Claudio Villa - Getty Images
(Insert joke about Sebastian Giovinco's height here)
Expectations have surrounded Sebastian Giovinco ever since he made his first-team debut with Juventus in 2007. Part of it was out of own creation with phenomenal performances with Juventus' primavera, part of it was because we all knew what a homegrown fantista coule mean in a post-Del Piero world.
It was only natural to think that way. All of us have gotten caught up in the hype machine before. If you are saying "NO. I NEVER HAVE. I KEEP IT REAL." to yourself right now, then there is an infinite number of facepalms headed towards you. There was as much talk — if not more — about Giovinco than any other player to come out of Juve's fabled youth academy in recent memory.
However, as we know, tt took Giovinco to spend two years away from Turin to start living up to that potential almost everybody thought he had. His two-year stint with Parma saw him not only continue to develop his skills, but really find a niche in what kind of player he can be. Before he was sent out on loan, Giovinco was bounced around from positon-to-position like a car with souped-up hydraulics. One week he was a trequartista, the next a left winger, the week after he was a seconda punta.
Giovinco wasn't able to settle in one spot, his performances suffered, causing him to get buried on the bench. We all know how that went, so I won't remind you about it any more than what's above.
Now, back at Juventus with much more of a polished game and set of skills, Giovinco is looked upon to continue what he did at Parma. His 15-goal performance last season took some by surprise — including yours truly. It was finally the sign that everything had clicked for the little fella and all those people that didn't throw him under the bus were finally absolved for still believing.
But this season has sputtered after a fast start. Since his two-goal performance against Udinese, SuperSeba has, well, not exactly been all that super. He struggled against Chelsea. He then struggled this past Tuesday against Fiorentina. His WhoScored ratings went from off the charts to down where you'd expect to see somebody like Marco Borriello.
What am I trying to say with all of this?
Patience. We need to take a big, fat dose of patience.
Giovinco isn't going to light up the back of the net every game. It's clearly a rough patch for Giovinco, one where he needs to adapt to how defenses are playing against him. Instead of letting him do his usual flicks and tricks, teams are using their height advantage and getting physical.
It is clearly working. While Giovinco has shown glimpses of what he can do this season, he's still working to find the form he had at Parma. That won't come instantly, especially when you consider that Juventus are not just playing Serie A games this year. There will be games where he struggles, as is the same with every player.
But there's no doubting that Giovinco has the ability to produce. Now it's just a matter of Giovinco countering what teams are doing to throw him off his game.
And what does that take?
You guessed it — time.