“Sure I recognise you from somewhere…”
Yes, he was expensive, it terms of both the fee paid to bring him from Seville and the wages since then, but using those figures alone to judge him is unfair. The initial outlay is beyond the players control, & if his agent secured an exceptional deal with an inept Sporting Director would any man refuse?
His first season was undoubtedly poor, and new coach Ciro Ferrara made it clear he saw no room in his team for Poulsen. The club agreed deals to send the player to Turkey, but he steadfastly refused to leave. Juve then sold Cristiano Zanetti to Fiorentina instead, much to the chagrin of the tifosi.
So Poulsen stayed for the 2010/11 season despite nobody – other than his wife – wanting him to be Turin. By sheer force of will he became an important part of the team, his passing was a valuable asset & his discipline in the holding role was superb all season.
The Dane is no longer the snarling, snapping player who kicked Kaka & punched Markus Rosenburg, nor the wind-up-merchant Francesco Totti spat on at Euro 2004. He has seemingly matured as a man & as a player, who looks set to reunite with Hodgson – the man who gave him his debut at FC Copenhagen ten long years ago.
While Juve fans will forever see Christian Poulsen as a symbol of the disastrous Secco-era, perhaps Liverpool fans will appreciate the player he has become – a solid if unspectacular ball-winner, with better than average distribution skills.
This post first appeared at IlTifosi.com