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One Static Striker Is Often Enough

Everyone’s familiar with the four-four-two formation, it’s defensively sound and stretches the play going forward. The stretched play widens the defensive concerns of opposing teams, theoretically creating more offensive opportunities for patient sides in attack. Sunday’s friendly against Hamburger SV, illustrated a few key themes about this new-look Juventus side that supports Del Neri’s decision to utilise football’s classic system this season.

Firstly, employing Diego as a seconda punta instead of behind two strikers is beginning to make more and more sense. As of today, we have three very static strikers in Amauri, Iaquinta, and Trezeguet. So, restricting our attack to only one of them alongside, or in front of, Diego at a time appears to be the productive thing to do because one static striker is often enough.

"Seconda punta: the second striker – one who plays alongside a central striker or targetman, but is comfortable dropping deep, or to the wing. Alessandro Del Piero, fielded alongside David Trezeguet, is a seconda punta."

It’s time we found some new blood for that very successful relationship once again. However, this season Del Piero should be limited to providing relief off the bench in that seconda punta role when the little creative Brazilian is fatigued or injured. Meanwhile, Trezeguet can still do what he does best, poach.

Secondly, employing a four-four-two formation naturally shifts focus towards the wings where the benefits can be two fold. Amauri could potentially regain the form of old by getting on the end of the additional crosses, and the less congestion up the middle could make for more penetrating runs into the box, unlike the 4-3-1-2 and in some respects the 4-2-3-1.

Of course according to the tifosi, one of the growing benefits of this system is the applicability of Torino’s own son, Sebastian Giovinco. Thankfully, after Diego was subbed-off in the second half against Hamburger SV, it was painfully obvious that we needed another source of creativity. Del Neri must have picked up on that, and hopefully Giovinco hasn’t made up his mind on leaving this year. According to reports, we should know in two or three days. Keep ‘em crossed.

Altogether, this system definitely has a history of serving Juventus well, and most importantly, it seems we have the proper personnel to fill it this season also. In closing, Martinez still needs time to settle in, Camoranesi and Lanzafame look like they’re staying, Motta and De Ceglie could be a great energetic pairing for years to come, and hopefully this can help Melo too:

"I have played at the back for four years now and I have always done well, but with Del Neri it should be even better, because his style is more structured."

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