Will Juventus’ Struggles Lead to a Trophy less Season?
I want to start this off by saying I’ve had some time to cool down from the Coppa Italia Final and wanted to get my thoughts straight. I have held out as long as I could, but it’s time: Sarri out. Juventus have gone 2 straight games without scoring a goal for the first time in 5 years. This isn’t supposed to happen when Cristiano Ronaldo is in the team day in and day out, but the fact of the matter is that it happened. Sarri is brilliant, tactically, at getting his team to the final third of the pitch, but then what? There are no results from his tactics because there is no chemistry around goal. This defeat definitely puts Sarri on the hot seat and I’ll go into that more later, but first, let’s get into a good mood and talk about the positives of the match.
The 42 year old Buffon saved Juventus many times in the final, giving us fans flashbacks to his prime years. Gigi was making key saves and keeping them in the game until the end. Although he wasn’t able to keep any penalties out, the fact they even made it there was because of him. If seeing his performance and determination doesn’t motivate the team for the rest of the season, I don’t know what will. The other positives I saw from this game were Bentancur and De Ligt. It seems every game I find myself talking about them and their progression. These men continue to be Juventus’ best midfielder and defender every game and will be big parts of the future for sure.
Let’s get back into Sarri and what these struggles could mean for the club. I see a real chance that Juventus go trophy less this season. They have already missed out on a couple chances, and could easily miss out on the only other 2 left. The first trophy they missed out on was the Supercoppa against Lazio. It was the same old story of Sarri; holding possession, getting to the final third, and then nothing to show for it. Juventus get hit on the counter attack over and over and Lazio capitalizes. Only scoring 1 goal while having two world class forwards and other great players is unacceptable, especially in a final. We saw a very similar situation in the Coppa final, scoring 0 goals won’t help in winning a trophy. I know this game went to penalties, but it shouldn’t have gotten that far. The players have carried Sarri to these opportunities to get his first trophy, but it’s hard to do that in a final as well and it showed here. 2 chances to win, 2 chances blown.
Here is why I think Juventus may go trophy less this season. Starting with Serie A; they are only 1 point up on Lazio going into the reset and morale is at an all-time low. Lazio are coming back with confidence they can win the league and Juventus are already falling apart. Losing the Coppa final and going goalless in 2 games will have the confidence of the team down. I will always believe they can hold on to win the league, but with how things are going, the chances may be better for Lazio down the stretch. Next, with the confirmation of Champions League coming back, there is another opportunity for Sarri and the club. However, this is the competition they were least likely to win. Juve are down 1 goal to Lyon with the home leg left to play, they need a comeback win and momentum to continue into the later rounds. If they continue to play like they are now, there is no hope. If they start to improve and build their confidence back up, they can beat Lyon and then take it game by game.
Juventus have won at least one trophy every season since 2011. Should they go without winning a competition this season, Sarri will be gone and they will be on the market for a big name coach. Perhaps there is one in Manchester who is rumored to be out at the end of the year…