Over the last few months, it's becoming more and more clear: We're the new Inter.
First, our transfers have been generally awful- Inter pre-2006 was famous for spending a lot of money- ie, Crespo, Seedorf, Jugovic, Coco, Cannavaro, etc, and largely them being busts. Obviously, we have been spending a crapload of money in the recent mercati without much success, over 100million spent over the last few years, and what do we have to show for it? Iaquinta, Sissoko...maybe Diego, that's about it. We're still the richest club in Italy, despite being in Serie B and relatively uncompetitive the last few years, but we are failing to spend it wisely. The last few years we've been held up by the Old Guard who played in Serie B, as several of them age, fall out of form, and approach retirement, we have dreadfully failed to fill their boots.
Inter was famous for being taken advantage of in the mercato, such as the Carini-for-Cannavaro trade, where we traded our 3rd-string keeper plus 10million euros for the captain of the Nazionale. They sold off several players that failed to settle and succeeded elsewhere- Peruzzi, Baggio, Crespo, etc. Since Calciopoli, we've sold Balzaretti, Marchionni, and Zanetti to Fiorentina for under 10million total. We sold players like Nocerino and Criscito, while signing Grosso, Poulsen, etc. Ex-Juventini like Criscito, Balzaretti, Cassani, Nocerino, and Palladino are all having fairly successful careers elsewhere. They may not be amazing, but have Grosso, Grygera, Molinaro, Poulsen, Tiago, or Amauri been much better? Not really, and when you consider the amount spent on them, it is embarrassing. Like Inter, who couldn't develop young Italian stars like Andrea Pirlo, our record has been pretty poor as well. I can see Giovinco exploding at any other side, if given faith.
Second, we are rotating through coaches as fast as the Perdienti- Inter had over a dozen coaches in a decade, proving that managerial instability does not yield silverware. Since Calciopoli, we are on our 5th coach in 4 years. Just as worryingly, at least 3 of those can be considered "temporary coaches" brought in to save the season, with little plan of staying- Corradini, Ferrara (his start), and Zaccheroni. I think Zac is a decent coach, but anyone who think he's going to take us to a winning cycle is insane, and I don't see him hanging around past this summer. That means whoever we hire will be our 6th coach in 4-5 seasons, approaching Inter-style levels.
I'm not saying every coach deserves 2-3 years to prove himself, and I'm not saying Ferrara or Ranieri deserved 5 more years. I think we've been a bit hasty to sack, but more importantly, very poor in choosing coaches. We need to think long and hard about who our new coach will be- Personally, I'd like a young, experienced, ambitious Italian coach. Gasparini is a good name, but Allegri has really caught my eye the last few months.
Lastly, we have lost the grinta and spirit that characterized Juventus pre-Calciopoli. For those of you who have been fans of the Vecchia Signora for a while, you'll remember that Juventus was the team that "never gave up" (non mollare mai) and fought to the whistle. A lot of points were earned by late comebacks, and those draws and wins converted from losses and draws go a long way towards winning the Scudetto. Other challengers got angry at our ability to grind out wins or improbably take the points without deserving it.
Since then, we have been known for our inconsistency. In big games, we've often resurrected the Bianconero spirit, ie- against Inter earlier this year, where we defeated them 2-1 at home despite being in a death spiral. Only a few weeks later though, we got humiliated at home by Milan. You can see that "never-give-up" spirit has often left our squad, and we look like Inter pre-Calciopoli who threw their arms in the air when the team went down. Too often this season we have seen other teams score a goal, and then our team seemingly give up. The old Juventus was psychologically stronger, and that is a key thing we have lost since.
In a lot of these cases, we have been directly swapped by Inter. Many of their transfer dealings have been shrewd and smart, like signing Ibrahimovic (and then selling him), getting Eto'o for dirt cheap, signing Motta, Milito, and Lucio for relatively cheap, though there were a few throwbacks to the 90s with Quaresma and Mancini signings. They've become the dominant team that grinds out wins, and whether they are down 2 goals or 2 men, they manage to get points. They've also had 2 coaches since Zaccheroni was sacked 6 years ago, Mancini had a 4-year tenure and Mourinho has since been at the helm. All of this sickens me.
The problem is simple, yet complex- we have an inexperienced, weak management that is not football-savvy. As we've all said, Blanc is excellent with finances and the fact that we have the most income in Italy (and unlike our close competitors Milan, Inter, and Roma, few debts) means there is no reason to sack him entirely. Secco has been extremely hit-or-miss, and should be reassigned or fired immediately. Bettega is an important step to bringing back the old Juventus, but he's only one portion of the Triade. To complete it, we need a competent President and a wise transfer director. It'll be hard to get Blanc to give up his presidency, and perhaps even harder to sack him, and he seems to good friends with Secco, meaning Pazza Juve, unfortunately, may be here longer than just a few years.