If anything, we it didn't take long to discover two very obvious things during Juventus' 2-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund in Switzerland on Saturday.
For one, Dortmund have been training for over a month now and had already played a handful of friendlies before even stepping foot onto the field against Juventus, Secondly, Juventus have been training as a full-ish squad for about, oh, six days before they played their first preseason friendly of the summer.
What does those two very clear and concise facts tell you? Well, how about the fact that Dortmund are nearly ready to start their 2015-16 season, while Juventus are .. well, just getting started with theirs. We had two teams at two very different fitness levels facing one another on Saturday. And, sure, the final score tells us Juventus lost to Borussia Dortmund just a few months after beating them in the Champions League. But do wins and losses really matter on the 25th day of July if it's a preseason friendly?
And that's the main point of a friendly at this point in time in the Juventus preseason calendar. It's more about the game itself than than the final result. Wins are nice, but it's the end of July and Juventus have been training as a full team — or as much as there is right now — for a week and still have plenty of time to get right before the games truly mean something.
The good thing is this: Outside of the players getting their work in and Allegri being able to tinker with things, these games don't count for a damn thing in the standings. I mean, the first friendly last season was a loss against a semi-pro team, and things turned out pretty decently, right? Right.
Juventus lost on penalty kicks to Everton two years ago and went on to record a record 102 points in Serie A.
Juventus lost to Lucento in Allegri's first game as manager and went on to win the double and making the Champions League final.
Translation: Things are going to be okay.
Random thoughts and observations
- It took Gigi Buffon all of four minutes into preseason to make a great save. He's the best.
- And then Buffon made a couple more awesome saves before the first half was over. I guess all he needs is about a week of training to get back into shape. That's because he's only been back for about six days.
- Also notable: The man who replaced Buffon to begin the second half, Mr. Neto. His debut was probably the most impressive out of all the debutants, making a couple of really nice diving saves to either side.
- Poor Leo got Marco Reus'd so damn bad.
- I will admit that the way Juventus' Twitter account posted the starting lineup had me totally confused. I mean, Evra is supposed to be after Pogba and Marchisio unless he's playing as a wingback, so mind said "3-4-3?" or some kind of variation of it. But it ended up to be a four-man backline like everybody expected it to be with a front line full of promise. And there might be more added to it, too. Good times.
- One of the more noticeable things with the 4-3-3/4-3-2-1 formation Allegri used was that Álvaro Morata was hanging out on the left wing a lot more than he did at any point last season. Because Carlos Tévez was more of a free-roaming striker, Morata was essentially the out-and-out prima punta. This year, it's obvious that Mario Mandzukic will be doing that most of the time, thus opening up more freedom for the young Spaniard. And knowing how Morata possess the speed to play out wide, it's going to be fun to watch him adapt to a new, wider role if in fact that's where Allegri envisions him playing this season.
- I like seeing Martin Cáceres healthy and playing in games. He should do that more often. Maybe his high socks would become more popular that way. (Just a suggestion.)
- Sami Khedira's injury isn't supposed to be anything serious. I'll try and put two and two together and figure it has something to do with the fact he hasn't played much at all over the past 12 months.
- I don't care if it's a friendly or in the Champions League, there's just something that brings a lot of us joy when we see the younger players trot onto the field for the first time in a Juventus shirt. We saw a lot of "debuts" on Saturday, and hopefully their actual ones aren't too far behind.
- I might be starting to come around on this adidas kit. Maybe it will be like past seasons and I'll like it more and more as time goes on. I know one uniform-related thing, though: That blue keeper kit Buffon and Neto were rocking is a thing of beauty. The black and grey one is nice, but the all-blue one is so clean and simple. I love it.
- Nobody got hurt in the game. Isn't that what really matters here, people?