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Juventus 1 - Hellas Verona 2: Initial reaction and random observations

Well, this certainly was a bad week.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-VERONA-JUVENTUS Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

Because of the way that Juventus’ games have been going over the course of the last month, I haven’t exactly had the chance to do a lot of in-game writing about what’s happening. I’ll be honest: I’ve learned too many times with this team that once you start writing these things with Max Allegri as manager, the room for error is very thin.

(And, therefore, the delete button becomes very, very necessary.)

I say this because I was actually able to get some writing done during the second half of the game that Juventus just played on this final Saturday in October.

Unfortunately, it was for all of the wrong reasons.

In a week where I legitimately thought Juventus could extend its unbeaten run and get six points out of a possible six, Max Allegri’s squad went out and did the exact opposite. Instead of six points, they got not even one, following up Wednesday’s loss to Sassuolo with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Hellas Verona, with Giovanni Simeone scoring a pair of goals within the span of three minutes to stun everybody in bianconero and those of us watching.

It was bad.

It was very, very bad.

Juventus’ chance to truly get back into the back four or, at the very least, keep pace with those in front of them, absolutely ended up going about the opposite way as some might have thought. Juve were playing a pair of teams in the bottom half of the table, ones that have had mixed results and have essentially played the way their standing in the table represented. Yet Juventus, no matter what kind of form they themselves are in, should never be in a position where you go 0-for-2 against Sassuolo and Hellas Verona.

But they did. And now we’re looking at this very real possibility: Four wins in the first 11 Serie A games.

Four. Wins. In. Eleven.

FOUR WINS!

If things continue to fall as they have been so far this season, Juventus could be a whopping 16 points off the lead at the end of the weekend. Sixteen points! That’s absurd, and while we can say “Well, it’s just the end of October, there’s so much time left!” until our voice runs out, but the fact that Juve’s results haven’t improved at all on the whole from last season just shows that this goes deeper than the manager, deeper than anything that can be fixed over the course of a couple of months.

Sure, we all hoped the return of Allegri would make things at least a little bit better. And during the nine-game unbeaten run, things were slightly improved and at least there was a small-ish reason to be at least a little optimistic. But boy, things certainly have come crashing down in a hurry, haven’t they? The attack is still struggling to score, the defense is now back to being all over the place and Allegri just doesn’t have an answer as to how to right the wrongs of the last couple of games.

This thing is quickly back to being bad again. And unlike earlier in the season where Juve were losing to good teams and essentially had themselves to blame for it with awful game-changing mistakes, Juve’s now dropping points against mid-table sides.

Sounds a lot like last season, doesn’t it?

(Which, honestly, is completely ironic considering that the manager who just beat Juventus was an assist under Andrea Pirlo last season. Igor Tudor has definitely gotten Hellas Verona playing for the better, so good for him.)

Or, I could just have Mr. Williams describe my feelings on this trip to the Bentegodi rather than ramble on and on and on ...

Thank you, Mr. Williams. That sums things up rather nicely.

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS

  • I can tell you this right now: We’re not going to be in a good mood when we record the next podcast episode. Sorry, but Juventus just does it to us sometimes.
  • Juventus and Hellas Verona both have 15 points this season. Bet you didn’t think that was possible when the season began.
  • Hellas Verona is in seventh. Juventus is now in eighth. Fun!
  • Allegri waiting until the 57th minute to make his first sub(s). I don’t know why. I really don’t.
  • I am still trying to figure how Leonardo Bonucci, a defender who has been nominated for the Ballon freakin’ d’Or this year, thought it was a good decision to give Gio Simeone MORE room to operate knowing full well what kind of form he’s on. Like ... why? What are you doing? What on earth are you doing? He was always looking for goal in that situation, you gave him space to get a shot off and look what happened.
  • Arthur made a really nice pass on the first goal of the game, too. Too bad that pass was to a Hellas Verona player and it was Hellas Verona that actually scored the goal, but other than that everything was executed really well.
  • Juventus still hasn’t scored more than one goal in a game since Sept. 28. (Unless you want to count a 2-1 friendly win over Alessandria in that, but I’m guessing you don’t because I certainly don’t want to do that.)
  • Start Matthijs de Ligt every game the rest of the season, please.
  • Weston McKennie scoring goals is cool. That should happen more often.
  • You take out the bevy of shots that Paulo Dybala took in this game and Juve’s attack barely did anything. That’s not exactly great no matter how strong Hellas Verona is at home.
  • Dybala finished with eight shots. Everybody else took seven shots.
  • If you had Luca Pellegrini being Juventus’ last sub of the day, you really are a wizard.
  • Manuel Locatelli looks tired, man.
  • Alex Sandro completed 73 percent of his passes and I’m surprised that it’s anywhere near that. He had a brutal day contributing to the attack against Hellas Verona. Absolutely brual.
  • But Sandro’s pass completion rate looks fantastic compared to Adrien Rabiot, who completed 66.7 percent of his passes. Can we end this experiment with him playing wide now, Max? That sure would be nice.
  • Who’s ready for a BWRAO watch party when Juve’s in the UEFA Conference League next season? Can you feel the excitement building already for that kind of fun? (SO MUCH FUN!)
  • Speaking of which, Juve’s got a home game in the Champions League coming up in a few days. I’m guessing the hometown crowd in Turin is going to be in just the best of moods when they see Zenit come to the J Stadium. Should be fun! (SO MUCH FUN!)
  • In conclusion, here’s a tweet from Claudio Marchisio:
  • As was the case with Mr. Williams above, Claudio pretty much sums up how just about every Juventus fan feels right now. There’s a little bit of sadness, but also just the utter need to facepalm and facepalm and facepalm again because this is what Juventus currently is.