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Juventus overhaul ´no excuse´ for failure, warns president Agnelli

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has warned that the squad overhaul during the close-season is no excuse for the team’s poor form so far this season.

Massimiliano Allegri won the domestic double and reached the Champions League final in his first season in charge in Turin, but the Scudetto holders have endured a tough opening to the 2015-16 campaign.

Arturo Vidal, Carlos Tevez and Andrea Pirlo all departed during the close-season and new signings including Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic have struggled for consistent form.

Despite acknowledging his hopes for the future, Agnelli says lying 14th after eight rounds of Serie A is not something to be accepted.

“We knew the process of renewing the Juventus squad could create some problems,” he said prior to Juve’s shareholder meeting. “But it’s not a justification for our current 14th place in the table.

“The investments in Dybala, [Mario] Lemina, [Daniele] Rugani, [Alvaro] Morata, [Stefano] Sturaro, [Paul] Pogba and [Simone] Zaza guarantee us a great future.

“We’re always vigilant in the transfer market, and we’re ready to seize any opportunities, like the Tevez one.”

Agnelli went on to urge Italy to embrace a complete revamp in order to challenge the other major European nations at domestic and international level.

“Italian football is in a transitional phase, and to reach the big European sides we need a national approach,” he said.

“I’ve never shied away from the fact that more money could be given to the lower leagues, but within the context of a well-defined plan.

“Reducing the number of teams is critical, as is the introduction of B teams. B teams would allow us to have fewer loans, like in the Premier League.

“Premier League clubs have 175 players out on loan. In Serie A, it’s 452. That’s how you lose control of a player’s development.

“Given the importance of sport in the Italian economic system, a consolidated sports plan would guarantee greater efficiency.

“When it comes to competitiveness, Italy is losing ground to foreign Leagues. Every crisis brings opportunity, if you have the courage to face up to the problems.

“Italian football needs a credible response, credible proposals and credible people. In other words, it needs change.”

Fri 23 Oct, 2015
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