Definitely one of the weirdest teams in Europe so far this season, it is very hard to analyze Juventus’ season and all the many different variables that have occurred in recent months, but it is also very interesting to see what the club’s realistic ambitions can be and what tools they have at their disposal to make them happen. So, where does Juventus stand this season?
This week Juventus got a very important 2-1 victory against Inter Milan in the latter’s stadium for the first leg of the semifinals of the Coppa Italia and they are in a very good position to qualify for the final of a tournament in this season. But it hasn’t been an easy year for the Old Lady and there is valid questions about what can Juventus aspire to for the remainder of the season.
When Andrea Pirlo took over at the start of the season, there was a lot of uncertainty because the former Italian player never coached before and the club was in a somewhat delicate situation after the departure of manager Maurizio Sarri and the financial disarray of the pandemic. Leaving aside the signings of Weston McKennie, Alvaro Morata and Dejan Kulusevski, this was the same squad Sarri had last season.
Overall, inconsistency is the best way to describe Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus and it is somewhat understandable because the man is still learning as a manager and you couldn’t sell and sign the players he wanted, often having to rely on an ageing squad that is rich in experience and winning mentality, but lacking the fresh legs and the hunger to face such an exhausting calendar in this particular season.
So while the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala or the aforementioned McKennie and Kulusevski have provided a lot of quality in key moments like the game at the Camp Nou against Barcelona in the Champions League, the reality is that this team has been filled with ups and downs, sitting at fourth place while the two Milan clubs battle it out for the Scudetto.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Pirlo has shown improvements as a manager in recent weeks and the recent win over Inter showed the kind of authority and killing instinct Juventus are known for. Matthijs de Ligt is coming into his own as the club’s current best defender and the team as a whole is showing a lot more cohesion.
They have one less game than Inter and AC Milan, with a clear chance of getting into the fight for the Scudetto if they win that match. If they defeat Inter in the second leg, they must be favorites for the Coppa Italia final. And while it is still early stages, they are clear favorites against Porto in the UEFA Champions League.
This is quite likely the weakest Juventus team in almost eight years, but they have enough experience to push for the two titles in Italy and the Champions League is a toss out.