Juventus had a pretty good start this season as along with Udinese, the “Old Lady” still topping the league table with eight points, but their recent results have been somewhat decreasing as after collecting two victories, the Turin giant only managed two draws against Bologna and Catania.
On that last two matches, especially the match against Catania, there’s a sight of evidence about how troubled Juve’s game if Andrea Pirlo is being given a “special” treatment by their opponent. This judgment however, is immediately denied by the Turin based outfit’s manager, Antonio Conte, who believed that his team is not centering their strength in only one player.
This is not true, we try to play as a team. It would be foolish to depend on one player, but Pirlo is great.” Conte said.
Conte’s recent statement about Pirlo’s importance on his team was a straight answer for the previous “attack” made by Catania’s sporting director, Pietro Lo Monaco, who specifically said that Juve players are lost when Pirlo isn’t performing or taken out from the team. Lo Monaco’s judgment isn’t just some random words as it’s purely based on the circumstances on the pitch where during the Gli Elefanti’s match against the Bianconeri, Pirlo was being man marked throughout the match and failed to show an optimal contribution.
“They are Pirlo-dependent, it is he who makes them play. If you take him out then the others become like ants and forsake their play,” Lo Monaco stated.
Watching at the Turin giant’s matches so far, Lo Monaco’s statement in actually pretty spot on as Pirlo has definitely been the one pulling the strings at Juve, dictating the tempo, setting up the wing attacks that Conte loved or playing direct assists for the strikers. This same issue apparently also happened during the Italian international’s midfielder time at Ac Milan or in the national team as whenever he played, the 32-years-old is always been the key man in the engine room.
Whether Conte refuse to admit it, by playing Pirlo in the team it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have a quality playmaker that will dictate everything in the midfield, other players is bound to connect with him and that can be a double edged sword especially in recent years. It’s not even a secret that many teams have been doing what Catania did last weekend, which is paying more attention on Pirlo’s movement on the pitch and try to minimize his influence as that tactic mostly work all the time considering the ex-Milan star is like the brain of every team he played on.