Giuseppe Marotta last night gave an in-depth interview on Juventus Channel’s ‘231 Show’. The Sporting Director spoke for 45 minutes and provided his views on all aspects of the club.
Here are his responses to the various topics, beginning with a tribute to Marco Simoncelli.
The memory of Simoncelli: There are people in love with their passion. I appreciated Simoncelli on TV and through friends in common, given what I saw in Romagna. Therefore I know how people from there are lovers of life. As far as Italian sport’s concerned we’ve lost an important talent, also for the future.
The game against Genoa: I knew that Genoa would make things difficult for us, at 2-1 I thought we’d be able to seal victory. There’s bitterness at the draw, but it isn’t depression. We’re still in a transitional stage of the season.Conte’s work: Conte arrived this year, together with many new players.
The manager’s work has begun with different tactical plans and it takes time for a new group to blend in.
The stadium: Following the victory against Milan perhaps some thought that the Genoa game would be easier. Also because the goal came instantly.
President’s Announcement on Del Piero: Agnelli urged the shareholders to thank Del Piero for his efforts. On the outside it was considered as the end of Alessandro’s career. He has a great sense of belonging, but his contract is due to run out in June 2012 and the situation hasn’t changed. The two of them have known each other for years, they appreciate each other and when they met in Vinovo they agreed on the episode being exploited by media. Del Piero has provided all the fans with great emotions and he deserves only praise. The player’s use depends on the manager, he needs to pick the best and there’s no influence.
Del Piero’s farewell: Alessandro is the most important player in Juventus’ history and we know that. There are great testimonies for what he’s done.
Satisfaction: Antonio Conte has created a different culture from the recent past and there’s satisfaction for his work. He needs to develop the resources that are available to him, but we’re ready to plug any possible gaps. The manager’s work is bringing what we’d hoped.
Work never ends: In these months the parallel and scouting work continues, thanks to Paratici and all the staff. We’re preparing to find new players to come in and position those who may leave. We’re not currently speaking about the transfer market but we’re obliged to keep it under observation. We’ve assembled a squad based on the indications of Conte and the shareholders. It’s evident that managers want the players but there’s the need to respect the owner’s strategy. We’ve looked to please the manager as best we can.
Attention to Udinese: Udinese’s current model reminds me of Atalanta’s a few years ago. In these teams there’s not the demand for instant results and the large public. With young players it’s tough to win in Italy. By playing without fear, Udinese can stay level with the others.
Focus on youth: We’ve invested a lot on the youth players we have. The Youth Sector isn’t just a feather in our cap but an element that gives life to the players of the future.
No Krasic issue: The player is improving, he’s been great over the past few years and has special qualities. His performances so far this year, however, are not level with his ability. We need to get him back to his best. Conte’s good at making the most out of his resources and will find the right way bring him back.
Vucinic and Vidal: are two great players. Some thought that Conte had just a single strategy and instead he’s shown that he can put together different tactical solutions. He knows how to develop the players he has available. Vidal is extremely versatile, he’s covered different roles throughout his career and his drive fits in with the manager’s ideas. Perhaps you don’t see much of Vucinic but he creates danger every time he touches the ball. Modern strikers work in a very physical way, but his technical qualities have never been in doubt.
Conte ideal manager: Conte has fundamental characteristics, the sense of belonging, he knows what Juventus is all about, he always looks to win, he’s got a great desire to do his work and manages to drum the right tactical mentality into his players.
Great balance in the championship: The championship is very balanced, especially now seeing as the so-called ‘provincial’ teams go to get something from the game. For example we drew at home against Bologna and Genoa, or Milan went down by three goals against Lecce.
Scudetto, always a target: The word ‘Scudetto’ forms part of Juve’s vocabulary, therefore it’s always an target to reach. The objective is to finish in the top three, therefore you’re also fighting for something important. We face every game with the aim of winning.
The need to change: When we arrived here, the team was at the end of a cycle, and there was need to change. Last year we purchased 14 players, this year we’ve brought in 9. We still don’t have a structure in which we can just apply the finishing touches. It’s now impossible to bring in certain types of players, but it’s a discussion that applies to all Italian teams.
Chiellini not under discussion: Chiellini is an international player, he’s often carried Juventus in games. He might have had difficulty in certain cases but he’s not on trial. In any case, we have the third strongest Serie A defence behind Udinese and Siena.
The title race is open: The big teams’ target is to fight for the title, but in this race other teams can participate, such as Udinese who play second fiddle to the others on paper only.
Cutting out mistakes under Conte: We’ve still got some habits from last year to get rid of. But Conte is able to achieve this thanks to his work. Saturday night’s game was episodic, it won’t be like last year where results were up and down from the very beginning.
Immediate victory: The strategy in place was to look to win immediately, therefore going for players who could fit in instantly. The credit is finished, Juventus is a synonym of victory, putting on a show but also being stable. Being a director of Juventus fills me with pride but also responsibilities, which are higher than at Milan or Inter. Juve’s history is felt and all of us, from Agnelli down, are always under pressure.