After the impressive performance against Chelsea mid week, enthusiasm and hope are resurgent in the rank and file. Doubts of Max losing his way terribly were put to the sword as he got the tactics spot on, and the players maintained concentration for the full 95 minutes to bring home an unexpected, and deserved victory over the reigning european champions.
The big question is whether we have turned the corner, and are now slowly coming together as a team, tactically and organically as Max tries to get his ideas across and settles on the morphing 442/433/4231 system. Most importantly from my perspective, against Chelsea, we defended resolutely as a team. Which I have not seen us do so adeptly probably since Max was last at the helm. It suggests the coach is very much getting his ideas across and the players are buying into it.
We have many players in decent form. Which makes for healthy competition for places.
Perhaps most impressive, at least for me, have been Danilo, De Ligt and Bentancur. All seemingly upping their game and playing a huge combined role in the platform for the improved results of late.
Rodrigo is a monster next to Locatelli in the middle. Whilst the italian is making the midfield his own to run, he also is highly intelligent following movement and covering, having made plenty of crucial blocks recently. He seems to also bring the best out of the Uruguayan, for he can focus on his superb hounding, snapping at the heels of opponents whenever we lose the ball. Control of the tempo, smart distribution, orchestrating defensive and offensive actions has never been his forte, but all of which certainly is well within the talent range of Locatelli. With the wide men dropping deep to help, I believe that CM duo could become very dominant.
De Ligt and Danilo have been immense at the back. Zero mistakes, exceptionally hard to pass, quick on the ball and their aerial ability in the middle, now that positioning seems better, was top drawer against Chelsea.
It appears Max is to shuffle just a little, adopting a 442, which will of course change shape, with Juan getting high up the right and Freddy doing the same on the other flank. Kean coming in for Rabiot for a focal point in the final third.
Torino have had a solid start to the season, and sit level with us in on 8 points. They concede very few shots, and have a strong defensive blockade. Much may depend on Kean dragging players out of position to make room for others to exploit.
Let us hope for another firm step towards becoming the force we are starting to believe we could be.
Welcome news to find the Juve primavera triumphing over Chelsea in the corresponding UEFA Youth League fixture in the week>>
Matias Soule grabbing a well taken goal, his third of the season having scored twice for the Juve U23 side in the Serie C coppa italia.