In the wake of the summer transfer window ending, I have seen many Juventini arguing with each other over the success of this mercato. The general consensus across Twitter seems to view 2015 summer transfer window as a disappointment and a failure. While the twitterverse is always prone to overreaction, I am in shock at how shortsighted many of the Juventus faithful seem to bel labeling this mercato as anything other than a total success is unfathomable to me.
Let's take a look at just SOME of what Juve accomplished this summer:
- Average age of the squad reduced from 29 to 26.
- Signed a young, world class Left Back in Alex Sandro, who was statistically the best left back in Europe last year.
- Added long time Juventus target Juan Cuadrado, not for €40 million like Fiorentina asked last year, but for a paltry €1.5 million on loan from Chelsea.
- Signed a world cup winner and elite midfielder Sami Khedira, who at 28, if healthy has a lot of quality football remaining
- Replaced Carlos Tevez with a young 21 year old future superstar in Paulo Dybala. Dybala was called a "€100 million talent" by Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini, and he's already started showing it.
- Snapped up a relatively young, very solid keeper in Neto to deputize for Gigi Buffon and replace Marco Storari. The best part? He didn't cost a cent.
- Pulled a rabbit out of a hat to sign Hernanes from Inter for only €11 million. Juve now have their trequartista and set piece specialist.
- Most importantly, Paul Pogba is still wearing black and white stripes. He's not playing for Barca, Bayern, Chelsea, Real, City, United or PSG. Paul Pogba plays for Juventus and he is wearing the No. 10 shirt.
But some will still say that Juve cannot attract the big names or that Juve cannot compete financially with the rest of Europe. I say rubbish. Juve are a European giant. They may not have the financial backing of teams like City, Chelsea, PSG or Real, or the revenues of Bayern, Barca or United, but make no mistake, Juventus are still giants. If you need proof, how about that Juve outspent every single team in Europe not named Manchester City or Manchester United this summer? Juve spent €115 million. Just a year ago, that was unimaginable.
Had Juventus won its first two matches, nobody would be doubting Beppe Marotta and Co. Everybody would be ranting and raving about how amazing this mercato was. Instead, two unlucky defeats and losing out on Julian Draxler at the last minute has equaled FAILURE.
Come on, guys, you're better than this.
Juve have brought in 10 new players this year and sustained injuries to Claudio Marchisio and Sami Khedira. Do any of you honestly think that four preseason friendlies is enough time for 10 new players to develop an understanding with each other? Do you really think that Max Allegri knows fully what he has at his disposal yet? Of course not. This team was never going to just pick up where they left off in June and hit the ground running. There was always going to be initial struggles and growing pains. Given our injuries and the youth that was just added to this squad, that was only going to be a more difficult task. Learning how to play football again with no Pirlo, no Vidal and no Tevez was never going to happen overnight. Players need time to adjust to each other. Juve have won 8 trophies in the last 4 years.
The team has earned our patience and our trust now. Let us not forget that.
Yes, 2 defeats to start is not an ideal situation, but to be worried about the team is insane. The manner in which they lost those matches, to me, is every reason I need to be calm. Juve flat out dominated Udinese in the opener. They were very unlucky in front of goal. They could not buy a goal. That's what happens in sports, sometimes you just don't win even if you deserve to.
As for the Roma match, Juve were abysmal. BUT, they were still only one miraculous save from Szczznyyzzz (?) away from drawing that match. To me that doesnt say Juve are in trouble, but instead tells me that Roma on their best day is only as good as 10 man Juve at their absolute worst. When this team kicks into gear and gets healthy, They will absolutely steamroll through the rest of Italy. Juve's "B" starting XI right now is probably the 2nd or 3rd best team in Italy on paper.
We need to give it time, guys. The engine just got rebuilt and it is still being fine tuned. Juve won the league by 17 points last year. There are still 108 points up for grabs in this season. Six points really should not matter all that much. Were we looking at Real or City or Bayern having lost their first two matches, we would all be saying "They'll be fine," or "No big deal," or "They'll turn it on and be on top of the league by January."
Juve are no different. Let them get into gear. By January at the latest we will be on top of the table again. So when you think you're about to panic, just remember to 'Keep calm and Gigi Buffon.'