After the miserable results of the latest campaigns, there has been no end to the blame games played in Turin and among the diaspora of Juventini on the web. Fingers have been pointed in almost every direction, and it’s fair to say that very few involved with the club since 2006 can be said to be completely guilt-free. ‘A Point to Prove‘ is a new series where we will focus solely on the PLAYERS. In the end, they are the ones who need to perform to get us out of this mess – and quite a lot of them have… something to prove.
Step forward, Milos Krasic!
Cast your mind back one year… After the Dzeko saga finally came to its underwhelming conclusion, the arrival of the Serbian super-winger was hailed unanimously among media and fans. Krasic even further endeared himself to the bianconeri supporters by not only declaring his love for the club, but also backing his claim in very direct ways: he snubbed a move to ‘nouveau riche’ power house Manchester City, held out for Juve for months, and famously spent his own money in order to appear in Juve’s traditional Villar Perosa family match.
All was harmonious, and the warm feelings very mutual. As the season kicked off, the pacey blonde quickly established himself as a candidate for the signing of the season, not only at Juve but in all of the Serie A. He seemed unstoppable darting down the right, continually beating opposition fullbacks for pace and delivering deadly crosses or dangerous runs cutting inside.
However, by late October, Krasic experienced the flip-side of his growing stardom: he fell over very easily in the box away to Bologna, and as the referee failed to do the right thing and book him for this (rather common) offence and instead awarded a penalty kick to Juve; all hell broke loose. The phenomenal Milos Krasic became the ‘Cheating Serb’ in the media, prompting the ever unwavering and balanced FIGC to hand him a two-match ban…
This incident (and the resultant flat-out refusal of refs to award him any free-kicks after that) may well have had an impact on his game, all the while opponents slowly began to successfully stifle his output via double-marking (a feat made much easier by the poor support he received from Juve’s right-back position). The Krasic of the beginning of the season eventually faded, becaming merely the “MEEELOSH” shouted at by Del Neri for not tracking back.
A lot had to do with him being exhausted, of course, after playing the Russian season, the World Cup and Serie A without a break. And the complete horror show that was the first months of 2011 didn’t help either – although he must shoulder his part of the blame for that collective collapse – fatigued or not. Flashes of his former pace and skill showed in the latter part of the season, but the cries of ‘Milos! Milos! Krasic! Krasic!’ never regained the volume of old.
What is obvious, then, is that Krasic – despite all of the good performances he did deliver– still has a lot to prove this coming season in terms of consistency and variation of his game. As Marco made clear in his Juve vs. Cuneo match report, the Serbian seems to be back in peak fitness condition once more, but he is also still in need of coaching to fulfill his vast potential in a very tactically-minded league like Serie A.
I remain confident that he will succeed, though, I hasten to add. With the right guidance, his abilities will flourish once more, and all talk of that silly dive will soon be forgotten. With Lichtsteiner behind him, Krasic will have much better support than he was afforded last year. If on top of that Conte can fire him up in a productive way (more than Del Neri’s screaming seemed to be able to), Juve will again have a very, very powerful weapon on the right flank – and the chants will grow ever louder…