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Are expectations too high at Juve?

April 8, 2008

After winning promotion to the top flight, most clubs would be happy just consolidating their position for a season. But not Juventus.

Claudio Ranieri’s side are third in Serie A, an excellent achievement following their demotion for match-fixing two seasons ago and the loss of Fabio Cannavaro, Emerson, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Patrick Vieira, Gianluca Zambrotta and Lilian Thuram.

Yet Juve are such a big club in Italy that some fans expected them to be challenging for the scudetto immediately. Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Palermo ended any hope of a late title bid, but surely the Turin club should be ecstatic that they are in a Champions League spot? 

Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluigi Buffon, David Trezeguet, Pavel Nedved and Mauro Camoranesi all stayed to win promotion from Serie B and battle back to the upper reaches of the top flight. Keeping those players was a wonderful coup for the club, which also held on to a fan base from across Italy (they have few fans actually in Turin). 

Getting into third spot is even more remarkable given the financial constraints at Juve. Redevelopment of the Stadio delle Alpi, board restructuring following the match-fixing scandal, and an unwillingness from the club’s FIAT backers to plough in lots of cash have all hit the coffers.

They were also not helped by Ranieri buying two midfield duffers in the close season. Sergio Almiron arrived from Empoli but was so ineffective he was quickly shipped off to Monaco while Portugal’s Tiago played his first decent pass all season at Palermo.

Despite all this, Juve have regained the swagger of old where a defeat is so rare it really hurts. The fans should be overjoyed, the club could have sunk like Nottingham Forest and Leeds United have in England.

If Juve can buy a top class creative midfielder, with Werder Bremen’s Diego heavily linked, a championship bid next year might not be so fanciful.

Mark Meadows, Milan 

Comments

Notts Forrest and Leeds sunk because they were relegated to a tough league (Championship) with a poor team.

Juve kept hold of Buffon, Del Piero and Camoranesi, playing in a much weeker second tier in football in comparison to what Leeds had to contend with, I mean think about it they had Jean-Alain Boumsong in their defence and they still went straight back up!

Juve are Italys Manchester United, no-one in Manchester supports United same as no-one in Torino supports Juve.

However the fan base is huge and as such the expectations are sky high, why can’t they win the league?

Posted by Martin | Report as abusive
 

Juventus have a tradition to uphold and they have done dazzlingly well this season to get even to third. Players like Del Piero, Buffon, Nedved and Trez have really strained to drive the rest of the mediocre squad forward. If they pick up Diego (and maybe even Marcello Lippi) in teh summer, we’ll see a different Juve.

Check this out: http://gentrystyle.com/category/sport/

Posted by Paolo | Report as abusive
 

I am a Juve fan and im very proud of what juve reached this year because we made in one year what everybody thought we would have reached in 3 or 4 years so next year I think we can go for the scudetto with one or two good new players

Posted by Claudia | Report as abusive
 

martin how can u say our championship ie better then serie b? every time a championship team gets promoted they go streight back down.
juventus are a massive club (only real madrid are bigger)and they should challenge for the scudetto next season.

Posted by bob | Report as abusive
 

hey im maria from malta i beg u pls come and visit malta some time after all italy is not that far away oh and so u know at skool we study about u in our french culture cya!!!

Posted by maria | Report as abusive
 

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