With a dismal home record last season for a side of its stature, the new stadium could be instrumental for Juventus in its return to winning ways
Results summary - Juventus 2010-2011
Source - Wikipedia
The numbers speak for themselves. The home record looks incredibly tame for a top side like Juventus but that’s how life was last season. On closer inspection, one can notice the charitable bent of the side in the home games where they leaked in nearly twice the number of goals conceded on away games. Though scoring more in home games Juventus eventually conceded equally well and squandered away many a leads. Even more interesting is the fact that almost in all matches against the bigger sides like Milan, Inter and Roma the team turned up like lions and got positive results only to turn lambs when playing the minnows and dropping most of their points. A team showing such traits could hardly challenge for a top 4 spot when anyone can tell that in order to do so teams must grind positive results especially against lesser opponents consistently and home ground should be like a fortress.
Its clearly more of psychological issues and complacency that can be attributed to such a performance in the last season when the team delivers playing the big sides and is inexplicably absent against the rest. Former coach Luigi Del Neri could not overcome this weakness in the team that seems to have been creeping up for a few seasons now. He could not inspire the team to get out of their shells and deliver consistently. So there were bound to be changes before the new season starts.
Enter Antonio Conte, a club legend, as the new coach, some important transfers and to top it up Juventus will be playing in their new stadium when Serie A kicks off on the 11th of September. Conte is regarded as a tough man and epitomizes the ‘Stile Juventus’. He is being touted to be the right man for putting some fire and discipline into the side, like he knows best from his days. With a reasonable good squad at his disposal he could soon find a new ally in his mission...the Juventus Arena.
Built on the ashes of former home, Stadio Delle Alpi, the ‘Juventus Arena’ is a first of its kind in Italy as it will be owned by the club much like how it is in England, while other clubs in Italy still rent or loan the stadiums from the respective city councils. Much to the respite of fans, who, earlier had to contend with a race track running between them and the action on the pitch apart from inadequate facilities in the cold Turin weather, the new stadium boasts of stands that are just 7.5 m from the pitch (For football fans especially from England who are are used to otherwise, nearly all stadiums in Italy usually have distance between the spectators and the pitch). The state of art Arena also houses a 34,000 sqm shopping complex with parking space for 4000 cars, a capacity of 41,000 including 3,600 premium seats and 120 executive boxes. Altogether it is brilliantly designed to give the fans a more intimate experience of the game and their team, unlike any other stadium in Italy at the moment.
Most people would be surprised at the capacity of the new stadium but it is a lesser known fact that Turin is a very cold place for most part of the year and many games are played in sub zero conditions making it very difficult for the fans to attend games. Statistically, Juventus enjoys more fans in the southern Italy and abroad than it does in Turin and most of them have no choice but to watch their team on away games, where they turn up in numbers, or watch on TV.
The new Arena is designed to make it convenient and fun for fans to attend the games. With the fans at close proximity like never before and the Drughi (Juventus Ultras) in full force, it will be worth the money spent if even half the atmosphere can be created like the La Bombonero, Camp Nou or Anfield of yesteryear's. The fans can lend a hand to Antonio Conte to lift this team up and try recreate its lost past.
“I hope that the new stadium will allow us to create a special feeling between the fans and ourselves, one that will allow them to give us a helping hand. If our fans can become our 12th man then we can go beyond our limits. I hope that the new arena can absorb the winning energy of the Stadio Delle Alpi – that’s what we all want.” -- Allesandro Del Piero
Ultimately it is the team that has to do the talking on the pitch but like all great clubs, the fans have to play their part and the new stadium should probably make it easier and enjoyable for the fans to do that.
Now that the Old Lady has a new home...the fans are desperate for some celebrations!