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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.

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Have your say...
Totally spot on Alex.

His fitness levels are second to none and i think this is exactly why Conte has brought him in along with the likes of Vidal
on the 24th November, 2012 at 3:58pm
forza juveeeeeeeee!!!!!!
on the 24th November, 2012 at 3:40pm
Looking at Mikkel's comment below...so many people keep saying that Juve must spend big in order to get a sound and solid forward. But if you look at the value and talent we have secured with Vidal, Asamoah, Pirlo, Barzagli, etc on either frees or very low transfer fees - why can't they find the striker in the same method? I understand the forward is the "sexy" buy and the good ones cost money...but there must be a few out there that won't cost €30M but will deliver the value of a €30M player.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 2:49pm
Love his work rate and the ability to run tirelessly over 90mins really makes him a key part in Juve's success.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 2:26pm
At the end of last season, it was duly noted that Juve needed a left winger, especially when De Ceglie was out either injured or suspended & may I say Juve couldn't have chosen a better player to fill that position.

LoL at Juve must sign Torres/Villa/Pedro. I rather have "insert facepalm" Bendtner then those over rated and over paid Spanish tiki taka posers...
on the 24th November, 2012 at 2:16pm
Yes it's true, So far Kwadwo Asamoah and El sharaawy are the best players of the season in Seria A.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 12:30pm
Sick of people talking about Juve fixing matches. They were punished for calling referees and telling them off plus interfering with who should be in charge of the matches. NOT matchfixing. Do you hypocrites really think your clubs are 100 % innocent? Being naive and full of prejudices is not just stupid but also being ignorant. You envy the renaissance of The Old Lady. It's like Goebbels' fans. Telling lies over and over again convince people of NON facts.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 12:16pm
Asamoah is great. Has pace and willpower. Juve must spend big this summer on ONE and only ONE signing. A worldclass striker. David Villa, Fernando Torres, Willian (though more like Sneijder), Cavani, Suarez or Pedro. Someone younger than 30 - so that Juve next summer can buy someone in defence or midfield. Get rid of Bendtner and Matri. By the way build two row of seats above the VIP section.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 12:06pm
The guy is a class act & has been brilliant for the bianconeri... One of Marotta's better piece of business.
on the 24th November, 2012 at 11:08am

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