Juventus finished their abysmal campaign with another humiliating defeat as they were brushed aside by a rampant Milan side 3-0 at the San Siro. The hosts did not do anything extraordinary but rather the visiting Bianconeri once again were deflated after conceding a goal first.
As has become habit during this season the Juve players dropped their heads after conceding a goal and were not able to mount a comeback. The Bianconeri started the first 10 minutes strong as has become their habit yet they wasted two scoring opportunities and never recovered after conceding the first Rossoneri goal. Without delving into further details pertaining to the match and its major incidents, it is quite fair to say the blame for Juve’s tragic season must be shared by everyone from the management to the coach staff and the players. The management made a mistake by hiring Ciro Ferrara because he lacked the necessary experience to lead such a prestigious side and to copy the Barcelona model under Josep Guardiola would require a united, well-balanced and talented squad which the Bianconeri clearly did not have.
To make matters worse the management opted to sack Ferrara without really addressing the main problems facing the club as the January transfer window would have offered the club the opportunity to bring some reinforcements while farming out the underachieving players. Hiring Alberto Zaccheroni for the remainder of the season was a grave mistake not because of the results but due to the fact the players were unlikely to show the same respect and commitment towards a tactician who is only staying for a few months as opposed to one who will be in charge for the seasons to come. This was a drastic error on behalf of the management considering many of the Bianconeri players have vast experience and some have big egos so there was a need for a confident, authoritative and long-term coach capable of forcing his ideas upon the squad.
Moving on from the management and the coaching, the players, with perhaps the exception of Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon for the most part, were certainly responsible for much of the season’s catastrophic results. Injuries took their toll on the squad but those who played were not deserving of wearing the prestigious Bianconeri shirt as they did not display the fighting spirit which has long defined the Old Lady. The tifosiare not used to seeing their players quit after conceding a goal and their reaction, albeit exaggerated in a number of cases, was somewhat expected considering this expensively assembled squad was expected to challenge for both domestic and European trophies. Instead of fighting for the Serie A title, Juve were unable to secure Champions League football for next season while also suffering two humiliating losses in Europe by the same score of 4-1 to Bayern Munich and Fulham.
Veterans such as Buffon and Alessandro Del Piero were visibly upset with the club’s performances yet there was not much that they can do to lift the spirits of the team and urge their fellow players to fight on because the club missed on one objective after another beginning with the Scudetto, then the Champions League, Coppa Italia and Europa League before failing to grasp the coveted fourth spot in the Italian top flight. There is nothing positive to take from this campaign except the fact the current management will be overhauled in a move which is long overdue because a team of the Old Lady’s prestige and resources could have competed for trophies from last season yet the management kept using the excuse of returning from Serie B to justify some mind-boggling decisions.