2/1/2013 Juventus co-owned/ Loans UPDATE

5 Mar

Empoli’s crushing 0-3 victory away to Reggina, impressive as much as it was expected, unfortunately failed to include our former primavera star midfielder Leonardo Spinazzola, or his juve pal Fillippo Boniperti. Whilst the latter has not even managed an appearance from the bench this season, Leonardo has fared much better, making six appearances from the bench, one from the start, achieving one goal and one assist. Which isn’t a bad showing for his first loan term away from the nest at a club fighting hard and well for promotion. It may well seem nasty, even heinous, but I can’t help but wish for some of the Empoli midifield to find themselves seriously injured to allow young Signore Spinazzola greater opportunity to develop…for he showed such great promise before been sent out to become a man. (The midfielder won the Golden Boy award at the prestigious Viareggio tournament in 2012)

Richmond ‘Biggie’ Boakye spotted on a street corner in Brooklyn prior to departing for Johanesberg

Black man of the moment, Richmond Boakye just can’t stop scoring, netting his 9th goal of the season on the final day of the year during Sassuolo’s bloody massacre of Cesena. The Ghanaian has also acquired four assists to add to his impressive goal haulage in the 18 games played so far during his second spell with the team whose distinctive green and black colours originate from a donated kit from Lancaster Rovers FC of England. Richmond is surely the greatest success story of our current loan/co-own campaign; after earning praise during pre-season with Juventus, scoring on his debut for the Ghana national team in a 1-1 draw with CHina in August, then starting regularly for a Sassuolo team which has slowly but surely crunched its way to the top and now looks unlikely to relinquish its sadist’s grasp of the title. And it should come of no great surprise to now find his name a part of the Black Stars squad set to travel soon to South Africa to compete in the African Cup Of Nations over the course of January and February of 2013. Very promising indeed for the 19 year old. With Asamoah also in the same squad, we juventini now have two reasons to support Ghana…Team-mate (at Sassuolo) and countrymen Raman ‘Chubbs” Chibsah missed out on New Years Eve wreckage routine of Cesena but has still fought hard and well through his 15 appearances for the club.

Moving North we come across Brescia, home to two of our more exciting cadets in the shape of Dutchman Ouasim Buoy and homegrown Fausto Rossi. Both started their team’s slick slaughter of Crotone, with the Italian finding the bench before the final whistle. As with the blacks of Sassuolo, the pair are perhaps showing perhaps the best form of our whites…but does Ouasim truly count as a white???…a debate for another time…regardless of skin tone, the sneaky Dutchy managing 14 games to the Italian U21 international’s 15 (although it must be noted that Ouasim was injured for a few weeks in October/November and has also not just the one goal, but 5 assists to his name). Overall, such consistent selection for a team chasing promotion is respectable and must be considered a success story at this stage of the game.

Prince-Desir Gouano continues to prove as popular as the aroma of sizzling bacon drifting through a mosque at Virtus Lanciano. The French defender has fought poorly, shown too little over these last five months to muster any more than the one solitary game, in which he was subbed off after been caught quoting Rimbaud to a linesman. Is it time for the Prince to consider a change of career??? Has he fallen out with the coach??? Can we find him another club??? From Le Havre starlet, French u18/19 regular to Serie B reject…there must be more to this story, and perhaps, after Christmas, with surely Paratici and Beppe colliding and considering the plight of all their young prodigies, we may see the pricey teenager sent elsewhere. An even more costly teenager (Prince was $1-1.5m), goalkeeper Nicola Leali, signed for $4m from Brescia last Summer, has been in such convincing form that he is the first choice keeper at the club debuting in Serie B. With his latest 90 minutes in the recent 2-1 victory over Padova taking him to 18 starts, his efforts thus far represent solid development as does his continued participation in the Italian u19 set-up.

Archangel Gabriel Appelt chewing the fat with Alberto Masi in the Pro-Vercelli sick-ward 

Sinking to near the bottom of the table, Pro Vercelli continue to suffer from Appelt and Masi withdrawal symptoms with a 4-2 defeat away to potential relegation rivals Ternana. The star duo have been missing for a month now, with the team’s form taking a dip in their absence. The last 5 games have delivered 4 losses and one scoreless draw. Prior to finding unwanted companionship in the stands as they nursed themselves slowly back to full fitness, Gabriel Appelt (played 12, scored 1), the Brazilian midfielder, and Uncle Albert Masi, the much hyped new Nesta, were both starting regularly for the side steeped in a glorious history but sadly languishing in the lower leagues for most of the last few decades. Both players should return to the front line during January. Still without an away win all season, Pro Vercelli will be desperate for the return of their young talisman at the base of midfield and elegant general in the rearguard…until which point, they can still rely upon the blossoming talents of Elio De Silvestro; the flying winger making his 3rd start (12 appearances) of the season in the gutsy but ultimately failure of a performance against terrifying Ternana.

Fellow strugglers Vicenza gave attacking midfielder Manuel Giandonato a start in their miserable 2-3 home defeat against Spezia. This was Manuel’s 13th game of the campaign, a series of matches in which he has conjured two assists and a goal. Between the sticks, it appears that Carlo Pinsoglio has lost his place after 19 starts this term, although he could well be carrying a slight injury.

Leaving the basement battlegrounds of Serie B, before ending this indelicate march through the regiments, we find Freddy ‘kruger’ Sorensen scoring his first goal of the season during his 9th league outing for Bologna; a 1-2 home loss to Parma. The young Dane took a while to shoe-horn his viking frame into the first team, but now seems to have won the confidence of his manager and such consistent time on the field can only do his development the world of good. I remember Freddy fondly and with a healthy dose of excitement, for his journey took him from the Danish second division to marking Totti in a Serie A league match, in the space of a mere few months. The boy looked too good, at such a tender age, to simply cast aside as potentially nothing more than a piece of capital to be used in a deal for a more superior player. Definitely one of the brightest youth prospects I have seen at the club over the near to two decades I have supported Juve.

Also at Bologna, Christian Pasquato and Manolo Gabbadini, who both played a part in the Parma setback, and have fared reasonably well thus far in what must be described as an expected, but rarely far from precarious league position, with the club at this half way point in the serie a calendar loitering in 14th, just 2 points clear of the relegation pit of doom. The striker has 3 goals and 1 assist from 8 starts and 7 appearances from the bench. Whilst Christian, who has always shown bristling talent, but never quite been used in a role which showcases his flair, has a less satisfying 5 matches as sub to show for his toil. Whilst all three are playing in a struggling team, set-up to avoid relegation, not entertain or aim for glory, its equally true that all three are playing members of a struggling team, and therefore somewhat responsible for their own plight. Surely it should be easier to break into the side if the first XI are constantly useless???…Also having a hard time finding chances, partly, if not mainly due to the lack of quality around him, is Ciro Immobile, whose five goals and one assist from 15 starts and 2 sub appearances seems more hearty, but remains incapable of rousing much enthusiasm for his future at his present loan club.

Overall there is much reason for good cheer. The majority of our major investments appear to be growing into the kind of players who are already worth more than their purchase price. Some players – such as Boakye, Appelt, Buoy, Leali and Fausto Rossi – are showing signs of at least maintaining the kind of consistent development which is needed for them to have any chance of remaining with the club after their loan deals expire, earning another loan season, or even, a shot in pre-season at staking a claim for a place in the first team squad. Unlikely, but still a possibility. Just look at Pogba…The primavera are producing good results, if labouring at times through adjusting to tactics and a large influx of new players during the summer break. It must be remembered that the structures of the youth teams are set to mirror the senior squad, to groom the players for progression. Whilst winning is of course important, for confidence and prestige, the growth of the players, their ability to learn to move in ways which their coaches demand, is of more vital value at this nascent stage in their fledgling careers. I am eager to see Appelt return to the field and equally excited about the continued integration of Leo Bonatini into the club. To pay $5m for an 18 year old, especially from another country, suggests our scouts thought very highly of his potential.

Of the total failures…Prince-Desire Gouano at Virtus Lanciano, Libertazzi at Novara (a paltry 16 minutes played in a 2-0 coppa loss to Fiorentina), Fillipo Boniperti at Empoli…I am unsure if the players can be moved elsewhere if agreement is found between them and us. Why would they wish to keep players they simply never seem keen on using as anything more than goalposts in training??? It makes sense to end the lonely exile of three players who have shown promise in the past. So lets hope that Beppe and Fabio can make those concerned a little happier with some careful wheeling and dealing when the loan market re-opens. 

Top scorer for the primavera- Stefano Padovan. 8 goals in the league, another 2 in the Nextgen.

Nothing new to report of the primavera since my last update, other than to recap the final game of the NextGen series…

Thursday 20th December 2012 Paris St Germain 2 – 2 Juventus

L. Brănescu 
D. Rugani (J. Laursen 50’)
F. Penna 
Pol García 
V. Slivka (M. Gerbaudo 65’)
F. Mattiello 
E. Kabashi 
G. Ruggiero (Cerio 65’)
S. Beltrame 
A. Schiavone 
E. Lanini (Padovan 50’)
Beltrame 78’
Gerbaudo 90’

Both PSG’s goals were quality; the first direct from a free kick, which Branescu was perhaps unable to reach due to its power, accuracy and the lack of clear sight of the ball…their second was again a lovely finish, but blame must go on the defence for backing off far too easily and allowing the striker to shape up and find the top corner.

We finish 2nd in the group. Undefeated. 3 wins, 3 draws…13 scored, 9 conceded.

Top Scorers-
Padovan 2
Gerbaudo 2
Leo Bonatini 2
Schiavone 2
Lanini 1
Ruggiero 1
Rugani 1
Magnusson 1
Beltrame 1

As for our league form…we remain sitting pretty in 1st, with the stats for the league campaign shown below-

(NB- White ball= Goals, Green Arrow= Subbed ON, Red Arrow= Subbed OFF, clock symbol= total minutes played…ignore the green ball, which means assists; they are not recorded on this chart)


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