It finally happened.
I really never thought that Juve would be in this place, not this Juve, not a Juventus with Cristiano Ronaldo in its ranks. But it happened, and the fact that it coincided with the Mole Derby was the last detail of something I never thought I’d see.
(Okay, the Derby della Molle is probably the least important Derby Juve has for non-Turin-based fans, but still … it’s a Derby!)
But in Saturday’s 2-2 draw, Juventus were left off the TV schedule and their game only aired on the ESPN app for Latin America. The horror, the ignominy! For those of you who don’t know, ESPN Deportes owns the rights to broadcast Serie A in Latin America. They typically broadcast the top two or three matches of the week on ESPN’s main stream, while showing other less appealing matches on the app. Since the start of the season, every Juve game has been shown on the main channel, even if they were playing the minnows, you could bet on the Bianconeri have the first place on television.
(Usually accompanied by either the best game of the week, a Napoli game due to Hirving Lozano’s bump or a game featuring Milan /Rome clubs.)
But this weekend, the featured matches were Inter-Bolonia and Napoli-Crotone. Oddly enough, however, because of this bump, the game was announced by Andres Agulla and Ricky Ortiz, hands down the two best Latin American announcers in Italian football who for some reason were fired from the main games for failing. only appear on streaming games. app and for American broadcast. It was a pleasant surprise as their announcement work is by far what I appreciated the most in Saturday’s game.
(Agulla, in particular, is a knowledgeable and engaging personality and one to follow on Twitter if you speak Spanish. He usually tweets about the game he’s watching at all times, so it’s a nice surprise when you watch the same game. It’s a better surprise when this match is a Puebla FC match and even better when it gives praise our way for their style of play. Come on the pod to chat, Andres.)
To be honest I’m just doing my best not to talk about the real game, it was bad. We don’t need to do too much, but I guess we will.
Winner: Federico Chiesa
If you force me to make a decision I would say he has been Juventus’ best player this season. My own MVP ranking has Cristiano Ronaldo as the clubhouse leader and since we don’t give points for draws or losses this will remain so despite Chiesa’s performance on Saturday.
Still, I’m pretty sure if I go back and reread all the articles when Juve were performing poorly, Chiesa is still the only bright spot in the squad. Sometimes it seems like he’s the only one who cares and has the skills to fulfill the desire.
We could discuss the current board’s history of transfer successes, but Chiesa looks like one of those we’ll be talking about as a huge hit in the years to come.
Loser: Dejan Kulusevski
On the other side of the spectrum of good and bad transfers, we have to talk about Dejan.
It’s no secret to anyone who has watched Juventus with any regularity that the young Swede struggled mightily in his debut season with the champions. Saturday was just one step up from the old belt for Kulu when it comes to poor performance.
We can talk as much as we want about how he’s played out of position and he’s young and all the usual caveats. They are not without merit, he was put in a position of failure, there is no doubt. But he went beyond just being a little bad to the detriment of the team, as it was his sloppy back pass that led to Turin’s go-ahead score. And, at some point, you either sink or swim – and it most certainly sank.
It’s also worth mentioning that of all incoming transfers for this season, only Kulu and Arthur were made prior to the appointment of Andrea Pirlo. Which means they were made with Maurizio Sarri as a manager in mind. This is not nothing, in my opinion, because if we are 100% honest with ourselves, Kulusevski does not make sense in Pirlo’s system.
His failure this season is only compiled by the fact that the other three transfers made after Pirlo’s appointment – Chiesa, Alvaro Morata and Weston McKennie – have at one point or another during the season been key to the squad. .
It’s far too early to call Kulu’s move to Juve a failure or to imply that he might not have a place in the squad for next year. But I have no doubts that when the list of the biggest disappointments of the end of the year is released, Kulu will be there as a right winger… or second striker or winger or wherever they line him up next.
It’s party time!
In the Bingo card of “Disastrous seasons” Juventus still lacked “Weird incident off the field” square, so I was very amused when they finally ticked this one off in preparation for Saturday’s game thanks to the aforementioned McKennie, Arthur and Paulo Dybala shenanigans.
It’s a silly story that gets more and more silly as more and more details emerge. Was it a party? Was it a low-key dinner like it was alleged by Dybala’s girlfriend? How many people were there? Who were the other three supposed players who were also there but left before the police were called to break up the party?
The best thing that comes out of this whole story is probably the quotes from the neighbor who called the cops on McKennie’s property.
“I support Juventus which is why I’m sorry, but maybe they should attend fewer parties and focus more on the pitch.”
Phew, it’s cold.
“I don’t think a famous footballer is above the law. I went out at 10:30 p.m. to walk the dog, and saw a line of cars inside the doors [of McKennie’s property], “
At 10:30 p.m.! These guys got in trouble for throwing a party that ended before midnight! I know none of these guys probably had a normal college experience because of their pro football efforts, but this whole party smacks of the moment you got arrested for drinking in the dorms and disrespecting the rules. quiet hours.
Look, we can call it that. These are guys in their mid-twenties, McKennie and Dybala already had COVID-19 and Arthur is not what you would call an example of balanced decision making. It was a short sighted idea and they were arrested for doing something that was probably irresponsible.
If the club want to give them a one-game suspension as a face-saving measure in a lost season, that’s fine with me. But let’s not act like they’re the only ones breaking the COVID-19 protocol. How was Dubai, man?
The only reason it has become such a big story is because the team loses and when a team loses, it all gets bigger. They will get their flogging in the media, suffer no real consequences, and be on their way. Just another bad time in a season filled with them.
Loser: Wojciech Szczesny
Of all the positions that this club need to strengthen, the goalkeeper is literally the only one that doesn’t need them. https://t.co/9ExtslVtza
– Sergio – 2021 SuperCoppa Fields – Romero (@manuc_bwrao) March 30, 2021
Tweets that precede unfortunate events.
What to watch instead: Ted Lasso
Let me be the last to praise the little show that could.
(A show can be an underdog when backed by a multi-billion dollar company, but still.)
Based on a series of commercials for NBC to promote their acquisition of the Premier League broadcast rights in the United States. In the commercials, Jason Sudeikis plays Ted Lasso, an American football coach hired to manage Tottenham Hotspur.
The commercial itself was pretty funny, but when the show was first announced, the general opinion was that it was a thin premise for sustaining an entire season of television. However, the end result is pretty awesome, Lasso is hired by fictional AFC Richmond, a struggling Premier League club led by Rebecca Welton, the dismissed ex-wife of former club owner Rupert Mannion. She hires Lasso to have the club relegated to get revenge on her ex-husband, which is a good way to solve the “Why would you hire an American football coach to lead your team?” “
If you’re a die-hard football fan, some of the stuff on the show won’t make too much sense, but it will win you over quickly with crisp, witty writing and a great performance from the entire cast. I guarantee you will get more pleasure from watching an episode of Ted Lasso than any Juve game for the rest of the year.
Starting shot of the week
There really isn’t much more to say about this.
Turin are a bad team who have struggled in the relegation zone for most of the year. Juve are expected to beat them, but apart from a brilliant streak at the start of January, this team has always been underwhelming and drop points to relegation fighters seem to be a common occurrence.
The long-awaited match against Napoli is looming next Wednesday. While some of us were hoping this game would be important to fight for the top of the table, now it looks like it will be important to stay alone in the top 4. Boy, is that depressing.
Forty-five days before the Coppa Italia final!
See you on Wednesday.