For many, the international break isn't much of a break at all. It's more of a long, laborious two-week period where Juventus goes away and all we're left with is stupid transfer rumors we thought we left in the dust a handful of days ago. It's like when you get candy as a kid — Juventus is here for a few days and then ... poof! ... all gone.
Basically, we're left to think this: International breaks are stupid, and ones right after the Serie A season begins are even worse. Talk about the ultimate tease. "Here's calcio for a week or two, then you gotta wait just as long for it to come back! Ha, take that, sucka!"
In theory, the way to survive the international break is to pass time during the international break any way you can. And what's my idea of how to pass time during the international break? Getting people to help me pass said time. (Does that make any sense? I hope it does.)
So, that led me to this post. Behold the first-ever BWRAO Mailbag, where I hounded people on Twitter to ask me things and I decide if I actually want to answer them. Luckily, most of them were ones, so I decided to turn it into a post. Because, we want to pass time during the international break, of course. That's good, right?
@JuventusNation me vs. allegri in a street fight... Who wins?— Nick Henderson (@water_jiggler) September 3, 2015
Something tells me that the person asking me this question is trouble, lots and lots of trouble. I don't know what it is, but something just doesn't feel all too right about this "Nick Henderson" aka "@water_jiggler" fellow.
I'll give "Nick Henderson" a slight edge. He grew up in Georgia, which is a state that develops some tough SOBs. I know this because I've seen Georgia play handegg football before.
@JuventusNation where do u think juve will finish in the champions league this season— Joshua Fontaine (@juvefan7912) September 3, 2015
Quick answer: It depends on how fast this team gels.
More thought out answer: Seeing as I'm a relatively optimistic person — hence no major freakout after Juventus lost the first two games of the season — I'm going to say they get to the quarterfinals. That's what I thought would happen last season and they obviously surpassed my expectations, so why not try and see if we can hit the jackpot in back-to-back years?
But the realist side of me sees how difficult this group is and that if Juventus don't get off to a good start, there's a legitimate chance they don't make it into the knockout stage. But that's just me thinking about the bad side of the equation. I do think Juventus will give Manchester City a big-time run for their money — pun intended? — when it comes to being the top team in Group D.
@JuventusNation Juve has now a complete team, can play 4-3-3, 4-3-1-2, 3-5-2 or even 4-2-3-1. What would you like to see the most and why?:)— Marco Sportelli (@marco_sporte) September 3, 2015
Each time I've written a game preview this season — so for all of three games; that's one hell of a sample size, I know — I've defaulted to a 4-3-2-1 for some reason. I guess it's the fact that I see Mario Mandzukic, Álvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala and that's what I think is the best for all parties involved. That hasn't actually happened yet, but a boy can dream.
The addition of Hernanes will undoubtedly mean Allegri plays more 4-3-1-2 because the Brazilian midfielder is capable of playing behind the strikers. How Allegri rotates the big three of Morata, Mandzukic and Dybala remains to be seen. But the main thing is Max has options — and a lot more options than he did a year ago when there were plenty of options at his disposal.
@JuventusNation transfer window rating &how effective it is to the squad— Shaiخa³³ (@SignoraS_) September 3, 2015
The easy thing for me to do would be to post what our newest contributor, John, posted the other day mainly because I really do agree with a lot of it. But since I am the one being asked the questions here, I'll give my own two cents on the transfer market matter.
I'll give the transfer window a 7.5 or an 8. I'm not so doom and gloom against Hernanes mainly because we don't really know what to expect from him. He could either be a really valuable pickup, or he could prove to be just as crap as he was during his short time at Inter. If he does the former, then it pushes the transfer market into "really, really good!" territory. If not, then we'll all be bashing our heads against the wall because Juventus didn't sign Julian Draxler.
The big players that went the other way — Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Carlos Tévez — it seems more and more like there was a definitive reason behind them all. We can now see why all three of those are no longer part of this squad. And while the jury is still out as to what Juve will be like without them, at some point change was going to happen. And it just so happened that change came this summer. A whole lot of change, too.
@JuventusNation what's your password?— Chelston D'souza (@chelston_dsouza) September 3, 2015
You see what I have to deal with n the BWRAO Twitter account, people? (I'm kidding. Chelston is good people. You should follow him and his love for Stephan Lichtsteiner gifs.)
NEXT (AND FINAL) QUESTION!
@JuventusNation Would you consider the season a success if Juve won the Champions League, but finished behind Inter, Milan, and Roma?— Jerry Savage (@JerrySavage65) September 3, 2015
Ah, now this is a good one to end on.
I think at this point, as wonderful as winning the Scudetto four straight years has been, some Juventini would be pretty okay with a step back in the Serie A standings if it meant a Champions League trophy come the first weekend of June 2016. How much of that has to do with the fact that Juve were so close last season I'm not so sure, but if Juve were to win the Champions League and only the Champions League, I'd be totally okay with that. (And yes, it's because of last season.)
Or, maybe, we can just be like they were in the final scene of Trading Places. Lobster or cracked crab? Champions League or Scudetto? Can't we have both?
(A brief aside: As the Champions League winners, wouldn't Juventus get a spot in next year's competition? Right? So nothing to worry about when it comes to not qualifying for things.)