Happy Holidays, everyone!
There are at least 15 different religions that celebrate holidays at this time of year, and we assume that our readership covers a decent amount of that list. Whatever celebration you have had, or will have, during this season, we hope it was, or will be, a blessed and happy time, especially as the pandemic barrels on.
But there are also other, non-faith based holidays that come about this season. Holidays conceived to try to combat the materialism that has come to mark Christmas and so many other celebrations over the past decades.
That’s right, folks. It’s Dec. 23, and you know what that means! It’s time for the Festivus for the rest of us!
Happy Festivus, one and all. Of course, we all know how this works. When it comes to Festivus dinner, I’ll assume you’ll all tuck in to something nice as we begin reading. And of course, the holiday just isn’t what it is without the Airing of Grievances. And unfortunately, Juventus has given us a whole lot to gripe about this year. So, without further ado, I shall begin.
I GOT A LOTTA PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE, NOW, YOU’RE GONNA HEAR ABOUT IT!
Where do I begin with you, Mr. President?
Things looked so good a decade ago. In two short years you’d taken Juventus from some of the deepest lows in their history to the beginning of what would become a run of success unmatched in the history of calcio.
And you’ve managed to ruin things almost as quickly.
The Cristiano Ronaldo experiment, your ill-conceived shortcut to brand-building, has crashed down in flames. The front office you put together, that once found diamonds in the rough all over Europe under Beppe Marotta, has instead gone for shiny names on bigger salaries than they’re worth, resulting in a team long on wages but short on talent and cohesiveness, while any semblance of a project gets snuffed out by your knee-jerk reactions to any setbacks. The club’s finances — once able to bully any team in Italy and at least trade punches with some of Europe’s heavies if the opportunity was good enough—are a shambles. And yes, before you start, the pandemic certainly has a lot to do with that and there’s no way you could have ever anticipated that, but the outlay of Ronaldo put the team at a breaking point and left it vulnerable to the body blow that the pandemic dealt. Now the team is in a position almost as weak it was as when you were first given the job, and as president the buck stops with you.
And then, of course, there’s the Super League. Your white whale, the windmill you’ve tilted at only for it to fold your lance like an accordion.
What makes it worse is that unlike Don Quixote, you actually had something behind you before you spurred your horse and threw it all away. As president of the European Club Association and a close confidante of UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin — for heaven’s sake you made the man godfather to your daughter — you were in a position to directly influence the way the club game would evolve. And you threw that all away, withdrawing from the ECA and stabbing your friend (if he ever truly was) in the back, only to roll out the entire enterprise in such a shoddy way that it managed to immolate itself in a day and a half. Now any influence the club had is gone, and for what? Your hope to make a quick buck and avoid the need to actually succeed on the field, all the while patronizing us with talk of saving the sport and serving the fans.
You have taken the team from deep weakness to incredible strength, and then right back to weakness again, and you don’t have the decency to take responsibility for your failure. I hope you do so soon, for everyone’s sake at Juve.
What in hell did you do all those years while you were Beppe Marotta’s right-hand man? Cause you clearly weren’t watching and learning.
Your roster building over the last three years was absolutely mind-boggling. You tried to emulate your predecessor’s success in the realm of free transfers, but you’ve never managed anywhere close to it. The best you’ve gotten is the streaky Adrien Rabiot. The best said about your other one, the better. You assembled a team full of talented players that all do exactly the same thing, resulting in a team that can’t play for each other and isn’t capable of becoming more than the sum of its parts. Also, you’re aware that full-backs exist, right? And that teams need them?
This shambles of a team that you built will need a true Festivus miracle to make it to the Champions League next season and avoid an even deeper financial disaster. I just hope we can dig ourselves out of the pit you buried this squad in.
What the f#$% do you even do? Just sit around the trainer’s room at Coverciano making money while the trainers treat your various injuries? You’ve had precisely one (1) game that has come close to justifying the salary this team has paid you over two and a half seasons. And then for you to blame the team and their training methods for your injuries when you missed 43 games over your last three years at Arsenal? That’s the definition of gall, bud.
You deserve to end up at a dumpster fire like Newcastle. For all the money we’ve paid you, the J Medical should be billing you for at least half of it.
Speaking of which ...
— a term I am using as shorthand for everyone involved with Juve’s training and medical needs ... .what gives with all these muscle injuries?
Paulo Dybala can’t stay healthy, Federico Chiesa and Danilo both got leveled by long-term problems, Moise Kean has missed time, and now Luca Pellegrini is hurt just as he started getting hot. It just seems like every game someone important is dropping out hurt. The workload of every player everywhere has been in overdrive since play restarted after the pandemic, but clubs like Liverpool, who have an even bigger fixture clog than Juve with two domestic cup competitions on the agenda, aren’t having these kinds of injury issues. Something has to change here.
Now, a couple quick hits:
Are a lot of your problems this season beyond your control? It would be a fair argument. But could you do me one thing? Just one?
Could you please make a substitution with more than 15 minutes left in the game? Kthanksbai.
PASS THE BALL FORWARD.
I love you, my large adult son, but for the love of all things holy learn how to use your right foot.
You’ve had your time, Spikey. Time to exit, preferably pursued by a bear. I just want normal life back, for crying out loud. I have a three-month-old now.
Well, that’s that. We’ve come to the end. Thank you all for listening. Now, we move on to the Feats of Strength. I thought about challenging Paratici, but running Tottenham is punishment enough. It’s on you, Mr. President. Square up.
Festivus isn’t over until the author gets pinned.