Big games are coming thick and fast. On Monday the boys travel to Rome again, just like they did roughly a month ago, looking for a very similar result. Lazio are the opponents this time round and for Juve to be within any chance of salvaging some positivity from this season, a win has to be imperative.
The game itself will not be an easy encounter, because whilst Lazio aren’t the same side they were during the opening stages of the 10/11 campaign, they’re still proving themselves to be a good side, as their 4th placed position in the Serie A table suggests. This means that they themselves have perhaps more to play for than ourselves, with them looking to fend off the advances of Udinese in order to grab that lucrative Champions League qualification place.
As things stand, we find ourselves 7th in the table, with 4 games left to play and with 3 points to make up on 6th placed Roma in order to secure a place in the Europa League next season. Now I know this topic is quite divided, there are some who see it either as “if we’re not in the Champions League, I’d rather us not be playing in Europe at all”, or there are those like myself who believe that definitely believe that should we qualify for Europe, we should take the competition seriously and then look to win the thing.
Sure, it isn’t as prestigious as it’s bigger brother, but for me, it’s still an important trophy and one that I’d really relish the prospect of winning. Look at the praise teams like Porto and Villarreal are receiving from their performances in the competition. It’s very positive and the competition can be a very good platform builder for the future, which it has proven to be in the past. Indeed both Porto and also Spanish side Sevilla coming to mind when I think about the Europa League (UEFA Cup back then) providing that platform to take the club to the next level, with Porto going on to win the Champions League the following season and with Sevilla going on to win a couple more trophies before sustaining themselves as a top 4 club in La Liga.
Obviously we have higher aspirations for where we want to be than both of those sides, but it’s still worth noting that as the cliché goes, “success breeds success” and winning a trophy of importance would be such a boost to many of the players in our squad who have yet to get their first taste of silverware, at least whilst at Juventus anyways.
Moving on, John Elkann has spoken on a number of things with regards to the future of the club – continuity, club objectives, finances and the role of the fans are on the agenda. It’s all very positive stuff, particularly with regards to more involvement at the club for the supporters and the potential for capital infusion (more transfer funds etc.) should they be required. Judging from what he’s said, the club seems to be heading in the right direction, at least off the pitch and especially now that Andrea Agnelli is here to run the football side of things. Of course it remains to be seen on whether or not Elkann follows through on all of his projections and whether or not he has the ability to deliver, but he certainly is able to talk a good game.
If you want to read what Elkann had to say, without his quotes being manipulated or falsified by any other media outlet, then pop on over to the always excellent Juventus Offside, where Aaron has kindly translated all of what Elkann had to say.
Have a good weekend, folks!