Fans of Serie A titans Juventus should be appalled at their behaviour after reportedly sending death threats to Italy head coach Antonio Conte following an injury to midfielder Claudio Marchisio.
The midfielder was initially expected to miss the remainder of the season, harming their hopes of winning both the league title and Champions League, but is instead set to return in two to three weeks.
And, after everything Conte did for the club during his three seasons there, fans of the Old Lady should hang their heads in shame and instead treat their former manager with the same respect they did when he occupied the helm of their beloved club.
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Despite not carrying the same blockbuster labels as the likes of Carlos Tevez, Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal, Marchisio is a popular figure for both club and country and his absence would have harmed Massimiliano Allegri’s side’s chances of further success.
Pogba himself is currently sidelined until March after injuring his hamstring during the 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund earlier this month, and an injury to another midfielder would have left Juventus’ squad looking depleted heading into the crunch months of the season.
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Instead, the two to three weeks he will miss now looks nothing in comparison to the scale of the injury that he was first reported to have sustained, with initial reports of a longer absence causing much anger amongst Juventus supporters, who consequently verbally attacked Conte who they believed to be at fault.
One reason for their reaction may be their bitterness at his summer departure, where after guiding the club to a third consecutive Scudetto he walked away to replace Cesare Prandelli as Italian manager following a disappointing World Cup campaign in Brazil.
It was a decision that sent shockwaves through the footballing world, with his decision to leave one of the most successful sides on the planet indicative of the growing plight Serie A has found itself in in recent years.
He has come out fighting in recent days, demanding he be allowed to get on with his job without any vilification or anger coming his way, but will be hoping victory over Roy Hodgson’s England on Wednesday night can silence any critics who believe he is not up for the job.
The Azzurri are still undefeated under his tutelage, having won five of their six games under the Italian, with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in his first game in charge a high point of his time in the job to date.
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