Formidable, dominant and classy: Three words that describe Juventus pretty accurately throughout their successful 115 year history.
And now, after a tricky period of time at the club is now over after “The Calciopoli Scandal” hit the club hard, I will look to analyse what helped make Juventus great again.
The Revival of Juventus
With relegation to Serie B came star players leaving the club with intentions of playing at the highest level which they were obviously capable of after proving it at there time at Juventus.
Lilian Thuram crossed Europe to play for Barcelona , a fresh faced Zlatan Ibrahimovic took a 90 mile trip to Milan and signed for Internazionale ,while Italian central defender Fabio Cannavaro jumped at the opportunity of playing football in the Spanish capital for Real Madrid.
Although the departure of these key players hit the Juventus squad hard, other key talents like Pavel Nedved, Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon all stayed at the club to help fight the club through this adversity and also, with all the experience through the ranks at this time, youngsters coming out of the Juventus youth academy were able to fill the gaps and develop at a better rate with the first team football opportunities available to them, like Claudio Marchisio and Sebastian Giovinco who both made 29 appearances that season between them.
Life was seen to have been brought back to normality for Juventus fans when they were promoted as champions of Serie B as expected and they were took right back into the thick of the competitiveness of the Serie A, going against the likes of Internazionale, Roma and Fiorentina for the Scudetto.
A well respected 3rd place finish was secured by manager Claudio Ranieri, who was appointed at the end of Juventus’s Serie B winning season to help bring Juventus into success and bounce back into Serie A superiority.
Despite an improvement in the next season of a second placed finish, Claudio Ranieri was sacked after a 2 month stint of not one win, which ultimately saw Internazionale beat Juventus to the title.
The 2009 – 2010 season passed and Juventus slumped to a depressing 7th scraping UEFA Europa League football by 3 points – an obviously massively underwhelming season with manager Ciro Ferrara sacked in January and caretaker manager Alberto Zacheroni creating instability at the club at managerial level.
The season after followed a similar suit and another 7th place finish, also adding insult to injury for the Juventus fans was the fact that they have had to stadium share with there bitter local rivals, Torino throughout this tough period.
Something had to change at Juventus
He managed to construct a midfield over a summer that would tear apart teams for the next two seasons bringing in the likes of Italian legend Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal, who is arguably now developed into one of the best and most “complete” midfielders in the European game, demanding a fee of up to €40m.
In Conte’s first season as manager, he won the Scudetto with a 4 point margin, no mean feat for any manager let alone one that had no previous Serie A management experience.
In Conte’s second season, he strengthened in his weakest areas and brought in promising youngsters to help in the depth of the team in the likes of Paul Pogba from Manchester United and Kwadwo Asamoah from Serie A team Udinese who have developed very well under Conte, especially Pogba who has been a vital team player for when injuries set into either Marchisio or Pirlo and has come into the team and has looked far from out of place, in both league games and UEFA Champions League.
The revival of Juventus took time, the scars of The Calciopoli scandal are still there but fading with every passing season and on the pitch, things look very good for Juventus fans and after a hard few seasons, patience is paying off.
With a stable boardroom to fit, and lucrative sponsorship deals with Jeep thanks to the Agnelli family having strong ties with the company, and a brand new state of the art stadium to show to the world that Juventus are really open for business.
Written by James Clark
Follow James on Twitter @JamesMRClark
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