Why Fabio Paratici Needs to Rebound This Summer

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Last Summer, it was quite obvious that Fabio Paratici failed to address Juve’s needs. Signings such as Danilo didn’t help. Hopefully, this summer Paratici gets his redemption. So, here are the reasons why Fabio Paratici needs to rebound this summer. Be sure to enjoy!

 

1. To Satisfy Fans

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A lot of fans tend not to be experts. However, the power of fans shouldn’t be dismissed. A good portion of the time, clubs such as Juve, make marketing decisions to cater to fans. That’s one of the reasons why they’re successful. But, fans may boycott the club if they don’t make great player-personnel decisions. It was quite obvious that Paratici made a few blunders, last summer. In my opinion as a fan, the biggest blunder was selling Joao Cancelo and not adequately replacing him. Now, I don’t know what happens at training and in the locker room, but Paratici should’ve found a better replacement. It seemed as though, signing Danilo was done out of panic. Also, not addressing Juve’s Central Midfield probably didn’t help fan opinion. This summer, Paratici will need to come back strong if he wants fans to be satisfied.

 

 2. To Help Juve’s Chances of Winning the Champions League

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We don’t know what’ll happen with the Champions League this season. However, because Paratici didn’t address Juve’s biggest needs adequately last summer, I didn’t think Juve was a serious Champions League contender this season. In my opinion, it’s obvious which areas Juve needs to address this summer. A previous article of mine talks about one of them. Here is the article. I’d argue Juve’s biggest need to become a serious Champions League contender, is their central midfield. Since 2017, Juve has lacked a top central midfielder. For Paratici to redeem himself, he’ll need to look into signing a top central midfielder. I know that’s not a simple signing. But, to be a serious contender for the Champions League, that’s a must! Another position on the squad, Paratici needs to seriously address this summer is at right-back. Since Lichtsteiner left, Juve has lacked a right-back that can defend well and influence the attack at the same time. Anyways, for Paratici to rebound in July and August, he needs to make signings that’ll give Juve a great chance at winning the Champions League.

Paratici will definitely have a massive challenge trying to address Juve’s needs while adapting to the possibly unusual Summer Transfer Window this year. Thank you for reading this article on why Fabio Paratici needs to rebound this summer.

The Three Best No. 10s in Serie A this Season

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Over the years, Serie A has offered some of the best No. 10s of all-time. Del Piero, Baggio, Maradona, and Totti are among those legendary No. 10s. Presently, there are lots of great No. 10s to choose from in Italy. So, I’ve decided to write an article on the three best No.10s this season in Serie A. So, let’s get to it!

3. Lautaro Martinez

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Lautaro Martinez isn’t a typical No. 10. What I mean by that is he’s not primarily a playmaker and has played as a striker this season and throughout his career at Inter, so far. There’s no denying his talent, though. I’d argue he’s probably the most well-rounded strikers in Serie A. He’s a great dribbler and playmaker. Also, he can definitely score. He definitely complements Lukaku perfectly well as well. In my opinion, he reminds me of Carlos Tevez or Sergio Aguero, style-wise at least. Like them, his first touch and dribbling ability, especially in tight quarters are top-notch. Also, his ability to evade defenders reminds me a lot of those two. He’s definitely the youngest player in this article and has plenty of room to grow. I’d love to see how good he can become as his career progresses.

2. Luis Alberto

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Luis Alberto has definitely shown how good he can be throughout his time at Lazio. When you think of a typical playmaker, it’s him. He’s not the best goalscorer. But, what he brings to the table is his ability to pass, which is top-class. Currently, he leads the league in assists with 12. I mean, it helps when you have Immobile in front of you for sure. But, he’s definitely been one of the most overlooked trequartistas in world football. Typically, he either plays at the CAM position or CM position, as he does the most damage there. He’s definitely been a key part of Lazio’s success this season and hopefully, he remains at Lazio through the foreseeable future.

1. Paulo Dybala

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It’s no secret that Paulo Dybala has been Juve’s most important player this season. Indeed, without la Joya, who knows where they’d be in the Serie A standings. He hasn’t had great numbers in terms of assists and goals. However, his impact goes beyond numbers, as is this season it has. A big reason he’s been so crucial for Juve this season is because he’s that player that links the midfield to the attack. Also, Juve’s midfield has been subpar, so he’s had to carry the load in terms of playmaking for Juve. Even, Totti said recently that Dybala is the best No. 10 in Serie A, currently. If Juve finally addresses their major issues in the middle of the field this summer, next season we may see Dybala become Serie A’s top player by far.

Thank you for reading this article! Be sure to find me on Instagram @calciofanblogs, on Twitter @calciofanblogs1. Also, be sure to like and follow my Facebook page, Calcio Fan Blogs as well as connecting with me on LinkedIn, which is Joseph Porco.

Serie A’s Top Five Strikers From 2010-2019

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Last decade, Serie A declined a lot compared to previous ones, at least in my view. However, despite that, they were many tremendous Strikers that were fun to watch. As a result, I’m writing an article on Serie A’s top five strikers from 2010-2019. Before I start, I want to mention that I excluded several notable strikers that played for three seasons or less during this time because I wanted to use number 9s that played in Serie A for a good portion of last decade. My apologies to Carlos Tevez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, and Diego Forlan. Anyways, here’s my list.

5. Miroslav Klose

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Before Miroslav Klose arrived in Italy, he had pretty much cemented his place as a football legend. However, his time at Lazio further cemented his legacy. With 55 goals in 139 appearances for Lazio in Serie A, he proved his worth. He stood out to me. Previously, I watched him in the Champions League and in international tournaments. However, watching him on a weekly basis helped me gain more appreciation for him. His aerial ability impressed me the most.

4. Mauro Icardi

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This is definitely a controversial choice. Mauro Icardi has definitely caused his fair share of trouble off the pitch. However, there’s no denying that last decade he was one of the best strikers in Serie A. He scored 111 goals in 188 appearances for Inter. He was definitely a goalscoring machine. He imposes his will on defenders in the 18-yard box. Even, the toughest of defenders have a tough time marking him. Even Chiellini said in the past that other than Cristiano Ronaldo, Icardi is the toughest opponent he’s marked in the 18-yard box.

3. Antonio Di Natale

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Antonio Di Natale is probably one of the most underrated strikers to play in Serie A, maybe even in soccer, in general. At the beginning of the last decade, he was already at or past his peak. Despite that, he still carried Udinese on his shoulders for many seasons until his retirement. His goalscoring record and ability to be a leader, speak for themselves. However, one thing that stood out was his playing style. In my view, he was one of the most well-rounded strikers I’ve seen play. Not only, could he score goals, but his playmaking ability was top-notch. His soccer IQ was also legendary.

2. Gonzalo Higuain

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In 2013, when Napoli signed Gonzalo Higuain, I don’t think they knew just how good he’d be. He was world-class at Napoli and very good at Juve as well. People still make fun of him for missing an open net chance in the 2014 World Cup. Despite that, it’s nearly impossible not to see how good he’s been in Serie A. He’s declined a little bit at Juventus. But, he still has a tremendous eye for goal that shouldn’t be overlooked. Sometimes, I wonder what would’ve happened if he signed with Napoli earlier in his career.

1. Ciro Immobile

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Ciro Immobile has drawn criticism for his performances within the Italian National Squad. However, in Serie A he’s been the best striker over several seasons. His positioning in the box, as well as his speed, is the perfect combination to make life difficult for any defender. From 2011-2019 he played for Lazio, Torino as well as Genoa within Serie A. However, it was with Torino in 2013-2014 when he made his mark on the football world. Since then, he’s proven his worth. Now, please perform the same for the Italian National squad, Ciro!

Three Ideal Central Midfielders Juve Should Look to Buy in the Summer

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Whether this season resumes or not, one thing is clear, this is that Juventus desperately needs to buy at least one central midfielder. It’s an obvious issue that should be addressed. So, here are three ideal central midfielders Juve should look into buying in the Summer Transfer Window.

1. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

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Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with a move to Juventus for a couple of seasons now. I mean, who wouldn’t want him on their club’s squad? He continues to improve like crazy over time. He’s also a player Juve should look to sign. Not only is he an offensive juggernaut, but he also has the perfect stature to defend in the midfield as well. This makes a perfect box-to-box midfielder, who Juve should go after. His playmaking abilities are top-class, which would help make Juve’s attack more fluid. An issue Juve has also had over the last couple of seasons is they don’t have midfielders that can join the attack and trackback fast enough to defend the middle of the park. He’d be a perfect candidate to address all of Juventus’ needs in the midfield.

2. James Rodriguez

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Ever since the 2014 World Cup, James Rodriguez has had an underwhelming club career, to say the least. For most of his time at Real Madrid, he’s been sitting on the bench. On loan at Bayern last season, however, he demonstrated how good he can be. They even played him as a central midfielder. His style of play definitely suits the central attacking position more. However, at Bayern, he demonstrated he is capable of being an effective central midfielder. He would also be a bargain for Juventus, considering his potential and all the revenue signing him would bring in. He definitely brings the creativity that the bianconeri needs in the midfield. However, one thing that he’d need to work on would be his defensive abilities in the midfield. If he improves in that area, he could prove to be a bang for your buck type of player for Juve. He’d definitely be cheaper to buy than Milinkovic-Savic and Pogba, which is a huge plus considering what he could bring to the table.

3. Paul Pogba

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Last time Paul Pogba played for Juve, everything seemed to be going perfect for him until he decided to move to a new challenge in Manchester United for a record transfer fee. Indeed, when he played for Juve, he was well on his way to becoming a world-class midfielder. However, at Manchester United, it has been close to the opposite. Maybe, fact that he was expected to be the ManU’s new legend or his world record transfer fee. Either way, it hasn’t worked out for the Frenchman. So, Juve should look to buy him once again. Yes, it’ll probably be an expensive fee. But, if he can retain the form he previously had at the club, it would definitely be worth it. Also, consider that at Juventus, he wouldn’t be expected to be the squad’s leader like at Manchester United. There’s a good chance that would help him significantly and it would help the club in multiple ways, as well.

So, Who Should Juventus Buy Out of These Three?

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All these three central midfielders would bring attributes to the table that Juve desperately need in the middle of the field. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic would be the perfect box-to-box midfielder, Pogba would bring plenty of revenue to the club and on the field, he would most likely be a huge asset to their cause. Also, James Rodriguez has a lot of untapped potential and would be a bargain signing for La Vecchia Signora. This was tough. But, I believe that Paul Pogba would be the best player out of these three for Juve to sign. He’d probably have less pressure at Juve, as they already have a few other leaders on the pitch. Also, the brand exposure he’d bring to Juve, who already is well-off, puts him over the top.

My Three Favourite Serie A Players of All-Time

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There have been many players that have caught my eyes in Italian Soccer over the years. Even now, there are still tons of players that I like watching on a weekly basis within the league. However, there are three players that stood out for me over all these years of watching Serie A. So, here are my three favourite Serie A players of all-time.

3. Francesco Totti

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The king of Rome was an outright legend and Roma fans worship him like a God. Indeed, he was everything that encapsulates a legend. He was a great captain that won multiple trophies with the Giallorossi. He’s also my third favourite Serie A player of all-time. Similar to other legends I’m going to mention in this article, I liked him for more than just his skill with the ball. He not only had the hunger and mental strength to deliver in clutch moments for the club, but he was also a true leader. By just watching him on TV, you could tell that everyone one of his teammates respected him. You could also tell that he was a leader on that pitch. I’d compare him to a general. That’s why he’s my third favourite Serie A player of all-time.

2. Paolo Maldini

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Paolo Maldini is arguably the greatest football defender of all-time. He narrowed defending down to a science. For the most part, he didn’t have to make tackles. He read the game so well that for the most part, he was able to strip opponents of the ball without being rough. When he was on AC Milan it must’ve been tough for opposing managers to figure out his vulnerabilities, as they were nearly impossible to find. In Maldini’s case, I admired him purely because of his intelligence for the game. Of course, you need certain skills to be as great of a defender as he was. But, the reason why I liked him so much and why I think he’s an all-time great is because it was almost as if he was four steps ahead of his opponents every play. He was able to anticipate opposing player’s movements as well as what they’d do in advance, faster than everyone else. That’s why I loved him as a player so much.

1. Alessandro Del Piero

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I’ve explicitly mentioned multiple times, that Del Piero is my favourite soccer player of all time. I even wrote on article about how I became a Juve fan and watching him was a big part of that. Here’s the article on how I became a Juve fan , just for reference. Anyways, I became a Juve fan because of Alessandro Del Piero. He always been one of the few inspirational athletes for me. Like with Totti, I really admired his mental strength. It didn’t matter how mighty the opponent was, he was never afraid of dribbling past multiple defenders to pass or to score. He’s scored many great goals against formidable opponents. Among my favourites are his clutch free-kick goal against Inter in 2006, his amazing goal at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2008 that made fans give him a standing ovation, as well his goal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup. Sometimes, I wish he’d come out of retirement for just one match, that’s how much I admired him as a player.

Previewing the Derby d’Italia

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It was officially announced yesterday, that the Derby d’Italia will be played behind closed doors on Sunday, March 8th at 3:45 pm Eastern Time. This means that there will be no fans attending the match. However, despite that, it’s still going to be such a crucial match. So, here’s my article previewing the Derby d’Italia!

Inter Milan

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The season is mostly finished and Inter has definitely looked better than the last several seasons. However, recently their form has dipped. In their last five Serie A matches, they’ve won two matches, they’ve lose two matches and drew a match. That form has led them to go down in the table. Currently, they sit third in Serie A. If Inter are to win this match, I’d advise Conte to not play the 3-5-2. Unfortunately, their wingbacks are vulnerable defensively, which will make this formation very tough to implement. Especially, against a side such as Juve. I’d also advise Conte to start Christian Eriksen in this match.

Juventus

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Juve fans like myself will find it tough to complement Juve’s season so far. They’ve looked a bit shaky. However, in Serie A, they’ve had a pretty good season through the majority of it. They’re one point clear at the top of the table. Their form hasn’t been superb in the league lately, as they’ve won three out of their last five matches. If I were to give advise to Maurizio Sarri, it’d be to implement the 4-3-1-2 for this match. Unfortunately, Juve doesn’t seem to have good enough wingers going forward to play the 4-3-3. In my opinion, I think the 4-3-1-2 works for them, as they’ve looked more fluid going forward.

Match Prediction

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Based on this match being played behind closed doors, the Derby d’Italia will definitely be different this time around. Juve won’t be about to feed off the energy of the crowd, as they do with most matches they play at the Allianz Stadium. Just because of that, I think it’ll be a 1-1 draw. Whatever the result, get ready for the popcorn. It should be awesome!

Two Reasons Why Napoli Needs to Beat Juve

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Today, two Italian football giants will face off with each other at the Stadio San Paolo, which is Naples. However, if there’s any club that needs to win this more, it’s definitely Napoli. So, here are two reasons why they desperately need to win this game.

1. To Move Up in the Serie A Table

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Something that is obvious that Napoli needs to do is move up in the Serie A table. What better way to do that than beat your rivals, Juve, at your home stadium? They need the points and beating Juve could possibly move them up in the Serie A table. If they do win this match they could possibly overtake Fiorentina, who is above them in 12th. It’s definitely obvious for many Serie A and Napoli fans that the Azzuri (one of Napoli’s nicknames), is way below what they’re supposed to be this season. Of course, as I just said above moving up in the standings is a reason why they need to beat Juve.

2. To Boost the Morale of the Squad

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One thing that seems to be a problem with this Napoli squad is their morale. They’ve gotten a result here and there, however, based on the talent of the squad their morale seems low based on results this season. A win against Juve may only be a one-off. However, a win in this match could also significantly boost their morale and may kickstart a turning point to their season. Beating the reigning Serie A champions could change their season for the better and in the end, they could qualify for European competition for next season. It’ll be interesting to see if Napoli can get a result in this massive game.

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Previewing Roma Vs Juventus

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There have been some massive matches this season in Serie A so far, such as last week’s game between Napoli and Inter. However, not many matches get bigger than the one that’ll be played today at the Stadio Olimpico between Roma and Juventus at 2:45 pm Eastern Time. So, here’s my preview of this match for both clubs.

ROMA

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Paulo Fonseca has led Roma to heights that a lot of people have been surprised about. Coming into this match, they are in decent form, by winning their last 3 matches, losing a match, and drawing one. They do have a few injuries coming into this match, however, that shouldn’t faze them, based on their recent form. They will have a massive test against Juventus, who are currently competing with Inter for the scudetto. It’s possible, though, that being at the San Siro against this other Italian giant may inspire them to victory. However, a victory for them in this match for Roma would depend on how well they can contain Juve’s attack. That will be a monumental task for them, but maybe, Paulo Fonseca has something up his sleeve.

JUVENTUS

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So far this season, Juve has had a huge challenge trying to win Serie A’s biggest prize, once again. Inter has been challenging them for the title throughout the season and this match against Roma just adds to the tough season. However, coming into this match Juve should be motivated to win, as this will probably be one of Juve’s toughest matches over the whole season. Juve will have to be on their game if they want to get a result in the Eternal City. The key to the game for Juventus is being clinical and converting their chances. There’s a good chance they will get a lot of chances in this match, so being clinical would give them the edge. This will prove to be a big test for this Juve squad.

MATCH PREDICTION

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This match should be a very close one. I don’t see either club blowing out the other. As much as Roma is in decent form and are really coming into their own under Paulo Fonseca, I see Juve winning this match 2-1. Just because upfront, they’re on a roll and I don’t see how Roma can contain their frontline.

How Serie A Clubs Will Do in the Champions League Knockout Round

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Something remarkable has happened in the Champions League this season! That something, is the fact that there will be three Serie A clubs in the round of 16 this season in the Champions League. For Serie A fans, it’ll be more fun than usual to watch. So, here’s how far I think the Serie A clubs will do in the round of 16.

ATALANTA

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Earlier this week, Atalanta qualified for the Champions League in a triumphant fashion against Shakhtar Donetsk. It was absolutely amazing, to say the least! There were videos of Atalanta fans as well as players and staff celebrating this remarkable accomplishment. Now, they will be in the round of 16 for the first time in their history. They are coming in hot, as well. Based on the way they’re playing right now, many clubs should be scared to face them. However, I don’t think they’ll make it past the round of 16. I understand that they’re in pretty good form right now, however, I feel that their lack of experience in this type of situation is why they won’t advance past the round of 16. Sorry, La Dea fans!

NAPOLI

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There’s been a lot of drama surrounding Napoli lately. The players reportedly rebelled against Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti got sacked this week as well. So, it’s been an interesting few weeks for Napoli. However, fans will be happy that they went undefeated in the Champions League Group Stage and are now in the round of 16. Yes, Gattuso isn’t experienced as a manager at all with a club in the Champions League. However, based on how they’ve performed in the Champions League this season, no top club will want to face them. They’ll be a tough squad to beat, especially this season. That’s why I think they’ll make it through to the quarterfinals this time.

JUVENTUS

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If you didn’t know too much about Juventus and you based your knowledge off of what Bianconeri fans and pundits say, you’d think Juventus are doing terrible and they’re in a crisis. However, that’s not the case at all. Yes, they currently sit in second in Serie A and still have deficiencies in their Midfield, but, they went undefeated in the Champions League Group Stage. They also came in first in their group. Which, leads me to believe they’ll make it far in this competition. In my opinion, there’s no reason why Juve shouldn’t at least make the semifinals. I actually predict they’ll make the Champions League finals this season. Despite, their deficiencies in the midfield, I think they’ll continue to improve over the season under Sarri and should find themselves in Istanbul on May 30, 2020.

Here’s a video of Atalanta Fans Celebrating after they qualified to the round of 16! Video Credit: YouTube-Light Yagami

3 Reasons Why Juventus Has Been Quietly Successful Under Sarri So Far

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Many fans of the bianconeri have been complaining that so far, the style of play Juve has implemented under Sarri hasn’t looked different than that of Allegri’s. However, despite that, Juve is undefeated in all competitions. They’ve also sealed first in their Champions League group. But, Juve has not been as heavily talked about this season compared to the last, at least from what I’ve heard and witnessed. In the summer of 2018, Juve signed CR7. Within the season that proceeded, it seemed as if all eyes were on Juve to finally triumph and win the Champions League. But, it didn’t end up happening and Massimiliano Allegri got sacked the following summer. This season, Sarri has guided Juve to massive wins and they’re doing it very quietly, which makes them scary to face. So, here are 3 reasons why I think Sarri has led them to being undefeated , thus far.

Reason #1: Sarri Has Revitalized Dybala’s Career

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Last season, Dybala did not start as much many would’ve wanted him too, as Allegri decided to play a 4-3-3 formation, which led him to be an outcast. Even during this past summer, there were rumors that Dybala would be sold to numerous clubs. Among the clubs rumoured to be interested in Paulo Dybala were Tottenham and ManU. However, Dybala stayed put in Turin and already has 4 goals and 1 assist in 11 Serie A appearances. Last season, he got 5 goals and 4 assists in 30 total appearances in Serie A. This demonstrates that Sarri has gotten the best out of Dybala. Sarri has been consistently deploying a 4-3-1-2 formation for Juve this season, which suits Dybala’s style of play. Dybala has been playing as one of the two strikers up top. The reason this formation is the most beneficial for him is because he’s a very technical player, whose also a great play maker. As a result, putting him as one of the two players up front as a support striker allows him to playmake freely, as he’s used to doing. Also, he’s a very good goalscorer, so putting him up front takes the load off of Gonzalo Higuain, who is typically the other player up top with him.

Reason#2: Maurizio Sarri Has Allowed Juve To Have More Creativity in their Midfield

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Yes, Juve’s midfield is still missing another creative spark. That’s just my opinion. However, Sarri has allowed Juve’s midfield to become more creative in the opponent’s half. He hasn’t really deployed his famous “sarriball” at Juventus yet, as the midfield overall, doesn’t fit this type of system. However, from what I’ve noticed, they’ve looked more fluid. Maybe, it’s because Dybala has been starting more or for other reasons. But, for me the big reason Sarri has allowed Juve’s offense to look more fluid this season is because of the formation change. From reading this article, you probably think my favourite formation for any club coach to deploy is the 4-3-1-2, however that’s not always the case. It’s just that in this instance, having that central-attacking midfielder or better known in Fifa as CAM, has provided a link between Juve’s central midfielders and attackers. As a result, the service the attackers have received has improved from last season. My opinion is that if a club has a midfield who doesn’t have enough flair to provide adequate service to the players upfront, a CAM is needed so that there’s that extra creativity, if necessary. It seems to have been working under Sarri so far, let’s see if it continues.

Reason#3: Maurizio Sarri Has Made Them Less Dependent on Cristiano Ronaldo to Score

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I’m sure this is a very unpopular opinion and I may get some flack for it, however, I think that a big reason why Sarri has been successful with Juve thus far, is that he’s limited the over-reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo to provide offense. I don’t believe that Sarri has tried to undermine Cristiano Ronaldo, I think he’s attempted to coordinate the offense so that there’s less responsibility on CR7 to generate the majority of it himself. Unfortunately, last season under Allegri, Dybala under-performed, Higuain was on loan, Douglas Costa was often injured, and Mandzukic also underperformed. As a result, Ronaldo had to carry the majority of the offensive load for Juve. Yes, at Real Madrid, CR7 had to carry their offense load as well, during his last couple of seasons with the club, however, at least he had adequate service from the midfield to do that. Last season at Juve, the service to the players upfront wasn’t great. Unfortunately, that forced Cristiano Ronaldo to have to be more of a playmaker than he normally would be. In his prime, CR7 was a very technical and creative player. However, he’s a bit past his prime and doesn’t have the speed he once had. Therefore, when they centred the offense around him and didn’t get the best out of the other players upfront, it wasn’t beneficial for the club at all. Sarri has implemented a system to ensure that there’s less pressure on one particular player to generate offense in the opponent’s half. It has definitely yielded better results this season than the last one, so far. This is especially true in the Champions League for Juve.