Juventus won again without Paulo Dybala on Saturday evening to improve their impressive record in 2021/22.
The Bianconeri suffered away at Bologna but goals from Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado ensured their admirable efforts were rewarded. Juve are now five games unbeaten in all competitions.
They were once again without the magic of Dybala in attack as well. The Argentine has been Juve’s standout player this term, but several minor injury issues have prevented La Joya from building any serious momentum.
Still, Juventus have shown this season that they can more than cope without their talisman.
Juventus’ record with and without Paulo Dybala in 2021/22
Saturday’s win means Juventus have now won six of the seven games in which Dybala hasn’t been available. The only defeat came on Matchday 3 away at Napoli. In those six wins, Juve have kept six clean sheets.
That record starkly contrasts the Bianconeri’s form when Dybala’s been available. With La Joya, Juventus have played 17 games this season, winning eight, losing six and keeping six clean sheets in the process.
In summary, Juve’s win percentage with Dybala this season is 47% and without him, it’s over 85%. But why?
Is there a reason for Juventus’ superior record in Dybala’s absence?
In short, I don’t think so. Although, you could argue that his absence galvanises the Juventus players and forces them into a vintage ‘willing to suffer for the cause’ mindset.
While Juve have been barely watchable this term, in the games where they’ve looked more dynamic and progressive, Dybala has been the lead protagonist with his talent manifesting wonderfully. Without Dybala, Allegri’s blocking space and counter-attacking approach becomes more apparent, and perhaps Juve are less effective at nailing the boss’ default ploy with Dybala in the side.
The Argentine isn’t built for this sort of football. He’s a player who persistently needs to have the ball at his feet. Diligence out of possession and rapid transition play is not his forte. Thus, it’d be fair to say that Dybala isn’t cut out for ‘Allegri Ball’, but, my word, should we really hold that against him?
A player of his talent doesn’t deserve to be inhibited by a system that wouldn’t look out of place in 1992. It’s outdated and insufferable to watch, although Juve are still capable of producing the odd statement result.
Some may claim that Juve’s success without Dybala combined with the playmaker’s injury record are reasons why the club should reconsider his lucrative and lengthy extension. However, for anyone who’s endured the misfortune of tuning into Allegri’s stuttering Bianconeri this season, the importance of Dybala to his side is overwhelmingly distinct.