Just by reading the comments section it is clear that Juventini — at least the ones that frequent this blog — have some pretty high expectations for the New Year. So, here are my Juventus expectations and wishes for 2015.
1. Scudetto. Top of the list is for sure the Scudetto. When Max Allegri took over for Antonio Conte, this seemed difficult. However, the team has done great so far and the coach is imposing new ideas. Juve are three points ahead of Roma, but they have missed a few opportunities to go ahead. Allegri has a strong record on the second half of Serie A. In 2012-13 with Milan, he recorded 48 points in the last 21 matches (the number of matches left this season). In 2011-12 season he managed 46 points. If he were to keep a similar record, he would obtain anywhere between 85 and 90 points, likely enough to keep the Scudetto in Turin for one more season.
2. A more versatile team led by Allegri. I know many here are sold on Allegri, but I am still waiting. In my opinion, a coach is measured by how many trophies he wins. Beautiful football is an added bonus but certainly not a requisite. Allegri went up for his first trophy a few weeks ago and walked away empty handed. In my opinion, the most worrisome part of that game was the lack of a plan once Juventus had the lead. Both times we were up, the team sat back and unsuccessfully tried to defend the lead without hitting Napoli on the counter. I wish we would have seen more Kingsley Coman or Álvaro Morata with intent of hurting the Napoli defense on the counter, not holding the ball back and waiting for team mates to join in attack.
But I digress. I want to see a coach with multiple strategies in case Plan A fails. I want to see a coach that doesn't shy away in Europe. In my opinion, Allegri is still auditioning for his role. If he is successful I am sure his contract will get an extension this summer. Otherwise the management may be looking elsewhere as early as May.
3. Decreased dependance on Carlitos. Here are two facts: 1) Tevez is a fundamental cog in Juventus war machine this year and 2) Tevez may be out of the team by the summer of 2016. During the summer, Juventus needs to devise a strategy that will ease Tevez's departure. This may mean buying another player of that caliber (unlikely) or grooming who we have (Domenico Berardi, Simone Zaza, Coman, Morata) to take over in 2016.
4. Quarterfinals of the Champions League. Borussia Dortmund is struggling at the moment, but they qualified first in their Champions League group. On paper, they have a team that can easily compete with Juventus and a coach that has done exceptionally well in elimination tournaments. Juventus needs to show that last year's Champions League failure was just a blip, a minor setback on the road to become one of Europe's top clubs. The only way to do that is to make it to the quarterfinals.
1. Coppa Italia. I've been asking for this one for a while. Wouldn't it be nice to have a shiny silver star on our jerseys next season?
2. Champions League semifinals. 'Nuff said.
3. A noticeable change in our transfer market. Don't get me wrong, I think Beppe Marotta is an amazing DS who has done a great job with Juventus. We started buying players like Simone Pepe and Fabio Quagliarella. Then we moved into players like Mirko Vucinic, Andrea Pirlo, and Arturo Vidal. Now we seem focused in youth — Paul Pogba, Coman, Berardi, Zaza. Looking at the quality of players we are buying now compared to when Andrea Agnelli started, we can see quality is improving. Next year, our Adidas deal kicks in. I hope this summer we start to target the €20-30 million players.
These are just a few things I hope we see over the next 12 months. Let us know what you expect and hope to see before 2016 begins.
- Juventus reportedly falls out of the race to sign Bayern Munich's Xherdan Shaqiri
- Juventus reportedly table a contract offer for Galatasray's Wesley Sneijder
- Reports: Juventus inquire about Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder
- Carlos Tévez says he doesn't plan on extending his contract with Juventus
- Max Allegri Approval Rating - December 2014