For the last 15 years, it seems like most movies in theaters are some sort of variation of a reboot, remake or sequel to an already existing franchise.
Some people like that, some people don’t. But from a pure business standpoint, it makes total sense. You are taking a known quantity, something that you know for a fact people already like, and giving them more of it.
That logic was taken to its extreme end with the multibillion dollar empire we now know as Marvel’s MCU, which essentially said to the audience “Hey, you liked ‘Iron Man,’ huh? Wasn’t it cool when Robert Downey Jr. said a bunch of quippy stuff and then saved the world? Wouldn’t you want to see the same thing happen with other attractive movie stars forever?”
Some others didn’t really pan out, because let’s face it, you really didn’t need more ”Men in Black” in your life, did you? Nobody was dying to see new people take another crack at a Dinosaur theme park to see if they could finally make it work — spoiler alert, they very much did not — or to see a children’s book get turned into a massive three-film epic that was, objectively, bad.
With that being said, not all reboots are bad — sometimes you do need a fresh take on something, sometimes there is value in whatever it is that you have but it just needs a new start for it to get better or to finally fulfill its potential.
With the new season fast approaching, that is exactly what it feels like in Juventus land.
Now that the Andrea Pirlo appointment has had time to marinate in my brain and despite the several internal debates I have had with myself whenever I have time to introspectively reflect — ie. The shower and/or wasting time at work — I keep coming back to one thing and one thing only ...
This is very fun.
The Pirlo era is already very fun, it’s very fun to talk about and to think about and to have imaginary debates about already. I know, in a vacuum, this is a risky move, that it was most likely done for financial reasons and there is an argument to be made that it was a downright panic move. But whatever negative argument you can bring to the table, there is an equally appealing argument about how this could all actually work out.
Because that’s the beauty of it all, there is really no real argument to be made for or against it. We just don’t know! Newspapers are wasting ink trying to figure out what formation the guy is going to use! When has a European super-club — and let’s not kid ourselves, at this juncture Juventus is a super-club, you don’t sign Cristiano Ronaldo and get to call yourself an underdog anymore — ever been such a blank slate? A complete enigma? Juventus right now is the living, breathing example of that old saying “When nothing is certain; everything is possible.”
There is also something to be said about the fact that it is Pirlo. I’m not sure what other recently retired former player would have elicited the same response from football fans. Whatever your qualms about him might be, there is an irrefutable panache to the man and that’s not nothing.
Take, for instance, the now-defunct Maurizio Sarri era: While his story from banker to manager of the top club in Italy was Disney material, there was never anything resembling the amount of excitement that is percolating in the Juventus world the last few days. He’s a good tactician and I’m almost certain we will hear from him again at some point in the future, but he never had the gravitas that Pirlo already has. And despite how unbearably annoying this is going to sound, to manage at a club like Juventus, that gravitas is a prerequisite.
As of the moment of this writing, it’s impossible to tell whether or not Andrea Pirlo is going to be successful. He’s Schrodinger’s coach — equal parts a resounding hit and a massive dud. We are not going to know until the 2020-21 season gets underway, but if the last season of Juventus football left me with anything is this, I want it to be anything but boring.
There were so very few moments last season that were truly fun. It was game after game after game of seeing a team that was disjointed, uninterested and just plain unenjoyable. Will Pirlo change any of that? Maybe, maybe not, but isn’t it so much more fun to imagine he does?
Can’t you see a scenario in which new signing Dejan Kulusevski is a shot in the arm on the right wing? Where Merih Demiral is healthy and becomes a wall with an already elite defender in Matthijs de Ligt? How do Arthur and Rodrigo Bentancur not thrive under a coach like Il Maestro?
(It’s not official yet, but I’m so hopeful that I’m already drinking the Weston McKennie Kool-Aid, because if you squint a little and really believe in the Juventus scouts he kinda, sorta, maybe looks like Arturo Vidal lite.)
Not all reboots are bad, the new Tom Holland-led “Spider Man” is infinitely better than its Andrew Garfield predecessor — a lot of it has to do with the fact that Garfield looked damn near 30 while theoretically portraying a high school student — and “Mad Max: Fury Road” might be the peak of a 50-year-old franchise.
I truly hope the Andrea Pirlo era ends up being more like those reboots than some others, so let’s get the season going.