It’s still too soon to panic. Juventus losing their first two league matches of the 2015-2016 season is a first for the proud club, but the Serie A title isn’t out of reach. Patience, considering all the changes the Italian champions have gone through, and especially the loss of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez, is the thing the club needs more than anything.
Juventus have been able to hold off the Vidal sale for the last two years. He has been the most important field player during the four consecutive championships, the most consistent of the non-defensive players. He wasn’t at his best, partially due to injury in 2014-2015, and it was a good time to sell him, especially with Juventus still unable to compete with the big money of other European giants, like Bayern Munich.
Andrea Pirlo, who celebrates his birthday three days before Vidal, is 36. He was far from his best in the last two championships. Juventus had to start moving on from his influence, and they actually made it clear by the amount of minutes he had on the pitch last season that he’s not going to stay forever, after playing such a huge role in bringing the club back to where it’s used to being.
Carlos Tevez has always been a wild card. He has been one of the most prolific strikers in Europe with Juventus, scoring 39 league goals in two years and 50 in all competitions, including 7 in the Champions League last season, helping Juventus make the final. His departure to Boca did feel like something of a surprise, but Juventus probably knew he wasn’t going to stay forever. He’s 31, so once again, it’s not a bad time to sell a player.
Juventus brought in Paulo Dybala (already scoring one goal), Alex Sandro, Mario Mandzukic, Simone Zaza and Sami Khedira to replace those who have left, or simply upgrade and solidify the team. It’s going to take time before the changes, most of them looking like smart moves, will start having their effect. It’s not just the quality of the players that left; it’s their influence that needs to be replaced.
Juventus looked awful against Udinese, and slightly better against Roma. Things will be better for them, especially once Claudio Marchisio is playing again (there’s a reason Juventus looked good in the Super Cup against Lazio). After winning four championships and sorta peaking by making the Champions League final last season, this campaign was going to be more difficult than ever. It’s started in a challenging way, but Juventus are far from some full blown crisis. They’re too strong of a team, with too many good players to let that happen.