Helping The Old Lady Find Her Feet (III): The Mister

Posted on 14/10/2010

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Calciopoli saw Didier Deschamps return to Turin & take charge of the team four years ago. Since then Juventus have changed coach more times than they had in the previous sixteen years.
Deschamps had major disagreements with the owners of the club leading to his departure, his assistant Giancarlo Corradini then took temporary charge before the permenant appointment of Claudio Ranieri. The Roman never seemed like a Juve coach, & was often viewed as a friendly face, hired to help improve the clubs image.
His departure ushered in the ill-fated Ciro Ferrara experiment, which was handicapped from day one by a squad unfit for the system he planned to play. Then came another stop-gap appointment in Alberto Zaccheroni, a man who was brought to “steady the ship” but who failed to arrest the slump & if anything presided over worse results than Ferrara.
When Andrea Agnelli became President the changes were swift & wide ranging. He brought Beppe Marotta & Fabio Paratici from Sampdoria, two highly intelligent football men at peak of their respective professions. Together the three men made the decision to appoint the clubs newest coach. Their shared vision is essential to the long term future of the club & Luigi Delneri is a major factor in this project.

Their previous stint together in Genoa proved their collective effectiveness, & it is this experience Juventus now hope to benefit from. Immediately the new coach was given the nessacary advantages never afforded his unfortunate predesscors. The length of his contract immediately ensures he will be taken more seriously than Zaccheroni or Ranieri ever were.
Being the unanimous choice of Agnelli & the clubs directors means he also has the backing sadly never afforded the excellent Deschamps. The Frenchman was perhaps the one man since Marcello Lippi left for the first time in 1999 to truly understand the club, its style, spirit & demands. It may have only been in Serie B but that team was a true Juventus, criminally wasted in yet another fatal error of the Secco era.
In order to establish a clean break with the recent past & to not associate the new regime with past failures saw Zaccheroni remain at the club after Delneri’s appointment. The new coach remained in Turin to plan for the future while the former Milan boss was sent on the tour of North America at the end of last season.
Another clear advantage was the understanding between the three ex-Sampdoria men. Marotta & Paratici immediately set out to deliver the players needed by their coach to employ the methods he has successfully used throughout his career. The arrivals of Krasic, Lanzafame, Pepe & Martinez provide the width that this complex & fluid system requires.
His time on the biggest bench of his career has not been so straight forward however. Injuries to Amauri & Iaquinta meant playing the opening games without aprima punta, while both De Ceglie & Traore being unfit meant he was forced to deploy Grygera as an emergency left back.
Delneri also made some baffling decisions with both his starting line-ups & some substitutions as he searched for the right balance. The last few games however have seen the first fruits of what was a tough summer. His changes have seemed much more in tune with the teams needs & his choices were proven correct in almost every instance.
Alberto Aquilani, Jorge Martinez & Iaquinta have been incorporated into the line-up to great effect, with Alessandro Del Piero’s impact maximised where possible. The deployment of Marchisio to subdue Maicon in the Derby d’Italia was another inspired choice. The handling of Felipe Melo since his return from World Cup duty also highlights his man-management skill, often overlooked when discussing his coaching qualities.
It seems finally learning the lessons of the coach are taking hold, their complex movements & shifts in pattern cited on numerous occasions as extremely difficult to understand, but always with the fact they will be hugely beneficial heavy in the words of the players. Often it is the men who have played under the coach elsewhere; Legrottaglie, Amauri & Storari among those most vocal in their praise of the work being done.
Such a change is never simple, often it can take more time than a coach in this league is given to prove his worth. However Agnelli & Marotta believe they have the right man, he has the fans on his side & the players are keen to impress everyone – some to atone for last season, some to secure their futures in Turin. La vecchia Signora has always needed a strong hand at the helm, perhaps she has finally found the right leading man for this new Juventus.
Source: Il Tifosi
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