Four-time Italian Serie A champions Juventus are in serious of danger of falling out of contention for the Scudetto after suffering a shock defeat at U.S. Sassuolo Calcio on Wednesday night.
After ten rounds of league action, the Bianconeri (3-3-4) are 11 points adrift of league leaders A.S. Roma, who are now odds-on favourites at 7/4 to become champions of Italy’s top-flight this term.
Juventus’ struggles–in a campaign that oddly resembles that of English Premier League champions Chelsea–are drawing attention from across the Atlantic, so much so that former Juve forward Carlos Tevez voiced his sadness over the club’s recent form.
“I’m following it and I’m suffering because I left part of my heart there and it hurts me to see them in this state, but it’s normal after such a big overhaul,” Tevez told Argentine TV programme La Cornisa.
“We just need to have faith in this new squad.”
The current situation at the Juventus Stadium is an uneasy one to say the least. Accordingly, manager Massimiliano Allegri has responded to the club’s recent defeat at the hands of Sassuolo by requiring his players to train every day until Saturday’s derby against Torino, and rightly so.
“We’re going to train, go into the hotel and then train again, and it’s going to be like this up until Saturday,” Allegri said. “It’s a difficult situation and we all need to pull together. We’ll get out of it somehow.
“We need to get out of it by working hard and preparing Saturday’s derby and then the Champions League game [at Borussia Monchengladbach]. This is a reprimand for everybody, including me. We’ve got to do better.”
Juventus’ woes are, at least in part, due to the following three decisions:
1. Giving Paul Pogba the No. 10 Shirt
According to France national team boss Didier Deschamps, giving Pogba the No. 10 shirt has created a “big mess.” Deschamps is spot on. After a summer of reported interest from the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Real Madrid, the pressure seems to be getting to Pogba, and understandably so.
2. Failure to Give Dybala First-Team Opportunities
Until recently, Allegri has failed to give Paulo Dybala, who joined the club from Palermo for a fee of €32 million, plus an additional €8 million in add-ons, a sufficient first-team opportunity despite the Argentine being the club’s most prolific attacking player this term.
3. Sale of Berardi/Signing of Zaza
In the summer, Juve did an interesting piece of business with Sassuolo. As part of the deal that brought Simone Zaza to the club, the Bianconeri resolved a co-ownership agreement with Sassuolo for Domenico Berardi for a fee of €10 million.
Clearly, Sassuolo has gotten the better end of the deal. But Juve have retained an option to bring back Berardi next summer.
All things considered, Juve will have an extremely difficult time reaching the summit of the Serie A table this season.