Juventus: Bianconeri Rankings for September
So with the last Serie A games of September played, it gives us chance to assess the performance of the players over the first month. Here their average rating is used to rank them over this six game period, culminating in the first "Player of the Month" award.
The squad seems to have gelled well, all the new additions have made valuable contributions, and the veterans haven't disappointed either. Some surprising results such as the draws with Livorno and Bologna are tempered by two huge victories in the capital, over Roma and Lazio.
Coach Ferrara seems to have started well too, dealing with both a busy schedule and a number of injuries. As the month ends he seems to be getting all his squad fit, which will present the challenge of keeping them all happy.
On to the rankings then, which are sure to cause debate. I hope you enjoy the show!
The players missing out on the top 10 fall into three categories.
First come those who haven't played—or played much this month—such as Zebina, Grygera, and Poulsen (all rating 6), or Del Piero, Sissoko and Molinaro.
Then there are those who've come of the bench to provide solid backup, like De Ceglie and Giovinco (6.1).
The third category contains one player: Amauri. He averages 5.9 over the six games, despite rating a seven in the opening two games. Since then his performance has been affected by his goal-less streak.
With his confidence shot and Del Piero fit again, Amauri might be getting splinters for much of October.
10. Martin Caceres
Average Rating 6.2 - 1 goal
His debut against Lazio was impressive. The Uruguayan, on loan from Barcelona, looked assured in attack and defence. His goal was well taken, a difficult half volley in a crowded penalty area. More performances like this and he'll establish himself as first choice over Grygera and Zebina.
9. David Trezeguet
Average Rating 6.38 - 3 goals
Much like Caceres, Trezeguet marked his seasonal debut in the Lazio game with a goal. His, however, marked a much more emotional return to the side after a long spell on the sidelines due to injury. As always, his only input to the team is his goals, but with three in four games, its a valuable contribution.
8. Mauro Camoranesi
Average Rating 6.5
Camoranesi started the season out of the side, and with a narrow three man midfield, the winger must have wondered how he'd get back in. Following an injury to Tiago he slotted in well, playing almost as a regista, setting the tempo and dictating the play.
After Giovinco failed to provide enough cutting edge in the trequartista role, Camo was moved there for the Genoa game, where he gave his best game of the season.
The following game saw Diego return, so it was Camo again moved to accomodate him. Barely missing a beat, he played well again, proving valuable to the team. Tiago is now the reserve to him.
7. Fabio Grosso
Average Rating 6.83
The newest addition to the squad could prove to be Europes bargain transfer of the summer. Solid in defence, tireless in attack, Grosso ensures the width is there down the left.
An idea solution to a problem position, he is almost guaranteed the starting slot due to the poor performances of De Ceglie and Molinaro so far this season.
6. Claudio Marchisio
Average Rating 6.85 - 1 goal
Turin-born youngster who displays a maturity in every performance, Marchisio has been the only constant in an ever changing midfield. His tireless running and selfless attitude are the hallmark of the whole side.
His understanding with Grosso is also a huge plus. Missed a few good chances in front of goal, but still has the confidence to keep trying. Looks to be a better player in every game he plays.
5. Felipe Melo
Average Rating 6.88 - 1 goal
His rating ties him for third place. Was meant to be the known quantity among the summers additions, coming as he did from Fiorentina, but the Brazilian has surprised many. We expected, and got, a tough tackling, no nonsense, hot tempered ball winner.
What we didn't expect was that he also is a long range goal threat, a good carrier of the ball, has a good range of passing, and displays an intelligence for the game. These qualities have made him a favourite with the fans already, as did his goal celebrations in Rome.
Vital to the side already, Momo Sissoko will have to be in fine form to displace any of them.
Average Rating 6.88 - 3 goals
Was undoubtedly man of the match in the opening two games, Diego would be higher in the rankings were it not for the injury sustained against Lazio. This kept him out of the side and limited his performance in the Bologna game.
Seems to have already settled into life in Italy, and if he can recreate his performance in the Roma game, a recall to his national team cannot be far away. Looks to be the signing of the summer, with seemingly no limit on his potential.
3. Vincenzo Iaquinta
Average Rating 6.88 - 3 goals
Seems to have jumped from fourth choice striker to guaranteed starter in just six games. His goals have opened up games in which Juventus were struggling, and his running has allowed space for the more creative players to dominate games.
The poor form of Amauri seems to be magnified when put in contrast with the rich vein of form Iaquinta is currently in. Also has goals for Italy and in the Champions League this month, probably behind only Di Natale and Cassano in terms of in form strikers.
2. Giorgio Chiellini
Average Rating 6.92
The big defender is probably the only surprise on the list, and is the most consistent performer this month. Instrumental in keeping the defence together, he has played very well despite not having a regular partner, and seeing three different players at left back.
The return of Cannavaro seems to have inspired Chiellini, and he has raised his game, making him the definite starter, leaving Cannavaro and Legrottaglie to battle for the other shirt. His goal line clearance in the Bologna game was amazing.
1. Gianluigi Buffon
Average Rating 6.97 - 3 clean sheets
Buffon has made the difference in games for Juve, as well as Italy this month. Gradually returning to the form which makes him the worlds best ever keeper, Superman is most definately back in the building! Man of the match performances against Livorno and Lazio saw Juventus win points they really had no right to.
An obvious choice as the first Player of the Month. Hopefully the team will improve so much that Buffon doesn't win it too often, but thanks to Gigi we're challenging the dominance of Inter.
October sees Juventus travel to Palermo and Siena, whilst a difficult home game with Fiorentina looms large. In between those games are the last World Cup qualifiers and two important Champions League games with Haifa.
Juventus welcome the return from injury of Alessandro Del Piero, and hopefully the Captain can force his way both into the side, and the top ten. Cannavaro should also return, leaving just Sissoko as the long term absentee.
Thank you for reading this article, keep an eye out for the weekly ratings and Octobers ranking chart.
Until then, forza Juve!