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Manu’s Summer Grab Bag: Song for the Deaf

July is about to be over and Juventus still have a lot of work to do. Should we be concerned? This and more in this edition of the Summer Grab Bag.

Juventus Training Session Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images

Have you ever bought a counterfeit good?

Last Saturday, after waking up early with The Girlfriend to attend a fitness class with one of her friends and her husband, we went to do some shopping in a bazaar.

(That might have been the most “Jesus Christ I’m 30 years old and this is my life now” sentence I have ever typed, but them’s the breaks, I guess.)

As most Mexican bazaars go, they are a hodgepodge of shops selling everything from car parts, electronics, assorted women’s accessories and — most relevant to this particular subject — tons of counterfeit products.

It had been a while since I’ve been to one of such places, and I was shocked by the advancements that the fake consumer products industry has made in the last few years. Don’t get me wrong, there were still some bad stuff around like the obligatory cheap football kits that were clearly illegal copies. You know the ones, with the sponsor names slightly misspelled with clearly bad print jobs. Or designer hats in which the fonts and styling made it painfully clear they were not in fact a real Yves Saint Laurent baseball cap.

However, there were a lot of items there that had me questioning the not insignificant amount of money I spend on buying legitimate stuff. I’ve mentioned before I’m a retail buyer in the sports section, I literally buy sports articles for a living. I’ve been to the offices of most of the major sports brands, seen and felt their latest releases and had them explained to me by experts about what makes them unique. And, for the life of me, I couldn’t tell the difference between some of the sneakers on display at the bazaar and a legitimate brand name shoe.

Which brings me to my next point, I think counterfeiters are flying too close to the sun with some of their stuff. Not quality wise — like I said, they are doing great on that subject — but on the actual models they are pirating.

I’m sorry, it doesn’t matter how good the actual copy of the shoe is, nobody is going to believe you own a legitimate pair of Dior x Air Jordan 1. High Top Cactus Jack? Tiffany Collab Air Force Ones? Air Yeezy 2? You are talking about shoes that cost thousand of dollars. Who exactly do you think you are tricking when you step out of a city bus wearing shoes that are valued at the same price as a car?

They also sold some athletic performance sneakers and that’s where I draw the line. Worst case scenario if you wear a fake casual sneaker they get ruined quickly or a real sneakerhead calls you out on it. No harm no foul.

Try jogging on some counterfeit running shoes and you could be visiting a doctor in short order. They sold cleats! I can’t imagine a worse idea than playing football, making a quick cut and having the whole freaking shoe disintegrate around you along with your newly mangled ankle because you wanted to save a few bucks.

In the end, I didn’t buy any of the shoes. I didn’t want to spend the money and I tend to think that when something is too good to be true it’s because it usually is. I still commend the local entrepreneurs who are clearly only purchasing the finest in counterfeit products though, kudos to them.

One thing I am buying next time I go to this place, though? Fake vintage jerseys! Incredible idea — who wouldn’t want to buy their favorite kit when they were kids? The old authentic one is no longer around to be compared by savvy buyers and because it's an older model the fabric did not have as much technology as new kits do nowadays so its easier to copy. Victimless crime, I say, Catch me in a couple of weeks wearing the cleanest 2001-02 Lotto Alessandro Del Piero kit you have ever seen in your life.

Let’s cook.


Pour one out for our beloved Arthur Melo, who once again is leaving the club without playing s single minute for Juventus. This time the Brazilian heads to Fiorentina in a loan deal with a €20 million option to buy.

In general, this looks like a decent deal other than the fact that, according to reports, Juventus is paying most if not all of Arthur’s wages in order to make this deal happen.

Look, it was always going to be tough to get a good deal for a guy that hasn’t played at a good level in almost two years, but the open dismissal of him as part of the squad couldn’t have helped. Cristiano Giuntoli has now done that with pretty much every player that is out of the main Juventus project, and that feels to me like a bad move.

If you are telling the world that you are not planning and in fact do not want to have certain players in your team, aren’t you putting yourself in a terrible position to negotiate a decent deal? How are you supposed to act for some value back when the other party knows that you are trying to get rid of the asset by any means possible?

I’m no big fan of Arthur, I don’t think he should have stayed, but if you are going to be paying him anyway I just don’t see the upside of letting him play for another team for free in the slim hope that they activate a purchase option in a years time.

All quiet on the transfer front

Other than the Romelu Lukaku transfer rumor barrage of last week and the Frank Kessie flirtation, things have certainly been kinda quiet in the transfer rumor front as of late, no?

And even those couple of rumors have cooled off recently as the Lukaku signing is entirely dependent on Dusan Vlahovic moving elsewhere — a move that in and of itself has quieted down as well — and Juventus being a decided Plan B for Kessie, according to reports.

I guess we shouldn’t be that surprised considering that new head honcho Giuntoli is probably still getting used to his new commute, but for a team that still has a lot of moves to make — at the very least in terms of departures if nothing else — it feels like the team should probably get their move on sooner rather than later.

Hopefully this is a sign of a front office making moves in the background without letting anything leak and not of a team that is in more financial distress than we thought.

There’s some basis to say that it’s probably more of the former rather than the latter. Both the Tim Weah signing and the Arthur loan got done in pretty quick fashion once we started hearing about them in the media. Considering we are in the doldrums of summer, why not stay optimistic and think that once we start earring serious rumors those will capitalize shortly with a savvier, better from office leading the way.

Song of the Week

There’s just no better group/band/artist doing it right now than that specializes in making overly aggressive music to pump you up than Run the Jewels. Perfectly suited to either hit the gym or commit minor crimes, either or, whatever suits your mood.

See you nest week.