Falling the Italian giants poor showing in a 2-1 away loss to FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League, Capello did not hold back on his views about his former team. Slamming the team for lacking concentration, Capello took the bull by the horns in his post-match commentary for Sky Sport Italia, saying: “Entering the pitch without concentration is unacceptable, there was too much superficiality.
“Bentancur made a huge mistake in the first half and in the second half, eight defenders were not alert against three Porto players. This can’t happen.”
However, Capello was not alone in his critique of his former team. He was just one of the few Italians who reacted with concern at the state of the play for Juventus. Alongside Juve legend Alessandro Del Piero, the duo was concerned about what happens next for Juventus. However, even sterner words to come from a player who instead spent his career playing against, not for, Juve – Antonio Cassano.
What did Antonio Cassano say?
On Bobo TV, the channel run by Cristian Vieri, Cassano exploded in his review of the Biacnoneri’s UCL defeat. Speaking about the state of the team, he placed the blame on Andrea Pirlo being unable to fit Cristiano Ronaldo into the style of play intended. Speaking about the disconnect and the Portuguese talismans general lack of quality so far this year for Juve, he said: “I have always said, considering that he’s a phenomenon and has scored a billion goals, that it could be difficult with Andrea Pirlo’s idea of football.
“He scores a goal per game, it’s true, but struggles with the ideas of Andrea. He has always been a bit selfish; he doesn’t care about others scoring goals. He’s the kind of player who lives to score.
“He doesn’t live for the play, the great match, he lives for the goal and at this moment, the situation is getting worse. Years go by for everyone and he is having difficulties. Juventus are trying to change their ideas and play a different type of football, due to the qualities of Ronaldo.”
So, should Juve be concerned? It is clear that Pirlo and Ronaldo see the game differently. Despite having strong seasonal numbers, there has been long-term concern about how well Ronaldo can blend into the way that Pirlo would like to play. And given the huge cost that Juventus paid to get Ronaldo, can they really persist with a coach who can’t get the best out of him? Or will Ronaldo grow tired of trying to adapt in Turin first?
One thing is for sure – Juventus have regressed in recent times, and look set to continue their hunt for an identity that can win in Europe.