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I hope I am wrong…


The announcement from Arrivabene came as no major shock in it’s general message, though the explanation and details have led to much debate of how both the club and agent(s) involved have handled the affair.

Before getting into the key points of the rumblings, mumblings, condemnations, support and horror, it seems prudent to look at some cold hard facts. Especially given, it is precisely these facts showcasing the availablity issues with Dybala that many cite as one of two key reasons as to why he is to be let go, on a free as his contract expires later this year. The other reason is his lack of suitability to whatever system Max is building towards.

Current Season -Played 29, 13 goals, 6 assists.

20/21 – Played 26, 5 goals, 3 assists.

19/20 – Played 46, 17 goals, 14 assists

18/19 – Played 42, 10 goals, 2 assists

17/18 – Played 46, 26 goals, 7 assists

16/17 – Played 48, 19 goals, 9 assists

15/16 – Played 46, 23 goals, 7 assists

That is not the record of a player consistently unavailable due to injuries. Only last campaignof the 5-6 seasons he has been at the club has he featured in less than 42 games. His output in the final third has been consistently impressive, with solely the 18/19 season showing less final third potency. This was of course the season debut for Ronaldo, for whom we drastically changed our style of play to maximise his strengths, which affected not only Dybala, but others in the squad also who were asked to do different jobs to their natural game, often in different positions.

Some point to his absences and lack of decisiveness when featuring in the recent CL knock-out defeats over the last few years. A few players have been absent from these games, and many who have featured have under performed and must take equal responsibility, with only Ronaldo standing out as earning (some!) of his gold. Do we not also attribute any blame to the rest of the squad? Or are expectations of Dybala somehow different? For example, De Ligt played in the both ties last year against Porto, and both ties of late against Villareal, so do we simply ignore how porous our defence was? Or point towards Dybala?

If that logic is applied to all, most the squad is set to be moved on. In the least, as with Dybala, those who have given similar output in terms of availability and output when on the field.

Freddy has to leave, there should be zero point even offering 500k per season, given his end product has been appalling. He is taking up space. Brief, sporadic flashes and his issue is mentality, more than technique I have long concluded.

Is Cuadrado worth extending? For 5m?? When he will soon be 34 and his performances are becoming less consistent? On the Dybala thinking, I would say no way. Get rid.

De Sciglio is a solid back-up but is his presence in the squad taking up a position we could give to a promising youngster playing a similar role, such as De Winter, who may prove superior? Which may seem too much of a punt, yet my focus is on monetising as much as possible to focus on placing at least 1 top level player in every position in a starting XI. Alongside balancing this through promoting to the first team squad those who look more promising than what we can move out.

Perin? Has been solid when called upon and that role is peculiar, as the number two is expected to be simply solid when he finds any playing time which is rare.

Yet what of the rest of the squad whose contracts extend beyond this Summer, who have featured in CL knockout games or important league games we have lost? Perhaps the club are seeking to move on every player they possibly can other than Vlahovic, Locatelli and Chiesa?

Finally on Dybala…

Adrian put together some cold, hard, sensible deductions together here.

I am less inclined to trust the club (or twitter). Maybe Arrivabene is a ‘sharp shooter’, a firebrand, who says what he thinks. He is also a character who upset a fair few people at Ferrari, did not oversee the hoped for, even expected turn around, and was ultimately sidelined. At best, he is a man who is given something to do, and he does not beat around the bush, no matter whose feathers he ruffles. He is also very new to the position, the club, the industry. What happens when Raiola comes in through the backdoor next with the keys he has been long gifted by Nedved? We shall see…

The club has been badly managed from the top these last few years. The Ronaldo gamble. Chopping and changing of managers three years on the trot. The unbelievable lack of due diligence and preparation for the launch of the Super League. The ‘media’ team promoting racial slurs on twitter. Andrea’s uncouth behaviour towards Conte at the stadium. Paratici’s horrendous mangling of the squad.

All of this has led me to lose a lot of love for the club, the cause, and become rather disheartened regarding all things Juve. What hasn’t helped is that I have suspected the climate behind the scenes is not healthy. Fewer and fewer players inspire in me a shared sensation that they love the badge as I do (or used to), that they are ‘uno di noi’. And I believe this is rooted in issues within the set-up that we as fans are not able to confirm, only speculate upon.

Chiellini and Dybala are the last ones left of true, proven juventini. Not for much longer. Although Loca is a passionate fan, Chiesa has mega zeal, just not sure yet how much of that zeal is for Juve. Beyond them who is there in the ranks who offers the impression they will bleed for the cause? De ligt will bleed, but for what cause I am not yet convinced beyond that of his own career trajectory. And at 12m per year, he has been nowhere near good value. His main value is that he remains our only saleable asset of mega money, maybe.

La Joya has never appeared to me lacking love for the club or a mercenary. Nor do I assume without any certain evidence that the blame for this debacle is mainly upon Antun. Curiously such is my emotive connection to the player, I felt him echoing my feelings towards management when he made that gesture a month or so back to the stands…which may have been misguided (for him and me both), yet it illustrates how important it is for me personally, to feel a connection to that kind of player in black and white. I want to feel they are imbued with my support, and demonstrate this on the field in every tackle, every foul, every moment of loss or victory.

What does seem apparent, is that the club tried to push Dybala out a couple of years back, and I suspect if true, he could have left to earn more money in the PL. He refused. Why else other than through love for the club? I could be wrong on all scores, and perhaps Dybala and Antun are greedy fiends whose ploy to play on the fans hearts against the club, to force them into paying through the fangs, has backfired? I dont think so. Will probably be proven wrong.

There is something of La favola about the Argentine. He is capable of a magic very few others can match, admittedly, not as often produced as we would have hoped, yet who else in the squad has been more consistent, other than 340m man Ronaldo?

The nut of the matter is that Dybala is perhaps the ony player left in the squad I will be sad to see leave on both an emotional and sporting level. (Chiellini is far too finished physically to be retained – though very much hope to see him join the coaching staff or management in some other form)

How much money do we have for transfers this Summer??

Perhaps it is worth considering that Dybala leaving is mainly a cost cutting exercize, presented as something different for the media…for the sake of appearances.

Something else I wish to highlight is the reality of Dybala featuring this season more often than any other as our Captain on the field.

Appearances as Captain 21/22>

This is a player who has acted as our captain, who has proven our strongest attacking talent other than Ronaldo (at a fraction of the cost) for many years now, who was spoken of as the future captain even last last year by Andrea Agnelli.

Yes, it is fair to state that Chiellini when playing is ALWAYS the captain, yet nobody in their right mind expected him to play regularly, let alone every game. Also we have to take into account Max’s ideas of the captaincy going to the player on the field with the longest history at the club. This is still nothing to diminish the weight, responsibility and honour of leading the side out as Capitano.

Regardless, I believe he alays wore that armband with pride, not just under Max, also a handful of times under Sarri and Pirlo. It meant something to him and me alike.

It is possible that Dybala simply irritated Agnelli and that was that. This may be how our club functions, from what I perceive. All bow to Agnelli’s will and moods or…they are vanquished and it makes no difference how valuable they are, their connection to the club; if they do not bow to the big man they are punished. Just look at the manner in which Del Piero left the club and apparently has not returned to the premises since…Does that not seem at least curious to others? And if the one player who epitomizes and deserves a status amongst the fanbase of living legend feels so unwelcome that he cannot visit our club, it stands to reason, as to why I retain a negative impression of the club hierarchy at the highest levels.

If that is the climate at the club, it explains much of why so many mistakes have been made, for they are forgiven as long as they are Yes men to the boss. My suspicion is that Max would have rather kept Dybala, though such matters are out of his hands. Even this smacks of the same disconnection between directors/President/manager that we saw in the first weeks of Sarri’s time at the club when he stated that his opinion of Dybala ‘counts for nothing‘, condemned the situation as ‘embarassing’. Not much has changed, I fear, despite the rumours last Summer of Max coming in with the understanding he will play a prominent role in how the squad is built.

I hope I am wrong.

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