I didn’t wake up to watch this game.
This was at 5:30 in the morning and I was going to be damned if I woke up at the exact same time on a Sunday as I usually do to go to work. It just wasn’t happening. It didn’t happen especially because I had very little interest in watching yet another sleepwalking Juventus performance against a lower table team. I’ve had enough, I can watch a replay and previews at a reasonable time, thank you very much.
And for the most part, I was right, as an exhausted and tired Juve managed to scratch through an almost certainly relegated Venice side with a 2-1 win. There were really only two positives to this game and we’ll talk about them in our rewards section.
MVP: Leo Bonucci
Sometimes things go well, huh?
5 – Leonardo #Bonucci scored five league goals this season: his new best tally in a single top-flight campaign – he also matched Giorgio Chiellini as a defender for finding the net in the most different solar years in Serie A since 2000 ( 13 both) . To party.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 1, 2022
Bonucci, like Juve as a whole, has had a difficult season. Plagued by injuries, he hasn’t been able to see the pitch as much as he’d like, and even when he has, the 35-year-old defender doesn’t look all that impressive.
Didn’t want to say the W word but he definitely looked like a washed out player at times this year and no one could blame him if he was to be completely honest considering how many miles he put on the counter during his career at Juve.
So whatever Bonucci’s fate might be in the months to come, it was nice to see him step back in time for a vintage performance. He played a good game defensively and, above all, scored twice on his birthday to secure victory for Juve.
Bonucci has been a bit of a controversial figure among Juve fans following his year-long affair with AC Milan, and apart from a few spells here and there, he never really got back to the level he was at before this transfer. Age certainly played a part, the revolving door of tacticians in charge of Juve probably did too, and he was never as dominant defensively as his longtime partner in crime Giorgio Chiellini, but that day he managed to look like himself one more. weather.
Finalist: Fabio Miretti – I mean, who else? You know what, let’s talk about the man-child? – Of time.
Grab Bag MVP Season Leader: Paulo Dybala (17 Points)
The kids are fine
Miretti all have one (1) senior start to his name and he already has Juve fans on Twitter doing detailed video analysis of his best plays of the day. The guy already has pretty much everything Bianconeri faithful in his pocket and he hasn’t even played 90 minutes yet.
(Shoutout @NycJuventus for the very good video above.)
After everyone clamored for the coveted prospect to get some playing time, Max Allegri played Miretti from the jump against Venezia on Sunday afternoon – and the kid delivered a surprisingly good game. It’s always going to be tough for a young player to break into a senior-level team, but you can usually tell when a guy is more ready than he isn’t.
Does he play at his own pace or is he just treading water? Does he look comfortable on the ball? Is he playing it safe to minimize risk or is he actually trying to make things happen?
From recent Bianconeri prospects, you can see who had something special and who didn’t almost from the start. Moise Kean looked like the real deal when he made his debut for Juventus, not only holding his ground and managing the physicality of top-flight football, but showing a talent for flair and showmanship to go along with it. Allegri trusted him with minutes almost immediately and he was successful when given those opportunities.
(While he’s been looking better lately, the current Kean is a far cry from that swaggering youngster who had all the Juve fans ready to anoint him with the next big thing. You never know with young lads. )
Gianluca Frabotta on the other hand? Not so much, even at its best there wasn’t a ton more than to call it average. Almost every time he went with the safe pass and almost never imposed his will on the game.
After his Sunday display, Miretti is much more on Kean’s teenage side than Frabotta’s. He was never rushed and he played the smart, correct pass – not the sure pass and yes, there is a difference – almost every turn. His experience as an attacking player shone through as he delivered a number of great passes and almost always looked to attack rather than just hold the ball to keep it or recycle possession.
(The Arthur Melo special as we call it in the industry.)
What impressed me the most was that he felt comfortable enough to take set pieces and do a damn good job too. Sure, this team doesn’t currently field some of the best set-piece takers they have to offer, but there were still guys with seniority on Miretti. It not only tells me that the kid is talented, but he really feels he belongs on the same playing field as any of the other senior Juventus players and it’s hard for me to disagree with him.
There’s a long way to go for Miretti to become a regular at Juventus, but as far as an audition goes, it was pretty solid.
The era of parity in Serie A
When Premier League stans claim their league is the best in the world, one of the most common arguments is parity between their participating clubs. Any game day and whatever. The league in which people dared football greats to make it on cold, rainy nights in Stoke.
And to some extent they’re right, Premier League clubs tend to have more talent from top to bottom, mainly due to their insane TV rights deal which pays even a lower table team a sum of ungodly money. And it’s probably good that the leagues have more parity, it creates more excitement and chaos on the road to the league title. If the league leaders can lose against a team currently fighting for relegation, anything can happen, right?
Without so much spotlight on it, Serie A has quietly developed into such a league lately where anyone can drop points against anyone and there aren’t so many gimme matchups. Venezia have legitimately played rough with Juve, and while that could be seen as just a symptom of Juventus’ under-equipped and disappointing form, you just have to look at the front four – now guaranteed – and notice that each of them ‘lost points’ against teams you’d think you could beat.
- InterMilan attracted Sampdoria, Genoa and Turin. They also lost to Bologna and barely beat the same Venezia by an identical scoreline.
- AC Milan drew against Turin, Bologna, Udinese (Twice!) and Salernitana while losing to Spezia and Sassuolo.
- Napoli drew against Cagliari and Sassuolo and lost against Spezia and Empoli (twice!)
We don’t have to go over all of Juve’s bad defeats and draws, but you get the point. Either all of Serie A’s top sides are actually bad – not an indefensible take given the lackluster performances they’ve had in European competition – or maybe we need to give some props to the proverbial minnows and their ability to get results against the best teams in the league. .
I think it’s a better rotation area for Italy and Serie A as a whole if we go with the version that our bad teams are better than you think and not that we just have a league of shit all around. Glass half full, if you will.
Farewell shot of the week
With the Champions League qualification assured – and ruling out a complete and utter collapse of Inter and AC Milan in the last three remaining games of the season – Juve officially have nothing to play for outside of the Coppa Italia final this week next.
With a third of the team injured, the other third in serious danger of being let go this summer and all the other players who aren’t currently in either of those groups are just tired, you’d be forgiven if you were less more that excited for the crawl until the finish that we have in sight.
And I won’t try to convince you otherwise, there really isn’t a ton to play, I wouldn’t blame you if you just haven’t watched the games. I know I wouldn’t, but I have to, it’s my job and I’m nothing but a professional.
But you, dear reader, you don’t have to impose yourself. That’s 270 minutes of your life that you can spend doing literally anything else. Read a book, exercise, binge watch, watch the entire director’s cut of “LOTR: Return of the King.” The world is your shell.
If you really feel the need to keep an eye on your beloved Juve, just check out the site after games and we’ll have all the reading content you crave, but there’s no longer a need to watch the career of Federico Bernardeschi in a Juve jersey, there really is not.
See you Friday.