Life after Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t been so easy for Juventus who have won just three of their opening seven fixtures in Serie A and the Champions League this season.
After starting their Champions League campaign with an away win over Molde, the Old Lady can build some momentum with a good result at home to Chelsea on Wednesday night. But how realistic is it to expect Max Allegri’s struggling side will beat the European champions?
Eurosport Italy’s Carlofilippo Vardelli provides some insight on the troubles currently being experienced by Juve.
Champions League
'Don't disrespect the players' - Solskjaer hits back at critics after vital win
20 HOURS AGO

How bad have Juve been this season? Teething problems post-Ronaldo or more systematic, long-term issues?

After some difficult matches early this season, Juve are finally getting back on their feet, but they still concede too many goals and are unable to control the match defensively.
In attack, on the other hand, Juventus are still creating lots of opportunities, but they are not very good at making the most of them. The good thing is that, mentally, there was a reaction [after the difficult start].
Against Spezia and Sampdoria, Juve won by showing their muscles and anger. As for Ronaldo, I would say the problems Juventus have today go beyond the goals the Portuguese scored, which hid a lot of the attacking problems.

Juventus' Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci celebrates after scoring a penalty during the Italian Serie A football match between Juventus and Sampdoria on September 26, 2021 at the Juventus stadium in Turin

Image credit: Getty Images

How differently are Juve playing without Ronaldo? Have they completely changed their style?

On a tactical level, Allegri is experimenting with new things in the possession phase (a fairly compact 4-4-2 that exploits the width on the sides), but it is on a defensive and physical level that Juve are still too far behind.
The Bianconeri have not yet scored a goal in the second half (in both Serie A and the Champions League) and they always struggle after an hour of play. The team have yet to get used to Allegri's style of play and they may never get used to it.

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 26: head coach of Juventus Massimiliano Allegri looks on prior to the Serie A match between Juventus and UC Sampdoria at Allianz Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC v

Image credit: Getty Images

How bad is the defence?

The defensive strategy that Allegri likes to adopt is no longer working - the ‘short snout’ theory (winning games 1-0 or 2-1) that the club likes so much (Andrea Agnelli said he appreciates this theory) is simply out of date.
The midfield and defence are no longer able to cancel out their opponents by defending inside their own area as they were five years ago. Today, Juve must defend from the front. If Allegri does not change course on a defensive level, also including possession as a weapon, Juve will not be able to fight for the title.

Aaron Ramsey has only started the Udinese game – does he have a future at the club?

To date, Aaron Ramsey has been a weight around Juventus’ neck. In addition to suffering many injuries, his salary (€35m a year) has made it difficult for the club to get rid of him. Allegri made him play as a defensive midfielder at the beginning of the season, but it was to make up for the absences.
During the season, once injuries have cleared, Ramsay will be able to carve out a role for himself, but he will never be a fundamental player for the Bianconeri. In front of him in the pecking order, there are Weston McKennie, Rodrigo Bentancur, Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot and, when he returns, Arthur.

Aaron Ramsey, Juventus 2020-2021 (Getty Images)

Image credit: Getty Images

Chiesa is a totem for Juventus. Honestly, I don't think Juve can afford to sell him as they would be throwing away one of the few world-class players in the squad. It seems crazy to me. However, if Chelsea arrive with an offer of €150m, that might be the point the Bianconeri sell him.

Finally, how far off the level are they of early pace-setters Napoli?

As things stand right now, a lot. Napoli play splendid football. They score a lot and don’t give away much. On the other hand, Juve don’t score many goals and give away a lot.
Transfers
Ballon d'Or power rankings: Will Messi win again?
18/10/2021 AT 16:49
Premier League
Opinion: Only a matter of time until Solskjaer is sacked as Man Utd boss
16/10/2021 AT 19:53