In truth, things aren’t looking quite as bad at Juventus as they did a month ago. Back then, there was talk that the team that has dominated Italian football over the past decade might be in a relegation battle. Of course, that was never going to happen. But still, nobody mentions ‘relegation’ unless there’s something seriously wrong at a club.
So how did we get here? How have Juventus gone from being a club that would stroll to glory in the domestic league to one where people can very justifiably write articles called “what’s going wrong with Juventus?”
Troubles In Context
Of course, to begin, we have to mention something that’s critical to keep in mind: we shouldn’t get too carried away with the perceived drama at Juventus. It’s been a bad start, sure, but that happens to teams from time to time. Does that mean that they won’t click into gear and force their way up the table? Certainly not. They could still end up winning the scudetto, though, in truth, they’ll only receive backing from the most ardent fans and people using a sportsbook that provides introductory offers. This season, a top-three finish is more realistic — and also completely fine, in a league as competitive as Serie A.
The Ronaldo Problem
It’s tempting — especially for Ronaldo fans — to suggest that everything went wrong as soon as Cristiano left the club. But this isn’t really true. For starters, it’s not as if Juventus were firing on all cylinders for the last six months of Ronaldo’s time at the club anyway. Second, Ronaldo might have been part of the problem. While he did score 81 goals during his three seasons at the club, the reason he scored so many was that the team was set up to get him goals. And that set up was essentially: launch the ball into the box and let the world’s best poacher/header of the ball do his thing. It can be effective, but it’s not all that advanced.
And it makes goals hard to come by when you don’t have the world’s best on your side anyway. Juventus have had to figure out another way to attack, and that’ll take time. Alas, Ronaldo left at the last minute, so there hasn’t been all that much time for the club’s current strikers to adapt to the new approach.
At The Back
You’ve got problems if you can’t score goals, but at least you won’t lose matches. You can just 0 – 0 until your strikers figure things out. Or, at least, you can do that if your defence is on point. If it’s not, then you’ve got a dangerous combination: a leaky defence and no goals. And that’s just the position that Juventus found themselves in during the early part of the new season.
It seems a bit wrong, given they have Chiellini and Bonucci at the back, who essentially won the Euro Championship for Italy a couple of months ago. But for Italy, they had protection. At Juventus, they don’t. The balance in the side is off, which means Juventus attract many more opposition shots than they used to. More shots, more goals! It’s a pretty simple formula.
And the formula becomes even more straightforward when you look at the goalkeeper. Wojciech Szcz?sny is a good goalkeeper, but he’s going through a crisis of form at the moment. He’s already made multiple errors this season. His form will come back around, but it has to happen soon if Juventus are going to show their worth and climb the table.
It’s possible that Allegri’s difficult return to Juventus will soon pass. They have won their last three league games, after all, and did pick up a useful victory against in-form Chelsea in the Champions League. Will it be too little, too late? We’ll have to wait and see.