell krasic!! Honestly i dont know how much alessio has in the side but im not his fan!!
on the 26th November, 2012 at 12:41pm
To Stephan

Yesterday against milan Vucinic was simply ugly, quau tried with the few balls he got to shoot at gaoal. Vida was below his usual par, and prilo gave to many balls but milan failed o capitalize on. Isla failed again as a winger, but he was penalied unjustly with the penalty. Asamoah did nothing all night i wonder why wasn't he subbed on 45' instead of 70'. Juve looked very tired and Milan packed the box with 10 players. While they can enjoy the win we remain 1st and they are 14th.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 8:07am
Ta reply to anonymous abt trez.. I agree nedved and camo are better than our wingers nowadays but we were playing with a different system. Take llast nite against milan.. We lept on passing to around for a while and always finish our attack to our right wingers and sometimes our left for a cross! Why?? Our strikers arent made for that! Also its easy to guess our moves, we played too shallow, i was truly sick to watch us last night. Also i agree abt trez but hos instinct and finishing is best!!
on the 26th November, 2012 at 7:09am
To Stephan

Trez used to get service from Nedved and Camoranesi, and our wingers today are not even close to that standard. I belive Quag today is better than Trez, he has the same positioning quality, yet he is more creative. Trez used to only shoot at goal, and i always felt Juve plays with 10 players until the ball gets to Trez boots.
on the 25th November, 2012 at 6:36pm
To the english teacher Zacherya

dont bite me for a typo! and one good game against chelsea doesn't mean they are top class players. Even in that game asamoah was awful and he only made an assist not because he was able to beat the defense but because De matteo emptied the field for Juve to dominate. Lichsteiner was goo in that game, but he is not the winger who produce magic like camoranesi. So take easy the guys still needs plenty of time to become a worldclass
on the 25th November, 2012 at 6:26pm
Asamoah is not a defender, he is a defensive midfielder,that is his best position, he is doing his best at the left back position. Watches his matches with Ghana and Udinese.
on the 25th November, 2012 at 4:45pm
Asamoah has made an impact, a starter but a role-player. He provides pressure on the ball and is a tireless worker but replaceable. For instance, Juve would be no worse-off with Pepe in his position. To say he is a good decision-maker is a laugh. Pirlo is good decision-maker and I hope Conte is planning his replacement when he retires as he is MAKING THE DIFFERENCE.
on the 25th November, 2012 at 12:49pm
Asamoah has been a good buy for Juve but I won't go as far as to say that he is the main difference maker. The current Juve side is about collectivity. Pirlo was the difference maker last season but Pogba has filled-in for him here and there and that shows that as great as Pirlo is, Juve isn't lost without him.
on the 25th November, 2012 at 11:10am
Thanks moh.. Ive been a juve fan since 94-95.. And honestly i enjoyed watching contes juve the most.. Even though i missed my captain del piero very much.. But every player scoring makes us even more dangerous compared to other teams.. Try marking 11 players compared to marking cavani and insigne!! Juve attack like a tsunami of 10 outfiled players.. If we have a trez type of goalscorer even better but lets support our team and not take it for granted as 2 seasons ago we were 7th.. Forza juve
on the 25th November, 2012 at 10:54am
Stephan hit the nail on the head, do Juve really need a +30 mil striker ???

Given the way Juve played last season, not only did they play as a team but scored like one too. Marchisio, Vidal & Pepe being Juve's other main goal contributers from midfield.

What Juventus need is a striker who plays for the team & not for himself, something Torres & co can't do...
on the 25th November, 2012 at 9:53am
I think juve are fine the way they play and all the players and formation conte are utilizing.. Its not the strikers fault that they cant score 20-25 goals a season, its the way we play.. We play as a team and as one unit instead of pumping or passing the ball to one striker setting up one striker for every goal oppurtunity.. Thats y small teams have high scoring forwards.. Di natale, cavani, even milans el sharaawy this year.. Plus juve plays more discipline as opposed to over creative plays..
on the 25th November, 2012 at 8:23am
I am not convinced of his ability as of right now. But he is definitely better than De Ceglie
on the 25th November, 2012 at 5:44am
Not Sure he isn't better playing on the inside.

However I still think Juventus need to add another Forward in the winter, what does everyone think?
on the 25th November, 2012 at 3:27am
he's been excellent and with the high workrate.. he just does his job without any fuss which is an amazing thing.. he's been marvellous and i think one of the most efficient player on the left wing in all of europe. he defends, he attacks he support and runs..just like lichsteiner on the right wing. we were lacking fullbacks in past season but conte has been intelligent to change the team to suit pirlo and bring in the right player. asamoah has great attitude and will become a great player.
on the 25th November, 2012 at 2:25am
I totally agree. Asamoah has been a great addition. He is fast, fit and skillful. I actually think he can still improve and put even better crosses into the box (than he did against Chelsea). I am so pleased that we got him and so pleased that Conte recognized that De Ceglie was not good enough. It will be interesting to see what happens on the right wing. I hope we keep hold of Lichsteiner. He has so much power, aggression and will to win and that really helps Juventus.
on the 25th November, 2012 at 12:23am
Sure he's not Ronaldo, di Maria or other wingers but he gives balance to the left side which had been so vulnerable the past few years, he fights for balls but if a man passes him you have the likes of Marchisio or Chiellini to cover. He's looks more able on the ball than de Ceglie. Last season every team was saying juve doesn't have 3 competetion. Now thy do and in the league they have one of the highest goals and best defensive record
on the 24th November, 2012 at 9:56pm
To the guy that wrote

"Juve doesn need an attacker, juve needs decent winger better than asamowah, isla and lishcteiner"

1) learn to spell
2) watch the chelsea game and see how lichtsteiner and asamoah destroyed Cole and Ivanovic.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 9:10pm
I guess asamoa is still not perfect. He needs to find new solutions to cross the defender. He doesn't use his right foot is passing so the defender already knows he is gonna pass with the left foot! Anyone agrees?
on the 24th November, 2012 at 6:46pm
personally hes first touch is awful and for me he doesn't look comfortable on the ball against inter he struggled against zanetti and hes dribbling isn't the best,i think ppl are going over the top about him in all honesty he is not very fluent when he runs with the ball and hes choices are not the best .
on the 24th November, 2012 at 5:59pm
Asamoah has been a revelation.

Last few buys have been quite good. Can't wait to see more of Isla as he rounds into form. Caceres is excellent cover at about 4 spots.

Now, Beppe go out and get us a Trez replacement or 2.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 5:58pm
Juve doesn need an attacker, juve needs decent winger better than asamowah, isla and lishcteiner. Caceres on the right is the best we got but he loses concetration often and is often caught sleeping. Wingers or left backs should be in the form or Roberto Carlos, Angelo Di Livio. No Wonder Amauri failed at Juve when he is the best aerial player in Serie A.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 5:27pm
Let's not exaggerate, he is an average winger, he sleeps most of the time and he makes one or two runs in a game that mostly stop at the feet of defense, he only succeeds when juve attackers pull the defense their way so he can lay back his pass. I still haven't seen him make a good cross after a run. He is slow and he often hesitates to cross te ball when he puts the opponent to sleep and then decides to run again when the opponent regains balance. He is only better than De Ceglie only.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 5:23pm
Agreed with the article that he's making the difference but I really think we still need more depth for this position. Paolo De Ceglie is simply not good enough. Understand that he's still young and has some potentials. But how many chance did we give him and he still failed to deliver consistently ? I really hope we can bring in Armero in the January transfer market. That'd solve our left wing back issue for good.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 4:29pm
Asamoah is immense. I worry about losing him to the Africa Cup of Nations come January. Isla or Pepe could step in, but probably not come close to Asamoah provides to the side. We still have to work out a final purchase price from Udinese, and it's not going to be cheap.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 4:03pm
Let's hope you're right
The AFCON (African cup) is set for January and he'll surely be there leaving his place for De Ceglie.
Forza Milan.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 3:40pm
Kevin,
Totally agree - lets not forget that we have won two trophies without a "30mil striker" and we look good enough to at least retain title this season.
I think Marotta knows what he is doing.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 3:06pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.