Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is a very bittersweet moment. For years, the Juventus Offside name has been synonymous with the best English-speaking blog about all things Juventus (at least for me). While that description will stay the same, we will now continue the epicness of this community under a new name and new website.
Without further ado, the trio of writers here at the Offside would like to introduce to you:
As you all know, we’ve been expecting this switch to SB Nation for a while now and we finally got word tonight that everything has been transferred (well, almost everything, looks like John’s last post hasn’t made it yet).
The name of the new website was chosen by John & Aaron (when Aaron was still a writer here). I was at first hesitant about it, but after a few visits to the site I have to admit that I like it – it’s quite catchy.
While you all head to the new domain and register/become a fan of the blog, I’d love to take some time and reminisce on some of the best moments we’ve had here, on the Juventus Offside.
So, what was your favorite/most memorable moment at the Juve Offside?
I can easily tell you mine. It actually wasn’t flashy or anything. There were many more generally memorable moments at the Offside, but this particular one I remember easily. It was in fact what made me realize that this blog is pretty cool.
I don’t quite remember what the topic of conversation was, but as always there was a debate in the comment section about one player or another. It was like the third or fourth time I had come to the site, so I was pretty new (though very opinionated, as always). In the midst of the discussion, I threw up a comment saying the writers of the blog should put up a poll for all Juventus Offside fans to settle the argument once and for all.
The next day, I come to the site and voila – Aaron has a quick write up about this great idea that a fan had in the comments, followed by the poll question we were all discussing. There were like 200 votes on it already.
That was the exact moment when I realized that this wasn’t a website with a snobby distinction of Writers and Commenters. Everyone was pretty close to equal – everyone’s opinion mattered the same, especially if expressed eloquently. It didn’t matter if it was buried in the comments or officially posted by the writers – people paid attention to what was being said and kept on discussing. That example, the religious following, and frequent guest posts on the site further solidified my high opinion of the Offside as a community of Juventini.
It is truly a pleasure being a part of this online Juve gang, and I am looking forward to continuing the conversation with all of you at Black & White & Read All Over.
Regardless of which club you watch in Europe, every few weeks, per international rules, comes a break in the action of your beloved team. Sometimes it’s a fixture which actually means something — a World or regional cup qualifier, specifically — but often it’s a simple friendly. You know how they are. A glorified Sunday morning, local-park, pickup game, with virtually unlimited subs, indifferent coaches, and barely coherent fans, a typical chance for “experimentation” (unless you’re Marcello Lippi, ca 2009-10).
Today, however, the two bulls will collide when Italian National Team will face off against the United States Men’s National Team. Just another pit-stop en route to Poland/Ukraine, you say? Well, yes, it is. For me, however, it’s a bit more. And that’s aside from the seven (7) Juventus players called up by Italy coach Cesare Prandelli. It’s a bit more personal. And difficult.
Finally, a game reminiscent of the good old Serie A that we were accustomed to watching ~10 years ago. A game of two titans, two top sides going against each other in what was going to be a near-Scudetto decider. And while the score at the end decided nothing, the game had everything: good football, great drama, multiple controversies, referee mistakes, violent plays, and most importantly, two goals on each side to cancel it all out.
Having played once recently in Coppa Italia (a game at San Siro which Juve won 2-1), the two teams were no strangers to each other. It was, however, the coaches pre-game set up that had the most influence on how the game went on for most of the 90 minutes.
Well, for the first time this season, I can honestly say that Juventus were outplayed, and didn’t deserve to win. But that’s why you play 90 minutes of soccer football. A couple of thoughts:
Adriano Galliani - really? Didn’t you say that it’s unbecoming of a big team to complain about the referees. If reports that at halftime you screamed at the referees are true, then isn’t that just the definition of hypocrisy. Your post-match comments alone made you look small. Practice what you preach.
Conte wasn’t a saint himself, but he apologized at least. Passion gets the better of you at times, but come on. Be consistent.
Milan outplayed us for a good 60 minutes. But how many games this season did Juventus outplay another team, only to walk away with a loss? Oh wait, that hasn’t happened yet. I mean a draw. Quite a few. Again, that’s why you play the full 90.
Despite the result, in 3 games versus Milan this year, 2 wins and 1 draw is pretty good. We’ll see them back in Turin for the second leg of the Copa. Last night’s game will only make that fixture more fun.
Sulley Muntari was denied a clear goal. So was Ale Matri. They cancel each other out, period. Arturo Vidal did his best Felipe Melo impersonation and deserved his straight red, but both Mexes and Van Bommel *and* Muntari were lucky not to be shown the door way earlier.
I understand the argument that being down 2-0 would have made the game completely different than 1-0. To that I can retort that a two-goal hole didn’t bury us when we were away in Naples. Also, 2-0 11 vs. 11 is way different than 2-0 10 vs. 11. You can argue hypotheticals all day, but the reality is what happened. The most likely alternate ending would have been a 2-2 draw, with strikes from Nocerino and Muntari canceled out by a Matri brace.
This season is turning out to be a wild one, and whoever comes out on top will undoubtedly deserve it. I have respect for Berlusconi Milan, as much as I’d love to hate them. They aren’t at Sfinter level for me. The clubs have historocally had cordial relations with each other, and I have respect for our friends on that other Offside page. If the next decade is one of Juve and Milan slugging it out at the top of Serie A and reppin’ Italy well in Europe, well — I can live with that.
I’ll see you all in May. But in the meantime, there’s that whole Copa Italia thing…
Oh yea, and Conte — 3-5-2 — nev-er-again.
In the journalism business, we like to say that three’s a trend.
Well, looking at this year’s results, you’ve got one more to go, Juventus. Make it happen.
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli; Bonucci: Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Estigarribia; Quaglirella, Borriello
Juventus bench: Storari, Caceres, Giaccherini, Pepe, Matri, Vucinic, Del Piero
Milan XI (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Muntari; Emmanuelson; Pato, Robinho
Which story should we latch onto at this very moment? Let’s see…there’s Pirlo’s first second first second return to the San Siro, the first of which is in league play, to face Milan. Whew. There’s the fact that in two games versus Milan this season, we’re a sparkly 2-0 against them (I’m not going to explain this any further, as my first sentence nearly gave me a seizure); the most recent match a triumphant return for Offsides favorite Martin Caceres, and giving us the edge going into the return leg at the sparkly Juventus Stadium, and fueling my never-ending love for run-on sentences. There’s the ever-present questions over the formation/starting lineup. And, invariably, there will be me clamoring for more creative options in the lineup. Or maybe not this time.
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For the eighth time in the history of the Viareggio Cup, Juventus can call itself the champion.
What used to drive me crazy about the Juve of old, and by old, I mean the past 5-6 years? Simple. Tactically labile coaching, or rather, lack thereof. Be it personnel or formations. This is one thing that I like about Conte. Prior to the start of the season I wrote many times that with the personnel available a 4-3-3 better suited us than a 4-4-2. Sorry, 4-2-4. 4-4-2 was like, so 2009, just like wire-framed glasses, which is why I wear these. I actually have 20/20 vision, I just pop out the lenses. Anyway, agreeing with Jose, I’ve written that Aquilani maybe should have been kept (cheaply) to play with or as an alternative to Pirlo, in a 4-3-3/4-2-1-3/4-2-3-1; I was never convinced of Pirlo’s ability to play in a 2-man center midfield, in a pivot role. Even though I still maintain that Conte reads the Offsides and follows me on Twitter (boy, am I shameless!), I cannot prove this.
Thus, the only logical conclusions I can reasonably arrive at are 1) some of the things I write actually make sense and 2) I’m not the only one who thinks so. In fact, some very important and very smart people do as well. Among them, il mister. He’s shown a willingness to learn, grow, and switch things up based on the opponent and squad at his disposal not seen in past years. But even this has been somewhat limited thus far.
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As always, we at the Juventus Offside encourage banter, ideas, and contribution from our readers. Recently, Jose R. from the message board was kind enough to submit the following piece for all of your consideration. It focuses heavily on the first half of the season and while we’re not a few games beyond that point, it’s still quite relevant albeit a bit late. To that, I can blame the writers’ own schedules of pieces, as well as the weather which caused some cancellations and finicky match schedules. Better late than never though, and this piece was too interesting to not post at all, especially considering how hard the author must have worked on it.
And with that, I leave you with the unabridged, verbatim, unedited piece from Jose entitled “Juventus by the Numbers.” We hope that you enjoy. In the meantime, I’ll have a Catania Preview/Gametime Thread ready later tonight or tomorrow morning, and maybe – just maybe — I’ll rant about Conte, Elia, Krasic, and how I fear I may have been right about Vucinic last July.
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