Tag Archives: Serie B

Juventus Youth and Primavera UPDATE November 8th, 2013

9 Nov



Since returning from injury, Luca Marrone has played well in the 2-1 home win over Bologna, creating a goal in the process, deployed in the Pirlo role in a familiar 3-5-2 formation. Fought hard, did little wrong, but nothing wonderful in his side’s 1-2 loss to Udinese, again as part of a midfield trio flanked by wingbacks. His latest outing was solid and industrious with the ball, managing a superb 93% accuracy with his 41 passes over the 90 minutes.


Many believe, myself included, that Marrone possesses some real class. Now that he is fit, and gaining match sharpness, acclimatizing to his new surroundings, and has an in-form Berardi in front of him, and the chance to play regularly in his favoured midfield berth…its time he proved himself, and I think he will. Maybe we won’t need to look too far in terms of a Pirlo apprentice, or even challenger…


There has been a change in fortunes for Sassuolo since Berardi returned from suspension and Marrone from the treatment room. Without the striker, of whom we own 50% registration rights, they played four games, lost them all, with a goal difference of -12. With Domenico back in the side, they have won a couple of games, and only lost twice in seven, producing a goal difference of -1. Two assists and five goals in those seven games represents a major attacking threat. At 19 years old, making his debut in the top flight, we are potentially looking at a real gem here…Especially when we compare his stats (a goal every 94 minutes) and form with our other players establishing themselves in Serie A…


Gabbiadini– 2 Goals in 10 serie a starts. One goal per 400 minutes.


Zaza- 3 goals in 10 serie a matches (7 starts). One goal per 234 minutes.


Immobile– 3 goals, 2 assists, 9 serie a matches (6 starts). One goal per 210 minutes.


Manolo is the one who is lacking, and yet arguably playing in the most settled and well seasoned side of the four youngsters in question.


Further afield…


Our surprise signing from Bra, Mbaye Diagne, has yet to make his debut for Ravanelli’s struggling Ajaccio of France, who remain as they have been since the opening few fixtures, perilously loitering near the trap-door.


Moving across the border, bypassing those gritty basque tribes and finding ourselves in the sunny South-east, so close to the sea we can feel it in our lungs when we take our first full breath of fresh morning air…but no, we are not here to swim, to relax in the soothing gaze of the sun goddess. We are here to check on the progress of Richmond Boakye. Who has been in solid form for the struggling newcomers to la Primera. The explosive young striker has scored just the two goals from eight matches, but 6 of those performances have come off the bench and he remains the club’s second top scorer. Too hard to gauge much, but no reason to worry. His promise remains secure.


With the primavera still to cover, the wind howling not quite as loudly as my hellhound desperate for attention and my desire to be outside, strident and demanding, after spending too much time today stuck in the anemic atmosphere of my office, I will focus on not only my three favoured loanees cutting their teeth in the second tier, but also perhaps the presently most promising of our huge flock of youngsters. Thankfully, for the purpose of brevity of research, they are all at Spezia. Who are enjoying a promising start to the season, presently sitting 9th, just outside the play-off zone, on 17 points after 12 games.


Best of Leali 2012/13


Leali (GK)-
Surely destined for Serie A sooner rather than later Nicola Leali has been in fine form for Spezia. Fast establishing himself as the number one choice between the sticks and continuing where he left off last term when he won an award for best goalkeeper in Serie B. Played 9 in the league, 2 in the coppa.
Magnusson (CB)-
Already a regular in the Icelandic U21 set-up, Hordur the Iceman Magnusson has worked his way into the starting line-up. No mean feat for his debut bow in professional football. With more competition for his place, his 9 appearances so far represents wonderful progress for the stopper with great free kick skills confirmed by his 3 assists for his country over the last 3 months.




juve3Appelt (DM)
After impressing in the ill-fated Pro Vercelli campaign of last season, Gabriel has already managed 9 full games for his new club. With only 2 losses in those 9 games it seems his value to Spezia is growing steadily, and in turn his value to us. His position, as a deep lying regista with sound defensive zeal, is surely of interest to us, for we have only Marrone in the Pirlo role with any chance of staking a claim for a chance in our senior squad in the near future.


Briefly, I will mention our two Stefanos, who worked so well together in Baroni’s primavera before the Summer, when both moved on to mix it with the men…


The race for the cultured second striker’s signature was hot over in the close season, with his final destination ending up in Bari whose wretched form finds them languishing in 20th position. 3 starts and 5 appearances from the bench isn’t terrible, but with just the one assist to show for his efforts, its no surprise that he is struggling for a spot in the first XI. With such high promise shown in the recent past, Beppe and Paratici will need to seriously consider finding him a stronger club if Bari continue to falter. On a more positive note, Beltrame continues to play a regular role for the Italian U20s notching up 2 goals in his last two showings.


Our primavera top scorer decided to head to Pescara. And what a shame that Zeman isn’t still at the helm…The Turin born prima punta has been given just the four substitute appearances, setting up a goal in the process, but clearly hungry for more. As with Beltrame, he continues to prove useful for the Italian U20s, scoring once in his last 2 games at international level.


Room for improvement for them both. Yet the season remains young, and their situations can be reconsidered during the Winter mercato if an upturn in form and fortunes fails to appear.




juve4Led by Zanchetta and Grosso, our youngsters have been toiling away on two fronts. Firstly domestically, slowly finding their rhythm after a topsy-turvy start, which was to be expected with so many changes to the squad. At this stage of the campaign, we are third in the table after 6 games. Our latest fixture in the league was a hard fought 2-3 away victory against Parma. Otin, Penna and Tavanti grabbing the goals.


In Europe, Zanchetta has had to negotiate our efforts in the inaugural UEFA Youth League, which marries itself for the group stage to the senior Champions League competition. Our fortunes there have been mixed to say the least.


We began by almost mirroring our senior side with a 2-2 away draw in Copenhagen. Dynamo midfielder Vajebah Sakor and towering centre back Pol Garcia scored the goals. Following this, we smashed the Turks, Galatasaray, 3-1 at home, thanks to strikes from Marzouk, Gerbaudo and Soumah.


Unfortunately that is where the good news ends, for our last two matches in the Youth league have seen us face off against Real Madrid, and lose horribly in the first game 6-2 (Buenacasa, Soumah), then lose yet again at home in the follow-up, somewhat more respectably, 0-2.


With a home tie against the Danes still to come, and a tasty adventure in Turkey set to prove decisive, our future progress in the competition remains in our own hands. We sit third presently, with 4 points from 4 games.


In terms of a favoured first XI…very tricky to discern, but the following seems as strong as anything else we have been adopting.
Untersee Garcia Curti
Emmanuello Slivka Sakor Gerbaudo
Donis Souma


Other regulars include Marin, Cevallos, Barlocco, Marzouk. Audero, Marin.


It seems that Zanchetta is still seeking his best first eleven, and whilst our league form is enough to keep us near the top, we really must improve in Europe.


Overall, a few bumps in the road, the Spezia lads are doing well and I will hope to feel more upbeat when I concoct the next report before Christmas.


Here is a peek at a recent interview with the rising star of Zanchetta’s midfield, Vajebah Sakor-http://www.juventus.com/juve/en/news/sakor_interview




Written By Daniel Pennuto.



3/3/2013 Juventus Co-owned/ Loans UPDATE

5 Mar

February proved an uneventful month for our co-owned/loaned players, with few gaining any extra minutes. Leali continued to excel in goal for Virtus Lanciano, and the reports from last season regarding his rare and special potential are gaining substance by the week. However, elsewhere in Serie B, our young juventini struggled to make the bench or escape the treatment room. Let’s hope for a more fruitful March…

Gabriel ‘Rasputin’ Appelt…they thought they had finished him, but back he comes with a vengeance.

Finally, after a lengthy injury lay-off due to a fractured fibula, our Brazilian regista Gabriel Appelt, returned to the Pro Vercelli starting XI and played till the final whistle in their commendable 1-1 away draw to 7th place Juve Stabia. Vercelli have a hard task to reach safety, but with Vicenza and Bari doing their best to help them out, the present 6 points lying between relegation and safety is far from insurmountable, especially so now they have their midfield dynamo back in the mix. Gabriel was a first team regular prior to his injury and his re-involvement in first team affairs can only do the player and team the world of good. Attacking midfielder Elio de Silvestro failed to reach the field, watching the entire match from the bench. Although he has featured fairly consistently for Vercelli, racking up 3 starts and 10 sub showings.

Superstar in the making Nicola Leali clocked up his 25th appearance of the season, but was unable to stop high flying Brescia scalp Virtus Lanciano 0-2. Leali, as aforementioned, has been in brilliant form for Virtus and if he continues at his current rate of form and improvement, he could well be given a shot by a Serie A club next term. It’s likely he could challenge Rubinho, but what use is sitting 3rd choice for our first team when he could challenge for a starting place at a lower ranked serie a club potentially???? Missing from Brescia was the injured once again Ouasim Buoy, who has yet to really pick up momentum after suffering a few niggles since his injury lay-off in December. Meanwhile his juve team-mate Fausto Rossi started and finished the game helping Brescia maintain their charge towards the play-offs. Wide midfielder Rossi has made two assists in his impressive 19 matches so far this season, as well as continuing to feature in the Italy U21 set-up.

Richmond ‘Biggie’ Boakye continued his efforts to regain his starting spot for Sassuolo after his trip to Africa for the ACON, by entering the fray in the 68th minute of the league leaders’ shock 0-2 home defeat to bottom of the pile Grosseto. The Ghana international didn’t play in South Africa as Ghana struggled to finish fourth in the tournament, but the experience will certainly have proven rich and encouraging for a lad of just 19 years of age. His countrymen Chibsah missed this match entirely, through injury or suspension I am unsure…The striker will be hoping to add to his impressive 9 goals and 4 assists over the final third of what has been a wonderful season full of promise and power.

Highly thought of defender (Uncle) Albert Masi was a second half substitute for Ternana, for whom he signed on loan in January. The elegant defender could not prevent his side losing a potentially pivotal mid table clash with Citadella 1-0, and now must face the future with a bleaker demeanour, for the play-offs are close to out of sight. Still, all we care about is more playing time for a defender we own, who looked quality during our pre-season. We will hope for suspensions or injuries to Ternana centre backs…nothing too nasty, just serious enough to give Albert a chance to get a foot in the first team door and stay there until the end of the season.

Moving up to Serie A…

Freddy ‘the iceman’ Sorensen continued his successful season by starring in Bologna’s 3-0 extermination of a hapless Cagliari effort. Notching up his 14th start of the campaign, Freddy kept resolute watch alongside Cherubin at the centre of the home defence. Also in action was Manolo Gabbiadini, who lasted until the 86th minute before swapping kisses and caresses with fellow juventino Christian Pasquato who went onto to score a lovely goal from distance to put the icing on the cake for the home side. All three are enjoying a solid season, with the Danish star shining the brightest. I would very much like to see him back at Juve, but we will have to wait and see how Paratici and Beppe judge his development (as well his value to other sides who own players we desire) in the summer.

Over at Genoa, who now sit shamefully in 17th position, 5 points and only one place clear of the relegation rabble, Ciro Immobile persists in his struggle to get games in his best position. Arriving in their latest ruin, a 3-1 loss away to Roma, in the 61st minute, and proving unable to stem the tide of misery and failure. It must be galling for the young prima punta to be playing second fiddle to Borriello…such is the price of youth in Italy eh? or perhaps just the ability to beguile of the former fan favourite, just ask Conte and Matri what the hell was going on last season…

A quick comparison of the three major striking hopes presently on our books>

Gabbiadini – 188 mins per goal/assist

Immobile- 228 mins per goal/assist

Boakye- 104 mins per goal/assist

Clearly these stats do not tell the whole story. Gabbiadini has an easier time at Bologna, where his inclusion is more common in a position he enjoys. Richmond is playing only at Serie B level, for a team flying high near or at the top since early on this term. Ciro has a hard time, an impossible time dislodging Borriello who occupies his position, with Genoa coach Ballardini preferring to tighten up the team rather than open up offensively also making life harder for a player who so much was hoped for after his stunning 2011/12 season in serie B with Zeman’s free scoring Pescara side. Just to compare…in that period, Ciro managed a goal/assist every 85 minutes. Which suggests that he knows where the goal is, and that we shouldn’t be overly impressed with Boakye who we cannot judge accurately until he is playing in the top league.


Vajebah Sakor made his debut for the U19 primavera squad at the tender age of 16.

After our unexpected freak loss to Juve stabia dumped us out of the Viareggio tournament, Baroni had a fair amount of time to regroup the troops, integrate some of the new arrivals and prepare long and hard for the return to league action against Genoa last Saturday. Unfortunately, despite playing well from the start, creating several fine chances, and Beltrame giving us an early lead, we succumbed to two goals in quick succession after the break, and fight as we did, could not manage an equalizer. That 1-2 home defeat brought an end to a winning streak which reached back 12 games. Still, we remain in 1st place, 3 points clear of 2nd place Fiorentina on whom we have a game in hand.

Laurentiu Branescu – Jacob Laursen, Daniele Rugani, Joel Untersee – Elvis Kabashi, Hasan Pepic, Giuseppe Ruggiero, Andrea Schiavone – Stefano Beltrame, Edoardo Ceria, Stefano Padovan

GOAL- Beltrame 3’

SUBS –Garcia for Ceria 59’

Sakor for Schiavone 64’

Lanini for Ruggiero 76’.

Exciting Montenegrin left winger Hasan Pepic made his debut from the start, with fellow January arrival, the Norwegian wonder kid Vajebah Sakor also tasting his first piece of competitive action. Whilst Pepic, at 19 years old, is expected to be ready for this level, and will surely be loaned out in the Summer, 16 year old midfielder Sakor must be very highly thought of by the management to be thrust into the deep end so soon.

Thankfully we have the perfect opportunity to redeem ourselves next weekend, when the primavera play against our high flying city neighbours, Torino, who are in a rich run of form. Before the derby we have the small issue of Sakor’s former club Rosenborg to deal with in the do or die Nextgen knockout round this Thursday.

It’s great to see not just the increasingly expansive, efficient scouting network competing for and procuring the signatures of some top talent around the world, but also these same players been given a chance to fight for the cause as soon as they merit it in training.

My hopes are blossoming for Sakor…Kabashi, Beltrame, Rugani are all looking very promising and of the players at other clubs Leali and Sorensen seem the most consistent performers, with F. Rossi, Boakye, Appelt, Buoy and Gabbiadini all doing everything right in the journey from Exciting Youth Prospect to Established Senior Player.

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)

November/ December 2012 Juventus Loans and Primavera UPDATE

5 Mar

Richmond Boakye strikes again…Future Juve star in the making and a snip at 4m for one leg???

Empoli’s exciting 3-2 home success over Grosseto was marred only by the omission, even from the bench, of Juve youngsters Boniperti and Spinazzola. The latter having not played for several weeks now, the former still awaiting his debut.

The story over at Brescia, who drew 1-1 with league leaders Sassuolo, is much more heartening to read…Whilst Fausto Rossi missed out completely, dutch wizard Ouasim Buoy played almost the whole second half for the home side, continuing his fight to regain a first team place, and the performance of his opponents on the day included a solid showing for the full 90 from ghanian midfielder raman chibsah, with his countryman Richmond ‘bobo’ Boakye thumping in his fourth goal of the season during his near to 80 minutes on pitch. The pair are surely one of the main positives thus far this season, both playing regularly in the starting XI for a team deservedly leading the league…

Nicola Leali. Enduring a tough time between the sticks, yet managing to find obvious joy in offensive salutes….

What are we to make of the continued horror-show failing miserably to pass itself off as a professional football club named, some would say ridiculously, Virtus Lanciano??? Poor Nicola Leali is certainly receiving a large amount of shot stopping practice, as the team around him show as much fight as a frenchman! With another heavy defeat at the weekend (0-3 home reverse to the beastly Bari) its probably best to conclude that the young goalkeeper is not the main culprit, for if he was, why the hell would he keep starting??? A second minor positive, alongside Leali making his 11th appearance of the season, was the astonishing re-emergence of the regal one, gallic defender of the realm Prince Gouano, who not only made the bench, but also achieved his first 70 minutes of competitive action. Shamefully, as a defensive player, as with Leali, he must shoulder some of the blame for the shambles which ensued. Lets give the lad time to accustom himself once again to the light…However, a rancid debut for the youngster.

Continuing to fly the Juve youth flag high and proud at Vicenza, goalkeeper Pinsoglio and attacking midfielder Giandonato both played the whole match in the 2-1 home mauling of Novara. 

Our promising young defender, likened to Nesta by some, and to Freddy Kruger by others, (Uncle) Albert Masi made his 11th appearance of the season in Pro Vercelli’s unforgivable 0-2 loss to the formidable Crotone. Star midfielder, brazilian Gabriel Appelt missed this one, as he will likely miss most if not all games for the next 6 – 8 weeks after suffering a fractured fibula in last weekend’s loss to Modena. Surgery wasn’t required, and given how well he was playing up until then, and the vast potential he showed in brazil before arriving in Turin, lets all wish him a speedy and total recovery…’twas encouraging to see De Silvestro back in action, entering the fray for the home side to battle the last 20 minutes. 
Stepping up a level in quality of competition, Manolo Gabbadini scored the second goal from the penalty spot in Bologna’s impressive 3-0 destruction of a poor Palermo side, with Freddy ‘the iceman’ Sorensen playing the whole game and seemingly back in regular contention after a lengthy period out of the first team. Christian Pasquato was not even named amongst the subs, and is surely set to be found a new home come January…
Losing the Derby di Genova, 3-1 to former Juve great Ciro Ferrara’s struggling Sampdoria side, Ciro Immobile can take pride from scoring Genoa’s consolation goal as the striker started and finished the match yet again on the defeated side.

Which leaves us the primavera, who have finally found something close to top gear, climbing up to 2nd in the league over the last fortnight, now placed 8 points behind runaway leaders Fiorentina, albeit with a game in hand… the First game of this period was the 0-1 victory over Siena, the winner scored by none other than Simone Pepe.
Team v Siena>
Laurentiu Branescu – Pol García, Jacob Laursen(Mattiello 46’), Filippo Penna, Daniele Rugani – Elvis Kabashi, Simone Pepe¹, Andrea Schiavone, Vykintas Slivka – Zoran Josipovic¹, Léo(Padovan 58’)
GOALS- Pepe ’84 (PEN)

Followed up with a 2-0 victory at home over Novara.
Team v Novara>
Laurentiu Branescu – Pol García, Hördur Björgvin Magnússon, Daniele Rugani – Elvis Kabashi, Federico Mattiello, Giuseppe Ruggiero, Andrea Schiavone, Vykintas Slivka – Stefano Beltrame(Laursen 69’), Stefano Padovan
Beltrame 11’
Padovan 41’

With several key players returning strongly from injury and suspension, the form of the primavera has drastically improved. As it must continue to do so, if we are to continue to chase Fiorentina in the league, and also progress in the NextGen tournament…in which presently we are sitting pretty in second spot of Group 2, holding a game in hand over Man City in 3rd who lie 3 points as well as position in the table behind us. In 1st currently are PSG, like us having played just 4 games, but a point ahead of us. Our final two games are both away, firstly to bottom of the table on a paltry two points Fenerbahce on the 5/12, and then finally locking horns with PSG on 19/12.

12/11/2012 Primavera and Youth Loans UPDATE

5 Mar

Another full match for Nicola Leali who failed to prevent Virtus Lanciano falling to a 2-1 away defeat to Juve Stabia. The major news from this game, however, was the re-appearance (finally) of our french lad, Prince Gouano, who whilst not earning any minutes on the field, succeeded in finding a position on the bench. Lets hope this is the start of some solid progress for the young defender who is yet to find any game time since his loan move in the Summer.

Midfielder Rahman Chibsah and highly thought of, apparently scouted by Man City, striker, Richmond Boakye played in Sassuolo’s 2-0 victory over Novara, which keeps them sitting pretty at the top of the league. Still no evidence of Libertazzi’s continued career as a footballer at Novara.

Brazilian wonderkid, the archangel Gabriel Appelt was taken off injured early on in Pro Vercelli’s shameful home catastrophe against Modena (1-2). Let’s hope he recovers quickly and strongly from a suspected fractured fibula, as the boy has been a constant part of PV’s season thus far, mixing it well enough with the men. (Uncle) Albert Masi did not feature, but that was likely due to suspension. Also failing to prove of any worth was Di Silvestro, whose absence I am yet to learn is due to either injury or poor form. 

Over at Brescia, it was encouraging to see Ouasim Buoy escape the cruel clutches of the bench for the final twenty minutes of their 1-3 away stomping of a Cesena side short of both decorum and quality. Perhaps the confident, some say flambuoyant dutchman can use this outing as a springboard to dive back into the starting XI…

Empoli got poleaxed 3-2 away to the all powerful Crotone, but what the $#@! do they expect when they fail to include the likes of our beloved Boniperti and Spinazzola??? We give them a gun, then they go to war with their fists alone…

Pinsoglio continued to own the starting position between the sticks in Vicenza’s creditable 2-2 away draw to Cittadella, with his juve buddy Giandonato taking to the battlefield for the final 25 minutes. 

Leaving the underclass of Serie B, and returning to the cream of the crop…Freddy ‘Kruger’ Sorensen played the full 90, Gabbadini a late 15 minute cameo and Pasquato sat so still he seemed like a corpse in Bologna’s cowardly 1-0 capitulation away to our despised neighbours Torino. Capable but unfotunately named striker Ciro Immobile netted his third goal of the season in Genoa’s 2-4 home harakiri effort against Naples.

The primavera seem to have gathered some form and momentum, with a recent 4-0 demolition of Empoli (goals from Mattiello,Rugani, Padovan, Bonatini) followed up with a welcome 2-3 (goals from Schiavone, Magnusson, Bonatini) away victory in the NextGen competition versus Man City. 18 year old brazilian Leo Bonatini is finding his feet quickly after joining us from Cruzeiro…The primavera now sit in 7th in the domestic league, yet we could be as high as 2nd were we to win our two games in hand held over several teams above us.

28/10/2012 Primavera/ Co-owned/ Loans UPDATE

5 Mar

Raman Chibsah managed 73 minutes and Richmond Boakye the full game to both earn their share of the spoils in Sassuolo’s 1-0 victory over Juve Stabi, to keep them top of the table.

At the other end of the table, highly thought of goalkeeper Nicola Leali was sent off in the 76’ during Virtus Lanciano’s 2-0 away defeat to Verona. Still no sign of the prince (gouano).

Fausto Rossi came on for the last twenty minutes of Brescia’s 1-1 home draw with Pro Vercelli. Gabriel Appelt turning out for the full 90 for the the visitors, Masi was banned, and De Silvestro remains absent. Ouasim Buoy was on the bench for the home side but didn’t get a game.

Neither Spinazzola or Boniperti made even the bench for Empoli’s 4-2 home victory against Modena.

Another of our young goalkeepers, Pinsoglio, continued his fine run in the first team for Vicenza, keeping a clean sheet in their 0-0 draw home to Crotone. Giandonato was on the bench, but didn’t make it onto the field.

Libertazzi remains lost in a black hole at Novara…Gabbadini played most of Bologna’s 1-3 home shambles against Inter, with Pasquato and Sorensen failing to make it off the bench…Immobile completed the game start to finish for Genoa’s unfortunate 1-0 away loss to Milan.

Moving down to Lega Pro A, Matteo Liviero appears to be getting near to regular games with Perugia, whilst swedish defender Carlos Garcia is yet to make an appearance.

Finally, even with a squad decimated by odd suspensions, the primavera appear to be finding some grit, beating local rivals Torino last weekend, 1-0, courtesy of Beltrame.

24/10/2012 Juve primavera/ co-owns/ loans update

5 Mar

Our latest ‘future Buffon’, Nicola Leali played the full 90’, but got beaten 3 times in the 0-3 Virtus Lanciano home loss to Empoli. Prince Gouano, also at Lanciano, didn’t even make the bench, so is injured or out of selection. As for our Empoli contingent; no sign of Spinazzola (4 games, 1 goals), nor Boniperti (0 apps).

Over at Pro Vercelli, our young brazilian Gabriel Appelt (8 apps, 1 goal) continued to maintain his consistent selection, playing the full 90 in the 1-2 home loss to Padova. Masi (7 apps, 1 goal) also played from the start, but was given an early bath in the 91st minute. Both are regulars for Pro Vercelli as is Di Silvestro who wasn’t in the squad but has made 7 appearances thus far, scoring one goal in the process.

Fausto Rossi managed half hour as a sub in Brescia’s 1-1 away draw to Bari. It was his 6th appearance of the season. Unfortunetly, dutch sensation Oussim Buoy (6 apps, 1 goal) failed to make it off the bench.

Ternana drew 0-0 with Vicenza who are home to Pinsoglio(10 apps), who played the full 90, and Giandonato (4 apps) who failed to escape the sidelines.

Our Ghanian lads, Chibsah (8 apps, 1 goal) and the much talked of Boakye (6 apps, 3 goals) both turned out for Sassuolo in their 1-0 away loss to Cittadella.

Last season’s muscleman from the primavera, Libertazzi, injured or out of form, was excluded from the match day squad for Vicenza’s 2-1 away loss to Crotone. The big striker is yet to make a single appearance for his loan club.

Sorensen has only managed one appearance so far this season at Bologna, where Juve buddies Pasquato (1 app) and Gabbadini (6 apps) are also attempting to make the step up from Potentially Useful to Valuable Enough To Bring Home, hoping to avoid Progressed Only So Far As To Prove A Useful Makeweight In a Future Deal For Another Player.

Overall we should be content to see most of our youngsters gaining valuable experience through playing regularly at their respective loan/ co-own clubs. Boniperti, Libertazzi and Pasquato are disappointing, but the rest are doing fine and dandy. 

As for an update on the rather ajbect progress of our Primavera boys…
We drew 2-2 away to Genoa last weekend, leaving us in 8th position with 8 points. Which can be no surprise given our last five results looking horribly like DLDLW. Much improvement is required, beginning with this weekends dearby with Torino. On the positive side we have a game in hand on most teams above us. Padovan grabbed both the goals against Genoa. It seems that with the age restrictions changing prior to the start of this primavera season, we are paying the price, results-wise, for bedding in players younger (so less experienced and matured physically) than in previous seasons.