Juventus fan Jason Ong suggests some ideas for head coach Antonio Conte to adapt in order to maintain their somewhat good start to the season.
Judging from the Serie A table alone, Juventus are not doing that bad after the first seven rounds.
They are just two points behind the “perfect” Roma with six wins and a draw but the process of obtaining these results is not very convincing.
Apart from the victory against Lazio, we cannot really say that Juve were far more superior than their opponents in the other six matches.
If you look at their performance in Europe, it is even more worrying.
Even though Juve had 52 attempts in the first two match days, they only scored three goals and managed to get two points out of the possible six.
At Copenhagen, the home team needed just one opportunity to score while it took Juve more than 10 shots to get their equaliser.
In the second match, Galatasaray's first goal came from a horrible back pass courtesy of Bonucci and the second goal was right after Juve took the lead.
Juve need to show their characteristic as one of the greatest teams in the world if they want to progress to the knock out stage.
First, Conte needs to build the winning mentality among the players especially when playing in Europe.
The last time Juve came back from behind to win a match in Champions League was the round of 16 match against Bremen in 2006, just before Falsopoli.
Since then, Juve couldn’t even come back from behind to beat minor clubs like Nordjaelland in this competition.
While Conte is one of the most promising young coaches around, he still has some weaknesses.
First, he must learn how to maintain the form of his strikers.
Take Fabio Quagliarella’s goal distribution in last season for example - he scored only 12 goals over the last season, but nine of them were scored from September to November.
Don’t forget, Quagliarella didn’t suffer any serious injury during the second half of the season.
If we look at Alessandro Matri, he scored nine goals in total last season, but seven of these goals were scored from end of December to early March.
If Matri and Quagliarella were scoring consistently, they could have scored more than 25 goals each during last season.
There is an early sign that this could be repeated this season, if you look at how Mirko Vucinic, Fernando Llorente and Sebastian Giovinco performed so far this season.
Plus, Juve’s most efficient striker, Carlos Tevez, had only scored one goal in the last seven games.
Conte needs to maintain his strikers’ form while rotating his squad to compete in Serie A and Champions League.
Conte must also learn how to change his formation.
He should have changed his game plan against Galatasaray and Milan, and not replaced the injured Stephan Lichtsteiner with the average duo, Isla and Padoin.
Paul Pogba showed that he is uncomfortable as a right midfielder too.
Conte always blames his failure to switch to 4-3-3 on the long term injury of Simone Pepe, but he could have tried to replace Pepe with Giovinco in this formation.
Giovinco was used as one of the forwards in Ciro Ferrara’s 4-3-3 and he did well in that formation.
Of course, like the coach of Malaysian national Team, Datuk K. Rajagopal, I am sure Conte too knows his players better than I do.
Finally, while it is okay to have a slow start to the season, Juve must step up in the remaining four Champions League group stage matches to ensure that they qualify to the knock out stage.
Fino alla fine…. Forza Juventus!