Juventus legend Gianluca Vialli has called for patience with the Serie A champions’ new-look side following their inauspicious start to the season.
Juve have dominated Italian football in recent years and romped to a fourth consecutive Scudetto last season, finishing some 17 points clear of second-placed Roma before completing the domestic double by also winning the Coppa Italia.
However, the Turin club have begun their quest for a fifth title in a row in uncharacteristic fashion, losing their opening two Serie A matches for the first time in history.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri oversaw something of a squad overhaul in the close-season, with key players such as Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez all departing.
The decision to allow several of the catalysts of Juve’s recent success to leave has been widely questioned – particularly after their early-season struggles.
However, Juve’s UEFA Champions League-winning captain of 1996 Vialli has praised the club’s hierarchy for what he considers brave forward thinking.
Speaking to Omnisport at Soccerex, Vialli explained: “They won four championships in a row and I think it’s only human that at some stage you need to slow down a little bit, recharge your batteries and then start again.
“Even if you don’t do it on purpose, it’s quite normal that deep down, other clubs will have a bit more motivation than Juve.
“Secondly, I think they’ve been quite courageous and I totally support their decision in wanting to change the team now that they are at the top rather than waiting until they get in a decline.
“I think if you do that, you might not be successful straight away, but in a year, two years’ time, you’ve already got a team to stay successful for the foreseeable future. If you wait a bit too long, then it might take you ages.
“When you lose players like Pirlo, and Vidal and Tevez, they are irreplaceable, so it takes patience. Even if they try to win straight away, if it doesn’t happen, they’ve got to understand that it takes a little time.”
The likes of Sami Khedira, Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala were signed in the transfer window, and Vialli has backed the new arrivals to come good.
The former Italy striker added: “They are certainly capable of doing it and they can be successful [but] it’s always difficult, because the fans will end up comparing you with the great players that have been at the club before.
“That adds a bit of pressure on your performances, but they are capable. [They are] good signings. Dybala, I think, is excellent. So let’s give them time.”
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