This day has long been foretold. The team who would blend a pure, undefiled love for beautiful attacking flair play with a fiendish fascination with the dark arts of defending.
The midichlorians once tingled in anticipation of a team just as comfortable in possession as they are playing on the counter, as happy to aggressively dominate long spells of a match as they are to serenely soak up pressure and wait for their moment to strike.
Juventus combines the silken icy-calm of Claudio Marchisio with the calculated brutishness of the enigmatic Giorgio Chiellini, a backyard brawler with a collegiate degree. A volatile Swissman was previously the corniest joke you could make before Stephan Lichtsteiner appeared on the scene, but the fiery right back exemplifies the dual nature of this Bianconeri.
Massimiliano Allegri has taken Antonio Conte's Juventus and moulded it in his image. Through Conte's Sith-like passion, his side gained strength. With Allegri, this side has found serenity while retaining the power and lethal danger — both on the counter-attack and in possession — that has made them so dangerous over the last four years.
Despite Juve's worst start to a season in league history, the Mister preached patience. Notwithstanding the raft of injuries that decimated his squad early on, he stayed calm. Regardless of the calls to ringing through the Piemonte to feature Paulo Dybala more prominently early on, he remained serene to gradually work his young Padawan into the system, heedless of those who screamed for his forced inclusion.
Showing greater tactical flexibility than Conte's version of Juventus, Allegri's team shifts and morphs as personnel and situation dictates. Whether it be the now-traditional 3-5-2, his preferred 4-3-1-2, or some hybrid 3-5-2/4-4-2 formation, this Zebrette side adapts to the situations as easily as Jar Jar Binks goes from land to water.
I'm sorry I mentioned Jar Jar Binks, but you guys get the point. Also *whispers* Jar Jar might lowkey actually be the best Star Wars character ever.
At this point, you'd be hard-pressed to name a team that defends as well as Juventus while simultaneously boasting the caliber of attacking talent this side does. Despite the heartbreaking Champions League exit, going out at the hands of Pep Guardiola's rampant Bayern Munich side, Juventus showed exactly the type of balance — and, admittedly, turbulence — that has been so evident in this team. First showing its dark side in a subdued first-half showing against the Bavarians, then storming back to level the match 2-2 in an incredible second-half performance. In the second leg, Juventus turned the tables, marching imperially to an improbable but wholly deserved 2-0 lead before being force-choked into submission by a rousing comeback by Munich.
So what does the future hold for this team? Currently sitting six points clear at the top of the Serie A table, led by Grey Jedi Master Allegri and with the new, progressive Jedi Council of Andrea Agnelli, Pavel Nedved and Giuseppe Marotta at the helm, anything is possible. Stay tuned for the next episode.