JUVE MANAGE DRAW

Juventus recently could only manage a 2-2 draw against Verona, which may not have hurt their title chances match, but manager Antonio Conte decided to punish the players by not giving them a day-off after the match.

This tactic by the manager drew criticism of the former Juventus coach and current Russian national team manager, Fabio Capello. He is regarded as one of the finest Italian managers of all time after having lifted numerous titles with several clubs over the years. However, Conte has reacted to this criticism by saying that Capello’s time at Juventus will be regarded as a failure.

During Capello’s time at the club, they managed to lift two league titles, but the big talking point came when the titles were stripped off due to match fixing. On the contrary, Conte managed to guide the team from the second division of Italian football to their first title since the match fixing scandal. Capello is currently in charge of the Russian national team and he has recently signed a new contract that will keep him beyond the World Cup 2014. Conte has suggested that Capello should focus on looking after his work rather than giving opinions about the works of others.

Juventus are currently nine points ahead of second placed Roma and are favourites to win a third straight league title.

“I’ve heard a lot of stupid things regarding the decisions I make. Capello likes to stick his nose in where it’s not wanted. Of his (Capello’s) two years in charge, I don’t remember much football but rather the two revoked scudetti. Other great former Bianconeri coaches, like (Marcello) Lippi and (Giovanni) Trapattoni are respectful and educated regarding other people’s work. It seems that when a football guru (Capello) speaks out we should all be silent and pay reverence,” said Conte.

NO TRANSFERS

The manager of Juventus, Antonio Conte, has said that he doesn’t want anyone from his team to take a transfer in the mid season transfer window.

Quite a few Juventus players are speculated to be on their way overseas in January. Paul Pogba (France), Andrea Pirlo (Italy) and Mirko Vucinic (Montenegro) are among those players.

Vucinic is believed to be willing for an away move because he hasn’t been getting enough playing time at Juventus stadium, while, Pirlo’s contract is going to finish next summer. So, he can now start getting in touch with other clubs. As far as Pogba is concerned, he is a guy whom most of the clubs around the world are interested in and Juventus is certainly going to receive a couple of bids for him in January.

Conte is pretty satisfied with the players that he has got at the moment and he has no plans whatsoever to put anybody on sale in near future.

Talking to the reporters yesterday, the Juventus boss said, “I am not going to try and sell anyone, but, if someone wants to leave, I obviously can’t put pressure on him to stay.”

When asked if there are chances that Pirlo and Pogba would be given contract extension by the club in the upcoming weeks, Conte said, “I think you are not asking this question to the right man. It’s the job of the director general to take decisions on these issues. My job is to coach the team.”

Juventus had become the Serie A Champion in the last season and it seems they are on their way to do it again this season. They are placed at the top of the Serie A 2013-14 Table with 49 points in 18 games.

Juventus Target Liverpool And Bayern Munich Forwards

Italian club Juventus have been linked with big amount moves for Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic or Liverpool’s Luis Suarez during the transfer window early next year. The Bianconeri are expecting to add on their striking choices with Mirko Vucinic awaited to leave at the seasons end and they are also keeping a close eye on 2 of the biggest footballers in Europe.

Recent reports suggest that Juventus is looking for Croatias Mandzukic and it is expected that he would command a fee of approximately 20 million. A newspaper claimed that Ivan Cvjetkovic, the agent of Mandzukic, was in spectators’ stands during Juventus’ 2 – 2 Champions League match draw against Real Madrid. At present, Mandzukic has 8 goals in h is kitty in twelve league appearances.

In the mean time, a leading United Kingdom based tabloid reported that Juventus have already offered EPL side Liverpool a swap contract of midfield player Claudio Marchisio as well as defense player Leonardo Bonucci for Uruguayan Luis Suarez.

In the mean time, it was also reported that Serie A title holders Juventus are also interested in Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa.

The Japanese player has failed to make an impact at Manchester United and he has seen his 1st team opportunities increase all the more limited under new manager David Moyes. There are reports that the former Borussia Dortmund player could accept a fresh new offer from a new club and he might join Juventus of they are interested in him.

LLORENTE A REVELATION

After pursuing Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente for a long time, Juventus finally managed to sign the striker in the summer on a free transfer from the Spanish club. He agreed to move to the Italian club back in January itself.

However, the move to the Italian champions has not been a smooth transition for the Spaniard, who has struggled to hold down a first-team spot at the club. He has also failed to score a league goal up until the weekend’s match against Hellas Verona. In the match against Hellas Verona, Llorente finally scored his first goal for Juventus.

The lack of goals from the striker has been a concern for manager Antonio Conte, who did not use him even when Juventus were chasing the game against FC Copenhagen in the Champions league midweek action a few days ago.

In fact, Llorente has found first-team opportunities limited for the last year or so ever since he became a contract rebel at Athletic Bilbao. He scored less than 10 goals for the Spanish club last season, and it appears that he is still a long way off from becoming the feared striker. Conte has said that the goal from Llorente is a major boost for his confidence, and he hopes that the Spaniard makes use of this confidence to build on.

“Fernando did well, he can do better, this goal will certainly boost his confidence and that of all of us who worked hard to get him back into shape. It was planned that he would play one of the three games this week. I chose Verona, as we were on home turf and the fans could help him. We cannot afford to think there are players who can’t be dropped. We play every three days, they need to rest and squad rotation is essential, so soon enough Carlos Tevez will also be rested,” said Conte.

STRONGER THIS SEASON

Juventus have strengthened their attack substantially by bringing in the likes of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente during the summer transfer window. Juventus manager Antonio Conte acknowledged that the strikeforce of the team needed to be strengthened substantially in order to challenge for the Champions League title.

Llorente arrived on a free transfer, while Carlos Tevez was a £ 10 million signing from Manchester city. Juventus already have one of the strongest midfield in Europe due to the presence of players like Andrea Pirlo and Vidal.

They featured their new strike partnership in the match against Everton. Juventus are currently in the USA for their pre-season tour. They took on Everton in the Guinness International Champions Cup match. Even though neither Tevez nor Llorente scored in the encounter, Conte was happy with the partnership shown by the two on the pitch. The match finished as a 1-1 draw with midfielder Vidal scoring the only goal for the Italians through a penalty. Conte has said that Tevez and Llorente did not score in the match, but they showed enough promise that they can lead the club to success in the coming season.

Conte also recently revealed that he is targeting a third straight Italian league title with Juventus this season.
“I think that [Tevez and Llorente] are working well together and working very hard together, just as the whole team is doing. The legs were a little bit tired. We’re working on that and getting back into the rhythm of things.

But overall this evening I enjoyed the attitude of these two players and this couple playing together. Two highly competent forwards came in, also Ogbonna in defense. Overall the level of the players coming in has increased the competitiveness of the team,” said the Juventus manager. Juventus have not won three straight league titles since 1931.

THIRD TIME LUCKY

Juventus will be going into the new season as the champions, and they will be looking to repeat the feat for a third successive campaign. They could be one of the few teams who have managed to win the Italian Serie A title thrice in succession.

Aside from going for the league title, Antonio Conte has said that he also wants the club to do well in the Champions league as well. Recently, Juventus were announced as the biggest winners of the Champions League campaign last season because they collected more than £ 55 million in prize money.

This is even more than the eventual winners of the competition, Bayern Munich. This is due to the fact that only two teams managed to qualify for the group stages of the competition from Italy. Juventus have already brought in the likes of Carlos Tevez in the last few weeks to strengthen the squad. Conte has said on several occasions that he would like to bring in a top quality striker to the squad and this request has been fulfilled by the arrival of Tevez. The Argentine striker has been one of the best strikers in the world over the last seven years and he cost the club only around £ 10 million.

“It has been an intense pre-season so far, but it has certainly been excellent. We’ve worked very hard for 10 days, with double training sessions, and we are pleased with having achieved our target. We’re also very happy from the point of view that we haven’t suffered any injuries and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that continues,” said Conte.

Juventus were able to come out of the pre-season in the last 10 days without any major injuries, which was a major positive aspect for the manager who is already regarded as one of the best young managers in the world.

PREMIER AMBITIONS

Juventus manager Antonio Conte has said that he would one day like to manage in the Premier league. The Italian has led Juventus to back-to-back league titles and he is one of the revered managers in world football right now. The success that Juventus have achieved in recent years has been coming back to the club after almost a decade.

Conte is one of the most wanted managers in world football, and he has expressed his desire to manage a Premier league club one day. The 43-year-old, who represented Juventus as a midfielder for more than 400 matches, has said that he will find it difficult to leave Juventus at some stage in his career.

Conte has expressed his ambition to surpass the achievements of Fabio Capello’s Juventus, who managed to win back-to-back titles – although they were stripped of the club due to match fixing. Conte has a contract with Juventus until the summer of 2015, but there has been indications from the club that they would like to keep him at the club for much longer. Juventus managed to go unbeaten in the previous campaign, while they have suffered just five defeats this campaign. They managed to steal the title with three matches remaining in the season.

“It’s not a secret the fact that I would like to work abroad. I hope, in the future, to be a coach in the Premier League. I’m in the place I’ve always dreamt to be when I started my career as a manager. I’ve made my dream come true, we’ve won two consecutive titles, now the bar concerning our expectations is being raised exponentially.

I didn’t go abroad as as a football player. I would love to do it as a manager. I have this aspiration, as this would enable me to improve my professional career,” said Conte.

JUVE NOT AT THEIR BEST

Despite having a lead in the Italian Serie A table, the champions Juventus have not been at their best in recent weeks. This has allowed their rivals like Napoli and Inter Milan to close the gap at the top of the table.

Juventus have managed just two wins in the last five matches, which has allowed Napoli to come level on points with them. It was only a few weeks ago that Napoli were 10 points behind Juventus. The title seemed only a few months away from the cusp of the current champions, but this poor form has put the title race firmly back on.

Despite this poor run of form, the manager Antonio Conte has said that he is confident that Juventus can win the title. He has argued that the poor form of the team in recent weeks has just been down to the lack of luck. Conte has also pointed out to the fact that they still remain top of the table, while they have also qualified for the semifinals of the Coppa Italia and the last 16 stage of the Champions league. Juventus have brought in the former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka – a move that is expected to strengthen the attack, which has always been not at its best in recent years.

“Is it a difficult time for us? If I look at the table, then I’d say no. If I see we are through to the Champions League knockouts and reached the Coppa Italia semi-final, then I say no. We deserved more against Lazio, both home and away, despite the fact we used the Coppa to help players gain experience and get more playing time. A coach cannot just look at the result. It can happen that you try to give your all, but then concede two goals with the only real chances. I am not worried,” said Conte.

LIPPI BACKS JUVE

The former Italian national team manager Marcelo Lippi has praised the Juventus manager Antonio Conte by saying that he expects the current Italian champions to remain top of the table at the end of this season as well.

The manager recently returned to the Juventus dugout after serving a four-month ban after being found guilty of being involved in match fixing. The manager, though, has been one of the key members of the rival of Juventus into one of the top clubs in Italy once again. Juventus thought that their glory days of winning the Italian Serie A championship numerous times were over after their relegation in 2006.

However, Conte not only managed to get Juventus top of the table last season, but he did so by keeping the team undefeated through the entire season. Even though the undefeated run has recently come to an end, Juventus still remain top of the table this season. They also have a sizeable advantage of 10 points over the chasing pack, which makes them the clear favourites for the title once again. Ahead of the break in the Italian division during the Christmas period, Lippi has said that he expects Juventus to win the title again this season.

“Antonio Conte has brought back the ‘Juventus spirit’ and identity, a concept that people outside the club do not always understand. I am referring to the work ethic and ferocity in searching for results that represent the Juve DNA, but had been slightly lost in recent years. The comparisons with my Juve, or those of Fabio Capello and Giovanni Trapattoni, are understandable because we are all united by that culture,” said Marcelo Lippi. Juventus have already lost two matches this season, but the poor form shown by the likes of Inter Milan and AC Milan mean that they have not been challenged so far.

LUCIO SET TO LEAVE

The former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan defender Lucio has said that he is extremely keen on leaving the Italian club Juventus either in January or in the summer after falling down the pecking order. Lucio joined the Italian champions in the summer from Inter Milan, with whom he spent three successful years.

Prior to moving to Inter Milan, the Brazilian defender was one of the first choice players at Bayern Munich. He was extremely successful at the German club winning numerous Bundesliga titles amongst many trophies. However, his best period in the European football came in 2010 when he was an integral part of the Inter Milan team that won the treble under the guidance of José Mourinho.

The 34-year-old has now revealed that he is now considering leaving the Italian champions in the January transfer window. He has been picked for the first team by the manager for only three matches this season. He has also revealed that there are a number of clubs interested in securing his services. Due to the fact that he does not have a long time remaining in the game, he wants to maximise his chances of playing football. Hence, he wants to leave to a club where he can play regular first-team football.

“(Juve coach Antonio) Conte doesn’t pick me, so I want to leave. I’m not happy in Turin because I’m not playing. These have been some difficult months because the coach doesn’t consider picking me. I want to leave and find a club that will let me play. Wolfsburg? That would be a good opportunity. I spent a lot of great years in Germany. If I started talking about returning to Germany my children would get really excited,” said Lucio. Juventus are currently top of the table once again.