Every time the ESPN feed here in the United States panned to Max Allegri on the sidelines he was either rocking a displeased look or telling one of his assistant coaches how displeased he was with how his team was looking. You could say that’s just normal Max and we shouldn’t be surprised by that — which isn’t necessarily wrong. But you could also say that it pretty much summed up Juve’s first-ever trip to Wembley.
And, yeah, that’s just about how things went.
Juventus looked relatively unimpressive in a 2-0 loss to Tottenham on Saturday evening, with goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen giving Spurs a win in their final tune-up before English Premier League play starts next weekend.
For Juventus, it was also their final friendly of the summer, as Lazio await Juve’s arrival at the Stadio Olimpico next weekend for the annual Supercoppa. And if they want to win the first trophy of the 2017-18 season, then they’re going to have to play a lot better than they did against Spurs on English soil.
Of course, we’ve seen Juve flip the switch before when they transition from preseason mode to games that actually matter. And it’s not like Juve have been anything close to a finished product at this time of the summer in the last handful of years. So in that sense, Juve playing pretty meh isn’t really that much of a surprise.
If this sounds familiar, well, then you’ve been following along this preseason.
Bottom line, it’s a friendly. As far as we know, no Juventus players were injured at Wembley. We can’t exactly use those two lines for much longer, but expecting perfection from Allegri and Juve on the fifth day of August would just be something nobody should really have in their realm of possibilities.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- I have a confession: The most interested in this game was when Rodrigo Bentancur and Moise Kean came on in the second half. Does that make me a bad person?
- I have another confession: The green third kits look very good.
- We finally got to see the Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele Rugani combination in the central of defense — something that I feel like we’ve all wanted to see take place since young Daniele returned from his extended holiday this summer. You could tell that Rugani is still trying to work his way back into shape when he made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes out there. And it’s good to see Chiellini looking healthy and raring to go once again. Just keep those two healthy, okay?
- It’s unfortunate, but you’re starting to see age really catch up with Stephan Lichtsteiner. Mattia De Sciglio hasn’t looked great this season, but he’s been much better than Lichtsteiner without a doubt. I don’t think there’s any question who should be Juve’s starting right back in the Supercoppa and going forward into the Serie A season — and it’s not the Swiss Express.
- With the preseason he’s had, Bentancur has surely put himself into position to get a decent amount of playing time in the upcoming season. He’s been really, really good and, based on his age, should only get better as he becomes more and more comfortable as he adapts to life in Italy with Juventus.
- Just keep telling yourself “it’s preseason it’s preseason it’s preseason” if you get grumpy about this result. We won’t be able to say that at the end of the month if Juve play poorly, so make sure to fill that quota of not worrying about them while you still can.