Blog: Forgive or forget?

Posted on 26/07/2010

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What to do with a problem like Diego? Giancarlo Rinaldi on the dilemma that Juventus are still working on this summer

There are only a handful of crimes which are unforgivable. Their number may vary according to your morals, but they are likely to be few in total. And, for everyone but the most unrepentant Ultra, having a bad season for Juventus is unlikely to be among them.

This is the conundrum facing the Bianconeri as they mull over the future of Brazilian ace Diego. Can they put last year behind them and let him play a key part in the campaign to come? Or should they cut their losses and let somebody else take the risk?

The former Bundesliga star was a major investment for last season’s Scudetto challenge that never was. He dazzled early, but faded badly over time. Many view him as the final failure of a regime which was consigned to history this summer and replaced by a new Coach and backroom set-up.

But what if he still has a role to play? Amidst all the speculation that Juve would sell him if a decent bid came in, he has shown signs of life in pre-season. Is he simply flattering to deceive followers of the Turin giants once again? Or could the real Diego finally show up?

It must be a tactical teaser for the ever-agitated Gigi Del Neri. He loves a skill and strength combination in his attacking duo and is still searching for a black-and-white version of Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini. The Brazilian could be the ideal occupant of the ‘fantasia’ role.

Diehard Juventini will, of course, be touting Alex Del Piero for that position. However, his finest years are surely behind him and a more youthful and physically robust replacement would certainly be welcome. It could actually enhance ADP’s contribution to have Brazilian back-up in a season which will still see La Vecchia Signora facing European and Serie A commitments.

The powerhouse striker’s role remains open, too. None of the current trio of Amauri, David Trezeguet and Vincenzo Iaquinta seems to have convinced the new bosses. The consistently rumoured signing of Edin Dzeko might yet have implications about whom Del Neri sees as the best strike partner among the resources at his disposal.

No doubt this puzzle is exercising the finest minds at the Turin club. Diego delivered some nice touches in the weekend friendly with Lyon but we have been here before. He lit up a few matches at the start of last season and ultimately failed to deliver. If you sniff the air around their Corso Galileo Ferraris HQ, you can still smell the smouldering skin from the burned fingers of the Bianconeri’s top brass.

Now they have to decide whether to roll the dice once more. The Brazilian could be a key player in the latest attempt to revive this glorious club. Or do they send him packing and risk watching him regaining his superstar status elsewhere?
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Posted in: Article, Thoughts