Placeholder Photo

Arthur gunned down…replacement needed???


Rumours abound of our brazillian midfielder Arthur, many of them ugly, and to my mind, unwarranted. Whether we were expecting him to return somehow transformed into a world class component of our new Max era or simply hoped he might find his rhythm…we now have to accept that due to the recent surgery, the player will not be available until some time between September and October.

A solid analysis of the injury can be found here>>>

My own stance on the matter is that rather than the player, it may well have been the club at fault ( if anyone at all is at fault, which I do not believe is the case). Pirlo wanting to hold off on the operation to make use of Arthur in that desperate run-in perhaps. Or more plausible, the J Medical staff are as much of a shambles as the upper management and coaching staff have proven.

If my conclusion of the directors, the coaching staff also, is woeful, then why would the medical staff be somehow exempt from this perceived mismanagement? With Ramsey suggesting similar…

“It has been a quite challenging time over the past couple of seasons.

“There have been many factors and changes that I haven’t been used to.

“In the end now I have got my own team around me who are focused on me, to get myself into the best possible shape.

“So I take it into my own hands and have the right people around me to try to come up with the best possible plan to get myself back into a place where I am feeling good and confident again.”

My instincts as often are feral, and when I read of these words by Ramsey, it tasted of sour grapes…and yet, as always, once soaked through, now his words meet my concerns of how the club has been run for many moons. I would aim for the point when Paratici and Nedved got Beppe kicked out and we plundered 340m on Ronaldo. Since when we have demonstrably won less and gone downhill, season upon season.

Which is zero attack or criticism of Ronaldo, for as a player, he has hugely excelled, and whilst my opinion of the money matters remains unflinching, I dare say we have not lost a lot on the deal on the $$$ front.

Still with Ramsey…some rumours abound of a swap with Pjanic. Which would prove positive only on the wages front, for as much as I like Pjanic, and he knows Max’s methods, he looked a spent force two years back, so I assume that drift has continued. Perhaps as a backup for Locatelli he could prove of some value, but I am already concerned we may not have space for Fagioli, so would prefer Ramsey to be sold.

A swap deal that does interest is that of Rabiot moving to United and De Beek heading to Turin. Which may seem odd, given the Frenchman finally found some form late last season and also had a good showing in the EUROs. Yet this is 2-3 months of 2 years at the club, which is a poor return on the investment (mega wages) and a key position in the first XI. As for the young dutchman, he has not really been given the chance to impress at United. Much of which I suspect is due to the incredible form of Fernandes and the preference for more solidity behind him.

Pjaca is one of many the club remain very keen to move on and away, on a permanent deal. For some time we have been appalling at selling players, often agreeing to loans just to get them off the wage bill or selling off on the cheap, even on a free. The last sale of any serious note to the club was assuredly Pogba, since then, it has gone downhill.

Frabotta appears to have suitors, the most prominent of which may be a move to Atalanta on loan, which suggests the club, as do I, retain faith he may well develop further with some regular first team action at the higher level. Main point of interest will be whether the move includes an option to thwart their purchase routine.

Report: Simone Padoin in talks to join Max Allegri's staff - Black & White  & Read All Over

Curious to find our old friend Simone Padoin at the training ground, with rumours abounding that he may well be brought into the coaching set up, as a replacement of sorts for the ‘former player to return’ requirement we seem to have developed, given Barzagli turned down the chance to rejoin the ranks. Whilst I like the idea of an old boys club, I prefer to see the club employing proven experts in key areas of the coaching and management above.

This is why I have some serious reservations of Cherubini. A man who has seemingly impressed Agnelli in every role he has occupied, with a lengthy stint overseeing the youth sector. And yet…given our haphazard recruitment of recent years, with as many failures (perhaps more) than successes, I very much wanted a wily expert in the role he has since been promoted into. I had hoped for a man who brought demonstrable success both at picking up talented players for a superb price and the ability to sell for the right price. Cherubini has none of this stock to bring to his new position.

Back to the midfield options and conundrum, as the cover sheets I have tied together with the twine bellow out here in the garden, as the wind then rain drive towards my writing pew, by the pitfire…

With Arthur assuredly out for a fair while, he will be omitted from the CL squad. We are very much keen and will likely procure Locatelli. Which would leave us with Locatelli – Ramsey – Mckennie – Bentancur – Rabiot. 5 players for what I assume, given his past with us in recent times, will be a midfield 3. At most Max will want 6, so for even Pjanic to come in makes us brimming to burst. Which makes me ponder Fagioli more…and Rovella. It will be up to them to persuade Max they may be worthy, and a better choice than to bring in the washed up Bosnian. A risk of sorts, and yet Arthur will return also. Will leave that for Max to deal with!

Which moves this rain, hail and gale swept delivery of chaotic Juve focus onto the other whispers doing the rounds regarding Dybala, to consider and address.

Some suggest Max will deploy a 4-2-3-1. Some go so far as to suggest that Max will develop McKennie into one of the 3 a la Vidal…

Firstly, whilst Vidal proved mega potent in the final third, for me, he was the epitome of the box to box midfielder. As likely as to be found in our own 18 yard box or the middle of the park, as he was to play tricky in the final third. And this was always as part of a 4-3 -X.

Secondly. Max always deployed, formerly with Juve, a 4-3 -XXX or a 532/352, which is very similar to the 4-3-XXXX.

It is of course possible that he will go with a 4-2-3-1. Yet nowhere near a given. Especially when considering we played with a double pivot last season which rarely brought joy.

Formations are presently nothing more than conjecture, and we can say the same of our squad make-up to some degree. And I would be surprised to find McKennie in that talked of, as one of the attacking triumvirate. Not because he has no business there, but because I suspect IF we deployed this formation, DYbala would be in the middle of the 3, who is supremely more technically gifted than the American.

Larch, from the ZJ community remarked to me of late…

I don’t see Dybala as anything like he was three seasons ago. Not with Chiesa featured. Chiesa has to be allowed to play on his own at this stage of his career. Get him the ball and let him go. That will take the space Dybala needs. But if he works as a 10, like James Rodriquez, he has the talent to pass, to strike, to stay on a ball, to feed the other forwards.
What I’d like to see him do is get 15-20 assists. as a 10. With 10-12 goals from Dybala, and 15-16 goals from Chiesa, 15-20 from Morata, 20-25 from CR7, 10-12 from Kulu, Juve could roll this year.

And he made, as usual, a solid point…for Dybala seems, anywhere near his most potent, in an upper fight forward role, and has been workable but far from amazing when deployed deeper. And Chiesa is too special, too proven superb, in a very similar area, though more versatile across the attacking width of roles. For young Mr CHurch is happy enough to get the ball in that area, then drive towards goal from either flank, probably with more success, less trickery, than DYbala, yet he is also happy enough to beat a man and make space down the flank deep to get either a powered burst in to the box to create or shoot, if not to create a crossing/passing opportunity.

Where does this leave Dybala? I very much hope we extend his contract. And his time at the club, his upper ceiling of form – albeit sporadic – makes sense of the demands for 10m per season. Yet that is the wage of a definite starter in our first XI. To ponder where he may then fit, has to be a front 2. With Dybala a little behind a prima punta, which could be Morata, or Ronaldo, yet I hope the latter leaves, even in a swap deal with Icardi….I am not suggesting Icardi is as potent, but his wages are likely 1/5th of that of he Portuguese old chap.

So…a 4-3-2-1 or 4-3- 1-2.

I keep returning to this idea that we will not build a system or identity based upon the collective, until Ronaldo departs.

Enough for now, else this staggered piece will lose any semblance of timely.

Forza Juve

(follow me on twitterry fuck HERE)