The down side of perfection or flawlessness is that once achieved it becomes boring and that’s what Juventus accomplished in Serie A. Prolonged period of perfection, however, leads to irritation.
In football every club would like to be that kind of boring and even more irritating. Last more-then-a-few years, 7 to be boringly precise, Juventus has done just that. I’m not referring to their on-pitch performances, that’s also a matter of taste. But in terms of end result the Turin giants have been very, extremely boring.
And similarly to last week, no particular surprises.
Same happened at the Dacia arena in Udine this weekend. Juventus took another routine win, Ronaldo scored another goal and their defence kept another clean sheet. Not that Udinese is the team that should present any sort of danger to the “Scudetto owners”. However, at least could make them sweat, just a little bit. On the other hand, the way this season is going, nobody else up to now did, so no reason to be surprised or angry about that.
At one point I asked myself; is Szczesny forced to pay the ticket in domestic competitions or the club takes care of that for him?
Juventus assembled a squad where everybody is important but at the same time non is indispensable. Full of talents, important names, big characters but still managing to keep them all satisfied. At least for the time being. Clear hierarchy is key to keep the locker room under control but still giving everybody the sense that they are contributing to the clubs fortunes. Allegri proved himself a master in that! With people upstairs backing him up thus making foundations on which to built your success.
Additionally the technical area seems to get everything right! In the last few years you could count on one hand the market mistakes. You think it’s easy with all the money available to splash on players of 30 and over years? Well, clubs around Italy, not to go to far, spent the same or even more and still can’t come anywhere near the bianconeri.
There you go Juventus, enjoy your boredom and all the others feed your irritation with it. At least until the fortune changes.
Moving on, followers and closest contenders, if they can be labelled as such, Napoli, also got their routine home win against fellow Southerners Sassuolo. Truthfully the nero-verdi made Napoli work for their win, copying their number of attempts on goal and actually retaining more possession in the end Partenopei took the 3 points. And after the equally dramatic important midweek CL win against Liverpool surely volcanic president won’t mind an under par performance if they managed to secure the result.
Internazionale is riding the high spirit wave! Performances aren’t pleasing the eyes, at all, but the smallest opponents mistake or hesitation is duly punished. And until the results will be coming nobody will care too much. Initial struggles have been forgotten and since mid September CL come back versus Tottenham they haven’t look back and can’t stop winning.
Similarly to Napoli and Inter another CL participant, Roma, took all the points against energetic and attractive but utterly wasteful and inconclusive Empoli. Same number of attempts on target, more shots off target, more possession, corners,… basically more everything except, well, quality and consequently goals. Summed up, the important things.
To keep things in boring perfection in terms of game anticipation also Milan managed his hat-trick of victories, including the Thursday’s come-from-behind win versus Olympiacos. Albeit Chievo this season isn’t proving much of competition to anybody this season with miserable 2 draws and 6 goals scored in 8 games. Interestingly, half of their goals came against illustrious opposition; 1 at San Siro and 2 against the leaders in the season-opener. If the Verona outfit is counting to at least put up a fight for Serie A status retention, they’ll need to drastically improve their defensive stability; only Frosinone conceded more goals and that’s not a consolation of any sort.
As for Milan also same old story; Higuain taking advantage from visitors lapses and the home side allowing opponents to score. So, again, nothing new. From Gattuso’s perspective this week’s international games came at the worst possible time! Just as the team clicked and they started a winning streak.
To find anything at least resembling surprise we have to take a look at the which took place at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genova. The home side coming from a run of good results lost against resuscitated Parma. Even if the come back was achieved already in first half hour and Genoa had 60 minutes in which produced industrial quantity of attempts on target (10 on and 12 off) the end result didn’t change. However, this isn’t the main story.
After such an extended run of goals there’s a name worth remembering; Krzysztof Piatek. Who? Krzysztof Piatek, the leading goalscorer in Italians top division. With least games played, since Genoa hold a game in hand against AC Milan, postponed after the Morandi bridge tragedy struck, all other stars are watching the Dzierżoniów native’s writing history.
Arriving this summer under the radar for a modest price of 4,5 millions Euros, he took the Serie A by storm. While everybody was celebrating Italy’s return among the big boys with Ronaldo’s switch from Real Madrid to Juventus, the Polish striker was preparing greatest surprise of all. Being born in 1995 he’s still young but far from a spring chicken and since he had 0 appearances for his country, nobody took him seriously.
Piatek scored 9 goals in his first 7 games in Italy, hitting the net in every game. The last player to do the same is a certain Argentine named Gabriel Batistuta in the 94/95 season. If this is the benchmark then it’s no wonder that some of Europe’s elite clubs are already being reported preparing top dollar to secure the rising star.
While scouts were making notes he found time to score additional goal in Italian Cup to round it to 10 before joining the national side. I guess no words can explain his scoring abilities, so let’s see what the newcomer is capable of.
Elsewhere, Torino and Lazio recorded tight but extremely important home wins, both for the seeding as for the morale.
Serie A returns next weekend with one of the most anticipated games in the season calendar. Italian fashion capital representatives will lock horns to prevail in the derby della Madonnina.
And for the leading marksman the ultimate maturity test; Juventus arena!
Can he save the Serie A from the champions’ claws?
Torino 3 – 2 Frosinone
Cagliari 2 – 0 Bologna
Udinese 0 – 2 Juventus
Empoli 0 – 2 Roma
Genoa 1 – 3 Parma
Milan 3 – 1 Chievo
Atalanta 0 – 1 Sampdoria
Lazio 1 – 0 Fiorentina
Napoli 2 – 0 Sassuolo
SPAL 1 – 2 Inter