The international break is coming to a close. Juventus has the internationals back in full training and that can only signal one thing — the games are getting closer and closer. Can you feel it? Can you hear it? That's the sound of Serie A getting ready to restart its engine. (Vroom, vroom?)
So I won't try and say anything else funny to try and make everybody around here laugh. On with the show...
Is France on the cusp of a golden generation of players? | ESPNFC
Y'all ready to read about Paul Pogba? I hope so, because it's going to be a constant theme this time around.
Paul Pogba on the wing? | ESPNFC
Antonio Conte did a wee bit of experimenting — or whatever you want to call it — in the final couple of games leading up to the international break. No, Sebastian Giovinco wasn't used as a central defender, but Pogba found himself in a new spot to occupy — as a right wingback. Could it be a position he finds himself at some point down the road? I wouldn't be surprised. Conte has shown that he won't shy away from getting his best 11 players in the starting lineup. But having Pogba out there for any extended period of time, I dunno about that one.
Pogba emblematic of Serie A's struggles | ESPNFC
Okay, last Pogba-related link for now. But unlike the others, this one has a broader picture pained rather than simply one that has to do with Juventus. Italy is behind in the times as we all know and that means money isn't flowing out of garden statues like it may be in other countries. Sorry to disappoint, but it's the truth.
Here's the money paragraph:
A weak Serie A doesn't make for a strong Juventus regardless of how much the club has done to modernise and market itself as "a pocket of excellence in a decaying country." That's the phrase Agnelli used in an interview with the Financial Times early this year. Until Serie A gets its collective act together, one of the hard realities supporters must continue to come to terms with, as Agnelli explained to the audience gathered at Stamford Bridge, is that: "Italy is no longer a final destination [for players], but a transitory destination."
Now excuse while I just nod my head in agreement.
Player Focus: Paul Pogba Living Up To His Potential | WhoSocred
...just kidding. One more Pogba-related story. It's one of those weeks where he's even more popular than normal.
Who here likes them some STATS? WhoScored and Opta love them some Paul Pogba, and for good reason. He's one of the highest-rated Juve players this season for good reason. But like any nerd who loves them some number crunching, seeing a stat-based argument as to why Pogba is so good at his age is never a bad thing.
These violent delights: The romance and tragedy of Batistuta's Fiorentina | In Bed With Maradona
With Juventus traveling to Florence this weekend, why not have a little bit of a history lesson about one of the Viola's greatest eras? Exactly my point.
Ancelotti and Conte purr over Madrid v. Juventus | UEFA.com
First, watch the video and look at how much of a badass Conte looks like during his portion of the interview.
Then, think about how Conte used to be a player under Carlo Ancelotti. Not exactly student meeting his old teacher, but it's another nice storyline to think about when Juventus travel to Madrid next week.
A more decisive Giovinco? | Football Italia
Sure, I'm late to the party on this one, but with the current injury situation that is going on with Juventus' strikers, we could very well be seeing a lot more Giovinco than we have in the first two months of the season. His goal against Milan was probably one of the best — and most important — strikes of his career. Some see him as a potentially valuable piece off the bench, others are still holding out hope that he's the attacker Juve needs. Whatever it may be, Giovinco is here and there's nothing we can do about it.
Buffon: 'I could've joined Barca' | Football Italia
BUT HE DIDN'T BECAUSE HE IS AWESOME.