10 Reasons That Juventus Are Back On Top In The Serie A

It's been a tough few years for Juventus, but they're back on top of the Serie A and firing again. Here's 10 reasons that The Old Lady can regain their crown...
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It's been a tough few years for Juventus, but they're back on top of the Serie A and firing again. Here's 10 reasons that The Old Lady can regain their crown...

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Halfway through the Italian season and Juventus, for the first time since the Calciopoli scandal six years ago, are back on top of Serie A (at the time of writing), unbeaten and set to scrap it out with closest rivals Milan for their 27th scudetto (officially…) Last year they finished seventh. So what’s behind this Juve rejuvenation?

Casa Dolce Casa:

Even before the season got underway, the opening of the new Juventus Stadium, on the site of the much-maligned Stadio delle Alpi, with a reduced capacity (41,000) and hugely improved sightlines, ushered in a new era for La Vecchia Signora. Juve are the first top-tier club to own their stadium; all others are the property of local councils. Which means the two Milan clubs currently boast match-day revenue figures on a par with those of Charlton Athletic. The stadium was a pet project of…

Andrea Agnelli:

The 36-year-old club president may not be the most persuasive football man (rumours persist that he’s next in line to take over at Ferrari once Luca Di Montezemolo retires/enters politics), but for the club to bring in an Agnelli, a name loaded with echoes of former glories and Fiat patronage, was a potent signal of intent. As was the appointment of…

Antonio Conte:

The former captain, one of the club’s most successful players, enjoyed some success with stints at Siena (where he won promotion last season) and Bari, but he was still something of a risk. He could easily have been the Italian Bryan Robson; instead he’s been a revelation, a blend of Mourinho-esque attention to detail, Ferguson-esque work ethic and Ancelotti-esque pragmatism. All topped off with a crucial grounding in…

Lo stile Juve:

Juventus remain the country’s most popular club by a long old stretch, despite the 2006 scandal. Retaining an Italian spine, of both young and old native players, despite no European football on offer, has made it easier for Conte to foster a squad spirit. It’s something that has always fed through to the national team (“strong Juventus, strong Italy”). The Azzurri starting line-up has regularly included five or six of Conte’s charges in recent outings. Including a certain…

Andrea Pirlo
:

The former Milan regista was seen as approaching his sell-by date at San Siro. Never built for speed, his smooth passing and reading of the game remains as seductive as ever. Something of a boost to those supporters who were worrying that the club’s transfer market activity was possibly a little too…

Low cost:

Rebuilding that stadium didn’t come cheap (and failure to sell naming rights continues to be a problem) and dropping off the European radar has meant a tighter budget, but the club has bought wisely over the past 18 months, whilst generally keeping clear of star names. It’s all about…

Collective strength:

Conte gets the players to applaud the coaching staff, kit man, cleaner and anyone else who happens to be in the changing rooms after a game. A tad corny, but it’s one of the coach’s little tricks to get everyone working together as a unit, a little detail that adds a sense of direction and belief and maybe helps them to…

Beat teams around them
:

Wins against title rivals Milan, third-placed Udinese and the chasing pack Inter, Lazio and Roma have been crucial stepping stones in this current campaign. It’s something Milan have notably failed to do; the Rossoneri have the better goal-scoring stats, but the Turin club are better organised and run more, dictating pace. Which is all down to…

Athletic preparation
:

During Serie A’s two-week winter break, Juve travelled over to Dubai. Most players were probably looking forward to a bit of leisurely muscle stretching on the sands, or signing a few shirts. Conte had other ideas, working the squad through a series of training routines and gym sessions. Knackered-out players have nicknamed him “The Drill”, but that extra bout of winter workouts could yet make the difference in this season’s scudetto race, also helped by…

Lack of European competition
:

Until their recent Coppa Italia exploits, the Bianconeri have only had to think about weekend games. Failure to qualify for the Champions League has been a serious blow (both for prestige and accounts), but it’s allowed the perfectionist Conte to work to a ratio of two-three training days per game. A luxury he won’t have for long.

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