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Juventus v Empoli Match preview


The latest and final instalment of Ronaldo FC has come and gone. We now can once more become Juventus FC, starting with a home tie against Empoli. ZJ writer, Dave Dwicarta, offered this solid piece to begin moving on into the brave new world…

Max assuredly would have spoken with Agnelli of his plans during talks to reprise the role. His words during the press conference after appointment were a clear message to Ronaldo, that the focus would be on the collective, not any system shoe-horned around one player. I would also include and suggest as pivotal the words of making Dybala central to the project (ie NOT Ronaldo) and it will be interesting to see if the new contract is now finally signed. The nut of the matter is that Max demanded the autonomy any coach must have if he is to build towards the best side possible. This was not good enough for Ronaldo. So he left, and whilst I am still cynical of Cherubini, in the least, we have avoided a loss, and now save 55m on his wages. So well done Mr Cherub.

The rumours abound of Kean to return, perhaps also another player, but who and for what role I am unsure. Ideally, this would be a LB. Given how jaded Sandro has looked for many years now, absent any competition yet again unless we can count De Sciglio? Perhaps, and it’s a stretch to ponder, the tactics to work around Ronaldo has made Sandro’s foraging runs forward not so viable and this will change under Max. Regardless he needs some competition which Pellegrini is not. Yet loosely on this same point…I suspect that a few players in the squad will be happy that Ronaldo has left the premises. I rarely can accept that it is good for morale to have one player dominating both on and off the pitch, and financially valued 10-20-50 times as highly as others in the dressing room.

As for Kean…I still have faith in his talent, which whilst didn’t work out for Everton, certainly did show great promise in Paris. The kid is a natural born goal scorer. He will also take up a spot for home grown in house requirements. Not sure on the money, yet seems likely a loan with option of somewhere between 25-40m, which could pricy but not excessive. Our own fault for ditching him previously. He knows the club, worked well with Max and may well prove a superb acquisition (again, some nod of approval towards the slowly more impressive Cherubini). The move also explains why Raiola was at Juve HQ yesterday. Who was arguably the major reason why he left in the first place. Given his contract was expiring, Raiola wanted him to be given playing time to blossom his value, we needed money, and possibly, our fine chubby chum included some idea of how he would bring him back in the future if the stars aligned.

Still, for now, no further recruits, but we can hope this changes before the window shuts next Tuesday.

No major news on the injury front, other than Ramsey of course, who returns through strong inertia to the medical ward. Yet we have Mckennie back in contention, after serving his suspension, and it appears he has shown determination to remain at the club, which pleases Max and me alike. Expect him to feature but probably not from the off.

With Ramsey’s journey to morph into anything useful dead on the vine, it seems Max might give Danilo a roll of the dice at DM, where he featured last season four times and fared quite well. Although there is also a decent chance we could see new signing Locatelli, take up the DM spot in the starting XI.

Chiellini may get the nod over Big Leo, with the front line consisting of Chiesa – Morata – Dybala.

Suspected formation>

I am not keen at all on Bernardeschi. Especially in a CM spot. At best he seems to offer value coming off the bench with energy to run around, block, and make a few safe touches to inject freshness. He has never looked a logical CM to me. Would actually prefer to see Danilo in the middle, Locatelli on the left, Rodrigo on the right. Yet Max is trying to find a role for yet another player who we are unable to move on.

Empoli were mauled 1-3 at home by Lazio in their opening game of the season. We really need to win this one…

Forza Juve

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