With the 2012-2013 Juventus season at an end Juventus stand alone at the top of Serie A, having successfully defended a consecutive title and crowned Champions of Italy for the 31st time. While victorious in the domestic league this latest campaign was not without its set-backs, including stumbles at the knock-out stages of both the Champions League and the TIM Cup Coppa Italia.
We here at JuventiKNOWS submit this season’s Pagelle for the Juventus first team, grading each player by position:
- Defenders Part 1, Part 2
- Midfielders Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
- Forwards Part 1, Part 2
And don’t miss our Juventus Primavera 2012-13 Season Review & Pagelle.
Andrea Agnelli: 9.0
by Aaron Giambattista
How far we’ve come under Andrea, his father would be immensely proud. Andrea took over after the disastrous 2009-2010 season, and has completely turned the club around, though it was not without hiccups as the miserable 2010-2011 season showed. Agnelli has put an enormous amount of faith in two men – Giuseppe Marotta and Antonio Conte, and it’s paid dividends. On a given day in Italy, half of Serie A fans think Marotta is incompetent and the other half think Conte should be jailed, yet Agnelli has wisely stood by them throughout.
There was intense speculation he’d sack Conte during the Calcioscommesse scandal and replace him (wait, stop me if you’ve heard this before) with Marcello Lippi, maybe Fabio Capello, yada yada yada. Instead of revisiting the past, Agnelli refused to make any impulsive moves and put faith in the future. Now, just 3 years after he formally took over the club leadership, Juventus is the dominant force in Italy, healthy on the financial books, developing a club for the future (Juventus Stadium, the Continassa project) and regaining its status as one of the elite European clubs.
Giuseppe “Beppe” Marotta: 7.0
by John Cascarano
Mister Bipps has done a fine job of rebuilding from the horrors of the Calciopoli and worse, the Secco eras. He’s certainly not without any mistakes, but last I checked, Bruce Springsteen* hasn’t registered with the FIGC for his sporting license. For the solid foundation he built which delivered two Scudetto, as well as a respectable showing in the Champions League in which Juventus eliminated the defending champions (but how quickly we forget), he deserves credit.
This summer, however, will be make-or-break for Marotta. For the same reasons he’s praised – an uncanny ability to identify low-risk, high reward signings which tend to work out – he’s also accused of having a provinciale mentality, unwilling to spend big on established, world-class talent, or unable to close a negotiation for such. With the work that he’s done in summer’s past, there are no other spare parts left to acquire, and the only notable hole to fill is in attack. Fernando Llorente was a nice start, and the 0 transfer fee should allow funds to be used to complete the front line. You’ve earned your 7, Beppe. But you’re standing over a lake of mediocrity with nothing but a centimeter-thick piece of ice holding you up.
*Bruce Springsteen remains, to this day, the only infallible person on Earth, since the death of Jesus Christ.
Antonio Conte: 9.0
by Aaron Giambattista
It’s been a superb season for Antonio Conte. Despite the turmoil in the summer over absurd allegations that this man voluntarily allowed his Siena to throw matches, he pushes on. Conte refused a plea bargain deal, and ended up being handed a 4 month suspension that brought up all sorts of questions as to the FIGC’s competence. The 4 months on the bench, including the entire Champion’s League group stage, must have felt like torture for a man who lives and breathes for football matches. There was ridiculous speculation that Juventus would abandon Conte, but Juventus fans knew the club would never do so.
It was a great year. Conte led his team to a repeat Scudetto, with the title more or less settled back in February. The team had some wonderful moments in the return to the Champion’s League, like the fightback at Stamford Bridge, qualifying in 1st place out of the group, the demolition job done on Celtic over two legs, etc. The team lost 4-0 on aggregate to Bayern Munich, but this was truly a Bayern for the ages. Considering Barcelona lost 7-0 on aggregate to the same team, Juventus performed reasonably well. In the end, Conte secured the Scudetto and the two teams he lost to in the cup, Lazio, in the Coppa Italia, and Bayern Munich, in the Champion’s League, went on to win those respective competitions. It hurts to lose, but if the team does, it might as well be beaten by the best.
The Bayern vs Juventus game showed the difference between two teams, one with tremendous European experience, and one without. The first match was a humiliation, despite the “low” 2-0 scoreline, the second, Juventus finally got to show a bit of what the team’s made of. Since the team was ousted from Europe, Conte and Marotta have been intensely scouting Champion’s League matches. While the papers would have you believe we’re bidding for Messi, or Lewandowski, it’s also likely that Conte is evaluating the elite European teams and seeing what makes them click.
Grazie Mister. Looking forward to next season.
Angelo Alessio: 8.0
by Lars Aabjerg Pedersen
Taking over from Carrera as his own ban ended before Conte’s, the assistant coach oversaw eight wins, two draws and two defeats (to Inter and Milan) in his twelve games at the helm. While criticized in some quarters for being less animated than the Mister and Carrera, he nevertheless delivered exactly what he was supposed to by beating a plucky Napoli side at a key point of the season and qualifying Juve to the knock-out stages of the Champions League as group winners (three wins, one draw in his four CL games).
While much of the credit for these achievements naturally goes to Conte, it is safe to say that had either of Carrera or Alessio failed to deliver, an unproportionate part of the blame would undoubtedly have been placed on the ”stand-in”. Taking that kind of pressure into consideration, and raising it even further in the case of Alessio’s hugely important mission to progress in the CL, the quiet gentleman did exceptionally well.
Massimo Carrera: 8.0
by Adam Digby
As we know, Antonio Conte was given a four month suspension for Carrobio being f.o.s. or his alleged failure to report a fixed match, whatever. Into the breach stepped Carrera, a former teammate of Conte’s from Marcello Lippi’s first spell in charge of the Bianconeri and a formidable defender in his prime. He would lead the team with the same determination and tactical awareness he displayed as a player, continuing the great on-field performances seen throughout 2011-12 as he ensured the team did not miss a beat.
He did a remarkable job, securing the win over Napoli in the Super Cup in Tokyo before returning to the peninsula where Juve won six of the seven Serie A matches which he took control of, drawing the other away to Fiorentina. With 4-1 demolitions of Roma and Udinese, his time in charge saw the Bianconeri outscore domestic opponents by seventeen goals to four, while he also oversaw two draws in the Champions League including the thrilling 2-2 at Stamford Bridge. Carrera played a vital role in ensuring the club’s title defence got off to the best possible start and seeing Conte, Alessio and ‘la Bandiera’ celebrate together was a wonderful image which summed up their relationship.