Juventus squeaked past Fiorentina 1-0 at the Artemio Franchi to return within a two-point distance of Serie A leaders Inter. After several dreadful campaigns, the Turin heavyweights are back in the Scudetto frame, though football enthusiasts can hardly agree with Massimiliano Allegri’s style.
It’s no secret that Allegri cannot care less about the beauty of the game, which often puts him in the crosshairs of Juventus fans. Keeping a clean sheet is more important to him than scoring goals, even though it is the essence of football. But that’s his view, and he is entitled to it.
However, if you ask Juventus supporters, they’d probably slam the door shut on Allegri’s exit and make sure he doesn’t come back. For years, Allegri has been accused of ‘shooting football in the head,’ but he has somehow persuaded the board to let him carry on with his controversial football philosophy.
And after three years on the fringes, it could finally pay off this season, with Juventus seemingly back in contention for the Scudetto. While the results keep coming their way, the manner in which they win is hideous. But it’s Allegri’s way.
Despite the record-time Italian champions’ inspiring start to the new Serie A campaign, most of their matches this season have been frustrating to watch, to say the least. Tonight’s game against Fiorentina was the latest example.
Juventus opened the scoring from their only chance in the first half and vanished from the opposition half. And it’s not a figure of speech. Excluding Federico Chiesa’s shot from an offside position, Fabio Miretti’s goal was the visitors’ only attempt in 90 minutes before Andrea Cambiaso’s header in stoppages.
Everyone, including Moise Kean and Chiesa, dropped deep back to help Juventus protect their slender lead. So often, Bianconeri had eight or nine players back in their box, trying to fend off Vincenzo Italiano’s men. Fiorentina dominated proceedings from top to bottom, enjoying 68% ball possession and making 25 attempts.
For a team gunning for the ultimate goals, spending an entire game defending against any opposition, let alone last season’s mid-table strugglers, is unacceptable.
It wasn’t the first time Juventus got away with a highway robbery. That’s become a common theme during Allegri’s regime. However, what when Lady Luck decides to turn her back on the experienced coach?
You can’t expect to score once and defend for the rest of the game each week. More often than not, it’ll backfire. It’s not been the case with Juventus yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
Kudos to Allegri, who has upgraded defensive-minded football to perfection. But results aside, the question remains – does a team playing this type of football deserve to win the title?
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