Vlahovic sad and goalless: another thorn for Allegri at Juventus

Vlahovic sad and goalless: another thorn for Allegri at Juventus


TURIN – Not even a penalty, mockingly stamped on the post, was enough to unlock Dusan Vlahovic. The negative moment of the Juventus forward continues, who ended up in the tunnel of goal withdrawal: as often happens with strikers, it all started with a physical problem that slowly affected the certainties accumulated up to that moment by the Serbian. Which he hasn’t scored since February 7 in the league, when he scored twice in Salerno, also scoring a penalty in that case, and since the 16th with Nantes in the Europa League. “Maybe he could score already on Thursday” Allegri reassured him after the failed penalty against Sampdoria: the environment pampers him, his teammates look for him, the fans support him. But Vlahovic still doesn’t score.

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The race to score and the applause of the Allianz Stadium

On Sunday evening Vlahovic’s team-mates understood the moment from the Serbian and looked for it continuously, trying to get it to unlock. Throughout the game Kostic attacked the baseline with his head down trying to create for him, but without being able to find the right assist. The same thing happened with Rabiot, when the match had already been decided: the Frenchman searched for Vlahovic continuously, but also in this case without getting what he hoped for. Yet the centre-forward’s numbers are not disastrous, even considering the ten games missed between the league, Champions and Italian Cup: in 26 games he has scored 10 goals, one every 200 minutes, dispensing 4 assists. Even the Allianz Stadium and its fans understood the difficult moment and despite the missed penalty, serial errors and a face that was the whole program, they supported Vlahovic with chants, applause, inciting him with every mistake. The same road that some time ago, when he was still at Fiorentina, made him find the necessary continuity: Prandelli, who just recently decided to stop coaching, pampered him, calmly explaining to him what the most frequent mistakes were and building him mentally. From a good young centre-forward he transformed, with work and Prandelli’s advice, into the goal machine that made Juventus fall in love with him. And now it’s flooded.

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Pubalgia and decline in performance

As previously mentioned, it all started with the groin pain that hit him last season, ruining the final of last season, the World Cup with Serbia and the start of the current season. With groin pain, Vlahovic lost his points of reference, that physical dominance that had allowed him to make his way through the muscles of the opposing central defenders. Little by little, the goal began to disappear, the pain multiplying, preventing him from making technical gestures that until a few months before were a habit for him. “He is, together with Haaland and Mbappé, one of the strongest strikers of his generation” was Allegri’s investiture, a weight that slowly crushed Vlahovic, loading with responsibility that physique that could no longer even handle the accumulated muscle mass in these years. Also because in addition to his physical and technical certainties, his way of playing has also changed: from an offensive point of reference with Italiano to a center forward with Allegri. “I think he should understand that he has to play with less frenzy. Now he’s being asked so much to keep the ball for us to go up, he has to understand the right thing to do – explained Bonuncci in an interview at the end of May -. It’s normal that he can overdo the desire to do, he’s young. We keep Dusan close, he gave us enthusiasm, goals, heaviness forward. He took responsibility away from others. He’s a very important player.” The responsibility lifted from the shoulders of his companions ended up on him and slowly crushed him. After the goal in the Champions League scored 33″ after his debut, many expected the definitive explosion: Thursday in Freiburg he will have the opportunity to return to scoring by leading the Juventus attack alongside Di Maria. Allegri trusts precisely in the Argentine for make him find the lost center forward, submerged by responsibilities and by the abstinence from goals.


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