Monday, May 16, 2011

Can Juventus rebuild?

Turin giants Juventus have all but ended their hopes for another Champions League birth after being defeated 1-0 by Parma in a clash which saw loanee Giovinco score yet again against his parent club. Juventus sit 7th on the table just one point ahead of Palermo and three points behind Roma.

Juventus began the season in poor form losing 1-0 to Bari in the opening matchday. From here the Bianconeri seemed to improve going on a long unbeaten streak, just before the Christmas break, where they lost to Chievo and lost Quagliarella for the season. Winger Milos Krasic found his form and last season flop Felipe Melo began to take leadership in the middle of the park, brutally dominating any midfield that stood in the way of the Bianconeri.

The men from Turin alo had a brief spell in the Europa league, bowing out on the group stage after scoring six consecutive draws and equalling a record set by AEK Athens. Lively games against Manchester City brought out the best in the Bianconeri, who were unlucky to have done better in both legs against the Sky Blues.

It would be fair to say that the Bianconeri have the team to win the Serie A, when compared against the top seven in head to head the Bianconeri come out on top beating Milan, Inter and Roma this season. Where they have really lacked quality though, is in the area of consistency. Due to consecutive injuries and constant formation changes, Juventus never really developed into a team you would put your money on - so to speak. Even Del Neri's usually "set in stone" 4-4-2 merged into a 4-3-3 as less and less first team players became avaliable for selection.

So where to now for the Bianconeri?...... The transfer market?......... Again? In the last two season campaigns big name players have failed to make an impact with Juve, most notably Diego and Felipe Melo. But with the Juve board stating that they are keen to sign one or two big names, Juventus may just be turning to the cash once again as a solution.

In this constant spiral of buying and selling, Juventini around the world will be asking, when will we start to see results? Hope may just be on the horizon. Juventus' new stadium is nearing completion and will be in operation for the 2011/2012 season, this feat will see Juventus be the first Italian club to own their own stadium, also meaning they are the first Italian clubs to reap the benefits of owning their own stadium. With the new financial fair play system coming into play, the stadium could just be the saving grace for Juve, allowing them to sign high profile names, without falling beneath benchmarks set by FIFA and UEFA.

Juventus will, for a long time, be regarded as the best team in Italian history, but if they wish to hold that mantlepiece, they will need to prove that they have rebuilt from Calciopoli. Beating Milan, Inter and Roma all within the one season is a start, but qualifying for the Champions League for successive seasons, and progressing through the knockout will highlight that Juventus are back...... to their best!