|FAN: Rav Dhillon
The 4-1 demolition of Roma stands out for so many reasons. Juventus were absolutely dominant from the first minute and utterly ruthless in exploiting Roma's weaknesses.
Every player gave 100 per cent that night and but for the lack of a more clinical striker, the game could have and should have ended with the Juve score in double digits.
A clash of coaches always adds a little spice to the game and given the long-standing enmity towards Zdenek Zeman, this victory was all the sweeter.
It is a close call between Shakhtar Donetsk and Fiorentina, but I think the game against Donetsk just edges it.
Juve were unprepared for the Ukrainians and their Brazilian contingent were particularly impressive against a shaky back three. The wing-backs were poor, especially Lichtsteiner and the midfield was overrun at times by the speed of their counterattack.
We lost possession cheaply, squandered the few chances we created in the final third and the passing was simply abject.
Conte has more or less picked up where he left off by fielding a tried and tested 3-5-2 formation, with the club reinforcing key areas such as the midfield and the full-back and wing-back positions, which gives us strength in depth.
This has also given Juve the option of rotating for Champions League games, although the lack of that star striker we were promised leaves a slightly bitter taste.
Domestically, I think we will be fine fielding a team with a strong midfield and lots of pace down the flanks, but the worry is how we will cope in the remaining Champions League fixtures.
It should also be said that Massimo Carrera has done a fine job in holding the fort in Conte's absence.
His first three games for the Bianconeri saw him provide two assists and a sublime goal of his own. He has given Juve some real stability down the left flank while offering some great attacking play in the final third.
The Serie A signing of the summer in my humble opinion.
Alessandro Matri has been particularly frustrating this season and looks a shadow of the player we signed last winter.
It is hard to determine if the problem lies with the player himself, his strike partner, or perhaps even the formation we are using.
He seems static on occasions, wasteful when he is on the ball and his finishing leaves a lot to be desired. I felt he may still come good, but he has now slipped below Fabio Quagliarella in the pecking order.
The goal against Roma may do wonders for his confidence, but I am not holding out much hope. At this stage, I would rather see Nicklas Bentdner start ahead of him.
We have started in the best possible way with convincing wins against Parma, Udinese, Genoa, Roma and Chievo, all of which can be tricky teams to face on their day, but we are yet to face one of our title rivals.
The true test this season was always going to be fixture congestion with our return to European football and Conte’s squad rotation seems to have worked well enough so far.
The remaining games in the Champions League are very winnable but they are sandwiched in between tough clashes against Lazio, AC Milan, Catania and Napoli. I would like to think we can at least make it out of the group stages, but if we do not I think we can win the league again this season.
|Overall rating of season so far (out of five)
I would give Juve’s season so far a solid 3/5. We ground out results against stubborn sides like Genoa, Chievo and Siena, while showing real grit to come back from two goals down to take a point at Stamford Bridge.
We were lucky to leave Florence with our unbeaten record intact but I take heart from the ruthless streak we displayed against Roma and Udinese.
There are always areas for improvement, up front being the obvious one. The lack of a clinical, 20 goal-a-season striker is a worry, but that looks set to change come January. All in all, I am optimistic.