Former Juventus forward Fabrizio Ravanelli believes the problems with the current Bianconeri side lie in midfield, which is ‘flat, and cannot keep up the pace.’
Speaking in an exclusive interview with TuttoJuve, the former Juve man offered his thoughts on the current ‘crisis’ at the club that has seen them draw against Atalanta and Sassuolo, turning in poor performances in the process.
Juventus seemed to have recovered, but in the last week they seem to be experiencing the same problems again. What is happening to this Juventus?
“It’s difficult to say, because you can only get a rough idea. I think that up to the first 60 minutes against AC Milan I saw a fantastic team, then in the last few games it’s a Juventus that struggles to go back and move forward. The midfield is almost always flat, they cannot keep up the pace and are in difficulty. Beyond everything else, they still have the potential to be able to win the championship in a few weeks.”
If we had to weigh the blame, is it the players or Sarri ?
“It’s not easy to talk about blame, the problems are always to be divided among everyone, also because in a club like Juventus you cannot point the finger only at one person. At Juventus, you always look at the glass half full, you work with your head down and you immediately try to do well for the next game. At this moment you have to stay calm as always, the championship is almost complete and there is always the Champions League. You will have to find serenity and tranquility to try to win the match against Lazio.”
Could there be a greater concern for the Champions League today?
“The current concern is logical, in the last three games, they have secured only two points but at the moment Milan, Atalanta and Sassuolo are among the best teams that would put anyone in Italy in difficulty. The thing that can clash at Juventus is that cannot hold onto an advantage, above two goals you have to close it out and not let anyone back in. This is the concept that will make Sarri and his players think.”
Who will get the better in this match between Juventus and Lazio? Will the Scudetto challenge also be decided?
“For me, yes, in case of victory Lazio can return to the race. Even if Juventus will need to win a few games to become champion again, against Sassuolo they dropped the first of the six match points and now there will be five available. The others teams will have difficult challenges, Lazio will have Juventus and Napoli, Atalanta will Inter on the last day. If the Bianconeri were to win the big match, it will be a good step for the ninth consecutive championship.”
Among other things, Lazio have already beaten Juventus twice this season. In Turin, will they repeat the same performances ?
“They are two teams that are not at the top of their physical or mental condition at the moment, the match will be decided by whichever team is more clinical in front of the goal.”
Dybala or Higuain: who do you think will start from Monday evening?
“I’m not so presumptuous or intrusive to advise Sarri on the choice, he sees them every day and will know better than anyone who to choose for this delicate match. Dybala is having a great championship, surely everyone would like to see him on the pitch, exactly like Douglas Costa. We have faith in him, the awareness is that he always puts in the best formation.”
Is Douglas Costa really the twelfth man or would he deserve a chance from the start?
“I would like to see him from the beginning, such a player must have more continuity even if it is never easy to see the best of him with only twenty minutes in his legs. A strong boy like him must be recovered slowly, he needs trust and to be pampered. In my opinion he is very, very important, in this last part of the championship he could be Juventus’ best weapon, but it will depend on his behaviour and how he trains, it is not just a matter of technical qualities.”
You scored 68 goals in all competitions, Ronaldo has reached 60. Do you think he will be able to beat your score with the Bianconeri this season?
“I am convinced of this, Ronaldo is the number one player in the world. I wish him to beat my record and still score many other goals.”
Do you feel like making a prediction?
“It will be an open game, it is difficult to make a prediction. May the best team win.”
Some time ago, in an interview with Le Phoceen, you mentioned Higuain at Marseille. Can you explain better what you meant?
“The possibility for me to go to Marseille as sporting director had come up, the position is still vacant but for the moment there’s nothing more.”