Juventus 0 – 3 Barcelona
The intriguing aspect of Juventus’ Joan Gamper Trophy friendly versus Barcelona on Sunday night was that it doesn’t really seem that way as far as preseason preparations go.
We’ve heard snippets of what Max Allegri and his team have been up to, but there’s also the proviso that a large portion of his team isn’t really there.
However, during the last weekend and a half, several of Allegri’s most essential players have returned from their summer break and joined the rest of the team in Turin.
As a result, Allegri has been able to begin really preparing for the next season, despite the fact that we are already over a month into the preseason.
That first opportunity to play someone with the whole team, well, it looked a lot like you’d anticipate given Allegri’s limited time with everyone at his disposal.
Juventus showed a few flashes, but a 3-0 defeat to Barcelona was very much a mirror team of how both teams performed. With everything else going on around the club in recent days, Barcelona seemed to be a team that is ready to start the season next weekend, while Juventus appeared to be… Basically, a team that is still figuring things out.
Isn’t that interesting? No, not at all.
Allegri is still very much in the nurturing stage of this new project, despite the fact that we know he can get this squad’s act together and have them play well for long periods of time.
He understands there is work to be done, and now it’s just a case of finding the best final result that Allegri believes would bring Juventus results.
The fact that this game was played on August 8th, two weeks before Juventus’ games, is also significant.
The preseason has never been the be-all and end-all of Juve’s performance.
regardless of how many players have or haven’t been there for most of Allegri’s training sessions up to this point.
And, given how regular the scheduling of preseason training has been this season, there’s also the very real reality that this preseason is out of the ordinary for a “new” manager who has had to wait so long to bring some of his most key players back.
Juventus had a poor performance against Barcelona.
That is true, and no one, not even the most hopeful, can dispute it. The midfield failed to link the lines, the attack lacked the inventiveness of an Argentinian wearing No. 10, and the defense committed a couple of critical errors.
We’ve spoken about those three topics so often in the past several years that they’ve become second nature, haven’t they? Yes, and those were the issues that plagued Juve on Sunday night.
However, it is just one game.
This is a game and has no impact also on standings.
And it’s a game that comes only a few days after Juve’s expected starting lineup returned to Turin and resumed training with Allegri.
Finally, I’ll give it a couple more weeks before any real doubts begin to seep into my head.
It’s early August, and Juve has just lost a pre-season friendly against a team that is farther along in its preparations for the 2021-22 campaign. A 3-0 defeat should not be seen as a complete catastrophe right now.