Claudio Ranieri Needs To Change Something If Juve Want To Be Successful Again

Danny PenzaSenior Writer IFebruary 26, 2009

Sometimes a coach is merely the scapegoat for his team's poor performances. Other times, he is the harbinger responsible for it.

Claudio Ranieri is the latter.

The old Tinkerman has done anything but live up to his reputation and the effects of running the same team out there each week is starting to show in tired legs and ragged bones.

Wednesday's 1-0 Champions League loss to Chelsea was the perfect example of a man who failed to recognize what his team needs.

The first 15 minutes against Chelsea were horrendous and Didier Drogba's 12th minute goal capped it off. It allowed the Londoners to sit back and defend, countering when convienent.

It took 45 more minutes of being down 1-0 for Ranieri to finally pull the trigger on an offensive switch in the 62nd minute. Though the away goal is so vital in these knockout rounds, the Italian coach waited util the 86th minute to give David Trezeguet a run-out in hopes of equalizing.

It just doesn't make much sense.

His reliance on the Old Guard has been well documented, but the reluctance to make a change when things aren't working is something that needs to be pointed out.

He has run Pavel Nedved into the ground since he took control of Juve last season.

Players are tired and unproductive but Ranieri dogmatically runs them out there and the results these first two months of 2009 are an effective rendering of it.

Juve have young talent on their squad, but Ranieri is hesitant to use them.

Claudio Marchisio came on in the 62nd minute and provided a spark, but he should have been starting to begin with. Giovinco wasn't even on the bench against Chelsea.

Again, it doesn't make sense.

Ranieri has put midfielder Momo Sissoko, a tackling machine, in a more offensive role, one that sees him try a motor Juve's offense instead of stopping the opponent's attack. This has exposed his incredibly poor passing and he negated his great tackling due to the fact the ball is given right back to the other team.

Add to that Ranieri's infatuation with leftback Cristian Molinaro, a player who is blessed with great pace down the wing but that's about it.

Molinaro is, and surely will be as long as he is with the team, the bianconer's whipping boy. He has improved, don't get me wrong, but his performances have never been anything to blow your mind.

His crossing is atrocious and yet the plan is to get it to him wide and have him swing one in there hoping to find the head of somebody. If you saw his free kick attempt a few weeks back will understand what exactly is being talked about.

But Sissoko and Molinaro are in the lineup every week while they continue to turn in just as many poor outings as they do quality ones.

Still doesn't make any sense.

Yet this is the Ranieri that Juve fans have seen the entire year. One that is unwilling to change whether we like it or not. He still has the backing of the hierarchy in Turin, but all those good vibes don't always last forever.

If Juve want something done and get at least one piece of hardware this season, Ranieri is going to have to think of something fast. The old Tinkerman might actually have to tinker.