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FORZAJUVEPIERO's Review On Juventus
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Hey my fellow Juventini!

I am starting this blog at the suggestion of a new friend Arsenalmylove to provide, for any who cares to read, my review on Juventus matches and pretty much all things Juventus.

The only reason why I will use this over Juventus chat is if I want to talk at length about one topic. I felt bad taking up so much space on the Juventus page because you all provide so much great insight and feedback on everything Juve, I did not want to take away from that anymore.

Hope you all enjoy and engage with me on all my comments.

Forza JUVE!
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Genoa vs Juventus (1-3)

Thoughts on the match....

I think everyone can agree that it was not a great showing by our lads by any stretch of the imagination. Although the argument can be made that this was not our true starting XI, we must improve the cohesiveness and understanding between the players that do not normally start because we will need them more than ever this season competing on three fronts.


First the negatives:
As a whole, the back line did very poor (especially in the first half). We lost nearly every 50/50 ball and anything in the air was a threat to Buffon since it always seemed to be 2-3 Genoa players for every 1 Juve defender going up to challenge for the ball. We have seen more of that this season than we did all last campaign when it seemed we won every ball in the air. Barzagli had an off game (which everyone can have - and he was our most consistent defender last season) but I was disappointed in Caceres. He has a real chance to challenge Lichtsteiner for more starting time but proved wasteful with many of his crosses and had acres of space to do more with the ball that I know Lich would have made better use of (especially with his runs into the box).

But besides our general lack of intensity in the first half which was the main reason, I think, Genoa had as many chances as they did, the last real negative I took away was Matri's performance. When I saw him get the start I was really hoping he would have a good showing to give Conte, Carrera, and us Juventini more confidence in him when he plays. I'm not sure what has happened to Matri but he seems to have really lost his touch/tenacity and I really hope he finds it because when he is on, he is a tough player to guard because of his size and relative strength.


Positives of the match:
Really enjoyed watching Giaccherini play today. He had great pace, clever yet simple footwork, and provided a spark to our attack in the first half that no one else seemed to be bringing. I think he and Asamoah on the left hand side could be a very lethal combination because of their speed, skill, and awareness against the quicker sides we will face in Europe. As others have already mentioned, Asamoah provides so much more than De Ceglie down the left flank but I still think D. [C.] will be a great substitute when Conte wants to rest Asamoah, or when depth is required down the left side.

On the attack, Vucinic really has blossomed since coming over from Roma. He provides so much creativity, aggression, and vision up front, I think it is only a matter of time before the chemistry between he and Giovinco creates magic in our attack. I thought his vocal presence on the pitch helped motivate the attack to do more than they were. I can't wait to see Pogba play in the center because I just have this feeling he is going to be another fantastic weapon for the future.

(Side Note: Thought Immobile looked great for Genoa)

To finish, I loved the never say die attitude the lads showed in the second half. That was my favorite characteristic of our squad last year because it had been desperately lacking for so many years.

Sorry for the long, somewhat rambling, analysis of the match but you all are the only people I can really have this type of football debate with as there are not many intelligent football fans in California, US so this is the only forum I really have to debate and talk footy. Besides, every Juventini here shares my passion for our beloved Old Lady and we all love talking about the team we hold so near to our hearts.

Forza JUVE and bring on Chelsea!
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Champions League: Chelsea vs. Juventus (2-2)

Stating the obvious:
Wow.... What a come-back! Give all the circumstances surrounding the match, the location, the opponent, the uncertainty (not from Juvetini but from others) in our quality.... Endless compliments can be made towards the overall performance and tenacity. And all the compliments in the world to Oscar (you can go to the Chelsea page if you want to hear more on him lol)

Now for the negatives:
I agree completely with Jujex is saying we actually were wasteful and sloppy at times in the midfield. Granted, we were playing a great and talented side, and they made their mistakes too, but if we were more clinical in certain areas of the pitch, we could have mitigated the dangerous counter-attack of Chelsea.

And I totally agree with Spigy in saying Gio was a bust. He had some instances of quality but was utterly ineffective against a much bigger and stronger English back line. This shows his weakness, which he can get away with in Serie A, he has to rely on his skill to get around defenders and can't do what even a Quags can do an back down defenders. Vucinic, although playing very well, had no ability to dictate positioning on Chelsea's back line unless he had position first. Still waiting on that striker.... And I am more convinced now than I was before, Llorente is not the answer.

Extending on my analyses from our other matches this season, we MUST get better defending set pieces. Buffon was brilliant in goal but far too many times we failed to clear the danger from Chelsea's corners and were unable to win most balls in the air. I know we were more concerned with John Terry but I feel David Luiz had many opportunities to exploit the space we gave him and could have really hurt us. Bonucci's failed tip/clear/whatever you want to call it was unfortunate but that's football and we just have to do all we can to not to be careless.

Positives:
Vidal.... What a champion. Even when he was clearly in pain and not able to physically be at 100% the entire match, he outplayed everyone besides Oscar. Chiellini showed again why he is the best defender in Serie A (countering Thiago Silva when he was on Milan) and why every club in Europe wants his services. Strong, Tenacious, un-yielding and knows when to go out on a limb and go for the risky challenge and when not to. It should also be said that I thought our back 3 did better overall than Chelsea's back 4.... I think that says a lot. Vucinic showed great quality against Chelsea's strong back 4 and Marchisio did well to take advantage of the extra space awarded to him because Pirlo was being constantly being shadowed. So happy for Quags. I think he deserves to line-up with Vucinic in the starting XI next week.

In my opinion, the un-sung star of the match was awesomoah! I know many of you noticed his performance but the media coverage did not. He was solid dropping back in defence, was often the one who ultimately cleared the ball in the box when we had to defend those nerve-racking corners, and was a strong presence down the flank, able to take on 2 or 3 Chelsea players and keep possession and his cool. After what was already an all-star midfield in MVP, the addition of awesomoah has brought another level of quality to our midfield.

And last but not least the 3000 Juventini that were at Stanford Bridge win my off-pitch MOTM. They were so loud, chanting over all the English fans, it gave the Chelsea fans a small taste of what it will be like to play at our stadium in Turin (already getting goose-dumps).

It was such an entertaining match to watch from a football fan's perspective, it is great for European football to have good Italian sides. The differences in style were evident but they complimented each other so well.

Forza JUVE! Bring on Chievo!
Twk80 (Juventus) 2 years ago
Nice review there mate.... Thanks for the post.... Cheers bud...
Noir853 (Juventus) 2 years ago
Pointing out about the 3000 fans at the stamford bridge. If they can make that kind of noise there, one can only imagine how the atmosphere would be in the Juve-Chelsea match in Juventus Stadium
Twk80 (Juventus) 2 years ago
Louder than heavy metal concert...
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Serie A: Juventus vs. Chievo Verona (2-0)

Another tale of two halves. We played the match with safe approach and, given the line-up with Isla and Lucio’s first start back from injury alongside Pogba and Giaccherini substituting into the starting XI from the match verse Chelsea, the result was a positive sign with a tough schedule ahead. With Fiorentina, Roma, and Shakhtar impending over the next 7 days, Conte/Carrera saw good things from a bench that will need to be called on to provide fresh legs and new perspectives. All-in-all, good match from Juventus with an important match on Tuesday.

Negatives:

I think everyone agrees it wasn't the strongest performance and the game seemed flat for most of the first half and until Vidal came on in the 52 minute. Vucinic seemed tired/lazy all match. He has played a lot recently but he was sloppy with passes and frustrated with his play and when that happens, becomes less focused and more wasteful. Isla showed flashes of quality but he needs more time to become fully fit after being out so long.

The only critique of the squad which has been an issue in previous matches is set pieces on both sides of the ball. Last season we were great but we are getting a lot of opportunities and being wasteful or not defending as well as we should.

A lot of Positives from the match:

Have to start this one with Quagliarella! What a great performance to follow up his goal against Chelsea 3 days earlier. Started early in the 5th minute finding loads of space in the Chievo defence and connected with a great Marchisio cross from the right to put the ball on target but easily saved by Sorrentino. Another shot on target for Quags from a one touch by Vucinic in the 8th but a superb save from Sorrentino. Also played some great crosses in from the outside and took over corner responsibility from Pirlo connecting with Chiellini in the 62nd but another great save by Sorrentino (I thought we might not get past him because he always seemed to make the right move).

Breakthrough in the 64th… great scissor kick in acres of space off the corner set-piece and muscled it past Sorrentino. Very happy for Quagliarella to find the net once but he made it a memberable night by doubling up on a perfect first touch in the 68th and with a finish similar to the goal against Chelsea, although this time finding the back post. Substituted in the 80th minute with Bendtner, he received a much deserved standing ovation for his performance. I think his substitution instead of Vucinic shows at least Carrera’s intention for the starting attack against Fiorentina: Giovinco in for Vucinic and Quagliarella getting the consecutive start given his good run of form.

The substitutes performed well on both sides of the ball…

Giaccherrini:
Was consistent throughout the match running all over the pitch finding space with great runs. Quagliarella’s 8th minute strike was set be great one touches from Giacch and Marchisio only to have Sorrentino make his first of many great saves on the night. Again in the 29th minute putting the ball across the goal from a great cross by awesomoah on the left flank. Giaccherini almost assisted Quagliarella to his first goal in the 54th minute after a good flick on by Vucinic but Quag’s couldn’t quite find the finish (more to come from him).

Pogba:
I thought it was a good showing from the 19 year old that made his size and strength particularly felt on defence. Only thing missing, which he’ll hopefully get after more time with the squad, is the inclination to look forward and find his teammates upfield as Pirlo does. However, given the safe approach to the match, and his holding midfield role, played well from start to finish. He put a good ball forward for Isla in the 31st minute but couldn’t quite connect (I wonder if he had Lichtsteiner there making more runs forward would he have tried more forward-thinking passes). Did real well in the 76th minute to block out the Chievo midfielder allowing Chiellini to regain possession. Most positive pass came in the 89th minute finding Vidal who nearly connect with Vucinic for a 3rd goal. I think we will see him again when Pirlo needs rest (I wonder how this performance changes Marrone on the list?).

Isla:
Nothing overly special from the new signing back from injury. Made one strong run in the 6th minute that looked like Lichtsteiner but didn’t maintain those runs throughout his performance. Found Vucinic with a one touch from Quagliarella’s cross in the 27th minute but Vucinic was a half yard offside. Was ultimately substituted with Vidal in the 51st minute after missing a good opportunity to score from inside the box.

Lucio:
Best match so far for Juve for Lucio in my opinion. Looked good defending and was constantly running forward with the ball trying to get the ball into attacking positions. It is going to be interesting to see what back 3 Conte/Carrera pick in the coming matches but we have 4 healthy central defenders that can start in any match.

Everyone else did well too. Chiellini and Bonucci played well covering in defence and pushing forward. Marchisio played well in the leading role in the midfield until Vidal came in and provided a spark off the bench. Asamoah was again awesomoah today. Glad to see he is playing so well so early on and adapting to Conte’s philosophy of play.

Other side observations: Good substitutions from Carrera again. Whether they are being pre-decided upon or off the cuff, he is proving to be a good steward during Conte’s ban. The Vidal change early into the second half was good to see because it changed the tempo of the match. And Sorrentino had a great match for being on the losing end. This game could have easily been ended on a wide margin but he made clutch saves during the first and second halves to keep it close.

Looking Forward to Tuesday’s match against Fiorentina. Hopefully we can go in there and get 3 points against our rivals and go into the weekend with some momentum to face a Zeman led Roma (who doesn’t like us very much lol).

Forza JUVE!
Noir853 (Juventus) 2 years ago
^another spot on review

And I can't agree anymore regarding Vuci. Yes he might be the best dribbler on the team. But he sometimes need to stop thinking he could/should do all by himself. There's atleast 1 time he got a chance to pass it to an unmarked Bendtner to atleast make our scoreline 3-0 but as I pointed b4, he did it all by himself

As for Pogba, I just wowed at the way this kid provided the ball. Its like watching the lesser version of Pirlo.
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Appreciate it Noir853.

Vucinic definitely showed that in this match. The part I don't particularly like is he is the first to critique or complain to his mates that don't play the ball exactly how he wants (although it's good to be pushing for perfection), that can "get in the way" of him putting in a better performance.

As for Pogba, the only thing lacking is his inclination to push forward. Players like Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Giaccherini, Vucinic, and Giovinco make runs in the box because they know Pirlo will find them and attempt to connect (great part is he usually plays a good ball and I believe Pogba has that potential). When they know Pogba will do the same, I think we will see sparks fly
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Serie A: Juventus vs. Roma (4-1)

Zeman bites THE DUST! No other way to start the review of a great performance by our beloved Vecchia Signor. Could not have asked for a better first half performance from the lads. We had our foot on the gas from the first whistle and were able to exploit all the weaknesses of this Roma side. Nevertheless, it was a tail of two halves although we always looked comfortable and, as most Italian sides do, are quite comfortable with a 3 goal differential to seal the win. Especially with our next Champions League fixture on Wednesday against Shakhtar, I cannot fault Carrera or the lads for a more conservative approach to the second half. Although the match was filled with positives, there were some negatives that must be addressed before singing praises…

Negatives:
I knew in the 4th minute, when Bonucci was easily stripped of the ball by Lamela that he would cause most of, if not all, the problems we would have at the back. Even in the first half, which was utterly dominated by Juventus, Bonucci was still making sloppy passes, unsuccessful runs, and lazy attempts at the ball. Granted, our back three are better than any back 4 in Serie A (closest would be Napoli because of the aggressive mindset of Cannavaro and Campagnaro), Bonucci is most certainly the “weakest” of our central defenders because he often lacks 100% focus through 90+ minutes of play. The challenge that caused the penalty in the 69th minutes was unnecessary and caused us to lose the clean sheet and allow a silly penalty. With Lucio back on form and with Barzagli’s strong performance throughout the match, I am interested to see who Conte chooses to start the match against Shakhtar. I would personally like to see Chiellini, Barzagli, and Lucio across the back.

Matri also did not have the best match in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I am “Over the Moon” for him to get a goal because, for his confidence alone, it was very important he break his goal draught going back to February. That goal will not doubt give him the extra motivation to compete with Giovinco, Vucinic, Quagliarella and even Bendtner time on the pitch. All that being said… I think he could have done better. De Ceglie and Caceres were playing some great balls across the front of the net that he should have done more with. Marchisio and Caceres were making more runs in the box than Matri and we simply need more from the Striker up front with Vucinic and Giovinco typically playing the more creative roles up front. If Matri is to challenge Quagliarella or Giovinco for starting time, he needs to become more clinical and make much more aggressive runs so M. V. P. Can find him in space.

Positives:
First and foremost…the aggressive start to the match was the most positive take away from the match. Unlike Fiorentina, we came out with purpose and well-thought game plan which was executed perfectly. De Ceglie was my surprise performance of the match. Not that his performance was uncharacteristic of his ability, but he played extremely well and was able to exploit the space given to him by Taddei on the right flank and did well to maintain possession and make good decisions on distributing the ball. His early crosses into the box looking for Matri and Vucinic put Roma on their heels and opened up space late for Matri and Marchisio to make good runs.

Marchisio was my man of the match. With Pirlo of superb form throughout the match and able to maintain stability in the midfield along with Vidal, Marchisio push forward and force the Roma back line to move with him instead of Vucinic which nearly netted Vucinic goals on 2 occasions in the first half. He very nearly got on the score sheet with so low, hard shots wide but was unable to put the ball on frame. Along with Vidal, Marchisio is an unrelenting engine that gives you great dimension in the middle of the pitch and with his awareness and ability on the ball, can really dictate tempo when he pushes forward.
Barzagli was tremendous as well. Besides his fabulous run forward in the 90th minute which saw Giovinco score a great goal from a tough angle, Barzagli was never beat and was a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the pitch. Vucinic played really well, not making very many mistakes and seemed to be fresher after sitting out most of the Fiorentina match. The goal Marchisio almost scored was set up by Vucinic and placed perfectly in Marchisio’s path right outside the box. And as Sam mentioned in the Juventus page, Vucinic was looking for a goal and forced Stekelenburg off his line a number of times in the second half to make the save.

Other notable mentions in the match are Pirlo, Chiellini, and late substitute Paul Pogba. Roma did very poorly trying to pressure Pirlo off the ball so he was really able to control the ball and find players like Marchisio, Matri, and Caceres making runs forward. Chiellini was a beast as usual. I can’t remember the last time he was beat and did not do a perfect job recovering and regaining possession of the ball. Although Pogba only played for about 5 minutes giving Marchisio a slight reprieve and a well-deserved standing ovation, Pogba showed again flashes of brilliance was a great strike at goal from 25 yards out and used his size and strength to win back possession. I think he is proving to be a great stand-in for Pirlo or Marchisio when they need rest or need to be substituted during the match, especially after Giaccherini showed he is not well suited for playing in the center against Fiorentina.


Great to see a much better showing following a disappointing match against Fiorentina. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into the week when we face Shakhtar in Torino. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see the Champions League come home to the Juventus stadium. We had such a great atmosphere at Stamford Bridge when we only had 3, 000 Juventini in attendance in London; imagine what 42, 000 will sound like at home!

Forza JUVE!
Dinglehater2 (West Bromwich Albion) 2 years ago
Spot on. No denying il principino was our MOTM. Was a bit surprised Quags didn't start but I'm glad Matri got his goal. Shaktar will be a much tougher test but if we keep the same momemtum going we can win the game. Excellent review

Forza JUVE!
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Not overly surprised Quags didn't start. I think he and Vucinic will get the start against Shakhtar which will be a tougher test. The key for that match is how Shakhtar approach attempting to contain MVP. It's impossible to contain Vidal because let's be honest, no one has shown yet they can stop El Guerrero. If they choose to focus on Pirlo and mark him well, it will be up to Marchisio and the flanks to dictate the pace of the match. However, if they try to keep a balanced approach and do more zone marking, I think we will see more of what we saw against Roma than Fiorentina
Noir853 (Juventus) 2 years ago
Shakhtar counter-attack is their best weapon IINM watching some of their games in UCL. Esp with offensive player and their 'Brazillian connection'. And don't forget their star man & captain Srna. He's just as fundamental to them as MVP to us
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Definitely agree their counter attack is deadly. I worry about sloppy challenges from Bonucci like the match against Chelsea which saw a lazy deflection break the deadlock in Chelsea's favor. Bonucci MUST maintain 200% focus throughout the match or it will be an even more difficult encounter
Noir853 (Juventus) 2 years ago
Well its Bonucci the one who bailed us out last night. LOL.

Shakhtar did proved that their counter-attack were indeed deadly, much like Napoli. On any other night the result could've ended 3-1 in their favour esp with Mkhitaryan & Willian (twice) chances

I guess our (old) lady luck still smiling upon us last night. Forza Juve
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Serie A: Siena vs. Juventus (1-2)

Slow starts are becoming a habit for this Juve at the moment. Although we got on the scoresheet first from a great free kick by L'Architetto, the lads on the whole did not have a dominating display in which we took control and never relinquished. The second half was much better with our boys maintaining pressure and possession and never really giving Siena the opportunity to get a goal. In the end, a great goal from Marchisio off the deflection to put Juventus on top and take away three vital points going into the most important league match of the season so far, Napoli in Torino for a clash of the Serie table toppers and our most capable challengers of our Scudetto crown. Let’s start where I always do…

Negatives:
The most significant negative takeaway from the match was the general lack of tenaciousness throughout the first half. The entire midfield (Pirlo, Marchisio, Vidal, De Ceglie, and Lichtsteiner) were giving away passes and allowing Siena to maintain more possession than should have been given. Vidal in particular did not seem himself the entire match with poor passes, poor challenges, and all around lac of involvement in the match, especially in winning the ball back which he typically does so well. I would have liked to see Pogba come in for Vidal in the second half to see how plays in a more attacking role compared to the holding-midfield position he typically plays in Pirlo’s absence.

Lichtsteiner was another who I was surprised at the lack of intensity throughout his time on the pitch. Granted the ball was not played on the right side nearly as often as the left, but I think that was more a product of De Ceglie doing more and better down the left than Siena doing more to contain Lichtsteiner. Where were all his booming runs, charges forward and relentless work ethic? The only time De Ceglie really made a mistake was when he was beaten in stoppage time of the first half which ultimately led to the goal, although it must be said that the marking by Barzagli and Marrone was terrible. Calaio was left completely unmarked (not for the first time) and had a wide open net. Bonucci must do something right because the communication and understand amongst the defence is usually much better than what we saw today.

Vucinic’s play was decent but never produced anything dangerous to challenge Pegolo. The more I see Conte playing him alongside Giovinco, the more I am convinced they should not be paired together. The both play the creative role in attack and with Gio’s strength being his ability to split defenders and get out of tight spaces when the defence collapses on him, we need a perennial striker/poacher (oh how I miss you Trezeguet) that can capitalize on his movements. The best example of this was when Gio flicked the ball to himself, splitting the Siena defence, only to beat Pegolo off his line and have no one standing in the open space in front of goal to tap in the cross.

Positives:
Man of the match has to go with Giovinco. He had the best performance in the Juventus attack as well as did the best to create something out of nothing. The particular part of his game that he did better with in this match was holding possession of the ball and cutting through Siena defence with great footwork and ball control. The best example was his one touch flick backwards to himself which drew Pegolo out, then got around Pegolo only to have his ball in the middle go to the Top Class striker waiting to punch the ball in the back of the net that we are still missing. Now Gio needs to show that same level of skill and ability against the larger and stronger defenses that we are seeing in Champions League and he will maintaining his starting role, at least in my line-up.

Pirlo perpetuated his top form and showed yet again why he is still one of the Top 5 midfielders in the world. The free kick was sublime and resembled one of the goals Ronaldinho recently scored against Figueirense where he calmly struck the ball under the wall and beat the keeper. Pirlo again showed that if you give him space and time to look up, he can pick out his mates making runs and spread the ball to limit the “park the bus” attitude that many sides take to Juve, especially after leveling the scoreline.

Marrone I thought did well to read Siena’s attack and make preemptive tackles and challenges limiting Siena’s ability to beat him and get behind the back line. That being said, you could tell he is not a typical starter as the back three did not seem instinctively understand each other’s positioning and intentions. I still would have liked to see Lucio on the right and Barzagli in the center but Marrone does deserve time on the pitch because he is a great talent who needs more time to mature.

I actually thought De Ceglie had a good match as well before he was substitute by Awesomoah after the first half. He was dangerous moving forward and is much more consistent with his crosses coming from the left than Lichtsteiner is from the right. Nevertheless, I was changed my opinion slightly after seeing Asamoah’s impact on the match in the second half. His presence on defence brought much more stability and calmness to the back 3, allowing Chiellini to slide over and help Marrone cover the center of the pitch. On the attacking side of the pitch, he forced Siena to send at least 2 players over to cover him because of how much stronger and quicker he is compared to De Ceglie. This provided more space for Marchisio to make runs forwarded which in turn gave Pirlo ample space to be Il Burattinaio of the Juve attack. While Giovinco was the MOTM, awesomeoah was the Impact Player of the Match (ipotm? Haha).


Next we have Neapolitans in Torino next weekend in what is arguably the most important match of the first half of the domestic campaign. Napoli will be hungry to be the first to beat us on our home turf and will want revenge after the Supercoppa defeat. It will take 200% focus and aggression to limit Cavani and Hamsik’s influence and not allow the Napolian’s counterattack too many chances on goal. Another thing to be careful of is our yellow card situation (especially after this card friendly match: Vidal has 3 and Vucinic and Marchisio both have 2).

An important 3 points and extension of our unbeaten run in league play to 46 games (AC Milan still holding the daunting record of 58 matches in 1991-92)

Forza JUVE!
Noir853 (Juventus) 2 years ago
I don't know if its just me but I think Isla should've started the match last night in the place of Lich. We have not seen enough of him apart from brief appearance against Chelsea and he did quite well

And i'd just couldn't help it right now that I missed Pepe. Sure he's not a classy winger like other top teams player but his tireless run and ability to played at both flank surely make him a better subs than Giacc does
Acoop13 (Juventus) 2 years ago
I agree. I'm really hoping pepe can recover as fast as possible. I really like him on the wing
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Serie A: Juventus vs. Napoli (2-0)

Great overall performance from Juventus tonight against a strong Napoli side. Was worried that we would continue our recent trend (minus the Roma match) of coming out relatively flat and allowing Napoli to dictate the tempo and utilize their explosive attack…that was far from the case. With a HUGE Champions League match looming in the mid-week, the lads set a good tone on how to manage a tough opponent and not give up anything too sloppy that would cause freak goal. Beyond winning, holding the once best attack in Serie A scoreless and giving up only 1 shot-on-goal, hard to find many negatives in the performance. That being said…

Negatives:
The only negative takeaway I have from the match is our tendency to get sloppy with clearances from our back line, especially in the box. The worst example of this that almost broke the deadlock in Napoli’s favor was a poor clearance from Bonucci in the 76th minute that found Cavani just outside the box and was volleyed just off the frame. Fortunately, Napoli was not playing a high line throughout the match so the poor clearances did not cause too much trouble. Chiellini was also at fault for this a few times earlier in the match, and although this might seem a bit nit-picky, we cannot afford to do that against strong European sides because we might not be so lucky.

Another point that was brought up by Spigy after the match was our poor crosses into the box. They do seem to find the first defender far too often and waste the great positions and space we often find ourselves in. Lichtsteiner and Asamoah were guilty of this a few times during the match but to Asamoah’s credit, he enjoys beating his defender more than crossing over them. I’m sure this is not lost on Conte but not sure why it remains a consistent narrative in our attack through the flanks.

The players I thought did not have a good match (although not necessarily bad matches) are Lichtsteiner, Quagliarella, and Matri. Lichtsteiner touched the ball a total of 16 times over the course of 95 minutes and made only two noticeable runs into the box where he is typically dangerous. He did not seem too tired but with Vidal playing a more holding role in the midfield, I would have expected more runs for Pirlo to find. Quagliarella just made some poor, heavy touches on the ball and was never a real threat up front and was rightly subbed in the 54th minute.

But Matri went on to waste 3 great chances to put Juve on the board. In the 67th minute, Pirlo played an absolutely perfect ball over the defence from inside the Juve half to find Matri making his run splitting the Napoli defence only to have him botch the first touch and go safely into De Sanctis’ arms. Again Pirlo finds Matri in the 72nd minute only to have him not control the ball. And finally, to top it off, Giovinco’s well played ball to Matri was volleyed well wide of the target blowing an opportunity to go up 3-0. Juve is still looking for a consistent striker to play alongside the creativity of Vucinic or Giovinco.

Positives:
Loads of positives from the match. Overall, we did much better on our set pieces causing Napoli problems in the box and eventually capitalizing in the 80th minute on a perfect cross from Pirlo to find Caceres just outside the 6 yard box and hammer the ball past De Sanctis. It should be noted that Matri did a good job drawing his defender into an ill-timed jump and conceding the ball to the better positioned Caceres.

Furthermore, our whole approach to this encounter was well thought out and well executed. Although we didn’t dominate possession, we managed the match very well and forced Napoli to play at our tempo and not allow them to get out on too many counterattacks. We continued playing aggressive over the full 95 minutes yet did not overextend ourselves and allow too many spaces to open up for Napoli to exploit.

So many strong individual performances I need to give them their own applause…

Awesomoah:
Can you say best signing of the summer? He continues to prove that he OWNS the left flank on both sides of the pitch and will work harder than any opponent and be more physical than anyone else. His speed and strength are such huge assets down the left that the majority of the first half was played through him and Marchisio on the left side of the pitch. He was too much for Maggio for most of the match and this dominance was exemplified in the 69th minute when he made a powerful run from his own half into the center of the pitch and nearly gets a clear shot on goal until Maggio comes in from behind to make a hard tackle on him and the ball.

Giovinco:
He was finally the player that we all know he can and expect him to be. Did well staying on his feet and was able to exploit the small holes in Napoli’s midfield and defence. He made a great run in the 14th minute latching onto Pirlo’s pass over the defence only to be called for a questionable foul on De Sanctis. His attitude and presence on the pitch was most exemplified in the 42nd minute when the 5 ‘4” Atomic Ant knocked over the 6’2” Cavani to cleanly win the ball, although he was called for the foul. Gio was playing the Vucinic role well by finding his teammates with great passes and crosses, spreading the defence with his crafty runs, and nearly scoring on several occasions. It should be said he definitely should have done better in the 56th minute when we had a clear look on goal inside the box and failed to put the ball on target. Can’t afford to waste these chances, especially against tough opponents.

Marchisio, Vidal, Pirlo (MVP):
I won’t dwell too much on the obvious but Marchisio is a machine. He is a touchline to touchline midfielder, saving us what would have been a clear shot on goal from Pandev, all the way to creating the corner that would ultimately lead to Caceres’ goal. His tireless work ethic alongside Vidal allows Pirlo to create the magic that he does. On Vidal, he didn’t have his best game, but he was dropping back far more than he normally does because Lichtsteiner was being shadowed by Zuniga and was still a factor to deal with. Pirlo… all I am going to say is, he should win the Ballon d’Or and this game was another example of why. Enough said!

Supersubs - Pogba and Caceres:
Pogba is my impact player of the game because for the 15 minutes he was on the pitch, he was a force to be reckoned with. You can see why people want to compare him to Patrick Vieira because of his size, strength, and passing ability. For being only 19 years old, he has so much ability and talent that I can only image will blossom under the tutelage of Pirlo and Conte. Caceres had the most impact per touch as his driving header to put Juve up 1-0 in the 80th minute was one of his first touches after coming on for Asamoah. He continued to press forward and make the runs that we were missing from Lichtsteiner for nearly the entire match. Would be interested in seeing him line-up alongside Asamoah on the flanks to see what flank Pirlo chooses to exploit more.


Next we have Nordsjælland on Tuesday and with the momentum created from this match, I hope we can continue this run of form into our most pivotal Champions League match yet. We must win if we are to keep some control over our position on the table. A loss and we will have to rely on strategic losses by Chelsea and Shakhtar to get to the knockout stages. I will be curious to see what line-up Conte puts out against the Superligaen side who one 3-0 on Friday in league play. An important 3 points and extension of our unbeaten run in league play to 47 games.

Forza JUVE!
Sg2ym (Juventus) 2 years ago
Great Review! I like how you support your statements with specific events that occurred in the game. Something that I'd like to add to your review was Pogba's elegance and comfort on the ball. He made Inler look like a fool. I cannot wait to see him play on tuesday against Nordsjelland!
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Agreed Sg2ym, Pogba showed that he has a great feel for the game and knows how to impose his physical attributes and skill on the ball, especially against more than one player at a time. He showed this in the Chievo match as well when he made a cameo appearance late in game.

To your last point, I am interested to see the midfield makeup Conte puts out against Nordsjælland. Not sure in such a pivotal match for our Champions League future that Pogba will get the start but, at the very least, he earned a starting role in our next league encounter away at Catania. That way at least one of the MVP trio will be able to rest after 2 matches in 3 days. That being said, if I were to replace anyone for Pogba on Tuesday, I would say Vidal because Pogba showed he can play a similar role and play really well alongside Pirlo
Noir853 (Juventus) 2 years ago
Reading your whole match review is like watching the match highlight/tactical analysis itself but in TEXT format. Concrete & solid as always
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 2 years ago
Appreciate the feedback Noir. Cheers!
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
Champions League: Nordsjælland vs. Juventus (1-1)

Unfortunate result from our Bianconeri away against a beatable Nordsjælland side. Based purely on statistics, which mean nothing towards results but do give insights into the character a side shows during a match, Juve had the upper hand:

Shots:
- Juve: 33 (9 on target)
- Nord: 10 (5 on target) => mostly in the first half

Corners:
- Juve: 18
- Nord: 5

Possession:
- Juve 57%
- Nord: 43%

Yes, no question we should have capitalized on more of those opportunities and top class striker would be a huge help in doing so but at present, we will have to settle looking for that spark from our midfield or one of our creative forwards in Giovinco and Vucinic. It should be said that Jesper Hansen was superb in goal for Nordsjælland and denied several opportunities for us to move ahead.

Before moving onto the negatives and positives, I want to address the headline that we’ve all been reading regarding Juventus 6 month drought on winning a midweek match. I looked into it and that is very deceiving. Yes, it has been 6 months since we won a midweek match (Wednesday, April 25th away to Cesena winning 0-1) and the last draw was the 3rd to last game of the Serie A campaign in the match where Buffon uncharacteristically miss-touched a back pass to him that allow Andrea Bertolacci to score in the 85th minute. Now fast forward to this season, we have drawn 4 times in midweek matchups:

- Chelsea (a good draw away from home in our first Champions League match since 2010)
- Fiorentina (very lackluster performance)
- Shakhtar (who just handed Chelsea a defeat and still keeps us in the hunt for advancement)
- Nordsjælland (a bad draw in which we dominated the game and couldn’t convert)

That is 5 matches total…not like we have been losing all season in midweek games and our lack of depth is proving to be our Achilles heel. Yes, it’s frustrating, but try to have a little more perspective on how we drew those matches (Lecce, Chelsea, Shakhtar) because you have to look between the results before making grand accusations like many in the media like to do. Now onto the match…

Negatives:

Going back to the stats, the major negative from this match is our lack of finishing quality in front of goal and wasting the chances that our midfield and Giovinco/Vucinic create in space. Matri again does a poor job the entire time on the pitch minus one shot on goal right at Hansen in the 47th minute. He couldn’t keep possession when given the ball in the 2nd minute, in poor position when Isla made a good cross in the 4th, and a called offside on a Gio cross in the 10th when he was more than able to hold the line. That’s all within the first 10 minutes! He often worries more about drawing a foul than holding onto the ball like in the 25th minute when he went down with a shoulder to shoulder challenge. Matri capped off his even before being substituted by Vucinic in the 69th minute with a terrible weak foot volley in acres of space on the left side only for it to go wide. Not sure what has happened to Matri but he should not be in the starting XI until he shows better results as a substitute.

The next major negative from our performance was our inability to capitalize on corner set pieces. Last campaign we were so dangerous on set pieces and yet this season we seem to lack that finishing quality. I think it goes back to our poor crosses that have been an issue as well because Pirlo and Giovinco have been finding the front defenders more often than not and not giving players good chances on every corner (although Bonucci and Matri did waste some great balls from Pirlo that went over the bar). If we do better capitalizing on the effort that goes into creating these corners, our lack of a perennial striker is mitigated slightly because we make up for it in other areas.

To Jujex’s point, I think the other major negative was our tactics going into this match. Against sides like Nordsjælland who are going to rely on parking the defensive back line and allow space along the flanks, we need to play either a 4-3-3 or a 3-4-3 where Giovinco is played more out wide along with Vucinic and Quagliarella in the center or you bring Asamoah up in a winger role and allow him to make those strong speedy runs and set up the strikers up front like he does when he gets into space on the left flank. When you play De Ceglie and Isla, you are playing more with a holding mentality in the midfield rather than trying to impose yourself on your opponent. I wouldn’t deploy these types of tactics against opponents like Shakhtar, Chelsea, Napoli or even Inter, but I would against sides where we clearly have the stronger side in nearly every position (as was the case with Nordsjælland), we need to GO FOR IT early and can always adjust later.

The only other player I thought had a poor match was Lucio. Maybe it was because he hasn’t played much recently, but was not on his game. He was beaten twice, once in the first half and most notable in the 53rd minute of the second, and slipped in the box and nearly caused a clear shot on goal in the 59th minute until he was subbed for Bendtner in the 76th.

Positives:

In my opinion, there were many more positives to take away from this match than negatives and I will start with the players that stood out to me:

Isla:
In his 2nd start after joining Juve from Udinese and coming back from the injury that kept him sidelined for a long time throughout the summer, he played his first full match and proved that Conte needs to think about who he should start on the right flank between Caceres Lichtsteiners and Isla. He looked very comfortable down the right flank on within the first 15 minutes, played 5 great balls into the center that more dangerous than most of the crosses Lichtsteiner plays. His cross in the 20th minute was just slightly heavy, missing Matri in the center, but his ability to whip the crosses into dangerous areas behind the defence was good to see especially given his lack of playing time. And don’t forget, he provided the great cross that assisted Vucinic with the equalizing goal in the 81st minute. He plays the “De Ceglie” role on the right, the player you want to play the ball in the center, versus someone like Lichtsteiner who is making long runs into the box looking for Pirlo to find him pressing the back line of the defence. I don’t think I would play Isla and De Ceglie on the pitch at the same time because it gives our flanks less dimension unlike if you were to match him on the other side of Asamoah.

Pirlo:
What more can you say about the midfield maestro. The only one to play more minutes than Pirlo is Marchisio and he is 6 years and has a lot more minutes on his legs. He consistently playing great balls and spreading the pitch to allow for Juve to play a higher line and not concede strategic position on the pitch. My favorite Pirlo play of the match seems to be becoming his signature when in the 12th minute be plays a superb ball over the defence to connect with Giovinco who controlled it beautifully only to have his shot deflected for a corner (notice how Gio actually was able to control the ball unlike Matri in the last match against Napoli). Pirlo was also pressing higher up the pitch himself more than usual which was different change of pace than his usual holding position but he was able to make more attempts on goal which I thought was positive, although none found the back of the net.

Giovinco:
He was the standout performer for me and ultimately our man of the match. He was the only one really making runs for Pirlo to pick out and did well to control most of them and extend the play or put a shot on goal. Also, without Gio, we probably get 30% of the corners we did because he caused many balls that were otherwise unplayable to become scoring opportunities through corners. Was so close to producing a magical goal in the 32nd minute that would have emulated his goal in the 90th minute against Roma where he scored on the most acute of angles but was denied by the side of the net. His best opportunity on goal was probably in the 40th minute when he would muscled the central defender, maintained possession throughout his run up the middle, cut the ball back across his body, only to have Hansen make a great save. Again in the 57th minute when he connected with a great cross from De Ceglie only to have his glancing header aimed for the top right corner of the goal denied by another top class save from Hansen. I think it is easy to point the finger at Giovinco for not producing more goals in important matches but he lacks a target in the middle to play to and alongside that can take advantage of the work he does non the ball. Vucinic does well with Gio, but because their skills and dynamic on the ball is similar, they don’t complement each other well like Rooney/RVP, Cavani/Hamsik, or the better known Trez/Del Piero duo of the past.

Bonucci did well on defence although wasteful with the corner opportunities Chiellini was strong on defence as usual except for allowing that poor foul in a bad position that led to Beckmann goal. Marchisio was a workhorse for the entire match but just lacked the ability to keep his shots below the cross bar when he did go after goal. Vucinic, although apparently not well enough to start the match, provided a great spark off the bench and instantly changed the tempo of the Juve attack and was much more the focal point of the passes moving forward as he continues to play well on the ball. Was not particularly pleased to see Giaccherini off the bench late, would have liked to see Pogba come on during the match because he has the ability to put the ball on target from way outside the box.


This was a long review because I felt many different subjects needed to be addressed but I want to reiterate that I do not think it was as horrific a match as some of made it out to be, although it is disappointing. I completely understand and sympathize with all my fellow Juventini who have watched out beloved Zebre struggle in Europe over the years even though we had dominate sided with superior talent. The moment I will always remember that still leaves a bad taste in my mouth was losing to Milan in 2003 on penalties in the final at Old Trafford because of how we beat Real Madrid in the Semis who we had lost to in 1998 in the finals. I thought that was our year to take revenge and although we did to some extent, it was not as sweet as it could have been.

Now we look forward to Catania at the weekend were we need to win to maintain our 3 point cushion at the top of the table.

Forza JUVE!
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
Something I did not mention that I should was how well the Nordsjælland back line played. They always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and even though we applied loads of pressure throughout the match, they were able to clear the ball of our line and stop our attack. Even Matri would have had a goal if they did not play as well as they did
Noir853 (Juventus) 1 year ago
No new review from you?
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
I have been totally slacking because its been hard to watch the matches live. I am planning on catching up this weekend so for those who are still interested, they will be up this weekend.

Appreciate the continued support Noir
Rubin (Inter Milan) 1 year ago
I really wanted to read your review on the match vs Inter.
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
I'm sure you do Rubin lol. All inter fans probably want to read my review (which will happen soon), because it won't be very complimentary towards Juve's performance
Dinglehater2 (West Bromwich Albion) 1 year ago
Haven't been as active myself and was kinda looking forward to you reviews as it would give me a better understanding on how the team performed but I can understand how busy life starts to get when the holidays are near
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
It's been work more than anything else. I have only seen a few matches over the past month or so which make it hard to do the reviews that I like to do. Not sure if I will look back and do reviews on all the matches to catch up or just start from here forward. Didn't realize many people read my reviews until recently so it's nice to hear you like reading them. I'll see what I can do...
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
Double post...
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
Triple post.... F***ing phone
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
Really.... Four accidental posts.... Really!?
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
Hello my fellow Juventini. It has been far too long since my last mach review. Fortunately yet also unfortunately, I started a new company about 6 months ago so all my extra time has been devoted to that. All that being said, I am getting back on the horse of reviewing our beloved Juventus.

For the remainder of the season and into the summer, instead of reviewing previously played matches and the few that follow, analyzing specific aspects of the squad and interesting questions posed regarding the club.

My first review will be taking a look back on the season (once it is complete) and reviewing Juve's performance as a while body of work and breaking it up into the three fronts for more in debt analysis (Serie A, Coppa Italia, and champions league). Because of the length of this review, I will start writing it now and publish after the last game of the season.

The request I pose to all Juventini Footytubers is to send me a message with a specific topic you would like me to open for review - including my own (either comment wall or footy-chat). You will be credited with the question but I wanted to start a more in debt discussion on the club because I feel that building from this year to next season will be pivotal for our continued resurgence. And since I created this forum for long, essay-like answers, what better place than here.

Thank you all again for your support in my analysis (I know it often gets very long winded) and hope to hear from you all soon
Jujex 1 year ago
I think a good idea would be to review player's performances individually and give them a score from 0-10. Everyone can participate and we will get an overall mark for each player.
This could break things down and make the review easier to digest
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
Great Idea. That's how I will do it
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
For those who care, I am still writing my season wrap-up review. It is proving to be a lot longer and more intensive than I originally thought (currently it's 4 pages typed). It has individual player reviews for the whole squad (credit to Jujex for idea), tactical analysis (including when Conte and Alessio were serving suspensions), Champions League Analysis, Coppa Italia Analysis, condensed match analysis on some of the years most significant matches, overall season summary, and 2013-2014 expectations and outlook. The only thing I don't cover is transfers and potential transfers because that would make this even longer than it already is. Hoping to finish this weekend so the conversation can continue.

Let me know if you would like me to add anything else (although I doubt I am missing much lol)
Jujex 1 year ago
Can't wait. How do you remember all that!
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
I'm coming to think that no one will read this final review lol. I am pushing to finish it but it's 7 pages, single spaced typed and I haven't finished. I guess I am now just writing for myself lol
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
FORZAJUVEPIERO (Juventus) 1 year ago
Pqsaraiva (Juventus) 1 year ago
I read the part 1 review. Excellent read. Can't wait for part 2



   
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