The article you’re starting to read was born as the usual tactical analysis; My intention was to take the first twenty-five minutes of the game against Napoli and highlight the problems that emerged during that match in which Juventus was saved only thanks to the stunts of Buffon. But I have wondered what I would add again what could I write that has not already been said here or elsewhere, because if we take the game against the formation of Benitez may be highlighted, perhaps in different forms, the same difficulties at the San Siro against Milan, against Genoa in Genoa, or in the second half of Florence; I would even say more, those who were seen last year against Shakhtar and Bayern Munchen.

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At this point you may wonder what are these difficulties. We start from the attack. Napoli, as you can see from this picture, strategically chose to mark to man Pirlo with Hamsik, while Higuain was called to disturb Bonucci, a choice that left undisturbed the two side central defenders: then, in the roar that triggers the action Juventus, the high and low vertex was marked but there were always two other free players.

Now, their choice has almost always been to try to trigger the colleagues with the long balls to try to serve a stiker, one of the midfielders or a winger: Juventus, as you can see from this picture, draws a triangle very wide on the field between the three of midfield: Pirlo is the top down, while the two interior move on the pitch on a more profound and open position, with a band, that near the director, left empty.

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On defense, however, we can speak of a 532. Napoli has clearly chosen to raise the position of the two full-backs, the real players called to ensure the amplitude, with the median, Inler and Jorginho, which provided the first support for the central defenders; the fundamental position of the three attacking midfielders and Higuain: often exchanged the position (it was not unusual to see the Argentine in wide position ), but especially the two outer cut in the middle taking behind the Juventus midfielders.

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And here is the classical defensive problem of Juventus: who has to go out on the full backs? Midfielders? If it happens like in Naples, as was seen in Milan, with the Ukrainians of Lucescu and Bayern, you leave unguarded down the middle with the team forced to longer defensive phases in which the ball recovery is the primary task of the thick line five, with the two internal forced to run for cover very large parts of the field.

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PROSPECTS

This Juventus is approaching to win the third title in a row Conte -era (you do all the appropriate incantations), a goal that was unthinkable when the then coach of Siena landed in Turin, and must always remember that this would be in the business plans of  this year in which to try to win the championship. Thus, the quality of the work done is commendable, but it does not mean that there are no limitations and flaws to think about.

My impression is that to have witnessed to the construction of a virtually impregnable fortress at home: the 352 works in Italy, allows you to crush your opponents and allow as little as possible. It’s a war machine. The problems arise against those teams that do not have reverential fear, trying to press up, they know what to do with the ball between their feet, those issues that have been highlighted above.

In those two seasons it has then worked on a radical game idea: the action is often initiated with a play in vertical to one of the two strikers, often not involving a third or a fourth man, not creating numerical superiority in the ball area. In the summer, so it was decided to try to improve the quality of strikers with the purchase of Tevez and Llorente, two strikers able to keep the ball and pick up the team unlike Matri-Quagliarella-Giovinco, but their task turns out to be difficult and burdensome when being marked tightly.

The lack of involvement of other players implies that Juventus is in trouble once lost ball failing to carry out the ferocious defensive transition that is in the string of players; in fact, the persistent search of vertical play for strikers (by the defenders or the full backs) has the consequence of losing the ball in area too far back, but especially with the opposing team that still has so many men on the line of the ball. What happened in Naples for example.

It seems clear that some reflection on the built fortress, to improve the quality of the game, especially in these seven / eight games that can make a difference especially in Europe, should fall into the thoughts of the next few weeks. You can think of boost, add, increase with the purchase of quality wingers, better than the current players (this move is anyway required), but it may be the case of abandon, leave the radical search of a certain type of game. It is not a matter of module, indeed, but to try to play with greater simplicity, short passes, a few taps. After all, less is more.

@davideterruzzi  – > juventibus.com