The aurora that surrounds Andrea Pirlo has grown steadily over the past 4 years with the Old Lady. A club that Andrea said in his own book ‘Penso Quindi Gioco’, was like a homecoming.
During those four years, Juventus dominated Serie A, winning all four Scudetti, a Coppa Italia and Champions League finale appearance.’ Il Maestro’, was the centerpiece in the midfield, truly the conductor of the machine.
This ‘new’ Juventus, will look hardly anything like the past four years. Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez joined Pirlo in heading for the exit door, and with new and young arrivals like Paulo Dybala and Simone Zaza heading into the fold. It’s undeniable that the Old Lady will have to show that she does, in fact, have some new tricks up her sleeve.
This period of dominance in Italy comes at a time where traditional rivals AC and Inter Milan have greatly faltered, nearly completely falling off the radar the past couple of years. With new foes like Roma and Napoli spearheading an ever changing Serie A landscape, a new style of play emerged from both Antonio Conte and Massimiliano Allegri. The two coaches adopted two entirely different styles of play to fit the needs of the team and to affront their adversaries. In both the 3-5-2 and 4-3-1-2, there was always one many who tied it all together. Returning to the ‘Il Maestro’ comparison, Pirlo was always the main cog in the machine that made it run like clockwork. The others? You could call them the timing belts.
Max Allegri, the current Juventus coach, will also need to demonstrate he has the gumption to take a few gambles. This year will be more of a distinct boundary between the Conte and Allegri eras, which many say that the current tactician inherited the work of the Conte dynasty with little to change. But after four seasons of domestic domination, one must consider the desire of some of the players to continue. It’s no surprise that Tevez, Pirlo and Vidal opted to leave. The latter given the opportunity to either return home or explore pastures anew. Vidal’s transfer fee, an estimated €40 million offset a chunk of the money Juventus had spent to overhaul the attack. But Allegri’s experiments in the first few pre-season games have posed more questions than have given answers. With a slew of injuries to the squad heading into the Supercoppa in Shanghai, a tough test lies ahead for Juventus against Lazio. The beginning of the new era, without Juve’s Italian hero.
The match versus Lazio will be the first true test for the overhauled Juventus side. Their chances of coming home with the trophy are still very high due to the depth and skill still on hand at on the Old Lady’s roster. For a better look at the odds that the Serie A champions face, head over to the Juventus betting page at William Hill ahead of the Supercoppa, a title which the Bianconeri failed to secure last time against Napoli.
Juventus after the Supercoppa will head back over to Italy where they will continue preparations for the new campaign, which will start at home to Udinese on August 23rd. Which is almost on the four year anniversary of Pirlo’s (and Vidal’s) debut with the club back in 2011.
It’s almost unfathomable to comprehend what Andrea Pirlo did during his tenure with Juventus. To put into prospective the impact Andrea Pirlo had in Turin, in 164 total games with the bianconeri, he registered more assists than over 400 games with AC Milan. The system which Juventus deployed around Pirlo worked to perfection.
Italy hasn’t produced a player of this caliber and impact in a very long time. Prior to the playmaking “regista’s” or deep lying midfielders, Italy relied on attacking midfielders or #10’s to dictate the play. Pirlo changed that – At Juventus he ushered out club legend Alessandro Del Piero without missing a beat. Unfortunately for Juventus, this year there is nobody to replace the man that orchestrated adding the third star to the club crest.