Every manager in the sport knows the unwritten rules of the game. You win, they sing your praises. Perhaps they’ll even call you a genius. But on the back of a defeat (especially a terrible one like yesterday’s), the least you can expect is an angry mob on Twitter calling for your head on a spike. That is exactly what we’re seeing right now with Massimiliano Allegri on the back of another European heartbreak for Juventus.
Was he outfoxed by his counterpart Unai Emery? Or was he out of options?
Well, perhaps, it’s a bit of everything from what is mentioned above.
In the first half, Juventus dominated the play and created a great number of chances. They definitely should have converted at least one of those.
The tactician’s 3-5-2 formation was working well on all phases, but as it’s often the case, the players lost some of their steam as the match progressed. But at this point, this should be an expected outcome due to the fact that these men have been playing non-stop due to the lack depth amidst the injury crisis.
So why didn’t Allegri refresh his Juventus side by making earlier substitutions, one might ask.
For one, Paulo Dybala didn’t have many minutes in his legs, and his touch wasn’t all that smooth following his introduction. After all, he has just returned from yet another injury setback.
Federico Bernardeschi and Moise Kean could have been thrusted a bit earlier. But realistically speaking, these two rarely make much difference – especially against a stubborn and well-organized defense as the one we’ve seen yesterday from the Yellow Submarines.
On the other hand, Emery had several tricks up his sleeve. Francis Coquelin reenergized the midfield and Gerard Moreno’s introduction tipped the scale in favor of the Spaniards almost immediately.
While Allegri’s men dominated the play for more than an hour, the midfield issue remains persistent – as explained by Patrice Evra and Fabio Capello, the middle of the park failed to create plays that can destabilize the Spanish defenses.
The aim of this article isn’t to defend Allegri, in fact, if Juventus have a better alternative in line, they should definitely ditch the former Cagliari and Milan coach.
But the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp won’t be landing in Turin amidst the current financial difficulties. Their arrival requires a HUGE budget and a major overhaul.
So what are Juventus supposed do now? Sack Allegri and bring in a not-so-elite manager renowned for his progressive style of play and ask him to shake things up? Or perhaps hire a rookie manager and go for the Hail Mary?
The Bianconeri actually tried those two tricks in the last two years, and they didn’t exactly pan out in the club’s favor.
It might not be the most popular choice, but Allegri remains the best bet for Juventus at the moment. At least we’re talking about a manager who proved that he can go all the way to the final when given a proper squad.
Federico Cherubini is doing well in this regard thus far. So let’s see if the sporting director manages to fill the remaining holes within the squad next summer, and then it will up to Max to either prove his worth or succumb to the #AllegriOut movement.