There once was a time where Serie A was held in higher regard than the Premier League. Now, as Italy’s top flight begins to sink familiarly closer to its usual state of inevitability, those that regarded the more tactically inclined, sluggish division ahead of England’s exciting and open stage must be eating their words.
Serie A has lost its sparkle, in no small part to the dominance of Juventus. While Chelsea and Manchester City battle it out to be crowned champions of the planet’s most competitive league, the Old Lady’s recent domestic domination is showing no sign of waning as the twilight months of the season begin to beckon.
Up until Antonio Conte swaggered into Turin, who would become champions of Italy was often difficult to predict. An AC Milan side consisting of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic,
Ronaldinho and Andrea Pirlo were the last side other than Juventus to lift the trophy back in 2011, just a year on after Inter Milan had scooped a treble under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho.
But now, things are a foregone conclusion. Conte arrived at the club and immediately propelled them to a level at which no other side comes close. Three league titles in as many years has now left them firmly primed for a fourth in Massimiliano Allegri’s
maiden season at the helm. Nothing looks like changing anytime soon.
Friday evening’s victory over Atalanta was achieved despite the fact they never truly got going. Pirlo, whose decision to leave the San Siro in 2011 has been vindicated ever
since, scored a stunning long-range effort to put them 10 points clear at the summit prior to Roma’s tricky clash against Verona. With morale beginning to drop, Rudi Garcia’s side could only muster a point in response.
Juventus have the best manager, best squad and best record. Carlos Tevez remains the undisputed talisman, whilst Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal have been similarly brilliant.
Veterans Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini continue to defy age, as does Pirlo whose goal was his third from 15 league appearances.
Now Juventus win the title year after year, Italy is trailing England in terms of both footballing excitement and quality. Title tussles generate excitement, whereas a race where only one side can last the distance does not.
In the Premier League anybody can beat anybody. This weekend alone saw Burnley hold Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Swansea gun down Manchester United and Liverpool comfortably swat aside Southampton. In short, it was a week of results that no doubt wounded betting accumulators up and down the country.
Investment from clubs could be the only way to rejuvenate Serie A. AC Milan are being linked with a Thailand takeover, and teams beginning to spend lavishly is the only way to turn things around. Failure to do so could see it slump even further and lose out financially as a result.