Juventus 2011-12 Season In Review: The Strikers

NOVARA, ITALY - APRIL 29: Mirko Vucinic and Marco Borriello (R) of Juventus FC celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the Serie A match between Novara Calcio and Juventus FC at Silvio Piola Stadium on April 29, 2012 in Novara, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Definitely our weakest link this season, the attack was hit and miss for the majority of the year. There was never a player you knew was going to step up and continue a good form of scoring goals or creating for the rest of the team. We missed a consistent metronome attacker.

That said, when our forwards did decide to step up, it was super fun to watch. Matri had a great first half of the season, Mirko seemed to wake up just when it was needed, and Del Piero kept us all humble with his eternal skill and love for this club displayed constantly throughout the year. Notice how I didn’t mention Borriello in there?

ALESSANDRO MATRI — 6.5

Don't let the fact that he finished our season with some abysmal performances fool you – Mitra Matri actually ended up being our top striker with 10 goals on the season. Most of those came in the fall of 2011 and early part of 2012, after which he pulled an Amauri and was totally lost out there. Still, he hit some key goals for us early in the season. I don’t think I will ever forget his goal against Milan in Milano to tie it up after the rossoneri shat bricks for Muntari’s goal. A definite turning point of the season. Remember the dummy for Marchisio’s goal against Napoli for the comeback of the season? All in all, Matri had an excellent start to the season and was Italy’s best prima punta all season. I was disappointed to see him left out of the Euro Squad, hopefully that motivates him even more for next season (if he stays around, that is).

MIRKO VUCINIC — 6.5

Conte preferred the Montegerin to any other striker this season, which made sense given that he was the most experienced and most expensive of them all (with the exception of il Capitano on both accounts). Not only did Vucinic play the most out of the forwards, but he also used that playing time to be the most inconsistent player I think I’ve ever seen at Juventus. One game he’d be a total wizard out there, holding up the ball brilliantly, dribbling (albeit slowly) through defenders, and slotting in cheeky goals or setting up teammates. The next, he’d be totally invisible with a first touch of a 5 year old and frustrated beyond recuperation in just minutes. Few will forget his goal against Milan in the Coppa to send us to the finals. Overall though, his best game certainly came against his former club Roma, where he pretty much set up all 4 goals. It remains to see what kind of motivation he will have next year when (hopefully) a quality prima punta will be playing alongside him.

FABIO QUAGLIARELLA — 6

Played 23 games in Serie A and scored 4 goals. Add 3 games from the Italian Cup where he didn’t score and that’s a goal every 7 games. Not good enough for Mr. Umbrella. Though to be fair, he was coming off a difficult knee injury and played in most games as a sub. I didn’t understand the move to extend his contract one more year while at the same time letting Del Piero go. How is Quagliarella a better impact sub than Del Piero? Plus, il Capitano has tons of CL experience. Anyhow, I hope Marotta is hoping to use him as a chip for getting Cavani, given that Quagliarella is a Napoli fans favorite of sorts. I don’t see much space for him next year, unless he wants to go for the Coppa Italia capocannoniere title.

MARCO BORRIELLO — 5.5

Take those last 2 (and only) goals he scored and ladies and gentlemen, you have the new Amauri at Juventus. Looks like a bastard, falls down on every second touch, complains to the referee like he almost got a broken leg, and NEVER SCORES! Ready for the craziest part? He actually saved Juventus in the game against Cesena, and seemed to be the only striker in some kind of a form in that 2-3 game stretch. Give props to Conte for believing in him (on the expense of all our nerves) and to Borriello for giving it his all (though his all is not really that much). I really, really hope he doesn’t stay around for next season, not even as a sub. Immobile, anyone?

ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO — 10

Doing what Danny didn’t have the heart to do in the last game against Atalanta – giving il Capitano a perfect 10 for a perfect ending of a glorious career in bianconero. For all of us of the younger generations (last ~30 years), Del Piero is Juventus. One last time, he showed that in the best way possible. Signed a blank check at the beginning of the season to play for yet another “revolutionary project,” didn’t mum a single sound when placed on the bench for most of the season, gave his absolute all every time he stepped on the pitch, and carried Juventus both in performance and in heart forward all year. As is fitting for a champion of his stature, he ended his last Juventus season on top, with a big smile fighting overwhelming emotions as the Del Piero Arena roared his name. C’e solo un Capitano!

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