Black and White Stripes Weekly Column: Your Home for Everything Juventus
After a long absence, we'd like to welcome you once again to Black and White Stripes, a weekly column that provides Juventus fans with all the news surrounding their favourite team in one easy-to-use article.
Black and White stripes is a collaboration between myself and my esteemed colleague, Adrian Agius.
In the next couple of slides, you'll find everything you need to know regarding transfer rumours, reviews of the past week, the latest news coming out of Turin and a little history (not the boring kind).
Editorial: New Year's Resolutions Not Going as Planned in Turin
By Adrian Agius.
It would seem that the extended Serie A break has not brought about much good fortune for Juventus, as the Bianconeri continue to drop points in the league.
Juve’s lacklustre performances of late have seen the gap at the top of the Serie A closed to just three points, with Lazio hot on their heels. With critics putting the recent slump down to everything from fatigue to age, I’d argue the Old Lady have simply lapsed in concentration, something I think Conte won’t let last too long.
I mean, if you take a look at where Juve have conceded in the league since the turn of the New Year, you will notice a combination of poor defending and a lack of concentration are to blame.
Perhaps it is complacency?
Regardless, come kickoff against Udinese, Juventus will need to produce the form which saw them comprehensively dominate Serie A in 2012.
Udinese currently lie in eighth place. Along with that, injuries to Claudio Marchisio and Giorgio Chiellini will rob Conte of some experience, but the likes of Martin Caceres and Paul Pogba should comfortably step up.
Expect Juventus to fire against the Zebrette, and cement their position at the top of the Serie A.
Juventus vs. Udinese: January 19, 20:45 (local time).
Latest Transfer Rumours
With Giuseppe Marotta's latest comments regarding Juve's transfer policies (more on those later) it seems like the fans can once again box up their dreams of the team making a big-name signing in the January transfer window.
The Bianconeri have instead turned their attention to Ciro Immobile (per Goal.com). The Italian youth international is currently plying his trade for Genoa, who are co-owners of the player along with the Bianconeri.
Immobile has impressed during the first part of the season, and with the loss of Nicklas Bendtner, Juve's strike force is looking a bit thin.
Another possibility would be Spanish striker Fernando Llorente. While Llorente looks set to join the team on a free transfer during the summer, Goal.com understands that the Bianconeri have made a final offer to his current club, Athlétic Bilbao.
Bilbao are reluctant to sell their disgruntled forward, so a move appears to be unlikely, but this is still a situation worth looking into for the Old Lady.
For all the latest transfer news, make sure to check Bleacher Report regularly! The Juventus transfer tracker would be a nice place to start.
What Are They Saying?
Giuseppe Marotta: The team's general manager told Sky Sports Italia (via Goal.com) that Juventus won't be making any big-name signings in the January transfer window. The Bianconeri will instead look at several of the players returning from injury and are confident that the current roster will suffice in Juventus' hunt for domestic and European glory.
Antonio Conte: Conte lashed out at the Italian media, claiming that his team receives an "unfair treatment." Corriere Dello Sport were the first to break the news (via Goal.com) and his words have since become a hot topic around Italy.
Conte feels like controversial decisions in his team's favour are magnified immensely, whereas decisions benefiting other teams are often overlooked. The coach also talked about Napoli, Inter, Lazio and Milan, calling them "top quality sides" and claiming the title race has always been a wide-open contest.
Leonardo Bonucci: The experienced defender has put the blame for Juve's recent slump in the team's attitude (per Juventus.com). Bonucci urged his teammates to "rediscover the hunger and humility that drive this team."
Andrea Pirlo Voted in UEFA's Team of the Year
The voters for the Ballon d'Or might have completely forgotten about Andrea Pirlo, but at least the fans didn't.
The Juventus midfielder was voted into UEFA's starting XI after a fantastic year that saw him win the Serie A title and guide his country all the way to the Euro 2012 final, only to lose to Spain.
Pirlo put together a spectacular performance over the past 12 months, so his inclusion in the team doesn't come as a surprise. Fans can only hope for a similar performance in 2013.
The entire starting XI:
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF & Spain)
Defender: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid CF & Spain)
Defender: Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona & Spain)
Defender: Thiago Silva (AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain FC)
Defender: Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München & Germany)
Midfielder: Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona & Spain)
Midfielder: Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona & Spain)
Midfielder: Andrea Pirlo (Juventus & Italy)
Midfielder: Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF & Germany)
Forward: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF & Portugal)
Player Profile: Mauro Camoranesi
Name: Mauro Camoranesi
Position: Right Midfielder
Kit Number: 16
Years at Juventus: 9 years
Juventus fans present during the years of Mauro Camoranesi will surely never forget the winger’s distinct ponytail, which he donned for most of his time in Turin. Whilst his pace and sheer brilliance with the ball were perhaps his most impressive characteristics, Camoranesi will also be remembered as one of the most loyal Bianconeri in the club’s history.
His years at the club may be less celebrate than those of other players, but the fact that the Italian stood by the Old Lady during Calciopoli was a decision for which fans and the club will forever be grateful. Aged 36, Mauro still takes to the field professionally for Racing Club; despite this, it will be his time at Juventus which will define his career in the years to come. Forza Mauro, Forza Juve.
If you would like a specific player looked at, let us know in the comments below.
Flashback File: UEFA Champions League 2003 Semi-Final; Juventus vs Real Madrid
Full Time: Juventus 3-1 Real Madrid
The semifinal of the 2003 UEFA Champions League will go down as one of the greats in the competition's history. It was a night Turin will never forget, as Juventus went on to sweep aside Real Madrid at the Stadio delle Alpi.
Following their 2-1 win at the Bernabeu in the opening fixture of the semi, Madrid were welcomed to Turin as favourites to qualify for the Final.
With seemingly all the odds against them, Juventus did the impossible and went through at the expense of Madrid with goals from David Trezeguet, Alessandro Del Piero and Pavel Nedved.
An inspirational performance by Gianluigi Buffon—who saved a penalty—also added to the magic of the night, which would surely live on in all the memories of the Juventus faithful.
Juventus went on to lose on penalties in the Final.
So there you have it: our first edition of the all new Black and White Stripes. We hope you liked the read and would greatly appreciate any feedback you might have.
Starting next week, we'll also feature a review of the games played in the past week and a detailed look ahead at the next fixtures.
Make sure to let us know what you thought about our little "magazine" in the comment section, and if there are any specific players or events from Juventus' rich history you'd like us to present in the next editions, just shout!
On second thought, shouting probably won't do you much good. Type it, and send it to us. Much more effective.