Friday, July 1, 2022

Juventus may have met their match with former boss Conte

David Nugent in Editorial, Serie A 7 Jan 2020

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Inter head coach Antonio Conte seems to have the Midas touch when it comes to winning league titles. The Italian was the man responsible for setting Juventus’ current domination in motion.

Now the man who created the Bianconeri dynasty could well be the one who also wrecks it too. After Monday night’s results, Inter and Juventus are level on points, with the reigning champions ahead courtesy of the superior head-to-head record.

Antonio Conte revived Juventus

Juventus have now won the Italian title in the last eight seasons. Conte was the Bianconeri head coach in season 2011/12 when they returned to Serie A and started their current stellar run of titles. The fact that he guided the team to success in their first season back in the Italian top-flight was incredible.

However, at that point, there was no dominant force in Serie A, as Inter were an ageing team on the wane. There was a vacuum for a team to dominate and Conte created a team worthy of dominating Serie A for years.

Without Conte, arguably Juventus would not be the same team they are now. The Bianconeri were still massive even in Serie B, but the team needed a lot of improvement on Conte’s arrival. He seems to have the knack of bringing in the right players and getting the best out of his existing resources, which is what top bosses do.

Inter thriving under Conte

Talking about bringing in the right players and getting the best out of them, Inter are now thriving under Conte. The Nerazzurri have had so much potential to return to their glory days and they have quite returned to the top of the Italian football tree under a succession of bosses, most recently Luciano Spalletti has tried and failed to return Inter to their glory days.

In truth, Inter were the last real dominant force in the Italian game before Juventus’ resurgence. They won four straight league titles and the Champions League under the likes of Roberto Mancini and Jose Mourinho.

However, the Nerazzurri have experienced a title drought since their last triumph in 2010. The current edition of Inter, managed by Conte and spearheaded by dynamic strike-duo of Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku look like the real deal.

Just as he did in Turin and at Chelsea, Conte has hit the ground running. He won top-flight titles with both his aforementioned clubs in his first season in charge. The way Inter are playing at the moment, a hat-trick of debut season title wins can certainly not be ruled out.

Can Inter stay the distance?

In recent seasons, Napoli have been Juventus’ biggest title rival. Ironically, current boss Maurizio Sarri managed the men from Naples during the majority of their challenges to the Bianconeri. They put up valiant fights against the reigning champions but always came up short. The champions usually found a way to stay ahead.

Despite their stellar start to the Serie A campaign, Inter are still 9/4 second-favourites for the Scudetto this season. Those odds are understandable considering Juventus’ stranglehold on the Italian top-flight to close to a decade. They were never going to be easy to shift off their perch.

However, there seems to be a sense of real belief at Inter and within Italy that Inter are a real threat to the reigning champions and their run could end this season. It would be such an ironic twist if it was Conte, the coach who started the great that ended it too.

Can Inter win this season’s Scudetto?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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