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Give the kids a chance…

We seem rather strapped for cash. I don’t know the exact figures and doubt anybody knows them. It is never good business sense to reveal you are poor. Yet our financial matters seem harrowing, in whatever reality can be grasped and taken as something near to our reality.

The squad is overpaid and bulging with bang average players and very little chemistry, no matter which manager appears. Of this also, I cannot suggest I am the TRUTH yet doubt many would disagree with the assertion.

Placing those two loose yet generally agreed conclusions together makes depressing reading. For we are unable to buy our way out of our current predicament. And whilst it is true, as some have rightfully indicated, even demonstrated, to suggest we win huge and for many moons, then drop down, recover, and then return to the upper echelons, its a long known cycle…yes yes, it certainly rings true. And yet…For ALL of those cycles, we had staggeringly greater resources to literally buy our way back to the top. Admittedly, it required the right moves and the right upper management…but also much more gold.

The upper management is long chided, criticised, and many, myself included, point to Agnelli and his decisions and acerbic nature and style as responsible for a long time for our mega success between 2010-19 and yet also our far more swift and painful decline.

There is a chance that a change of manager at the end of the season could lead to an upturn in form, yet still I look at our squad, the chemistry, the fitness, the quality and I do not see us as that far beyond, at best, where Max has achieved so far. Take away those appalling, thankfully rare, individual mistakes of the first flurry of games and we should really be, even with the complete absence of cohesive football, probably 2nd or 3rd. Which would be an achievement given our circumstances.

All I can take from this is that even when playing generally poorly, we are somehow not that far off the best in the league. Which leads back to Max, who I have to then assume – when I also conclude that Inter are a much more balanced side – is doing a decent job.

I came across some twitter discussion of Arthur, earlier today…and was aghast to find the conclusion was that Arthur was the key to unlocking Locatelli! I found this strange, for whilst I suspect the brazilian could be a great or decent player, he did not prove so at Barca, hence why they let him go as part of some mutually beneficial and now painful creative accounting saga…he has had terrible injury issues, yet has also been given chances, and to base his value on one game when he came on and we fought back with Loca looking more decent, I find this…rather short sighted. Also, his book value, thanks to Paratici, is immensely inflated. So we will struggle to sell him without making a major loss.

Added to the analysis was the suggestion that we should be getting rid of Ramsey first. Well, I agree, yet we are paying him mega wages which no club he wants to move to will pay. The two issues are unrelated, as we don’t have the luxury of removing players, as we wish…Perhaps a wily, mega experienced, well connected DS could wave his wand to achieve this (Moggi making him an offer he cannot refuse?), but Cherubuni is not that man.

Still more I come across, mainly or solely even, on twitter, of some suggesting we MUST get Vlahovic and he will ‘only’ cost us 60-70m. That may well prove a transfer fee agreeable to FIOR, yet the investment will include a likely 5 year contract, gross 50m. Add in any agent and sign-on fees, and it is not just far-fetched but absurd to suggest the total cost will be anything less than 100m+. Which we don’t have. There are plenty of areas we need to improve across the starting XI, and I would be surprised to see a total figure of 100m available for that this Summer, and that is assuming we make the CL…

Quickly on The Cherub…He has zero experience in a key role. His appointment smacks of nepotism. Even with Arrivabene, who seems to bark more than bite, I hope we have a proper plan in place to bring in a top drawer SD, like Carnevali or Brazzo…I am as critical of his work as I am of any SD, whilst understanding he is new to the role, this cannot lower expectations unless we are lowering expectations of the club as a whole.

Arthur’s failure to show any more than briefly fleeting glimpses of quality I don’t believe are due to his lack of quality. Likely partly fitness, partly mentality, partly the glaring fact that we have barely anyone for him to pass to vertically. Which leans back upon the mismatch Paratici created of our front line.

As for Locatelli, who we all had such huge hopes for transforming our horrid midfield…He hasn’t. And whilst I admire his determination to join our beleaguered ranks, and Sassuolo leaned hugely towards pleasing him, the reality is that our midfield remains generally at best laboured.

Plenty are talking of Scamacca, yet other than being italian, young and big, I do not see any reason why we should be investing many millions in his current skillset. When we need goals, why would we focus upon a striker who struggles to score goals?

Must mention the ongoing Dybala saga…Hie gesture to the stands I found quite invigorating, for as a fan, I want the players to feel like one of us and in that instance, La Joya did feel like ‘uno di noi’. I fully understand the idea of professionalism, of a player always putting the club before himself, and yet in that instance, I am not sure Dybala was putting himself before the club. For if he has been maltreated, and kept quiet as the directors keep barking about him directly or obliquely, then who is ‘the club’?? Who are we assuming is the core essence of our support? And can they never be wrong?

Rather than assume Dybala was dividing us, I felt more he was uniting, showing in that gesture the disdain, disgust, silent anger aimed at how badly the club is and has been managed for a long time now. Maybe he has been treated badly, awfully even…this wouldn’t surprise me, and such is my low opinion of the President and his directors, I do not in the slightest see them as ‘the club’ and Dybala as some mercenary out solely for himself. He could have left likely for more money, maybe glory, but dug in his heels and stood firm. Many seem to have forgotten this and just flow with the latest trending tweets and hashhags.

Jorge Antun is a curious character and maybe he has asked for image rights to be included, maybe he has not. Maybe he is waiting for a new registration (as an updated classification as AGENT) or maybe not. Regardless, he has no form for Raiola-esque behaviour. Friend of the family it seems, with no other football clients, which does not lead me to suspect he is an appalling operator. The opposite, if any conclusion from that.

It is the mismanagement from the directors which has led to this dreadful situation where we can lose him for ZERO then will definitely struggle to replace his potency in the final third. Even when injured too often for anyone’s liking, he remains our most potent attacking force. To replace that will cost 10s of millions we simply don’t have.

The club still seems a shambles at upper management. I have no idea what Nedved does, nor even Arrivabene. Of course Cherubuni was given a nightmare situation to deal with, and regardless of the 500 meetings to get Loca, he did get his man.

This current mercato, it has been evident that Arrivabene is involved, how much so, we can only guess. Yet with Chiesa injured and plenty to try move on, in the very least I hope that we are looking to the Summer and making enquiries, scouting whatever Max has decided we need to improve upon.

One constant we have, one man who seems steady, focused, reliable is Max.

With what I assume is a very low budget to play with and the club struggling to move on the highest earning failures, and by now, all of us accepting we are in a period of transition, it makes perfect sense to expect, if not assume, that the club will take a more serious look at the youth ranks.

Rovella is having a decent season in Genoa. Amusing to see people talking of him in terms of ‘bring him back’ when he has never been part of the Juve squad! Owned by us, yes, but he wouldn’t be returning…Beyond my puerile aside into semantics, he seems a strong, young, italian, in a position we are sorely lacking. Assume he will be part of the squad in the Summer for Max to evaluate.

Alongside that area at DM/regista, there is also Fagioli who must be considered to fast track to he first team squad. Never mind Max suggesting the established rites of passage to go out on loan to another Serie A club first. We don’t have a decent midfield. Most want Rabiot, Ramsey and some also Arthur out the door. And with Nicolo long looking quite special, and now impressing at Cremonese to such a degree that he was included in the recent ‘Best XI’ of the Serie B in the first half of the season, I very much hope he is seriously given chance to earn the right in the Summer to find a place in the squad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5uFoBGIGX0

Within the above is also found another Juve owned player out on loan. Who also plays in a role where we need major improvement – LB.
Disappointment of Pietro Beruatto (Pisa) during AS Cittadella vs AC Pisa,  Italian Football Championship L

Pietro Beruatto, 23, has represented Italy at various youth levels, and is currently playing a key role for Serie B leaders Pisa.

Moving onto the third tier, where Fabio Miretti earned himself a place in some other ratings of best first XI for the season so far.

The Primavera championship has almost reached the halfway point and  CalcioMercato.com  has drawn up its Top11. Among the players there is also Fabio Miretti , Juventus midfielder. 

THE TOP 11 (4-3-1-2) : Mastrantonio (Rome); Missori (Rome), Coppola (Hells Verona), Reali (Turin), Carboni (Inter); Casadei (Inter), Miretti (Juventus), Volpato (Rome); Beso (Genoa); Distefano (Fiorentina), Ambrosino (Naples). 
Coach: Alberto De Rossi (Rome). 

(from tuttojuve)

Miretti is only 18, yet already playing with the seniors and performing splendidly. Operating in CM/AM role, he has 5 goals and 2 assists from his 24 outings this season. He has long looked quite special. Passing range, long range shooting, close control, awareness, all blossoming steadily. Some of his skills are innate, not appearing amazing solely due to the level of his opposition.

The conclusion that Miretti, Beruatto or Fagioli are potentially, maybe currently, more useful than their counterparts in our squad is as outlandish as assuming they are much weaker. The reality likely lies somewhere in between these polar opposites.

What I am suggesting is that we have very low funds, a squad of overpaid, too many average to poor players, and now is the time to give the best of our youth talents a chance to earn a place in the squad. That is for the Summer. Before then…Max is already offering some opportunity to a few from the U23s.

The U21 Belgian international CB Koni De Winter. Also the flying, tricky 18 year old Argentine winger, Matias Soule.

If they are good enough, they are old enough…

Forza Juve

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