Juventus supporters from Twitter, @blvckgianni, @Napoleonismo & @AdamoStatman, shared their insights on significant Bianconeri related themes – the display of the debutants, Denis Zakaria and Dusan Vlavic, Giorgio Chiellini’s injury and the performances of Juve’s players vs Verona – in an interview below.
Both Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria made a remarkable debut vs Verona on Sunday by scoring a goal on their opening night.
Other than being clinical, based on what you saw, what are their next attributes that could keep bringing Juve to the next level night in and night out, in your eyes?
@blvckgianni: “Starting with Zakaria, his best attributes that he brings to Juve are his defensive capabilities. While it was nice to see him get on the scoresheet, Bianconeri shouldn’t get used to it because he is, after all, a defensive midfielder. His best attribute will be playing above the defence which will allow Locatelli to play higher up the pitch in what I believe to be his better position. As for Vlahovic, the best attribute he brings to Juve is his athleticism. He is able to find pockets of space and make intelligent runs in order to put himself into goal scoring opportunities, he is also a true aerial treat which means Juve can have a true target man again. He is also phenomenal at free kicks and almost perfect at converting penalties.”
@Napoleonismo: “Vlahovic looks like he has the right attitude, he looks hungry for titles, and gives me Ronaldo vibes. He is also significantly better than Morata in the air and more aggressive. Zakaria, on the other hand, adds muscle and is a really good ball winner, decent passer too, presence on the opponents’ box… Top midfielder if Allegri uses him rightly (25% chance of that happening).”
@AdamoStatman: “I have been analyzing Dusan Vlahovic pretty much every day for a year now he has basically come as advertised. He is a beast. Physically, no one can compare with him in Europe. I mean, there is maybe just a couple of guys that play in his position that possess his strength and his one-touch skill. So, yes, for Juventus, he is going to bring this edge night in and night out. For about two years now, this is what he has been training for. Vlahovic knew he was coming to Juventus or a top club once his contract expired with Fiorentina. He has been working with nutritionists, trainers, working really hard in the gym because he has that same mentality as Cristiano Ronaldo. He just wants to win and be the best and he will sacrifice everything to accomplish that goal. The goal is also winning trophies and winning the highest trophy of them all, of course, the UEFA Champions League, at Juventus. Plus, he aims to be the best player in the world at his position, so that alone can only help keep bringing Juve to the next level night in and night out. He is going to be the guy. He has the right motivation. With Denis Zakaria, it is a little bit different, it looked like he was playing in a 4-4-2 when he was playing on the wing there, but that is not his usual place. I watched him play a lot when he was in Germany at Borussia Mönchengladbach, and he was more of a box-to-box midfielder, so in his goal situation, he knew when to make the run when receiving a pass from Morata. That confirmed what I saw in Germany. He is a box-to-box player. Also, he is fantastic at making tackles. Depending on where Allegri puts him on the pitch, we will either see his tackling ability more or less. When playing more on the side where Allegri put him vs Verona, we won’t see much of that defensive Zakaria’s side.”
Reports say that Giorgio Chiellini will most likely be unavailable for approximately 20 days. His calf problem is more serious than how we originally presumed.
That said, are you afraid this might start another tough period (injury-wise) for Juve’s captain? After all, it seemed he might be closer than ever to the end of his career, just in the time when he was struggling with injuries.
@blvckgianni: “Unfortunately, at this stage in Chiellini’s career and with his most recent trajectory, it’s almost as if we should expect him to get injured. It sucks, but it’s the unfortunate truth that we can no longer rely on him to stay fit and have to play him sparingly in order to ensure he is fit for the biggest matches because when fit he is still, in my eyes, one of the best defenders in Italy.”
@Napoleonismo: “He has been constantly injured these last 3 years and should retire like Barzagli did. You can’t have a CB that is fit for 3 games every season, even if you pay him almost nothing. Hoping he doesn’t turn into Buffon 2.0.”
@AdamoStatman: “When we talk about captain Chiellini and his calf, I think at this point, it is almost chronic. This is not something that just came out of nowhere. It has been happening quite a bit, especially with that calf. At his age, it is chronic, so he will be out for about 20 days, but I would not be surprised if the same thing happened again when he came back. It is too bad we don’t have Gatti right now because we could have used him. Thank God, Bonucci came back, and Daniele Rugani seems to be in a better form of late, so maybe we can rely on those two players rotating in and out with Mathijjs de Ligt. That is gonna have to do for now. Hopefully, when Chiellini comes back, we just use him sparingly. One important match here and there, specifically in the UCL.”
Many Juventus fans had different feelings about the home game vs Verona. And yet, most of them agreed on the fact that the three points were crucial and that it was a comfortable win thanks to overall good team performance.
Nevertheless, could you please choose two players (other than the debutants) that you personally found the best and say why?
@blvckgianni: “The MOTM to me was undoubtedly Zakaria, but if I have to choose two players who were not the debutants, I would select Morata and Dybala. Playing in a new role, Morata was seemingly unlocked. I have long been a fan of Morata and find him criminally underrated (aside from his finishing which I don’t deny needs work, to say the least) but he has always been a complete striker who helps in defending and playmaking. This was on full display on Sunday as he was the player who created the most chances as well as having 4 recoveries and 2 tackles on top of his assist. The second player I found to be the best was Dybala. The ‘man of the first half’ was undoubtedly Paulo. As is the case with most games this season, Paulo was everywhere and running the show for the Bianconeri. The Argentinian was once again pulling the strings and orchestrating the Juventus attack like he routinely does before setting up Vlahovic with an incredible ball to provide an assist on the opener. Juventus priority has to be to extend him, especially with the uncertainty of Morata’s future up in the air.”
@Napoleonismo: “Arthur and De Sciglio, Juve’s two best players in 2022. They are essential to the team and should always start, especially ahead of nobodies like Danilo/Cuadrado and McKennie/Rabiot. De Sciglio’s crossing has been phenomenal, 2002 Beckham wise, and has also been really decent on defense. Arthur, meanwhile, controls the tempo of the game, he is Juve’s best passer, and makes everyone play better.”
@AdamoStatman: “For me, the game of Morata was top. I hope this is what we are going to see from Morata. He can play at that position. Given place, he can have great runs with the ball. Maybe now that they have to keep an eye on a player like Vlahovic, it could give a bit more space to Morata that can be deadly with enough space. So yeah, for me, Morata was obviously the best player on the pitch besides Vlahovic. I would maybe even put him ahead of the second goal scorer Zakaria. After Alvaro, we can talk about Paulo Dybala, who had the incident coming off the pitch, had a beautiful assist, which took perfect touch and class, and that’s what Dybala can possess. When you are playing a game when one or two goals provide the difference, Dybala can bring it by one play here and there and just anytime he can make a play. That assist alone has to make him the second-best after Morata vs Verona. Also, De Sciglio does not play outside of himself and knows what he can do. He is comfortable, and I am starting to like his game too. He stays in his comfort zone. Lately, he seems to be playing with a lot of confidence because of that.”
Huge thanks to the 3 Juventus fans, @blvckgianni, @Napoleonismo & @AdamoStatman, for dedicating their time to answer my questions. Do not forget to drop them a follow and remember to stay tuned for similar Q&A’s at Max Statman.