Torino, January 25th, 2021 – Following the loss against Inter, the Bianconeri needed nothing short of a win going into the game against Bologna. For both team morale and the Serie A standings, Juventus brought home those crucial three points. With both teams from Milan dropping points just a day before (Inter tied Udinese, Milan lost to Atalanta), this match was set up perfectly for a Juventus win to put the pressure on. Most are now beginning to notice that the Italian giant that is Juventus is now looming – and that we are all very far from the finish line.
“Yer a wizard Mckennie”
What will surely be one of the best storylines to come from this season is that of our American Boy, Weston Mckennie. When playing for Schalke 04 in Germany, Mckennie was deployed much differently – typically that of a holding midfield, the pivot for the German side. It seems within this Juventus side however, that Mister Pirlo has recognized a different vision for the American based on his (many) attributes, transitioning Mckennie into the role of a box to box midfielder. It did not take long for Juventus fans to fall in love with our Texan, as Weston (more often than not) has injected pace, urgency, and intensity within our often-lethargic midfield.
On Sunday against Bologna, Weston simply continued to show off his class and importance. Getting himself yet another goal in the black and white stripes, his confidence seems to be growing – our little wizard is bound to make life hard for any opponents in our way.
Pirlo seems to have found his XI
Following some experimentation and rotation during the first half of the season, it seems Mister Pirlo has now realized which players he would like to include in his starting XI. When Juventus is not riddled with injuries and illnesses, Pirlo’s fully fit starting XI is one that all onlookers can latch onto and depend on. One of the most important aspects in football, is the confidence that the manager has in his players – and it is evident that Pirlo thinks his team can achieve the goals that have been set, even in a transition year.
In the midfield, Pirlo has definitely realized the need to include both Mckennie and Arthur in matches going forward – and the difference has been obvious. Pirlo was rewarded with his choice, as both the American and Brazilian got themselves a goal.
Chances will come back to haunt us
When chances on goal present themselves during matches, it does not matter whether it’s Cristiano Ronaldo or Federico Bernardeschi – Juventus must be much more clinical. In the game on Sunday against Bologna, we had many chances to seal the game off before scoring our second goal. While granted, the Bologna keeper Łukasz Skorupski was making some incredible saves, these opportunities on goal will prove to be detrimental if not capitalized on.
Although the Bianconeri got the points at home against Bologna, this aspect of Juve’s game is definitely something that Pirlo should direct some of his attention toward. The season is half way over, and although there are many matches to be played, Juventus should be aiming to claim every point available for the taking. In what seems to be the most competitive season in quite some time, even just one point could prove to be the difference.