Tag Archive for 'Juventus'

Inter e Juve crisis

A team’s crisis occurs when problems with play and a reduced collective cohesion between players and coach weld together. This resulted in yet another bad performance by Juventus against Monza and Inter’s third defeat in the league.

If the game is negatively influenced by injuries, the inclusion of new signings, the tarnished state of form of some starters the team cannot produce the game it would like to. In these situations what must sustain the team is cohesion, unity of purpose, and collective work. In practice, players must interact on the field for the purpose of showing unity and confidence in their team skills even if they are not optimal at that stage. Napoleon was accustomed to say that he also won his battles with the dreams of his soldiers, and this phrase is an effective metaphor for what should be meant by collective effectiveness.

This mentality must be fostered by the behaviors and statements of the coach, who aware of the limitations of the game, must act to arouse the psychological strength of the players as a team. As Al Pacino says so well in the movie “Every Damn Sunday” in the role of the coach of a team in crisis, “So … either we rise up now, as a collective, or we will be annihilated individually.”

My impression is that Allegri and Inzaghi think too much about the schemes, the game and less about making individuals and the team proactive. The motivation to help each other, to get out of difficult situations and to want to move forward together, comes before the game. One cannot hide behind the thought that because players are very well-paid professionals they should always express themselves to the fullest or know how to behave in moments of nervousness or depression. One cannot say as Allegri said in relation to the Champions route that the decisive game would be the home match with Benfica, it means throwing sand in the delicate gears of a team. Or to remain puzzled, as Inzaghi said, after the Udinese game. They seem to have lost awareness of the psychological condition of the team and individuals. It is not the game forms per se that make a team great but how these are played. As with an actor, it is not enough to have learned the part by heart; his success will depend on how he plays his role. Performing implies a strong psychological involvement. This is what coaches need to work on, and perhaps they might even realize that working with a sports psychologist might help them.


What this game says.

  • 5 minutes to shoot a penalty. Final recovery in the 1st half of 10 minutes. ù
  • The goal is a rare event and then suffer it has an effect on the mood of the team.
  • Who marks even if in undeserved way acquires endured more confidence and challenge more the adversary.
  • Soccer is the only team sport where you can play very well compared to the opponent and lose. This does not happen in basketball and volleyball.
  • It is difficult to understand the referee’s decisions: a player on the ground holds another player by the leg preventing him from moving and is not warned.
  • Absolute level of competitiveness between the two teams.
  • The winner is the one who did enough but with continuity and solidity. It is confirmed that in soccer when you waste too many goal occasions, you risk to lose for an episode in favor of the opposing team.

Juventus: a match of adrenaline and ambition

Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus need adrenaline, fun and ambition to win tonight against Villareal.

Said in other words, he affirms the need for motivation, pleasure of the challenge and emotional intensity and play.

In fact, the control and quality of actions on the pitch is based on this emotional mix driven by reason.

Playing a game with this mental approach is not easy and requires that the ambition (motivation) continues to be high regardless of the result. The team must be able to give itself instructions if, finding itself in advantage, will tend to reduce the adrenaline, to defend the result, thus playing not to lose and not to win. The adrenaline and therefore the emotions must be managed to avoid that it leads to play without thinking. A problem the latter that Juventus has shown less while more frequently fell into the former. The one in which slowing down the game passes from an attitude oriented to win to one centered on the defense of the positive result.

We will see what will happen.

Gratitude and solidarity: absolutely not trivial

Gratitude and solidarity are two values that are absolutely not trivial, indeed indispensable in any team. They represent a necessary factor to keep a team united, especially in moments of crisis like those Juventus is going through. If the head and the heart are the basic elements of the success of a group, the first concerns tactics and the second refers to the values that support a team. Putting the group before the interests of individuals, wanting to give back what the club has given is not rhetoric, nor is wanting to feel united in the difficulties of teammates, the coach and the team.

The sense of belonging is often associated by the rhetoric published in the media to the lack of pride of the teams and the lack of respect towards the jersey that you wear.

Instead, it is a fundamental concept underlying team cohesion in any organizational environment. Its relevance was focused on by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who to build a high-performance, world-class culture developed a performance-value matrix to guide GE’s rise. Welch’s matrix assesses people along two critical dimensions:

  • Performance: how well the person leads and achieves important results
  • Values: how well the person embodies and exemplifies the team’s core values

Welch and GE executives have been evaluating employees and managers along the Performance-Values Matrix for years to see how well they performed and how well they fit GE’s culture. As a result, any coach can adapt and adopt this practical and proven Values-Performance Matrix to evaluate, rank and coach team players.

“You never walk alone”  say at Liverpool … let’s think about it.

What are they doing against racism?









Atalanta-Juventus: what I learned

What I learned from the Coppa Italia final Atalanta-Juventus.

Pretension - Juventus has finally demanded of itself to play with the attitude that has been its own in past years of a winning and tough team. Until now, this was expected to happen but it hadn’t, except in a few rare matches. The self-esteem of a group depends on the level of success achieved, in turn this depends on how much a team expects from itself. The demands must be matched by behaviors on the pitch. When this does not happen, the behaviors are insufficient, the expectations become limited or unrealistic as in the case of Juve where it was expected to win, without showing the appropriate behaviors. The effect over time, is evident in few successes and a reduction in collective self-esteem. Yesterday’s Juve welded together the expectation and “who does what at the right time”. This union determines the standard of play of the team.

Habit - Atalanta plays very well and this is decisive in the league because they play against many lower level teams and the result of the single match is not decisive for the final result. In the cups instead, the single matches are decisive and the defeat determines the elimination. Matches like these require a different mental approach compared to those in the league, as the opponents are often at least of the same level and winning these matches is a must if you want to move forward. It’s not enough to be good, you also need to acquire the habit of playing these matches, and in any case quickly develop the attitude of someone who plays to win. There is no advantage in playing well if you lose, the emphasis must be on playing with intensity and concentration. The phrase that best illustrates this concept was expressed by Alex Ferguson when he said that he could not wait for the 75th minute to arrive, because he knew that his team would certainly score at least one goal or when talking about the quarter of an hour of the Grande Torino, when Valentino Mazzola pulled up the sleeves of the shirt. in my opinion Atalanta must acquire this habit.

Juventus is victim of its successes

Juventus seems to be a victim of its own successes (9 consecutive championships won). The team has changed several players, but when you join a club with these results behind you, you can be prone to assume an arrogant mentality, centered on the results of the near past, but not belonging to the present. In this way, you can play a game with a mental approach to wait for the expected positive result, victory. This approach can also explain the mistakes of superficial behaviors committed by Arthur against Benevento and by Bentancur in the Champions League that gave away a goal to the opponents.

A typical mistake of arrogance lies in the condition that the normal rules for this team do not apply. The successes of past years can blind the team, prone them to believe that a winning solution is always available anyway.
Another mistake of this mentality is the belief in one’s own ability to solve games. It is certainly a positive belief, but only if it is coupled with the necessary commitment, otherwise it remains only an optimistic hope.

A third error of this arrogant mentality lies in the explanations provided by the coach, Andrea Pirlo, who interprets, at least publicly, these negative results with some errors of individual players. It is obvious that there have been mistakes, but in a team these errors of mentality of the single players manifest themselves when there is a lack of team cohesion in the commitment with which to face the matches. There has been a lack of player-leaders who must maintain high levels of focus during the game without the game becoming impulsive and too fast.

Juventus: Moments that destroy a season

Fabio Capello analyzed the mistakes made by Juventus against Porto in the first and second matches, not sparing a harsh criticism towards Cristiano Ronaldo: “The first goal in the first match was a gift, great inaccuracy in the second, you can’t concede certain goals. The penalty kick tonight was another gift. Demiral was too naive, you cannot try to anticipate, it is a very serious mistake. But the top is this. Cristiano Ronaldo jumping and turning in the barrier. Whoever is in the barrier cannot be afraid of taking a hit. It is an unforgivable mistake that has no excuse”.

Capello is completely right and reiterates the concept that besides the play of a team, in soccer it is the single episodes that determine the result of the match and in this case the elimination from the most important European competition for a soccer team.

But … if this is the situation, how can these mistakes be avoided. Above all, those of Bentancur and Ronaldo, absolutely avoidable mistakes that have changed the evaluation of an entire competitive season.

The problem is not so much the distraction in itself but the effect it has. This is what the players should remember before acting in this way.

Superficiality or even presumption that nothing so bad can happen.Probably team also not very united, there does not seem to be someone with the role of keeping high the attention in these moments.
Probably team also not very united, there does not seem to be someone with the role of keeping high attention in these moments.

Porto has deservedly won because it has been more consistent in keeping the attention high, Juventus has shown too many ups and downs and consequently has paid these moments of distraction.

How much does Juventus train to avoid these episodes from happening? Moments that destroy a season.

Learning from the biggest mistakes

Psychological themes of this week:

The Juventus case - two goals conceded as soon as the game started, and especially at the beginning of each half. Why weren’t they ready? How could Bentancur have been so distracted? What is the mental approach to important games? You can make a mistake at the beginning of the first half, but how can you also make a mistake at the beginning of the second half?

Italian women’s skiing disaster at the World Championships - Too much nervousness from the athletes? How did the coaching staff prepared to handle these legitimate expectations of victory? There is a syndrome created by Sofia Goggia injury? How do you make a mistake on the third stick: too much impulsiveness at the start?

These are cases to be studied in depth, certainly not to find fault but to identify through the knowledge of the reasons that created these problems, how to avoid them in the future.

Sarri’s thoughts right after winning Serie A

“This group has been winning for years, with different coaches, so the credit is yours, assisted by the club. Like all children when I grew up, I dreamed of winning the championship. I didn’t win it when I grew up, I won it when I was old, but I won it.” Sarri said at a press conference.

In these few words there is everything: the realization of the child’s dream and the recognition of the value of the organization.

How many coaches, if any, have this awareness? And they want to show it and share it in public?