Monday, November 26, 2007

Now I'm a believer

I must admit that at the outset of this season - and for the opening weeks - I had my doubts about Juve. They rode their luck in a few games and didn't look all that sharp. But after their demolition of Palermo on Sunday night they look like they might be the real deal.

To some degree, I couldn't make up my mind if Juve were so good or the Sicilians were so bad. The Rosanero were a shadow of their old, aggressive, exciting selves. They were tame in the extreme but I think they were outbattled by the Bianconeri. Men like Nocerino (I like to call him Ball Buster as I am sure the football club Nocerina once had a group of Ultras with that name), Nedved, Zanetti and Camoranesi (yes, really) gave them hell.

Are Juve really good enough to take the Scudetto? I am starting to think that if Inter and Roma progress in the Champions League they just might be. The Turin giants only have the league to focus on. Hell, if Udinese can be up there challenging then surely La Vecchia Signora is in with a shout. Next week's trip to Milan will tell us a lot.

In other news, Italy landed Bulgaria, Republic of Ireland, Cyprus, Georgia and Montenegro for the World Cup 2010 qualifiers. It could have been better (ie Group 2) but it could have been worse. Bulgaria and the Irish will be tough on their home soil but all teams should be beatable in Italy. Got to get Euro 2008 out of the way first...

6 comments:

ursus arctos said...

Prandelli's wife died this afternoon.

As a Viola, you will know that she had been ill for a long time with an unidentified malady that I assume was cancer, and that he turned down Roma in 2004 to be with her.

He didn't go to Reggio for the match at Sunday, and it is now clear that his "severe backache" was diplomatic.

All deaths are tragic, especially those at 45. The purple-tinged world within and without Firenze has united in their grief at her loss and their love for the "Mister" who demonstrated to all of us that some things really are more important than football.

patcook said...

Ranieri has done a fantastic job and i think they will be within at least 6 points by the end of the season and I think a good chance to win if things fall in to place for them (don't they always?)

TrentToffee said...

"Are Juve really good enough to take the Scudetto ?". I think they are. Or, at least they'll push Inter all the way. I must admit that for the first season back (in Serie A) I thought they'd be off the pace.

"...if things fall in to place for them (don't they always?)". That's very cynical of you Pat :0)

martinobhoy said...

Haven't been in touch since the World Cup draw. Fancy a wee trip to Dublin?

Will your defence be able to cope with our Aiden?

Anonymous said...

It was very sad to read about Prandelli's wife.

As for how Juve ought to be rated: I'll wait until next weekend!

- Juventino

ginkers said...

Ursus

I wondered why Gabriele Pin was on the bench on Sunday and then it all fell into place. Makes all my frantic frustration at the Viola's performance seem a bit pathetic really. It also makes my admiration for the dignity with which Prandelli has handled the whole thing grow even more.

Pat

Ranieri has helped to knock on the head the usual ego tantrums that could have affected the club. They certainly looked good on Sunday.

Trent

I will be intrigued to see just how much "help" or not Juve get in the weeks ahead. Referees must be scared to give them a penalty...

Martino

A trip to Dublino sounds good. And we'll get a test for Aiden next week in Milan. Although, hopefully, the Rossoneri will be qualified by then and they might field their reserves.

Juventino

If we get to half way and Juve are still in the hunt you will have to believe!