To say this season has been Juventus’ worst ever wouldn’t be a stretch.
Statistically, there is still a chance to officially make it the worst of all time. But the way this team has played, as far it has fallen in such a short period of time, the injury crisis that never seemed to go away, has every right to signify this is the worst season in Juve history.
Yet as the season comes to a close, with Juve unsure of even making it into the Europa League next season, there is now a ray of hope—and a familiar name to go along with it.
Andrea Agnelli, the son of former Juventus president Umberto Agnelli, will have that same title once the current championship comes an end. After being confirmed on Thursday as the next Juventus president, Agnelli now assumes the task of bringing the club he loves so much back to its former glory.
And, by a landslide, this is not only a fantastic move because of who it is, but a logical move because of what it represents.
The man Agnelli is replacing, Jean-Claude Blanc, described it perfectly as “a new beginning” for Juventus. And in a lot of ways it is. The club needed to change its philosophy in the worst possible way. There needed to be new leadership and a new Triad to lead Juve into this rebuilding effort.
That is exactly what has begun to happen.
Name aside, Agnelli is exactly what the doctor ordered. He is the perfect figure to represent the new Juventus—young, ambitious, and a football-first way of thinking. At just 34 years of age, he will bring new-school visions of how to run a club along with the old-school knowledge of Juventus that he has accumulated over the years.
Having grown up at the club, he knows what Juventus is like and what needs to be done to keep it at the top. Agnelli will immediately become one of the most knowledgeable people at the club in terms of its history, but also in terms of how to handle things.
That’s the complete opposite of how the Bianconeri have been since they returned to Serie A three years ago. Outside of keeping the books straight and getting a new stadium built, Blanc has done nothing during his time as Juve president.
The same can be said for Alessio Secco’s ineffectiveness on the transfer market. Whether it's spending €25 million on Felipe Melo after failing to sign Gaetano D'Agostino, spending peanuts on defense compared to other areas on the field, or thinking that a 36-year-old Fabio Cannavaro was the solution to Juve defensive woes, this season has all but confirmed that Secco is not up to the task of being a sporting director at a big-time club.
With Agnelli now in charge as president, that is going to change. He will have Roberto Bettega and a new sporting director to form Juve’s new Triad that is more football than making sure the books are straight. That doesn’t mean they will drive the club into massive debt like others just to obtain trophies, but things will be run like a football club once again.
And when you’re trying to rebuild the kind of mess Blanc and Secco have made the past three years since Juve’s return to Serie A, it’s vital to have people who know what they are doing.
The appointment of Agnelli won’t do anything to fix what has happened this season. But without a doubt, with a new sheriff in town, this is a major step in getting the Old Lady back to where she belongs.