SOCCER

Juventus 0 – Monza 1: First reactions and random observations

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Well, even if you thought things would improve a bit for Juventus against the team at the very bottom of the Serie A table, I guess the joke was on you then.

Because that wasn’t it.

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This was before Angel Di Maria was expelled. This was certainly the case immediately after Di Maria’s straight card which was probably a bit too hard. It doesn’t matter if there are 11 men or 10 men on the pitch for Juventus on this sunny Sunday afternoon in Monza, things looked as shitty and uninspiring as they have for weeks now. Facing the team that was bottom of the table that had the worst attack and the worst defense in Serie A, Juve couldn’t do anything right. The result was a 1-0 loss to Monza, giving the club owned by Mr Bunga Bunga himself their first-ever victory in the Italian top flight and once again sent Juve players into the court to be reprimanded by whistles and probably a fair amount of obscenity.

Hell, even the somewhat ironic Landucci effect couldn’t save Juventus this time.

It shows how far this club have fallen in the first month of the 2022-23 season. Juventus suffered their first league defeat on Sunday, and with the way they played it might come as a surprise that it took until the seventh league game for that to happen. The team that Max Allegri – who was standing in the stands making his usual reactionary faces throughout the game – still manages technically has now won just two of its first nine games in all competitions.

At other clubs, a run like that would probably get you fired and there would be no doubting what is about to happen. But when it comes to Allegri’s status, you just don’t know because Juventus’ front office just hasn’t given you any signal that there’s some kind of change coming in the near future. . (Unless you subscribe to the vote of confidence Maurizio Arrivabene gave Allegri before the match was actually the opposite, as we’ve seen with managers before.)

The thing about this match is that, despite all those injuries (and there were a lot of them!), you were hoping for some sort of response after the debacle that was the midweek loss to Benfica. Like… anything. Instead, except for maybe a few players, everyone was as bad as they were on Wednesday night. There was absolutely nothing of note going forward, there were times when Monza absolutely dominated the game – they finished with 60% possession! Monza! – and much of Juve’s starting line-up just looked mentally checked.

I don’t know if that’s actually a fact. But, from afar, that’s what it looked like.

This team looks exhausted. They looked mentally fried. It’s hard to say about any team at any time of the season. But it’s especially bad to say about a team when they’re seven games into the new league campaign. And when you consider that it’s about to be some kind of hellish schedule when they return from the international break, it’s not like things are going to get any easier at all.

What do I know, don’t I? These things happen in football, I am told.

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS

  • If you’re like me and your Juventus rooting interests date back to the Serie B season, you’ll remember seeing Rafaelle Palladino being one of the young names Juventus turned to that year. Well, guess who felt a bit older than he currently is when Palladino emerged from the tunnel to take his place as Monza manager for the first time.
  • Palladino doesn’t look a bit aged, by the way. What a stallion.
  • A photo that sums it up very well:

Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images

  • This has to be the final nail in the coffin for Max Allegri 2.0, right? I mean, losing points this season against players like Sampdoria, Spezia, Salernitana and now Monza and doing it the way Juventus did, that can’t be close to something that says ‘Yeah , this guy deserves to keep his job.” And that’s not counting what happened in the Champions League!
  • To sum up: Max has to go. This team just looks mentally fried…and it’s mid-September.
  • File it under “Tweets from the start of this season that are still applicable”:
  • It was the ultimate in Nicolo Rovella’s ‘I’m a Juventus player on loan and I’m going to show it to the club that loaned me’ genre. He was damn good against Juventus, and it’s not just because Juve’s midfield was really bad in that game. He also celebrated the Monza goal as if he had scored it himself – which, honestly, is fine with me as the kid has the kind of intensity you wish more Juve players were playing with.
  • Rovella completed 95 assists against Juventus.
  • Juventus’ three starting midfielders – Fabio Miretti, Leandro Paredes and Weston McKennie have managed 100 assists combined.
  • Juventus managed two shots on goal.
  • Against Monza.
  • Which entered Sunday with the worst defense in Serie A.
  • You know things are bad when Mattia De Sciglio completes a team-record total in key assists. Mattia De Sciglio, people – the direct opposite of an attacking full-back.
  • The second of those shots on goal was a header from Moise Kean from close range. It was just at the caretaker’s. Any other direction in the slightest bit to the left or right and he’s probably scoring a goal. It’s basically Moise Kean’s return to Juventus in a nutshell. With all the turnovers and bad first touches, of course.
  • I don’t care who’s available at this point, when there’s nothing you can do against a team having one of the worst starts to a Serie A season in years then you have to reassess what you’re doing and consider all options . Like, what are we doing here.
  • Oh, I forgot – it’s all part of Juve’s project. Forgive me, everyone.
  • Federico Gatti eyes the ball over the Monza goal… not great.
  • Dusan Vlahovic basically being forced to look for penalties because nothing else is going right for him going forward… not great either.
  • However, Vlahovic’s holding game on Juve’s excellent second-half counterattack was really, really good. Juve’s decision-making on the ensuing 3v2 opportunity was not very good at all.
  • It was a game where the field mics were HOT and picked up a lot of what the fans sitting next to them were saying all the time. The “ALLEGRI!!! VAFFANCULLO!!!!!” right before halftime it was kind of the chef’s signature/kiss moment and based on BWRAO’s Twitter mentions, not only a lot of people heard it, but a lot of people were totally on board with that.
  • To anyone who thought things couldn’t get much worse than what happened against Benfica… they do. The bottom may be there, but Juventus are proving there is still room before it’s the real bottom.
  • Juventus played a 5-3-1 for much of the post-Di Maria dismissal period. Yes, a 5-3-1 against Monza – a team that had scored three goals in their first six games of the season. Sometimes even the strongest Allegri supporters can’t even explain these things.
  • Gotta love the replacement in the final five minutes of Matias Soulé and Nicolo Fagioli – a classic Juventus type of move that has young kids trying to find some kind of endgame magic without them having some kind of rhythm. everything.
  • It’s bad. I know that’s not the kind of special insight you might expect from this blog, but that’s really all I want to say about everything that’s going on. Juventus could soon have a new manager. They might not have a new manager soon. I have no idea what will happen. But who knows if a new manager can solve this problem at least in the short term, because this team’s problems are so deep at this stage that it will take some time to completely get out of what it is.
  • All I know is I’m bad and there’s no real end in sight, maybe that’s the worst part of it all.

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