How is Sarri getting on at Juventus?
We sat down with @Juvefcdotcom to discuss Sarri's start to life as Juventus manager...
So how do you believe Sarri has done so far in his new role?
Juvefcdotcom: I think it's still too early too judge - the issue i have is that people are still comparing him to Allegri, still expecting that a change that substantial to a man with a distinct philosophy can be accomplished overnight - It can't - the worst thing we can do as fans is take any part of what he did at Chelsea as an example of what he will do at Juve - It's better to look at what he achieved at Napoli with a limited budget but with the backing of the owner and players - I think, for now, there is work to be done, but that is on the players as much as Sarri - For the moment, i am content, perhaps not over the moon, but again, i think that will come in time, provided the management see it out with him and don't cut their losses if we don't win the league.
Inter appear to be serious challengers this season. Looking at them, do you believe you’ll face a real sustained challenge this season? Conte v Sarri again sounds quite the treat...
Juvefcdotcom: I think it will be between us and them and perhaps Napoli as well. Inter have reinforced well and their greatest strength is Conte, as much as i hate to admit that - he is the motivator that they needed and more importantly, the man to organise them. I think their focus will be on the league over Europe as they can use a Scudetto as a building block to bigger things, so i expect it to go to the end of the season. I think they will pick up the wins against the smaller teams, which is where they suffered in the past, and that will put them on a trajectory alongside Juve - Whether or not they will win it, i'm not sure, but i'm not sure on Juve either this season. that's probably in part down to me viewing this as a change in tactics and philosophy for Juve and understanding that it may take time. I would rather see Napoli win over Inter, but i hope we click sooner rather than later and more importantly, start killing off opponents by healthy margins. We need to be more clinical and ruthless, we lacked that last season - that will make the difference between us and Inter
What do you believe is lacking at the moment? Is it just the new system or something more? The likes of Dybala still remain on the peripheries
Juvefcdotcom: I think we lack composure and leadership at the back, BUT Bonucci is doing a superb job, especially as the players to the left and right of him are new faces. Danilo and De Ligt need to settle, find consistency and be more decisive in how they approach defending. The midfield alternates between average and a black hole - there needs to be more than just muscle there - right now, there's a lack of creativity and if we're outmuscled and outmanned there, players like Matuidi end up doing a lot of dirty work, Pjanic is constantly pressured and Khedira just disappears - the by product being the attack is isolated - i also think we need to move the ball quicker and in one direction when we're countering - we're still slow in the transitions sometimes and the build up is laborious. We also need Ramsey playing and Rabiot in there too - we need to decide on whether or not Dybala has a future as a false nine or if his future lies elsewhere. The more we play, the more answers we're getting
Despite being so early in the season, have you seen signs that Juventus may be able to pursue a significant European challenge this season? Or will Sarri need time to establish his style this season?
Juvefcdotcom: It's all about luck for me - if we get the breaks, we can make it - I go into the CL every year with the belief that if fortune favours us, we'll finally lift the damn thing. The other night at at Atletico was excellent, a great performance until we let it slip. that kind of mental fragility, inability to focus and remain concentrated for 90 minutes, has cost us too many times. I'll always believe until its over, but if i am to take off my Juventino hat, i would say the team needs more time to understand better what Sarri wants - they also need to be fully fit and to have found the starting XI that he wants - i feel the answer from the previous questions highlights that there are weak spots all over the pitch that still need working
Luck certainly does play a part! How has De Ligt started at Juventus? Is he the man to fill in the great Chiellini’s shoes?
Juvefcdotcom: I think it will take time for De Ligt - He has to learn a different style of play, understand the tempo of the game in Italy, get accustomed to speaking a different language and being able to communicate with those around him - much of it will be instinct but i think he is still finding his feet - He has so much potential, but it's going to take longer for him to show his best. I think that's a theme for everyone this season - players needing time and patience from fans. Whether or not he can fill Chiellini's shoes is something that we'll only know a few years down the line, but Juve didn't spent 70m on him without knowing that he can develop and improve as he matures - i think he is a diamond that needs a little work to adapt
Time will tell! Right, finally it’s impossible to ignore unfortunately when discussing Italian football. What have you made of the continued lack of punishment for the racist abuse going on throughout the league? Why do these groups continue to get away with their actions?
Juvefcdotcom: I give up on it all. I'm a man of colour who's witnessed plenty of racist abuse at stadiums in the UK and seen it gradually disappear due to a conscious effort from the powers that be to eradicate it - it'll never fully disappear, but it's better than it was. In Italy, you have ultras groups belonging to the club of the racially abused player, coming out in defence of those who insulted him. you have clubs coming out with statements saying that the clear monkey chants were actually just due to the occasion, despite their fans having a reputation for racially abusing players for decades. I have been indignant, i have been angry, raging, i've tried to bring light to it, i've tried to address it in whatever way i can, i try and highlight it on Twitter.....but nothing changes because the people in charge don't care. It's that simple. They do not give a single **** about black players or the abuse they have to endure. They are, in essence, cowards who hide, rather than men who stand up to face it and tackle it. Nothing will change in my lifetime, i doubt it ever will. the ultras operate with impunity, they know it, the management know it, the FIGC know it and they are all content for it to continue.