Juventus Are Plagued With Off-The-Field Issues. On It, They Are None

Whisper it quietly, but Juventus could be back.

Off the field, 2023 continues to see the club embroiled in one issue or another, with this week seeing Paul Pogba receiving a ban for testing positive for testosterone and now Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly preparing to sue his old side for over $20m in unpaid wages from his time at the club. There is no let up in what has been a horrible year for the club.

Moreover, the club are projected to confirm losses of around €115m ($122m) for the 2022-23 season, a significant improvement on the colossal losses of 2021-22, but still too large for a club of Juve’s standing. Rumours have also been floated that Juve could be sold and out of Agnelli family hands for the first time in over a century, with parent company Exor reportedly interested in offloading the club. However, the club have since denied reports that intend to sell.

Leonardo Bonucci in a stinging criticism this week – but some would argue a fairly valid one – stated the current iteration of Juve isn’t the ‘real’ one, and not the one that was the envy of all Italian sides during the 2010s. Bonucci’s exit from Juve was protracted and controversial, with the player feeling the club didn’t do right by him considering his service to the club over 500 games and 12 years.

With all of that going on in the background, it would be easy for the players on the pitch to be distracted; yet that hasn’t been the case. There is a lot going on, but Max Allegri is doing what the Tuscan does best: winning football matches.

The latest win against Lazio was a reminder that many had counted Juve out of the title race in early-season predictions. Most suspect that it would be between Napoli and the Milan two, but Juve are showing that they cannot be discounted. In fact, the case could be made that Juve could be Napoli’s biggest challengers to their crown.

Dusan Vlahovic, much-maligned since signing for Juve and by his own admission struggled last season, has hit the ground running. His two strikes against Lazio evidence of why Juve bought him from Fiorentina in the first place. Vlahovic wasn’t even supposed to be at the club, with Juve actively looking to offload the striker to bring in Romelu Lukaku, yet fate intervened and the Serb remained in Turin, and it’s likely for the best, as Vlahovic has four goals from four games and looks remarkably shaper and more focused than he did at any stage last season.

Federico Chiesa, another who struggled last season as he recovered from his ACL injury, has also looked sharp from the off this season. Chiesa’s snapshot of a goal was sandwiched in between Vlahovic’s brace, and the Italian seems to be enjoying life again in Bianconero after cutting a disillusioned figure in 2022-23.

Adrien Rabiot has continued to morph into a quiet leader of this Juve side, while Manuel Locatelli has regained his form after being another who has struggled in recent seasons. Fabio Miretti and Nicolo Fagioli continue to grow in midfield and offer different attributes for Allegri to work with. Allegri has young talent like Samuel Iling-Jnr, Andrea Cambiasso and Kenan Yildiz on the bench, with big things expected from all three.

The biggest case for the Juve Scudetto cause is the fact that they’ll only be playing one game per-week. Uefa banned the club from European competition for a season due to FFP violations, but this will undoubtedly work in their favour, giving Allegri a full week to prepare his players for league games. The last time Juve didn’t feature in European competition was in 2011-12, and they won the title.

It is very early days, but Juve have a very good two months ahead in terms of fixtures, save for two tricky games against Atalanta and Milan, before the Derby d’Italia with Inter on November 26. By that time, Allegri and his troops could be heavily involved in a title race many didn’t expect them to be in.

Issues continue to plague the club off the field, but on it, Juve are doing alright.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top