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Manu’s Grab Bag: Revolution No. 9

It wasn’t always pretty, but Juventus are Italian champions once again. #Stron9er indeed.

Juventus v UC Sampdoria - Serie A Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Let me tell you a quick story about how we make the sausage here at BWRAO.

Despite the benefits of writing in this platform and for this audience, there is something that is broken and is a common complaint of the people who use the website, both writers and readers. And that is the tiny little search icon on the top.

It’s harder to look for old articles from the archive than it has any right of being, because unless you type the exact, word-for-word description of what you are looking for, the results will be all over the place.

I have a very rudimentary knowledge of programming or SEO or any of those fancy terms, so to have a competent search engine might be significantly more difficult than I think. Either way, this is a long winded way of saying that it’s tough to look for old articles, except if you remember something that you wrote that is super specific. I remember a few things - of a few chosen pieces that I think are really good or funny or what have you — so I have my key words memorized to look for them.

One of those terms is Lincoln Red Imps. I know that term to look for the old pieces I did whenever Juventus secured the league title.

If you are not familiar with the Lincoln Red Imps, I can’t blame you. They play in the Gibraltar Football League so it’s unlikely that you will catch them on TV or anywhere really. But I used them as examples of long, unrivaled streaks as they won the Gibraltar league 14 years in a row at one point.

Juventus is not quite at the level of the Red Imp powerhouse, but as they secured their ninth title in a row with a 2-0 win over Sampdoria they came one championship closer to match them.

Of course, you don’t even need me to tell you how unprecedented this is. On the three years I have been lucky enough to write for this blog, I keep saying it — and it’s still not less shocking. A streak of winning league titles so long is unprecedented in the big 5 European leagues. To find a team with such a long, continued control over their domestic competition you have to go look in places like the aforementioned Gibraltar, Belarus, Croatia, Hungary or Armenia.

In fact, Juventus has held the title of Italian champions for so long that only one player has been involved since the streak started, Captain Giorgio Chiellini.

They’ve won it by the skin of their teeth and they’ve won it going away with it. They’ve won with a savvy approach to acquisitions as true underdogs and as massive favorites that can easily outspend the competition.

The team has rotated through three managers and dozens of different players, they have faced stiff competition from pretty much any and all teams in the league and have managed to beat them all. A freakin’ global pandemic couldn’t stop this team from lifting the trophy once again.

Has Serie A been the most competitive league during this stretch? Probably not, but they have not been beating minnows all decade, either. Napoli had some legitimately good teams during the stretch, Atalanta this year is in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, Roma made it to the semis of the same competition a couple years back. You don’t win nine league titles in a row just by luck. You win them by being an honest to goodness organization, with clear goals and clear ideas to get better every year.

So that whenever you lose a big player or a coach or whatever you are ready to keep on churning. They have lost truly fantastic guys throughout this streak, dudes who were straight up pivotal in the success of the team and they kept on going, slotting other players ready to keep on the good times rolling.

Has it always been pretty? No, hell at times it has been downright ugly, but they don’t give trophies for style they give them for winning. Ugly or not, under Max Allegri or Antonio Conte or Maurizio Sarri, the one thing the team has consistently done is just that, win.

I always laugh when I hear that Red Imps record, 14 straight league titles that’s ridiculous, of course that’s impossible. And again, we are still a few ways to go to approach that number but it’s insane to me this streak is still going at all. With still one of the strongest teams in the league a good number of superstars like Paulo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo and Matthijs de Ligt and another year under Sarri’s system Juventus should be the favorite going into the next season.

I wouldn’t bet on this streak lasting 14 years to claim the outright all-time record, but if you pressed me I don’t think I would have bet on them making it to nine in a row either. In the meantime, I think the only thing you can do is savor this ninth title, acknowledge how lucky we are to be fans of this team in this historic moment for the club and that we get to slap on the Scudetto patch on our jerseys for another year.

One more thing: In last year’s piece, I poked fun at the celebratory hashtag that the Juventus social media would develop for the ninth title in a row. While my prediction was not accurate, I think it’s only fair to throw my hat in the ring for the next one too.

How about ... #10conic? See, its the word Iconic but the 10 substitutes the first two letters? Makes as much sense as any other one, so get at me @JuventusFC, that one’s for free but the next one will cost you.