Once again, the Juventus of Antonio Conte has failed to match the great results achieved in Serie A to the ones consistently obtained in the so-called cups. As a matter of fact, with yesterday’s 1-0 loss against Roma, the Bianconeri find themselves in a situation in which they have said goodbye to both the Champions League and Coppa Italia already in January.
On the other hand, they are also unquestionably dominating the league in which, out of 20 games, they have already added 55 points, the same as those added in the entire 2009-10 season. Even more, they are on their way to win their third Scudetto in a row — an accomplishment that they haven’t been able to achieve since the 1930s when the consecutive titles were five.
Without a doubt, Conte deserves a significant amount of credit for Juventus’ supremacy in Serie A in the last three seasons. In fact, he was the man who, under the technical and motivational aspects, brought the Old Lady back to its historic level after it had been destroyed with the relegation to Serie B.
Moreover, beyond the actual titles won, the 44-year-old rapidly became a strong point of reference for Italian soccer right after he arrived to the club. Among his biggest achievements, the young coach was able to unexpectedly revolutionize the team and to bring new ideas to the Italia method.
In addition, he was also capable of rejuvenating many players who were considered to be sportively finished. Many of these even ended up becoming relevant members of the national team. The two main examples are Andrea Barzagli and Emanuele Giaccherini who only he believed in.
For all these reasons, it didn’t take too long for Conte to once again become an authentic idol for Juventus’ fans, especially considering that his first Serie A title was even won without losing any game. Certainly, he hardly ever showed any particular weakness both as a coach and as a leader.
However, as years go by, Conte and his team have actually outlined a specific identity that, as normal as it is, has its own strengths and struggles. Among the positive things, there undoubtedly is a great sense of character and consistency which are vital in order to dominate a long-term league. On the other hand, the Bianconeri have found more obstacles in shorter competitions where specific moments are much more important than the actual concept of constancy.
As a matter of fact, despite some great performances both in Champions League and Coppa Italia in the last years, the team has always failed to achieve the desired results. Perhaps only the elimination against Bayern Munich of last season is not to be considered a failure, considering that they only submitted to the world’s best team after arriving to the quarterfinals unbeaten.
Other than this single episode, the fans could easily recriminate not having achieved better results in other occasions. In Coppa Italia, the outcomes have even worsened every year since 2012. Even more, the failure of this competition has always arrived by losing against teams that have been constantly outplayed in the league, such as Napoli, Lazio and Roma.
Without a doubt, it can be said that Conte is on his way to becoming a league-minded coach more than anything else. Unlike Napoli’s manager Rafael Benitez, he is more capable of establishing a supremacy on the long-term rather than in just specific games. Of course, given his young age, he at least deserves the benefit of the doubt whether or not he will be able to develop the so-called cup-quality over the years. After all, his accomplishments speak for themselves.