After firing manager Maurizio Sarri, Champions League squad Juventus took a massive gamble and hired former player Andrea Pirlo. However, things have not gone to plan thus far. Currently sitting in sixth, the Bianconeri are far from where they expected to be by New Years’. Here are the problems they face.
An Overreliance On Cristiano Ronaldo
Signed in 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo was brought in to bring the Champions League back to Turin. However, he hasn’t been able to do so in the two seasons he’s spent in Italy. Despite being a key player for his team, and consistently doing great, it seems his teammates have been over-reliant on him. This season, the Old Lady has struggled to win games without him. When the Portuguese striker tested positive for Covid-19 in October, Juventus fell to ruins. They fell to sixth in Serie A and settled for draws in. a multitude of games.
Despite the likes of Alvaro Morata and Paolo Dybala, Juventus simply couldn’t create goals. At 35 now, Ronaldo surely won’t stay with the Italian Giants much longer and they’ll need to find a replacement for him. Ronaldo currently has almost half of all goals from Juventus this season and without him, the Italians simply aren’t the same.
Pirlo Is Too Inexperienced
Despite winning the Italian championship, Juventus turned heads when they opted to fire manager Maurizio Sarri. Just hours later, they announced former midfielder Andrea Pirlo as a coach. Pirlo had only just been assigned coach of one of the youth squads and had no professional coaching experience. Juventus were taking a huge risk with Pirlo, and one that they may regret now. Pirlo came in and made drastic changes to the squad. Many younger players were brought in to replace others he sold. Weston McKennie, Arthur, Federico Chiesa, and Alvaro Morata were all introduced to the squad. However, Pirlo has been very indecisive and has yet to figure out his eleven best players let alone his formation.
Teams are expected to have meshed properly and had a proper identity by the end of the year. However, Juventus clearly lacks this. They’ve struggled against some of the weakest teams in Italy that would have undoubtedly won last season. The higher-ups at the club have made it clear that they do not plan on firing Pirlo mid-season, meaning Juventus will need to pull through this season.
A Lack Of Consistency
Juventus has been a very strong team during different games throughout the season. However, it seems after every big victory, they follow it with a disappointing performance. When leading in games, the Italian Giants seem cool, calm, and collected. However, when it rains, it pours. Most recently, Juventus faced Fiorentina which should have been a routine three points. Three minutes into the game, Fiorentina scored after putting pressure on Juventus’ defense. They continued to dominate throughout the game and finished with a 3-0 victory. The Old Lady simply has no idea how to break pressure, and teams have taken advantage.
Is Juventus Simply Rebuilding?
Juventus holds a very young squad filled with talent. Despite their struggles to create wins, they’ve shown flashes of potential. When Pirlo got rid of many of the experienced players, it could have just been a sign that his squad is turning a new page. Juventus may be planning on taking a punch this season to create a team that will dominate in Italy for years to come. If this is the case, the Italians decided to do this at the perfect time. Many new teams have only just begun to fight for the title. The question must be asked if the squad from last season could even beat this year’s A.C Milan, Inter Milan, or Napoli. Rebuilding now may be a great decision for the Bianconeri.
Juventus head into the new year with a trip to face Udinese, followed by what will be a great matchup between themselves, and Milan. They will additionally go up against Porto in the Champions League round of 16 in what will hopefully be two simple wins. Juve will surely regroup over the New Year and fix their problems.