VIEW FROM ITALY: Juventus have no personality or quality, they make constant defensive mistakes and have NOTHING in attack… not even Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp could fix the mess we saw at Chelsea
Juventus are in such a crisis that not even Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola could salvage something from this group of players.
Tuesday night’s Champions League clash at Chelsea was historic but for all the wrong reasons: it was the Old Lady’s biggest European defeat for over 20 years – and their largest ever loss in Europe’s premier club competition.
A 4-0 drubbing by Celta Vigo in the UEFA Cup fourth round in March 2000 sparked a tactical and psychological change in Turin and three years later, Juventus were back-to-back champions again.
But the difference between that team and the one that limped to a defeat by the same scoreline to European champions Chelsea this week, is that this side simply lacks any player of personality or quality that is capable of bringing glory to the club.
Juventus were crushed 4-0 by Chelsea on Tuesday, their worst European loss in 40 years
Massimiliano Allegri’s game-plan backfired in west London and his side were embarrassed
It is perhaps symbolic that Cristiano Ronaldo, the talisman Juventus were desperate to shift this summer, helped Manchester United out of their own hole of desperation in Villarreal – just minutes before Juve stepped out on the field at Stamford Bridge. How the Italian giants could have done with the Portuguese icon in west London.
And if Juventus are to achieve anything this season, they need a new figure up top. Reports in Italy claim Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic is the answer and a £45million offer is being prepared – but right now the focus is how poor the Old Lady’s spine was in London.
Left back Alex Sandro teeters over the pitch, loses possession easily and tries to cut inside on his right which makes little sense, and doesn’t benefit his team-mates.
Left back Alex Sandro (middle, left) was one of Juventus’ worst performers in west London
Rodrigo Bentancur and Adrien Rabiot are the Laurel & Hardy of the team and not in a positive way: they are clumsy, undecided and the fear in their eyes is as clear as day.
Meanwhile, striker Alvaro Morata – who had plenty to prove against former club Chelsea on Tuesday night – is being outscored by centre back Leonardo Bonucci. That just about says it all with the Spaniard, and Juventus fans are not happy with the man tasked with filling the Ronaldo void.
All four are not good enough to play for the Old Lady, yet they are regulars in the team. Defensive errors like Weston McKennie’s for Chelsea’s fourth goal, scored by Timo Werner, come about as manager Massimiliano Allegri refuses to drop stars for poor displays.
Alvaro Morata had something to prove at former club Chelsea but is currently lacking in goals
Allegri needs to fix his spine but his tactical nous needs looking at too. The Italian coach set up his team with a wall of four central midfielders – McKennie, Manuel Locatelli, Bentancur and Rabiot – in front of his backline, but this structure crumbled in west London.
McKennie and Rabiot were the more attacking options looking to give the team width but neither player attempted a single dribble all game. Defensive duo Bentancur and Locatelli failed to make a single tackle or interception respectively in their hour-long stints on the Stamford Bridge pitch.
Going forwards, Juventus’ attackers are blunt in the final third. In Serie A, the Old Lady have scored just 18 goals all term – the same as mid-table club Empoli who were in Italy’s second tier last season.
Juventus’ conservative four-man midfield wall was cut open too many times by Chelsea
There have also been no goals from set pieces this season, with the club relying on Paulo Dybala for creativity from dead-ball situations.
Even Ronaldo only scored one free-kick goal in Turin, showing there is a systemic set-piece problem at Juventus.
Say what you want about the quality of the players, but Allegri’s game plan was non-existent and was a tactical disaster that allowed Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea a landslide victory.