The Octopus worked separately in the gym yesterday and hopes to play another piece on Sunday. The coach awaits him at the top to go beyond the 3-5-2: keeping the “odd” midfield or switching to two-man midfielder.
They used to be Didier Deschamps and Zinedine Zidane. Now they are Adrien Rabiot and Paul Pogba. The French Lady is a great classic and finally Massimiliano Allegri can move from theory to practice. The new Juventus will have an Italian soul and a transalpine heart. A bit like it was built last summer during the market. “Juve was thought of with Rabiot-Paredes-Pogba in midfield plus Locatelli as the first substitute,” explained the Juventus coach in mid-September. The idea has not been shelved, but it will certainly be reviewed and updated based on the situations, the new hierarchies and the growth of the number 10. From the current 3-5-2 to 4-3-3, but also watch out for the 4-2 -3-1 Cardiff 2017 style. Anything is possible, as long as the Octopus returns to the top again.
It will be the Frenchman’s athletic condition that will dictate the timing of the change. On Tuesday, Pogba returned to the field 315 days after his last official match and after spending seven months in the Continassa infirmary due to an injury to the external meniscus of his right knee at the end of July. The worst is over, but the real PP10 will still need a little patience. After half an hour in the derby, yesterday Paul followed a personalized program in the gym like Juan Cuadrado and Filip Kostic.
Pogba can’t wait to move on to “phase 2”: take back Juventus, as was in the plans for July and as he always did in his first life in black and white. “Paul had to come back, he has a great feeling with Juventus, he wanted to achieve what he has already achieved with the club,” said Rafaela Pimenta, the Frenchman’s agent, during the Football Summit organized by the Financial Times. If Rabiot is increasingly untouchable, Pogba hopes to be one again soon, but it will hardly be the same on Sunday against Roma. While Paredes, compared to September, is relegated in the hierarchies of the “Conte Max” and the derby against Turin proved it once more. Without the owner Manuel Locatelli (suspended), the coach launched the rookie Enzo Barrenechea as director. A 2001 like Nicolò Fagioli, another player who has put his arrow in the last few months with top-level performances, goals (2) and assists (4). Without forgetting Fabio Miretti, ready to return against the Giallorossi after the ankle injury suffered in Salerno at the beginning of February.
The launch of the new French Lady will not be immediate, but it is still approaching. After the encouraging finish in the derby won 4-2, a new segment is expected on Sunday at Roma. Rabiot, against Turin, placed himself in control with Pogba on one side and Fagioli on the other. “We needed physicality in front of defence,” explained Allegri. The formula is replicable. Even if the feeling is that there is another ideal trio, both with the 3-5-2 and with the 4-3-3: Locatelli in control with Pogba and Rabiot on either side in order to make the most of the horses of the two Frenchmen , able to turn the field around quickly thanks to their mix of strength and power. The Octopus and the Duke are different, but their compatibility has already been tested with excellent results by Deschamps in France before the physical problems of the former Manchester United.
The precedents of the transalpine national team in the future could also inspire another set-up: Pogba and Rabiot to divide the center of the ring in a 4-2-3-1 with Juan Cuadrado (or Kostic) as a quantity winger, Federico Chiesa on the other wing and Angel Di Maria playmaker in tow of the lone striker Dusan Vlahovic. In such a formula, the Octopus could also act as an attacking midfielder (in place of Chiesa or Cuadrado) with Locatelli next to Rabiot. A sort of reinterpretation of Juventus 2017, the one that reached the Cardiff final against Real Madrid with the Pjanic-Khedira duo in the midfield and the Dani Alves-Dybala-Mandzukic trio behind Higuain.
March 3 – 10:32
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