Match Previews

Napoli v Juventus match preview

We certainly are not in the best of shape. Or in any discernible shape whatsoever. Given the first two games have seen regretful results, huge chopping and changing, experimentation, some sparks of life, hugely costly individual errors then Max going full Pirlo aka full retard.

The Ronaldo shitstorm refuses to be vanquished, with Cherubini making it as clear as I had concluded, that far from a long protracted move, it was indeed a simple case of the player saying he will stay then jumping ship deep into the mercato. Mendes of course paints a different picture, one more palatable to their hordes of ‘fans’ but…I just want that shit to end. Even if it is to move the focus solely upon what a shambles we remain. I have never been and am not now suggesting that with Ronaldo gone, we will be amazing. Far from it. For his elite goalscoring has masked our deep rooted problems. Now they will be made unavoidably stark clear and must be confronted.

To add to the unease, or dour acceptance of our circumstances and pondering how long it could take to regroup, the international break has led to the absence of all south american players from our squad for the first opportunity to start the recovery campaign. Dybala, Sandro, Juan, Bentancur and Danilo all unavailable. Some celebrate the removal of Bentancur, which is fine, but for me it suggests they don’t understand the game and follow social media more than the football…

Finally, on the negativity seemingly cursed of the club for many moons now>>>> we have Mckennie, who was sent home early from his US exploits, for some COVID rule breakage, which ranges in rumours from signing autographs fresh off the bus maskless to…sneaking out from or sneaking into his ‘covid bubble’ to seek bliss between the thighs of the sister of Pulisic.

 ‘It is almost beyond repair, and he has a lot of work to do with his team-mates to make sure that he never does something like that again because you lose trust in your team-mates.

‘I am I am privy to what happened I’m not going to announce that publicly,’ Donovan said. 

‘I will just say, I am incredibly disappointed in Weston, incredibly disappointed. Look, I can understand Juventus during a long club season, you’re sitting at home for months and months and months and you want to have people over. Is it the smartest thing to do? No, but I get it.

‘This is one week of your life with three massive games, not only for yourself but for your team-mates and your country and the level of selfishness is beyond me. He is old enough to know you don’t put yourself in this situation. Would they win the game if he is on the field? I don’t know but their chances would go up a lot. 

It doesn’t mean he is a horrible human being and he can learn from this but this can never, ever, ever happen again.’ 

Landon Donovan has always seemed a goon to me. And whilst I understand there are expectations of a professional footballer paid millions, I cannot help but think that like with everything COVID related, its more about the political message that such a furore has been made of it. Yet it seems Juve may be following suit, as most outlets don’t find him in our squad for the fixture. His alleged crimes are hardly close to drink driving a ferrari into an accident which could have killed people…but we are living in a world now where the heavily politicised risks of even the healthy are consumed without any thought, and the healthy condemned as KILLERS! Such appalling bullshit.

If the young buck truly did break some rules for a night of passion, well…let him be punished, by country and club, a little. But I would be a crooked, wretched fool to suggest I could not relate to those who find themselves so consumed with a woman, with her scent, her look, the sound of her voice, her movements and to seek nothing more than diving into a cocoon of intimacy within which it becomes impossible to find or care for where one ends and the other begins…when nothing else matters but that cocoon. It may not be always healthy, but its more of the best of our nature living naked, wild and free than the living dead legion abounding evermore around us. Which reminds me of some lines of Zamyatin which have long resonated>>>

“It is an error to divide people into the living and the dead: there are people who are dead-alive, and people who are alive-alive. The dead-alive also write, walk, speak, act. But they make no mistakes; only machines make no mistakes, and they produce only dead things. The alive-alive are constantly in error, in search, in questions, in torment.”

My own history of risking everything for this intoxicating embodiment of the senses and beyond, endears Weston to my own heart and passions of old, far more than leans me in any way towards adding my pipsqueak virtual ink to the widespread consternation for his COVID infraction. Life is to be lived…not caged of our seeking of passion and love and mischief and adventure. We have bigger issues to contend with than a kid playing romeo…at Juve and more expansively in society.

I am actually happier, slightly, to find our opponents not another Empoli, but Napoli. A side even with their own somewhat below optimum selection, who have played two, won two with Spalletti instantly proving valuable. Hardly eye catching performances, but grinding out hard fought victories is always a healthy sign, especially for Napoli, who have often come undone when unable to play their champagne football.

A tough team to face, which I prefer, for it will teach us more about what we are currently made of. And we may see some players who ordinarily, would not be featuring. And given Max’s bizarre tactical choices in the last outing, I am happier to see his options limited, assuming – perhaps wrongly – that he will be forced by logical reasoning into making some of the same choices many of us would assume for the best in a bad situation.

In terms of who will start…

Max, in his pre-match interview, alluded to possible inclusion of Pellegrini and De Sciglio. Given my thoughts of the former as far more useful attacking than defending, that could suggest a back 3 in the middle, and we have the players, all strong, in De Ligt/Chiellini/Bonucci…and yet, De Sciglio is at best, okay defensively, not given the right flank to attack, though he will try. So perhaps it will prove a flat-ish back four.

I am always eager for us to play to our strengths. With that in mind I would gauge our strongest, sharpest, most fit outfield players available are Chiellini, Bonucci, De Ligt, Locatelli, Kean, Morata, Kulu. Could well include Rabiot in there but he looked a ghost of the brief flurry of quality Rabiot we saw last tail-end of the season, and did not feature for France during the break, so must assume he remains…a ghost. Best avoided.

Assume Tek will start, and whilst a fair few others are following twitter more than actual football, so adding his alleged failure for Kane’s wicked strike to the list of failures..l don’t blame Tek for that, though have felt since Perin was forced to remain at the club, that my hope is of a meritocracy, a proper fight for the number one jersey. Fuck the stats, of Mattia proving a superb shot stopper last season, I go more with my gut, then my head and heart, and Perin has long seemed to me, a superb keeper, with so much more natural zeal, feline athleticism, command of his box, who has never been given a chance to bed into our side…I suspect he could develop a more potent communication and synergy with the backline than Tek.

Truly, I have no idea what Max will choose. How could I have??? Given his channeling of Pirlo with the Empoli outing of late?

Given the players available, knowing now that Chiesa is benched due to a thankfully less serious knock, and Kean’s resurgence>>>>

I highly doubt Max will opt for Miretti (18), though he has been instantly impressive for the U23s and has proven quality throughout his youth progress to this point. Nor do I assume McKennie will play, or Perin…The line-up is 100% what I would go with.

Miretti, early doors in the opening game of the U23 campaign, after also scoring and assisting two in the opening coppa fixture…the kid looks class, has done for a long time>>

The only fit, sharp, talented player who misses out (in my starting XI) is Kulu, yet he could prove, alongside Chiesa, a powerful weapon to bring on deeper into the game.

It is hard not to have hideous doubt, even expectation of more mis-management, in light of the short term and long term past, yet for now, I will keep clinging onto hope that something, somehow, will prove the catalyst for the tide turning.

forza juve

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