A Champion’s Weakness

Stagnation. Letting your foot off the gas. Taking a breather. These all happen to people at various points in their lives. Maybe they’re tired of doing something the same way for a long time, or maybe they’re looking to switch it up. The fact is that doing something the same way for awhile can expose weaknesses. This is particularly apparent in sports when it comes to the most successful teams. However, many champions are able to adapt and make sure their weaknesses are not exposed, but some teams for some reason aren’t able to make that switch.

For one, Juventus FC, the eight-time defending Serie A champions, have this problem, and they have it in spades. It’s quite common with teams that are able to dominate right out of the gate: they dominate the early part of the game, jump out to a big lead, and then stop giving 100% effort. This is a well-known problem of many champions, particularly Juventus, but they may have finally been exposed today.

Rivals Napoli SSC visited Turin today and played to a 4-3 loss. However, the scoreline does not belie what actually happened in the match. Juventus jumped out to a 3-0 lead inside of 25 minutes and then relieved their pressure on Napoli. This allowed the Neapolitans to fight back and score their own trifecta of goals, making it a 3-3 game with 10 minutes remaining. The only thing that saved Juventus from a disappointing result at home was an unbelievable own goal by Napoli’s best defender, Kalidou Koulibaly, who put the ball in the back of his own net thanks to a botched cross in injury time.

Simply put, Juventus not only did not deserve the three points they received for winning today, but they’ve been exposed for not putting in the effort needed to close out games. At some point, this arrogance will catch up with them and they’ll be left with egg on their face.

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