It was a month that started with so much grit and promise but by the end, Juventini were questioning almost everything associated with the Old Lady.
With back-to-back Serie A defeats succeeding and undermining Juventus’ nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions, the outlook on the black and white side of Turin was grim and dim ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Zenit.
Thus, with the mood a little cheerier, we thought it’d be a good time to hand out our Player of the Month award for October. A horrible end to the month means that the average ratings of the three leaders are considerably lower compared to September’s top trio, while this month’s victor only started three games (the minimum requirement) to claim the award.
Let’s see who’s victorious this time around.
3rd. Giorgio Chiellini (Average Rating – 6.25)
If it wasn’t for his abhorrent display in the Hellas Verona defeat, Giorgio Chiellini was in great shape to take home his first Old Juve Player of the Month award.
However, his 3.5 rating for whatever performance that was has brought his average rating down to 6.25. In other months, he wouldn’t have got close to the top three. Nevertheless, let’s forget the bad and remember the good and gritty.
Chiellini started three more games in October, earning 7.0, 8.5 and 6.0 ratings. The veteran Italian defender was excellent in the victories over AS Roma and Torino before enduring a fairly quiet night in the Derby d’Italia as Inter Milan refused to attack in the second half.
2nd. Wojciech Szczesny (Average Rating – 6.3)
A podium spot in the Player of the Month award? The Wojciech Szczesny remontada is officially complete, ladies and gentlemen.
Following an abominable start to the 2021/22 season, Szczesny enjoyed a slow and subtle upturn in form before a heroic sequence in the Roma victory restored him to the good books of many Juventus supporters. His penalty save from Jordan Veretout ensured Juve walked away from that contest with all three points.
The Poland international kept three clean sheets in October and had only conceded once before the trip to Hellas Verona to close out the month. There, Szczesny let two in although he could do little to prevent Giovanni Simeone’s brace.
Following an impressive run of games, Szczesny’s early-season errors are gradually fading into the abyss.
1st. Matthijs de Ligt (Average Rating – 6.83)
Matthijs de Ligt required just three October starts to claim this award. His second win on the bounce. While the Dutchman wasn’t quite as convincing as he was in September, his performances against Torino and Zenit were quite brilliant and he averaged a 7.5 rating from those two games.
De Ligt was in and out of Max Allegri’s XI as the Juventus boss continued to trust his veteran centre-back duo, although it’s pretty distinct that the former Ajax gladiator is the Old Lady’s finest defender.
His showing in the Sassuolo defeat wasn’t his finest and critics would argue he was at fault for both of the Neroverdi’s goals that day. Even so, his 5.5 rating for that performance wasn’t enough to thrust him out of Player of the Month contention.
Matthijs de Ligt is Old Juve’s Player of the Month for October 2021.