In what has become a habit for Juventus, the Bianconeri dropped two points and settled for a draw with Catania. Juve could not defend a 2-0 lead over the visitors who have yet to register their first away win of the season. The Bianconeri squad is lacking in quality and this is evident when the legendary but aging Alessandro Del Piero is the main source of creativity for the team.
As discussed in previous pieces (Check: www.serieatalk.com/will-juventus-qualify-for-the-champions-league/3502), the Bianconeri have seen slight improvement compared to last season but there are still some glaring problems:
- The Bianconeri are still weak at the full-back positions. Juve lack quality full-backs and have yet to replace Gianluca Zambrotta who departed following the Calciopoli scandal in 2006.
- Juve lack a creative player. Diego was sold and perhaps it was the proper decision but when Del Piero is not playing, the Bianconeri clearly lack a player who can create scoring opportunities. Alessandro Matri is decent but he is a finisher and not one who can easily create his own scoring opportunities. Fabio Quagliarella is perhaps the only player besides Del Piero who can create something on the attacking end yet he has been sidelined by long-term injury.
- The centre-back positions remain fragile, particularly when Giorgio Chiellini is out due to injury or suspension. Andrea Barzagli is a mere short-term replacement and can perhaps cover for a game or two but not for an extended period.
- The Bianconeri’s management must make the right decision during the summer by signing at least three quality players and bringing in another three decent players to cover various positions. There is a need for two full-backs, a centre-back, a winger and an attacking player who can create scoring chances.
- Luigi Delneri might be a good person but this is about coaching and he seems best fit to take charge of a provincial side. Delneri appears to be dealing with problems that might be too much for him to handle considering the ambitions of a prestigious club such as Juve. Below are some interesting stats about Delneri:
1) He lost 9 games while in charge of Sampdoria last season and has already lost 9 matches with Juventus in Serie A this season
2) With Roma he lost 16 games in just one season and his results with Palermo were not impressive
3) Delneri has never won more than 50% of matches he coached over a season. He achieved that once with Sampdoria.
4) Delneri is not great with substitutions. He has often been criticized for the changes he makes during a game. Against Catania he started with Marco Motta, a certain candidate to be replaced or to receive a red card in almost any game, and then replaced Motta. He also replaced Del Piero and Matri with Simone Pepe and the less mobile Luca Toni.
5) Delneri is not flexible when it comes to tactics. He does not seem to be a commanding figure and is not inspiring. Would established and experienced players or even rising stars want to play for a coach such as Delneri? It is doubtful Turin will be an attractive destination for quality players with Delneri in charge. Juve need a quality and well-established coach to take over.
Obviously this summer will be a busy one in Turin and the changes to be made could be drastic and will likely cover the coach as well as the squad. To blame everything on Delneri would be unfair and inaccurate. The squad at his disposal is lacking and has many glaring weaknesses but it is hard to see how Delneri can return Juve back to the top of Italian football when he seems to be limited in his tactics and substitutions. He also does not have the winning pedigree to garner the respect of big name signings. Feel free to contact @RamiSoufi on Twitter for further discussions.