The puzzling topic of Sebastian Giovinco

Posted by Mina Rzouki

Valerio Pennicino/Getty ImagesStriker Sebastian Giovinco has scored two goals this season for Serie A leaders Juventus.

When it comes to Juventus, the players always discussed are the likes of Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and the others who continue to make the difference. However, there is one player we seem to have forgotten about and one that continues to puzzle the fans: Sebastian Giovinco.

- Report: Marchisio "going nowhere"

His agent, Claudio Pasqualin, admitted a few days ago that Arsenal contacted him to ask for more information on Giovinco. While he conceded it was flattering to hear of such interest, Pasqualin also took the opportunity to remind everyone the player will stay with the Turin giants.

But is he right to stay?

"Who would I like to coach? Giovinco. He's a genius and in my opinion the best acquisition," explained an impressed Marcello Lippi. Rarely has the former Juventus coach mentioned Giovinco without using the "G" word (genius) to describe him. So exactly why is this talented player unable to break into the first team let alone manage minutes off the bench?

Based on technique alone, he is talented. His rapid control, delicious passing and clever eye can make for some exciting viewing. However, he can also be a frustrating figure to watch on the pitch. A man notorious for his ability to squander goal-scoring opportunities, his inability to prove decisive has turned fans off of him, with many of them regularly booing the player.

His build-up play is certainly mesmerising to watch, but when the final product is missing, it means little. This is, after all, Juventus where the only thing that matters is winning.

Regularly booed by the supporters, Antonio Conte has been forced into defending his pupil while the player has even taken to responding via social media. Simply put, the fans don't feel he belongs. Asked why and many of them will point to the stats.

Taking the match against Lazio last season as an example, the player managed only one successful dribble, failed in his other eight attempts, while the most worrying statistic concerned the player's ball play. He lost possession 18 times because of his mistakes in controlling the ball.

It is thought such poor performances have much to do with the pressure the player feels when wearing the Bianconeri jersey. As a fan of the club and the player thought to one day replace the great Alessandro Del Piero, Giovinco has been scrutinised from an early age.

His potential quickly spotted; for a long time he was thought of as the future of the club -- the creative midfielder who would become the legend Juventus needed in those troubled years prior to Conte's arrival as coach.

A product of the Juve youth system, success was always the objective, but success wearing the black and white shirt was of the utmost importance to the Atomic Ant. He craved the adoration of the fans and the recognition that his hard work made a difference. Instead, he faced a disappointed set of supporters who were simply unimpressed with the player's development. Considered a lightweight on the pitch, poor at finishing and defensive of his qualities off the pitch, neither his attitude nor his talent endeared him to the fans.

Not every player can cope with criticism. Ricardo Quaresma admitted to this writer that the few errors he made on arrival at the club were never forgotten. It is indeed difficult to play on a pitch when the fans are constantly scrutinising every small mistake and demanding perfection and screaming mean remarks at every opportunity. Support is craved, but rarely given as modern age football demands perfection, especially from those who have been spoiled in the past.

Even Serie A newcomer Keisuke Honda has admitted his fear of the Milan fans, conceding that it would terrify him if they booed him. Some players thrive off the words of the naysayers; others crumble and collapse quickly when those very naysayers are the people they want to impress the most.

Conte knows this and not only does he believe in Giovinco but he takes the time to speak to him on a regular basis. Balancing support with criticism, he asks the forward to embrace his weaknesses and turn them into strengths. He makes him work harder, push himself further and most importantly, to release the anxiety that has hindered his performances.

The problem is that Giovinco might never really make it in the club he values the most. It is one thing to combat physical deficiencies, but combining those with psychological barriers might just be too much for any one man to handle -- even one that has been raised in Italy's most successful club.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.