Serie A: Juventus degenerates into a satirical club

The Italian football record champion is already in a state of alarm before the start of the championship. The preparatory phase was disastrous, Paul Pogba is injured – and the fans are leaving.

The Juve attachment appear to have lost faith in the team (from left Fagioli, Bremer, Swiss international Zakaria and Vlahovic).

).Daniele Buffa / Imago

The “Vecchia Signora” was once an apparition. Cool, unapproachable, but elegant – and above all successful. Juventus Turin threatens to gamble away these attributes on the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Agnelli family of industrialists. Team supports like Paulo Dybala and Matthijs de Ligt left. The test match phase was catastrophic. Purchasing policy is one of feverish impatience, and now the fans are staying away too. Juventus continues their decline.

There is a mood of alarm at Juventus. The main newcomer, returnee Paul Pogba, is injured. The man who is supposed to guarantee goals on the assembly line, the Serb Dusan Vlahovic, looks restless and tired. And Moise Kean, the player who was most convincing during the tired kicks of the summer tour in the USA, was pushed offside. He arrived late to prepare for the final friendly against Atlético Madrid, and coach Massimiliano Allegri dropped him from the squad.

The attraction of the record champion is fading

Without Kean, who had previously scored twice against FC Barcelona, ​​Juventus went down 4-0 with Atlético. It was a humiliation. And to add to the pain, Álvaro Morata, who was with Juventus last season, scored a hat-trick. Juve would have liked to keep Morata. But the old lady’s appeal is fading.

Juventus suffers humiliation.


And the centrifugal forces in the structure increase. Prime example is the Causa Kean. Although he is a repeat offender, the coaches of the Italian U-21 and U-17 national teams have already sent him home for similar misconduct, the same was true of Everton FC. But Juventus also looks bad in the matter, obviously not succeeding in taming a young player who is bursting with strength and testosterone. Or to train. That was different in the past, when it was possible to come to terms with a free spirit like Zinedine Zidane or a buccaneer like Carlos Tévez for the good of the team.

“We have to become more Juventus again,” demanded the old master Leonardo Bonucci. But it sounded pretty pathetic. Because the central defender, who has been at Juventus for twelve seasons and has been champion eight times, has been demanding this for three years now.

In 2018, Juventus wanted to buy the success, Cristiano Ronaldo was a guarantee of winning the Champions League. But the bill didn’t add up. Nevertheless, the management is still trying to find its way back to success with dazzling names. With Ángel Di María, a world star, but also an athlete, was signed in the late autumn of his career.

For Juventus President Andrea Agnelli there is no alternative to success.


For Pogba, the national team seems to have priority

Paul Pogba’s return makes more sense. But the Frenchman’s physical condition leaves a lot to be desired. An operation on the damaged meniscus was avoided in favor of conservative therapy, for Pogba the World Cup in Qatar in November seems to have priority. “In my time, the player’s environment would not have decided the type of treatment,” said former Juventus manager Luciano Moggi.

The other additions seem sensible at first glance. However, there is no system in which they could fit. Filip Kostic proved to be a “flank god” at Eintracht Frankfurt. From the left he should now serve Vlahovic as one would hope for from the right of Di María. However, given the number of outside players that Juventus has at its disposal and who have gotten worse rather than better – such as Juan Cuadrado, Federico Chiesa, Alex Sandro or the ignominiously retired Federico Bernardeschi – the omens are not too favourable. The midfield remains quantitatively overstaffed and qualitatively – as long as Pogba is absent – mediocre.

After the surprising early departure of the former hope Matthijs de Ligt to Bayern Munich, the defensive was improved with Bremer. The Brazilian distinguished himself as one of the best central defenders in Serie A at city rivals Torino last season. He was the lynchpin of a high-pressing defensive line. Allegri, on the other hand, lets his defensive line act further back.

Inconsistencies in the composition of the squad

De Ligt didn’t like that. He said: “I came to Juve with the idea of ​​playing more attacking football under Maurizio Sarri. I was hoping for a style similar to Ajax Amsterdam. Unfortunately, Sarri left after a year.” And the former 80 million euro purchase was also dissatisfied with the position in which he was often used. “I feel safer in the center right position, but I often had to play on the left.”

Bremer, who has his qualities in the centre, will also have to play more on the left in a back three. The place in the middle is occupied by defense chief Bonucci. Such inconsistencies in the composition of the squad can lead to greater friction over the course of the season.

The US tour during the pre-season is proving to be poison

It is bitter for the coach Massimiliano Allegri that the business completely overshadows the sporting. Instead of starting a solid reconstruction at home, we went to the USA on the Soccer Champions Tour. Because of the partners Real Madrid and FC Barcelona as well as the money from US investors, it looked like a miniature version of the crashingly failed European Super League. But it offered visibility in the overseas market, and the three games were financially worthwhile. According to Spanish media, Real Madrid recorded revenues of 12 to 15 million euros.

For the pre-season, however, the Soccer Champions Tour was poison. The Juve player Danilo explained the soulless performance against Atlético in the last test match in Turin with the “great tiredness” after the trips. Tired before the first match day? Juventus is increasingly becoming a satirical club.

Even the most loyal fans desert. Only 20,200 subscriptions have been sold so far – less than half as many as Inter and just a little more than promoted Lecce (19,750). This is also the lowest level of popularity since moving into the Allianz Stadium in 2011. That was when the era of nine championship titles began under Antonio Conte. Now the Bianconeri are at an end point. There are no signs of a new beginning.

And then there is the weight of the story. In 1923 the Agnelli family put money into Juventus FC for the first time. A 100-year anniversary of tristezza is imminent.

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