No charisma, Allegri picking fights, Ramsey and De Ligt flopping and a team struggling for goals after Ronaldo’s exit… Juventus are under fire following their worst start to a Serie A season in over FIFTY years
- Juventus have made their worst start to a Serie A season in half a century
- The Old Lady have failed to win any of their first four league games of the season
- Massimilano Allegri lost his cool with his own players after a draw with AC Milan
- Sportsmail looks at where the Italian giants have gone wrong in Turin this season
The statistics do not lie: Juventus are under siege after one of the worst starts to a Serie A season in the club’s history.
After four matches, Massimiliano Allegri’s side have just two points, conceding seven goals in the the process to lie 18th in the table. Only recently-promoted Salernitana, who have no points from their opening four games, have fewer points.
It is the Old Lady’s worst start to a campaign in over 50 years. The last time Juventus failed to win their opening four games of the season came in the 1961-62 campaign. The only other times the club have achieved this unwanted feat came in 1942 and 1955.
Italian giants Juventus have made their worst start to a Serie A season in over 50 years
Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Milan means Juventus have failed to win their first four league games
One damning part to this season start is that Juventus do not even look like turning their fortunes around and finishing among the top teams. The Turin club have conceded at least one goal in their last 18 matches – their defence has more holes in it than an Italian cheese.
After the club’s 1-1 draw with AC Milan on Sunday, Juventus lie eight points off the top of Serie A, a margin which could stretch to 10 if Napoli beat Udinese away on Monday night.
While pessimism is in the Turin air, there is belief that Juventus can turn this form around. After all, the Italian giants have recent history of putting a bad start behind them to claim the Scudetto title, under the very manager they have in the dugout now.
In the 2015-16 season, Juventus failed to win their opening three games and lay in 12th place at the end of October. But a run of 26 wins in 28 games saw them claw their way back up the table and Allegri’s side were champions once again.
Massimiliano Allegri (above) is enduring a difficult return to the Juventus manager role
But that was a squad with character. Mario Mandzukic was up front, Gianluigi Buffon was the main man in goal, Paul Pogba ran the midfield and Andrea Barzagli was the rock at the back.
In this Juventus side, a single setback knocks the club into freefall and serious repercussions are on the way if Allegri cannot muster another comeback. Sportsmail looks at what is going wrong in Turin…
Allegri used to coach Juventus teams with a great deal of character. Rather than play like lions, the Old Lady players are taking the form of a scared rabbit. Juventus have dropped seven points from winning positions since the start of the season, failing to hold onto their leads in three separate matches.
This was the case in Sunday’s draw with Milan, when a lack of personality allowed the Rossoneri to come back into the game after Alvaro Morata’s fourth-minute opener.
Juventus have dropped seven points from winning positions since the start of the season
This is not just linked to Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Manchester United, this has been a deep-rooted problem at Juventus for a long time.
There is talk of a rebuilding process at the Turin club and even though that applies to the quality of those playing, it also applies to the characters in the squad as well.
More focus and attention to detail among the playing squad would have resulted in more points and a better league position for the Old Lady.
In truth, only Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have the charisma and the character to play for a top club like Juventus, the rest of the players lack personality and need constant reminding that they need to be at their best at all times.
Only Giorgio Chiellini (left) and Leonardo Bonucci (right) have ‘big club charisma’ at Juventus
DE LIGT OUT OF SORTS
Despite being the standout defender under the age of 23, Matthijs de Ligt cannot catch a break at Juventus.
The young Dutch defender was snubbed against Milan on Sunday, with the experienced Bonucci and Chiellini preferred in his place.
De Ligt is now likely to get a runaround away at Spezia in Juventus’ next league game on Wednesday afternoon but his long-term future in Turin is far from certain.
Matthijs de Ligt is too clumsy in position and his future at Juventus in under threat
The centre-back’s agent, Mino Raiola, revealed this week that his client could leave the Allianz Stadium at the end of the season should he carry on going down this path.
The 22-year-old is regularly clumsy in possession and is not trusted by Allegri at all. De Ligt should be in the form of his career, but is far from untouchable in a Juventus shirt.
ALLEGRI PICKING FIGHTS
Juventus boss Allegri does not feel that this poor start is his fault and there’s a good reason for that. Individual mistakes, particularly from goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and his defence, cost the Old Lady against Napoli, Udinese and Milan.
On Sunday night, Allegri lost his cool in the dressing room and was heard raising his voice in order to try and wake his Juventus players up, after a dormant start to the season.
The Old Lady boss ran out of patience due to not enough intensity during the Milan match, with Allegri feeling the players were only willing to protect themselves, rather than the final result of the team. During the match, the Italian was seen shouting at his players to keep their concentration up, but this was done in vain.
Allegri lost patience with his Juventus players in the dressing room after the draw with Milan
To the press, the Italian manager was willing to share the blame for failing to pick up three points.
‘The boys were too light and I made a mistake in the substitutions,’ he said. ‘I should have put more defensive players to secure the result. But a comeback in the standings is still possible.’
The reason for this is simple: Juventus and Allegri need to be united in order to climb back up the Serie A table this season, a feeling that the fans share as well, even though they showed their discontent after the defeat at home to Empoli.
Allegri blaming himself for the dropped points is a simple tactic to protect his players from even more scrutiny. After all, his team does work hard as can be seen in the running statistics, but is guilty of missing too many chances when in the ascendancy.
There is a feeling of unity among the Juventus supporters who want their side to improve
NO RONALDO, NO PARTY
While Juventus pocketed £19.8million from Ronaldo’s sale and got the 36-year-old Portuguese star off their wage bill, they also lost a 25-goal-a-season striker and didn’t have enough time in the market to replace him properly.
Former Everton striker Moise Kean returned to the club in late August but it was confirmed by sporting director Federico Cherubini that the Italian striker would have rejoined anyway even if Ronaldo stayed.
Alvaro Morata has begun the season brightly with three goals in his first five matches, including a quality solo goal against Milan, but his goal output is far from the level that Ronaldo brought during his three years in Turin.
Juventus sold Cristiano Ronaldo this summer – who regularly scored 25 goals every season
Alvaro Morata (right) has started the season well but his record is not even close to Ronaldo’s
Analysing it more closely, Morata reached the 50-goal milestone for Juventus on Sunday after 142 games. Ronaldo managed double that tally in just 134 matches.
New striker Kean has yet to find the net in his first three appearances back at Juventus and Paulo Dybala’s deeper role means he is limited to just one Serie A goal since the start of the season.
Should those respective forms continue, it will be more difficult for Juventus to rise up the ranks again.
RAMSEY CONTINUING TO FLOP
The damage Juventus are creating does not stem from this season, but a few years of poor planning and mismanagement. That can be seen in the free signing of Aaron Ramsey back in 2019, when now Spurs-chief Fabio Paratici was in charge of the club.
The Welsh wizard has a £400,000-a-week contract in Turin but regularly sits on the bench in Turin. He has started just once for Juventus all season and has played just 26 minutes of football since the opening weekend.
Aaron Ramsey’s injury history has returned as his Juventus contribution is getting close to zero
Injuries have disrupted his season already this term and his contribution to Allegri’s side is close to zero.
His inability to affect matters in Serie A is due to his poor knowledge of the Italian language which he has not bothered to learn.
Ramsey is not the only one guilty of this – French midfielder Adrien Rabiot also does not speak Italian and wasted two chances against Milan, while he had several mistakes in the build-up to the Rossoneri’s equaliser.
Ramsey’s injury history makes it difficult for Juventus to put him on the market as nobody is willing to shell out money for a player who features in less than half a club’s games over the course of the season.
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