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Manu’s Grab Bag: Let’s embrace being heels

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Let’s talk derby, money, exes and CR7 being a troll.

Torino FC v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

I’ll tell you something, writing is all fun, games, pretentious berets — we all get one here at BWRAO when we start writing, the top brass is very specific about that — and making sure that everyone knows you’re a writer. Right up until you have to write a recap about a very, very dull game.

Juventus beat Torino on Saturday, 1-0, keeping Turin black and white and continuing their hegemony over the little brother in the Derby della Mole. I’ll say this for the game, people in Turin still get up for the derby, sure Juventus has completely dominated the derby, but you can tell there’s a ton of passion in the city for the game and in a time where football becomes more and more homogenized and sanitized. This game is a nice throwback to the past.

Speaking of throwbacks into the past…

This week’s reminder that Juventus sold out and sure it got us Cristiano and success and what have you, but still…

I mess with the Torino kits, man, and I got to say, that’s a very neat looking jersey. The granata is a unique color to feature, plus the badge still prominently featuring the traditional Turin bull, plus the fact that the color has historical relevance related to the city? I’m a sucker for those things.

(Torino got their granata, from the Brigade Savoia, a military group that liberated the city from the ruling of the Duchy of Savoy. Learning is fun!)

So, looking at the two teams go at it in a gritty, grind of a game in the Old Olympic stadium, with Juve wearing their slick, redesigned Adidas kits with the stylized J that was clearly chosen as the new badge to appeal to a more international fan base against the scrappy underdogs wearing the city colors and the city symbol with an Italian brand. It was hard not to wax poetic about the romanticism of the sport, heroes and villains and tradition. Hard not to like Torino, derby and rivalries and all.

Winner: Mattia Perin

Hey! He is alive! Good for Mattia to start a game and not just any game, but the derby. Did he look like a guy that hasn’t played in a while? Sure, but he didn’t commit any particularly awful mistake and made a couple of decent saves.

Hopefully this is a signal that he is going to get more run out there, especially with the Coppa Italia coming along and the crunch of playing three competitions at the same time it’s going to be very important to have some rotation between the keepers. It was an underrated aspect of the Juventus depth chart the last couple of years to have very good backup goalkeepers to give some rest to the GOAT. With Woj and Perin in the sticks for the foreseeable future, that trends looks to continue.

Loser: Simone Zaza

Playing against the team that had your rights for a good amount of time, took you out on a loan a bunch, used you for a season, sold you immediately and then coming back to the same city to play for the historic rival? That’s a movie script right there, and all Zaza had to do was play great and beat Juve for his story to be optioned. Spoiler, he did not do that.

Not only was he a non-factor in the attack, but his sloppy play led to the penalty that ended up putting Juve ahead for good. That’s not only like seeing your ex thrive after you break up, which Juve has, but somehow screwing up and accidentally introducing them to the love of their life. Tough look for my guy.

The “#AllegriOut” moment of the game

Look, Max Allegri is a top manager. He is great. Are there things he does I kinda disagree with? Sure, but like every fan I’m indoctrinated to believe I know better than the people who get paid to make football decisions, when in reality, most of the time I don’t.

(I starved to death a few years ago on Mario Lemina Island. They found my body with a note that read “He can be just as good as Arturo Vidal, everything is right there!”)

But no subs in the second half? Like, at all? You got this tight game, where there is no creativity or flashes anywhere to be found, you got Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi in the bench, with no game at midweek to boot and you can’t give them a shot?

It’s not like it mattered at the end of the day, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the penalty and Juve taking the three points but it was rather baffling.

I give this 2 out of 5 on the #AllegriOut scale. The passive aggressive tweet bemoaning how we don’t attack more and sit back late in games of the scale.

The most Cristano Ronaldo moment of the game

HAHAHA, look at that smug SOB. This is the type of stuff that would have infuriated me when he played for Real Madrid. I would have done a whole thing about the civility of the game and respecting your opponents and being above these petty actions. It was going to be awesome, run it as an Op-Ed in the New York Times, make it tangentially related to the lack of civility in the current political climate and bang, Pulitzer.

Alas, he now plays for my club, so I think this troll of Torino’s keeper Ichazo is hilarious and actually good. We are the richest club in Italy, dominated the league for seven years running, probably eight, bought the biggest star in the world and he pulls this? In the local derby of all games? Let’s just embrace the fact we are heels and run with it.

Song of the game for … Torino FC

I Need a Dollar, by Aloe Blacc!

Unfortunately for our Granata neighbors, despite playing the rough, gritty type of game they had to play. They go home with another L, their 88th historically against Juventus, and it doesn’t seem like things will be changing in the short run. At the end of the day, in today’s club football, money talks.

Torino could sure use a dollar, if they want to change the tide of the rivalry any time soon.

That’s all for the Grab Bag, have a take? Do you, vehemently, disagree that Juve sold out? Was CR7 not being a troll? Email me at BWRAOmailbag@gmail.com