BLOG ITALIA
Saturday April 6 2013
Where's the Juve intensity?

Juventus have shown if they are not at their best physically, then it’s a very different team, warns Susy Campanale.

The side wearing black and white stripes in Munich last Tuesday really did not look like Juventus. They were wearing Juve jerseys and had the right names on their backs, in some cases even the right beards, but they all seemed like cheap copies of the originals. That can’t have been the real Juve... Yet the performance against bottom of the table Pescara provided more of the same. I fear playing in two competitions has taken its toll on Antonio Conte’s men and taken away their distinctive characteristics too.

We have been saying since last year that the Bianconeri excelled in Serie A by working harder than any other team. They do not have a ‘top player’ in attack, so have to swarm the opposition with runs from midfield and smart passes to create their scoring opportunities. Their defects became their strengths, but that was a very unusual campaign. New Coach Conte had all week to prepare his players for the games, drilling his style of football into their minds at the same time as they trained six days a week to remain fresh as daisies. Winning the Scudetto brought other responsibilities with it, namely playing in the Champions League.

It was inevitable that Juventus could not dominate Serie A the same way while sharing their focus with European commitments. So far they have managed to keep on top of both competitions, but the last two performances against Bayern and Pescara suggest that fatigue is finally filtering through. Slow down the tempo and the work rate, you end up with a very different Juventus altogether.

The most telling thing about the 2-0 first leg quarter-final defeat in Munich was the way Juve continually gave the ball away under pressure. Andrea Pirlo was the worst culprit, reminding me of the reasons Milan opted to release the midfield maestro on a free transfer. When given time and space on the ball, Pirlo is simply in a class of his own. When harassed, he loses his habitual cool and opens up a motorway towards Gigi Buffon’s goal. Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio are meant to act as his bodyguards, but without full fitness levels they are not enough to protect him.

Italian commentators said during the game that “Bayern can’t possibly keep this tempo and intensity up.” They could and they did. Italians must stop assuming everyone needs to take a breather during a game the way their teams do, like a soccer siesta. This weekend Bayern Munich mathematically clinched the Bundesliga title with a ludicrous 20-point gap at the top of the table and for several weeks have been able to succeed even with second-string sides. Juventus change a few men and scrape a 2-1 victory over 10-man Pescara, who are propping up the table with one foot in Serie B. It’s no wonder the Germans looked so fresh and energetic compared to the Bianconeri.

On Saturday Juve dominated Pescara, but did so in a slow, sluggish and frustrating fashion. Ivan Pelizzoli played a blinder in goal, but even then the finishing was poor and the intensity sorely lacking. This team really was built in Conte’s image, based on grit, determination, hard work and intensity. Without them, Conte was a decent, but far from world class, midfielder. 

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Have your say...
@ davey

nobody cares .
on the 9th April, 2013 at 4:19am
@ victor

well i guess the best way for milan , fioentina , roma and napoli to win is to stop playing attractive football lol
on the 9th April, 2013 at 4:18am
Hey realist! Be realistic milan has more super cup trophies,intercontinental cups than any other team. We aint some local champion like juve, sucker!!!
on the 8th April, 2013 at 8:17pm
Roberto and luciano, look at the definition of world class. How the hell can you call conte and hbaggio world class. To say Baggio is world class is like calling lamp are and Gerard world class. World class you reserve for players like messi, Ronaldo and of course, myself.
on the 8th April, 2013 at 6:27pm
@ Viktoria

So Milan play entertaining football :)


I would strongly recommend seeing a therapist :)
on the 8th April, 2013 at 5:06pm
I'm a Juve fan. And there is no doubting that Juve have been below-par lately. It happens time to time with our squad, and unfortunately the timing is poor. I hope we at least play admirably on weds - but I do not have any high hopes as only Barca is the first club to reverse a tie and make a comeback without the help of an away goal in UCL history.
on the 8th April, 2013 at 2:14pm
@realist

Juve are the most clinical team in Italy at the moment. They play FAR from the most entertaining football as all three Fiorentina, Napoli and Milan play more entertaining faster football. Even roma does. Bringing up trophy's isn't really what this post is about l. Yes juve have won more league titles but how many CL do they got? What do you think takes most effort seria a or CL? I think that if Milan didnt start off with 5 loses in first 8 games, we'd easily be tie with juve or above
on the 8th April, 2013 at 1:48pm
Had it not been for crippling injuries, & pragmatic coaches, Baggio with his immense talent could have stood alone as the greatest attacking player of all time. As it stands, IMO, he is right up there amongst the greatest. I've never seen someone make so many great defenders & keepers look so foolish. Have any of you seen his dribbling compilation on YouTube? It has footage of his Vicenza days on there.
on the 8th April, 2013 at 10:46am
Roberto
Certainly not worried about you calling me English (big Insult). Fully Italian but I gave up fighting over name calling when I was 12 and accept it as a complement not raciam. Whats World Class is in the eye of the individual and though Italian I look at it not through Rose coloured Glasses. We could all start to name many Italians as world class ahead of other nationalities but its also good to appriciate other good footballers, even English players. Gazza was not World Class Moore was.
on the 8th April, 2013 at 10:22am
Suffolk as you take the name in banter I don't im afraid. Got into many fights over the years being called "eyetie" or "wop". I take it as racism sadly. Don't be offended by my English comment I'm sure your 100% Italian like me. I said to the fact about the bobby Moore comment it reminded of when the Gazza hype was about and everybody said he was better than Baggio!? Baggio between 91-94 the best player in the world. Only a few players came close. Dribbling all the Dortmund team ah great days...
on the 8th April, 2013 at 9:07am
Luciano totally agree with your comment it insulted me with somebody putting that as their name. He's more English than Italian, Baggio was world class end of!!! Voted greatest Italian footballer ever! You called bobby Moore world class!?? Only English fans rated him as world class. Gateano scirea was World class. Conte was in world football a very excellent player. For juve and us tifosi he was world class in our eyes. Would of Easily got into any team in europe between 93-2000.
on the 8th April, 2013 at 8:51am
First of all ... What does being a "World Class Player" have to do with being a good coach ??
Take Maradona as an example
Juventus go on to impress all of Eurpoe for a year and a half week after week ,and one slip up and all hell breaks lose on them
For all those who dont know a tie is made up of 2 matches "home " and "away " there are still 90 min to be played
on the 8th April, 2013 at 8:02am
Stop complaining about playing in two competitions. That's what makes you earn money.
on the 8th April, 2013 at 7:23am
PS Luciano I apparently have webbed feet coming from Suffolk and proud of that also. Keep smiling
Am a Suffolk Eyetie and very proud
on the 8th April, 2013 at 6:32am
Luciano sorryyou find name an insult. I like many Italians have been called names all my life and certainly not going to get upset but turn it into a joke. Maybe you should lighting up a little Proud of being an Italian, call me what you wish. only a nickname a very old pal gave me. The only reason I said possible Baggio was I feel he was not as consistant as many of the rest that I mentioned and I dont think its an insult to be mentioned with the greats. Baggio is an Italian Legend
on the 8th April, 2013 at 6:21am
lol @ vic and susy . the both of you are just sad that milan does not have the most titles in any of the competitions they take part in . real madrid has the most cl titles . juventus has by far the most serie A titles and coppa italia . you are the best at nothing and never will be . inter is not even worth talkinfg about as they are where they belong and everyone is used to seeing them . just shut up and accept that you are not the best team in italy or anywhere . forza juventus
on the 8th April, 2013 at 12:45am
@viktor

<>

Is this supposed to make sense?
on the 7th April, 2013 at 11:50pm
To Suffolk guy (I find your nickname insulting and I'm surprised the website allows it). In your eyes Baggio was only a 'possible word class' player. If winning world player of the year and dragging Italy to a world cup final practically single handed isn't world class then I don't know what is. Your insult to an Italian legend (Italy's Maradona in fact) proves your not much of an 'eyetie' when it comes to football.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 8:01pm
The problem was Juve only had two days to prepare for the game against Bayern which also included air travel time. Not many players were rested for the game against Inter which took its strain on Tuesday match.

As great as Pirlo is, he is also the teams archillies heel, 1st goal case in point. A lack of decent forwards also another note worthy point.

The positive thing I can see for Wednesday is Bayern tend to sit back once they have a comfortable lead as they did with Chelsea & lately Arsenal
on the 7th April, 2013 at 7:19pm
As for the Juve issue. They have had a great season dispite their lose last week. Bayern are a great side and are possible CL winners as are Juve if they can come back. This is not impossible. Conte is a good manager who is still learning his trade and will do great things in the future either with Juve if they continue with him or else where. Good Luck on Wednesday Juve,
on the 7th April, 2013 at 6:33pm
While I very rearly agree with any of the writes as they only write to provoke (and succeed,)Conte was not World Class. He was a great player but lets not brand world class to any great player. World class players are for the likes Maradonna, Platini, Zidane, Messi, Ronaldo possible Baggio. I will give you possible world class Keepers, defenders,also but again please keep the names to world class players like Maldini,Beckenbauer, Moore and not all great players.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 6:27pm
As usual viktor-ia will come here and leave comment.

But when milan out from CL he also gone from the blog hahaha
on the 7th April, 2013 at 5:36pm
@ Viktoria

I'd rather have you than Conte in Juve's bench (stupid sarcasm).
on the 7th April, 2013 at 5:30pm
Something to be said on experience here - this Juve team & manager have not actually competed in UCL before - this is new territory, forget club history it counts for nothing & Juve as the last Italian representative are doing well to their potential. Bayern have competed year in year out for years now & do have a stronger side. We need an alternative to Pirlo, a younger fitter midfielder who can play that role, I wish Aquilani had worked out at Juve, there is certainly a shortage of options
on the 7th April, 2013 at 5:10pm
Juventus' European campaign has been a success. To win a group including the defending champions and a winning machine like Shahktar was a tremendous achievement. Then face a bare pit of an atmosphere at Celtic Park and put on a tactical master class of defensive solidity and clinical finishing. The performance in Munich was terrible, but it still took a freak deflection and an offside goal to beat us. It will be difficult, especially without Vidal & Lichtsteiner, but not impossible. FORZA JUVE!
on the 7th April, 2013 at 4:58pm
this blog point directly into juve weaknesses. Juve always use same starting line up. Conte is either doesn't like to rotate his players or doesn't know the word rotation. in every match before UCL, MVP always play. no wonder when in UCL sometimes one of MVP is seem so tired, unable to run. Juve style is an intense pressing game. Juve's players always run, press, pass, etc. but against muenchen, they didn't run. conte must learn how to rotate his first team.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 4:47pm
Suzi, I didn't see you score overhead kicks for Italy or score against Manchester united in
1999 champions league semi final at old Trafford?!!!
forgot your a woman get back to the kitchen!!! Conte ain't world class??? Course he was and is a world class manager!!! Why do you slate juve for??? Remember where we were 17/18 months ago??? Finishing 7th and our future looking bleak!!! Now on the verge of winning back to back scudetti's!!! We will see the real juve Wednesday!!!! Stop slating them!!!
on the 7th April, 2013 at 4:41pm
Lets get something rite here we had 1poor game in 2 years lets put it rite on wed if we turn the result around we will win the cl stop criticising the team and support them forza rjuve
on the 7th April, 2013 at 4:15pm
susy , i know you are having your days, but dont write about football if you know nothing about it.juve slow against pescara :DDD if you are as ugly as funny, omg.
on the 7th April, 2013 at 1:42pm
Conte was far from world class?

SMH....things people say to get a little controversy running on their blog post......
on the 7th April, 2013 at 1:00pm

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