July 10, 2012
With Euro 2012 no longer satisfying our need for football during the barren summer months, attention progressively switches back to domestic matters. It's been an eventful summer for Juventus both on and off the field. New signings, allegations levelled at Antonio Conte and memorable performances from the Bianconeri contingent in Poland and Ukraine.
The 2012/13 season marks the beginning of a Scudetto defence, a season without Ale Del Piero, a season to follow up an unbeaten campaign. Juve have a real opportunity to begin a cycle of dominance, while the Old Lady will also take her place amongst Europe’s elite once more.
May 14, 2012
Champions + Unbeaten = Juventus. A simple mathematical formula describing the incredible season experienced by all connected with the Bianconeri. Expectations were modest ahead of the campaign, in what was tipped to be a season of transition under Antonio Conte. However, nine months and 38 games later, the Old Lady has returned to the top of Italian football looking impeccable without defeat. The story of the 2011-12 Serie A season will live long in the memory.
April 30, 2012
Sunday's 4-0 win at Novara made it eight consecutive victories for Juventus, and with just three games remaining this season, the Scudetto is well within grasp. While Milan faltered during the early weeks of April and handed the initiative to Antonio Conte's side, the Bianconeri have hit title-winning form just at the right time, and are now closing in on realising what appeared to be a mere dream at the beginning of the campaign.
January 19, 2012
January 2010, four points collected from a possible fifteen. January 2011, four points collected from a possible fifteen. January 2012, four points collected from a possible six. By this point, the reoccurring theme becomes apparent. With three games remaining this month, the Bianconeri will attempt to achieve something they have failed to do in the past two years, obtain more than four points in January. Following a disappointing home draw with Cagliari, coupled with an equally disappointing second-half performance, do Antonio Conte’s men risk coming close to repeating history?
January 4, 2012
An unbeaten start to the season stretching into the new year, the only side across the five major European leagues to achieve such a feat, coupled with the 'restoration of credibility' that Antonio Conte has long desired since his arrival last summer, all appears to be well in Turin. Enter the January transfer window. Rumours circulate, signings are made and Felipe Melo makes his feelings clear on his future. Clubs pay extortionate prices to land their desired targets, or if you’re Adriano Galliani you pull off yet another ‘Deal of the Century’. It’s all part and parcel of the January transfer window.
December 19, 2011
“It’s not a good situation for my coronary arteries!” was the reaction of Antonio Conte following the 2-0 win over Novara on Sunday. Despite yet another Bianconeri victory, Conte was critical of the performance, citing domination of possession as positive, yet wastage of numerous chances continues to be the Achilles heel of his side. Simone Pepe’s early strike set the tone for the clash, but tifosi were made to wait until the 74th minute for a second. A fine header from Fabio Quagliarella was the striker’s first goal since 19 December 2010. Should Juventus harbour hopes of a title challenge this season, can they continue to be so wasteful in front of goal, especially with a daunting trip to Udinese ahead?
December 9, 2011
It's been a while since Italy has had something to shout about in Europe. While the Milanese clubs confirmed their continued participation in Europe’s elite competition in February with games to spare, Napoli completed yet another chapter in their fairytale with a win over Villarreal on Wednesday night, booking their place in the knock-out stages. While Calcio regains credibility across Europe, it is all merely the pre-amble for the return of the Old Lady to the higher echelons of European football next season.
November 22, 2011
Being somewhat of an old football romantic, there has been a reoccurring theme whilst enhancing my knowledge on the history of football and reminiscing about the 'good old days'. Through time, and in particular when the Azzurri have been at the pinnacle of the game, there has always been a strong Juventus presence.
We all know Juve are the only remaining unbeaten side in Serie A this season. They face daunting trips to Lazio and then Napoli in the forthcoming weeks as their quest for the Scudetto becomes more realistic with each passing round of fixtures. However, watching Claudio Marchisio’s man of the match performance against Palermo on Sunday, three goals from current players in the national squad, and several solid performances from other Italian internationals, it seems fitting to celebrate the grand old Bianconeri tradition of producing fine home-grown talent.
November 1, 2011
'Compleanno da capolista!' reads the headline on the official Juventus site. The Bianconeri journey began in 1897, 29 Scudetti, 2 Champions League titles, 3 UEFA Cups, 9 Italian Cups, 9 Ballon d'Or winners and 114 years later, they are again in the midst of a purple patch. The Derby d'Italia needs no introduction. One of the fiercest rivalries in European football, the mere mention of Inter-Juventus is enough to have many fans salivating with excitement. The latest instalment did little to disappoint, with the boys from Turin coming away from San Siro with all three points while sending Inter a step closer to Serie B. Having already conquered the defending champions from Milan, another encouraging result has seen many pundits proclaim that the Old Lady is now window shopping for a classy frock ahead of receiving her Scudetto crown.
October 14, 2011
“If all Italian clubs owned their own stadiums, the income would change radically. Unfortunately, we are light years away from this change. What happened in Turin cannot be repeated.”
That was the verdict of Adriano Galliani ahead of the Rossoneri’s trip to face Juventus earlier this month. While the Old Lady of Italian football enjoys her new-found success and ponders over what to spend her riches on in the future, clubs across Italy are left to continue to bemoan the lack of revenue and atmosphere at their current homes.
The new Juventus Stadium holds 41,000 fans, and has already had a significant impact on the club’s finances. While the Bianconeri made just €1.2 million from the first three home games at their temporary residence at the Stadio Olimpico last season, the club have collected an impressive €4.2 million from the first three matches this campaign. Despite the money-men predicting that the club will bring home almost €27 million by the end of the season, that’s around €15 million more than in 2010/11, there is still a glaring issue that needs addressing in the Italian game. Surprisingly, it’s not all down to poor quality and invariably intimidating atmospheres.
September 1, 2011
The ideal scenario for most coaches across Europe is to have all the new additions to the squad present at the start of the summer. This allows for a full pre-season with their new team-mates and a chance to settle at the club ahead of what will undoubtedly be one of the most important years in their football life. Sensible approach or not, where’s the fun in that? What would a transfer window be without the traditional rushing through of paperwork in the last minute of deadline day? Welcome to mercato madness.
August 15, 2011
As we move closer to the beginning of another campaign, expectations are as high as ever at Juventus. New stadium, new coach and several new players later, we have fresh optimism ahead of the Serie A season. Will there be a repeat of the last two years, or can Antonio Conte restore the Old Lady’s pride and make it a memorable eight months?
July 20, 2011
As the season draws to a close you begin to dread it. Those final few weeks of seeing the Bianconeri in action leave you in a state of depression, as you know in the back of your mind that horrible summer without football is just around the corner. You ask yourself so many questions: What am I going to do on a Sunday afternoon now? What will ESPN show instead? Fast forward two months and here we are! Pre-season preparation is well under-way as Juve touch-down in the USA ready to get the new campaign started.
June 27, 2011
With the summer calcio mercato well under way, clubs across Italy find themselves being linked with every player under the sun, well, every player except Hasan Salihamadzic. Juventus moved quickly to seal three free transfers earlier this month, with Andrea Pirlo, Reto Ziegler and Michele Pazienza all signing up to the Conte Revolution. With the latter’s arrival upstaged by Gigi Buffon’s big day, impatience turned into annoyance at the lack of activity and absence of big money signings. However, while critics furiously typed away bemoaning the Bianconeri hierarchy’s activity, or lack of, Juve showered us with gifts in the form of a quadruple of signings to end the month on a high.
May 28, 2011
Following another disappointing and largely inconsistent campaign, the Old Lady will be a notable absentee from both the Champions and Europa League draws later this summer. A seventh-place finish not only ends thoughts of Europe, but also draws Gigi Del Neri’s tenure at the club to a close. A year on from their first attempt at an ambitious rebuilding of the club, what now for the Bianconeri?
May 3, 2011
In what has been a season of inconsistency, negativity and unwanted speculation putting coach Gigi Del Neri under constant pressure, the Bianconeri are now just four points adrift of a place in next season’s Champions League. With the fixture list destined to provide dramatic scenes across the peninsula, can Juve achieve what was once viewed as impossible?
April 18, 2011
Juventini, gather round and take note. I have a prediction to make. Now I’m no Nostradamus, and I certainly do not have a crystal ball, but I predict that Juventus will begin a cycle of domination in Italian football from the 2012/2013 season onwards. While I can hear you all let out a collective groan and cry out in unison ‘yeah that’s great but that’s two seasons away’, I personally believe as of that season, there will be a shift in power. And here’s why…
March 24, 2011
Ahead of the Azzurri's Euro 2012 qualifier in Slovenia, there has been much debate over who should start between the sticks. Gigi Buffon has returned from his injury nightmare to regain the No.1 jersey, while many have called for Bologna's Emiliano Viviano to get the nod. Despite the obvious bias in my opinion, it is Buffon who should start on Friday night.
March 7, 2011
As Gennaro Gattuso wheeled away in celebration on Saturday night, the AC Milan midfielder inflicted a third consecutive defeat for Juventus, making it seven losses in the last thirteen games for the Bianconeri. It's very easy to blame it all on the coach, but when you fail to record a single shot on goal, is that just bad tactics or a bitterly poor performance from the players? The question everyone is asking is: 'Should Del Neri go?'
February 24, 2011
Over the past few weeks, I've heard the word 'contract' mentioned so many times that I've apparently begun to mutter the word in my sleep. From Ale Del Piero and his on-going talks over a new deal, to the conundrum over whether the likes of Alberto Aquilani, Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri should be offered one to make their moves permanent in the summer. It's clear that someone, and I'm not particularly sure who, is going to be left disappointed come July.
January 28, 2011
Elimination from the Europa League at the first hurdle, defeat at the hands of Roma in Turin on Thursday night in the Coppa Italia quarter-final, and about as much chance of winning the Scudetto as me admitting I love Inter. Looks like another season without a trophy for the Bianconeri.
January 12, 2011
As the dust settles on what can only be described as a nightmare start to 2011, there is widespread talk that Juve have entered another crisis. Two games played, two losses, seven goals conceded and a very unhappy bunch of Juventini.
January 5, 2011
He is the former Juventus and Italy number one. He is widely regarded by most as one of the greatest ‘keepers in the world, and in some circles, of all time. He has also recently been named Goalkeeper of the Decade by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. Who is he? He is of course, Gianluigi Buffon: the forgotten man in Turin.
December 19, 2010
Ahead of the winter break, the Bianconeri were held to a 1-1 draw away at Chievo after Fabio Quagliarella’s sensational overhead kick was cancelled out by an injury-time leveller from Sergio Pellissier. However, following Milan’s loss against Roma on Saturday night, Juve can be optimistic that they will provide a credible assault for another Scudetto in 2011 as they lie just 5 points behind the Rossoneri.
December 2, 2010
Following his well publicised falling out with Sampdoria patron Riccardo Garrone, Antonio Cassano could find himself looking for a new club in the January transfer window if his contract is successfully rescinded. With the darling of Italian football available on a free transfer, former director Luciano Moggi believes it could be a shrewd bit of business to bring the man formerly known as the ‘Bari brat’ to Turin.
November 23, 2010
Another week, and another victory saw the Bianconeri move into 4th place just six points behind leaders AC Milan, and it was the return of Milos Krasic that inspired Gigi Del Neri’s men in a 2-0 win away at Genoa. As talk of a Scudetto challenge begins to gather pace, is it too early to dream?
November 7, 2010
In the midst of an injury crisis, the Bianconeri ran out 2-1 winners against newly promoted Cesena in Turin on Sunday to move within four points of leaders Lazio. Having fallen behind to an early Luis Jiminez strike, goals from Ale Del Piero, Fabio Quagliarella and Vincenzo Iaquinta secured the three points for Gigi Del Neri’s side.
October 20, 2010
After seventeen years in Bianconeri colours, Alessandro Del Piero made history this past week by moving to 178 league goals for Juve, putting him level with the great Giampiero Boniperti at the top of the club's Serie A all-time top goalscorers list. From his first goal against Reggiana back in 1993 to his latest strike against Lecce last weekend, he can only be described as nothing short of a footballing legend.
August 23, 2010
‘I can be Juve’s new Nedved.’ The words of new €15 million signing Milos Krasic as he finally sealed his dream move to Turin from CSKA Moscow. After one of the most protracted transfer sagas of the summer comes to an end, the Bianconeri finally have their man and with several comparisons already being drawn to our legendary Czech magician, it looks like it might turn out to be a very astute signing.
August 5, 2010
The day that many Juventini were dreading has finally arrived. It has been confirmed that Sebastian Giovinco has left the club to join Parma initially on loan with the option to buy at the end of the season.
July 22, 2010
As the memories of last season and the disastrous World Cup fade away, Bianconeri tifosi are optimistic ahead of the forthcoming campaign as new boss Gigi Del Neri ushers in a new era at the Stadio Olimpico. As pre-season swings into action, what are the expectations this season?
May 18, 2010
As a disappointing season ended with defeat at the San Siro, Juventini were greeted with the news this week that the new man in charge as of next season will be Signor Gigi Del Neri. Having successfully guided Sampdoria to a fourth place finish, and thus in the process ensuring Champions League football for the Blucerchiati, Del Neri now has the unenviable task of restoring pride and glory to Juventus. But, the question is, is he the right man?
May 8, 2010
‘If I had to leave, I think that England could be my destination’. ‘The cycle at Juventus is finished’. As the rumour mill moves into fifth gear, Bianconeri favourites Gigi Buffon and Mauro Camoranesi are being linked with pastures new away from Turin. The question is, how many of the Old Lady’s stars will be moving on this summer?
April 23, 2010
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is reportedly expected to arrive in Turin this summer, bringing with him a revolution of such magnitude, that it is promised to breathe new life into the Old Lady. Ahead of the Spaniard’s alleged move, this Juventino, much like a candidate in the current Prime Ministerial election race in the UK, will attempt to sway your opinion and assist me in setting up a hypothetical barricade at Aeroporto di Torino, preventing Mr Benitez and his transfer merry-go-round from taking over what is already a sinking ship.
April 14, 2010
As the season draws to a close, two of Italy’s powerhouses are set to go head-to-head in what will be a season defining clash. With Inter chasing Scudetto glory, and Juve ultimately playing catch-up to both Palermo and Sampdoria in the race for fourth, the Bianconeri will be looking to pull off a shock result in Milan in the Derby d'Italia to give themselves a fighting chance of seeing Champions League football next year.
February 26, 2010
I would like to report a missing person. Sebastian Giovinco, affectionately known as ‘la formica atomica’ to his loved ones, is 23 years of age. He was last seen around the turn of the year but has not been spotted since. After picking up an injury in training over a month ago, he has yet to make a starting appearance under the new coach Alberto Zaccheroni and we are worried whether we will ever see him again.
February 9, 2010
As I’m sure you are aware, it has been a very problematic and stressful time to be a Juventino this season. I have followed my beloved Bianconeri for many years, but never has our situation been so dire. I see a temporary solution to a long-term problem in Signor Zaccheroni and I don’t feel he can repair the damage that has already been done in the long run. So, if you could please come back to Turin, I would very much appreciate it.
January 26, 2010
‘They want to stop us winning’. ‘A strong wind blows against us’. Just a few of the ridiculous comments emanating from the Nerazzuri after their Derby della Madonnina success on Sunday.
With Juve well and truly out of the title race, and likely to be facing an uphill struggle to even qualify for Europa League football next year, I thought I would spare my readers my usual moans and groans for this week only and discuss the biggest story in Italian football at this moment... what is fast becoming a situation of Italy v Inter.
December 23, 2009
As the old saying goes, ‘‘tis the season to be jolly!’ Try telling that to a Juventino right now. As bottom-of-the-table Catania celebrated a historic victory over the Bianconeri this weekend, the Sicilians must have thought it was Christmas-come-early. For us, the winter break could not have come quicker. Talk of a crisis is growing, and rightly so.
December 15, 2009
Set your mind back to last Saturday night, and re-live the elation of defeating the champions and blowing the title-race wide open. Now fast forward ten days and consider how very wrong things have gone since the full time whistle was blown in Turin that night. A 4-1 thumping at home to Bayern Munich, elimination from the Champions League ensued. An equally embarrassing 3-1 defeat away at Bari on Saturday, back to square one in the Scudetto race. It would seem the Bianconeri are in the festive spirit and are handing out gifts quicker than Santa on his annual round.
November 29, 2009
As we enter Week 15 of the Serie A season, it is a familiar name that leads the pack at the top of the table. Chasing their ‘18th’ Scudetto success, the Nerazzuri find themselves eight points clear of the Bianconeri. With the Derby d’Italia fast approaching, can we, or anyone for that matter, catch Jose Mourinho’s men?
As has been the case in Italy over the past few years, Internazionale continue to dominate the domestic scene. As notorious under-achievers on the European circuit, they have found themselves able to hide their failure in the Champions League amongst Europe’s elite with numerous league titles. However, in what is believed to be the year that Juventus have finally amassed a squad capable of challenging for the title, the contest between the Italian heavyweights is well under way.
November 9, 2009
Ahead of the international break, my attention switches this week to the squad selection for the world champions. The Azzurri squad arriving for training at Coverciano this week will contain two fresh faces ahead of the upcoming friendlies against Holland and Sweden. Antonio Candreva and Davide Biondini join up with la Nazionale for the first time, fulfilling boyhood dreams in the process. There are also re-calls for some younger faces, including the likes of Giampaolo Pazzini, Mattia Cassani and Daniele Galloppa amongst others. After facing fierce criticism from the media over recent months for not injecting youth into his squad, Marcello Lippi has now answered those calls ahead of these experimental match-ups and it is now up to these youngsters to make the most of their opportunities.
November 1, 2009
Juventus President Jean-Claude Blanc caused quite a stir last week. Following comments made to the media, the Frenchman has stated his intent to embellish the Bianconeri jersey with a third star next season, provided his club successfully claim the Scudetto this term. Somewhat controversial when you consider his disregard of the decision made to rescind two Serie A titles following Juve’s alleged involvement in the Calciopoli scandal in 2006.
‘You know that on all our official documents there are 29 Scudetti, with two asterisks for those that they have taken away from us’.
As a Juventino, I fully support his plan to celebrate the success of this prestigious club, and I firmly back his decision.
October 14, 2009
Passport? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Vuvuzela? Hmm perhaps not. With a stroke of Alberto Gilardino’s foot in the 90th minute in Dublin on Saturday night, La Nazionale confirmed their place at next year’s World Cup. The Fiorentina hit man described it as ‘the most important goal of his international career so far’, and boy was he right.
September 17, 2009
As one of Signor Giovinco’s biggest fans, the news making the headlines over the past few weeks has regrettably deeply saddened me.
'Sometimes I regret that I am Italian’
The first of many quotes that have left me frustrated for ‘formica atomica’. To allow one of the country’s most promising talents to have come to such a conclusion is disappointing, not only as a Juventus fan, but also in consideration of the wider picture. For La Nazionale.