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Wednesday July 30 2014
A new Juve dawns

As Massimiliano Allegri begins working with his new side, Luca Cetta wonders what to expect from Juventus this term.

If one thing is certain about Juventus this summer, it’s that this is a summer of uncertainty. The Bianconeri are a jigsaw puzzle and Massimiliano Allegri is the man charged with fitting the pieces together. There are some pieces on which the entire puzzle will be built, but exactly how the new boss moulds the shape remains to be seen.

There are two schools on the upcoming season - either the loss of Antonio Conte will affect Juve as others close the gap, or the Turin giants are too strong to fall that far.

As they begin life under Allegri, it’s how he interprets the strengths of the squad and how they line-up which is most fascinating. He’s tactically flexible. His Milan were known to shift between formations, usually a 4-3-1-2 or a 4-3-3, but also a 4-2-3-1 system in the latter stages of his reign. The former Pescara midfielder even dabbled with a Juventus-like 3-5-2.

And after Juve lined up with a Christmas tree formation in their opening pre-season loss to amateur side Lucento, Allegri hinted change was on the horizon: “It’s not intelligent to completely revamp a side that works well, but I will make some modifications. It is only normal that a Coach who did as well as Conte is remembered fondly, but in football and life everything can change.” As he then noted, it’s hard to read much into what was essentially a training run: “Until I have the whole squad at my disposal, I cannot give you precise indications.”

Their main summer signings to date – Roberto Pereyra, Alvaro Morata, Patrice Evra and Kingsley Coman – are all adaptable. They provide Allegri with options and three potential formations, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. One is a trident attack, another being Allegri’s early Milan trademark of a 4-3-1-2, or finally, continuing with a three-man defence. On Monday the majority of Juve’s World Cup players made their return to Vinovo to join pre-season training and as preparations progress things will become clearer. Allegri named his starting line-up to face Cesena yesterday, which should be a 3-5-2.

On the transfer front director Giuseppe Marotta has been coy about Bianconeri intentions. The rumour mill suggests another striker is the target, a possibility given two have been sold in the window and only Morata signed. It looks to be the one area Juve are short a player.

Arturo Vidal has been subject to constant rumours surrounding his future, but Allegri sees the Chilean as one of his ‘fundamental’ jigsaw pieces. “He is motivated, so club and Coach are very happy he will remain in Turin,” adding, “Vidal is fundamental for Juventus and not just in practical terms.”

Juventus face Cesena on Wednesday, their first hit-out with the majority of the squad in tow. It will be a chance for returning World Cup players to shake loose the cobwebs. “We want to put on a good performance and come away from the game without too many problems,” Allegri said. “Normally you have about 50 days with the squad to get them ready for the new season but this time round we’ve only got about 25.” He acknowledges the situation he has come into and is looking to make the most of the days remaining until the opener against Chievo on August 30.

After facing Cesena it will be off to Asia for the pre-season tour and with it, greater clues as to the make-up of this Juve team. Until then – and indeed Week 1 – La Vecchia Signora remains a mystery. It’s the dawn of a new Bianconeri.

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Have your say...
Keeping Arturo Vidal is also key to 2014/15 success - DON'T SELL HIM TO MAN U Massimiliano Allegri, or you'll lose more supprters !
on the 5th August, 2014 at 3:10pm
Keeping Vidal thoughis key - DON'T SLL HIM TO MAN U Massimiliano Allegri, or you'll lose more supporters !!
on the 5th August, 2014 at 3:06pm
I am reasonably otimistic for the 2014/15 season - despite the shock departure of Antonio Conte and the inconsistent Massimiliano Allegri now at the helm.

Summer signings have been good - the captures of Alvaro Morata & Roberto Pereyra in paricular. If rumours of Ezequiel Lavezzi being a serious addition are true too, then great ! Juve need a serious push in the ECL next season - expected last year th Europa league as consolation (espeially given final in their stadium).

Forza Juve !
on the 5th August, 2014 at 3:05pm
I am reasonably optimisticfor the2014/15 season - despite the shock of Conte's departure and the not so convincing Massimiliano Allegri at the helm. Sume signins look good - partiularly the captures of Alvaro Morata & Roberto Pereyra. A serios push in the ECL is needed - expected the uropa League as consolation last year (especially with Final home incentive) If rumours of Ezequiel Lavezzi being signed are true then great ! - given that Morata is out injured for a while.

Forza Juve !!
on the 5th August, 2014 at 2:52pm
Has anybody got something positive to tell me, to make me believe in this new Juve project? Conte brought such hunger and determination, the never say die, and Juve salvaged many points due this. A terrible preseason so far, and even a weak team should smash an amateur side, and the same of Cesena, I guess you should not read to much into preseason, even Conte did not do great there, but I have serious concerns now, make me believe, please!!!!!
on the 1st August, 2014 at 9:10am
@Dominator
Juve don't need a foreign manager to raise the quality of their play or Serie A in general.
After all, an Italian manager won the last Champion's League at Real...
I'm disappointed about Conte's departure but Juve still have a strong squad. Not a fan of Allegri but then he doesn't need to kick the ball.
on the 31st July, 2014 at 6:58pm
It would be nice to see Juve appoint somebody foreign as manager. Someone that gets the fans and players excited. If man u can sign Van Gal and Napoli can sign Benitez there is no reason why Juve could not appoint a big named coach. The italian style of football needs reforming and it would be nice to see some foreign coaches bringing in a different brand of football to the league.Napoli have spanish and Roma have French and they both made it into the top 3 last season.
on the 31st July, 2014 at 12:51pm
I think the difficulty Allegri has is the confidence of the players. Ordinarily a losing coach is replaced and the players' confidence goes up but this time you're replacing a very good winning coach with a manager last remembered for being a loser. When Mourinho left Chelsea it took a long time for them to recover and that is a team with money. Juve are not buying any star players nor a star coach. Without doubt Juve has been weakened rather than strengthened.
on the 31st July, 2014 at 12:48pm
This Juve is doomed to finish 3rd this season. Anyone believing otherwise will be shocked come January when they see Juve out of the title race. Vidal is certain to leave for Man U. and what baffles me the most is the decision to appoint Allegri.
on the 31st July, 2014 at 12:12pm
@DiRocco...you're right but they were in an International tournament that took place in america like we had done last year and we are now about to go for a bunch of friendlies in asia so it'll equal out.
on the 31st July, 2014 at 7:10am
We must trust that he knows what he is doing.Vidal is a winner and it's imperative that he is present to lead our team.Midfield and defence are fine but the attack is lacking.If Allegri is sensible he will change little and it should be enough but I truly doubt that the same intensity will be there in Contes' absence.
on the 30th July, 2014 at 9:15pm
Is it just me or is Juve way behind in preseason preparations? Roma have already played Liverpool, Man Utd, and Real Madrid. Inter and Milan have both played a few games against stronger teams. Roma even had a few players do a full 90 mins last night. Juve still needs to get in match condition and even adapt to a new system. Seems like a shaky start already.
on the 30th July, 2014 at 3:42pm
I expect the results to still be good, actually, despite me not being a fan of Allegri.

When he had better players at Milan they did quite well and had a few big results in the CL too, including giving tough games to a then truly great Barca team.

But he's also the type who will take of 3 attack-minded players with 30min to go while beating a bottom 3 side 1-0 and replace them with 3 Padoin's.

The fear of losing is definitely one of his main charactaristics.
on the 30th July, 2014 at 2:55pm

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