“Still Not Enough” – Juventus Must Let Sarri Go This Summer

No, this is not a reactionary post to Juventus’ shock loss at the Sardegna Arena yesterday. However, that result indeed sums up the very point of this piece.

Maurizio Sarri was announced as Juventus boss last summer to replace Massimiliano Allegri who had stepped down after a successful spell with the Old Lady.

During an incredible eight-year run that saw them win the Scudetto in each season, the style employed by both Antonio Conte and Allegri was a results-based pragmatic system that relied on a strong defensive foundation.

Perhaps a different style was in demand and the 61-year-old was brought in to introduce some flair and attacking impetus while winning football matches (as it should be for any Juventus manger). It was time for Sarriball. But quite frankly that has not been the case.

As predicted at the start of the season, Juventus were favorites to win the title and once again have secured yet another Scudetto for a ninth straight season. Just that this time, it was in unconvincing fashion.

Sarriball was never really in sight as the champions limped over the line. At several points this season they have played poorly and for the most part, have had to rely on the individual talents of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala to come up with the goods and get them put of sticky situations. For a manager who has made his name by implementing a model or a certain style of play, it doesn’t speak well about his methods.

Their various slip-ups this season, though not capitalized upon by their rivals, have seen them come under unnecessary pressure from Antonio Cote’s Inter (who eventually ran out of gas) and more recently Lazio.

It’s important to remember that before football took a break due to the global pandemic, Lazio were the team with momentum, hot on Juventus’ heels and closing in for the kill. Only a solitary point separated both sides at the time.

There was every possibility that with the way their momentum was gathering pace, they could have knocked the champions off their perch. Unfortunately for the Biancocelesti, a myriad of injuries before the resumption of play prevented them from carrying that form into the restart.

Credits to Sarri for improving a number of players individually. Most notably Cristiano Ronaldo and the prince of Turin Paulo Dybala. Ronaldo’s 31st of the Serie A season saw him match a club record set by Felice Borel all the way back in 1933-34. Add that to Dybala’s 11 goals and it means the pair account for about 56% of Juve’s Serie A goals (75) this season. While that statistic is worthy of praise, it hints also at Sarri’s failings. Juventus’ midfield has been a mess, a constantly rotating cast with few standout performers.

For the Italian tactician and his team, their lack of a clear attacking identity is underlined even more by their porosity at the back. Stats tell that Juventus have conceded more goals this season than in any other title-winning season. Not just during their incredible 9-year run but in the 13 times they have won the Scudetto this century. In fact, it is the most goals conceded by an Italian Champion since 1960-61.

For all of their attacking prowess and star studded players, third-placed Atalanta have currently scored 23 more goals than Juventus.

The Serie A is more or less a given for any manager at Juventus so let’s look at under competitions under Sarri. Juve lost in the Coppa Italia final and have a 0-1 deficit against Lyon in the Champions League, a competition that has now eluded them time and time over.

Juventus never had a problem with “winning” but perhaps the style with which it was delivered. Hence, the appointment of Sarri to sort that.

The direct, free-flowing attacking football that took Europe by storm and almost snatched the title from Juventus two seasons ago dubbed Sarriball was last seen two seasons ago. At Chelsea, Sarri faced criticism regarding his style of play even though he finished third in the Premier League and won the Europa League in his debut season in England. Not surprisingly, he left the club just after one season in charge.

The writing was already on the wall but Juventus ignored the signs and the truth is Sarriball in all its glory may have passed its prime. The longer we cling onto that Napoli side and use them as an excuse for him, the worse the situation gets.

Perhaps, the players in the Juventus team are not good enough to demonstrate his genius on the pitch but in this current climate, it becomes more difficult to begin a large scale squad overhaul. An easier option will be to change the manager rather than the players.

Juventus cannot afford to wait on a project, they are not that type of club and winning the Serie A title alone is not considered as a successful season anymore for them. Unless something changes in the coming weeks, the Old Lady should be seriously considering their options.

A problem older managers usually have regarding their style and technique is refusing to adapt to change as the beautiful game evolves. Arsene Wenger was a genius when he brought his free-flowing style of football to England but it gradually became obsolete and the Frenchman was later criticized for the same thing he was initially praised for.

A look at Jose Mourinho and we can admit the Portuguese is facing the same problems at Tottenham. His laid-back football saw him become one of the most successful managers in this era and now his Spurs side are being labelled a “bore” to watch under the 57-year-old.

The same thing is most likely happening with Sarri and it’s more a case of “an old dog not being able to deliver new tricks.” Some recent reports have linked Juventus to ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and this is definitely an option the club’s hierarchy must consider. Fabio Paratici says Sarri has the club’s full support but surely they must have second thoughts somewhere?

Maurizio Sarri has not been woeful in any way but the reality so far is he still hasn’t done enough in his one-year stint at the club.


  1. the great experiment is well and truly over, we will be knocked out by Lyon. Sarri needs to go or we will be in serious serious trouble next season. i would argue Napoli had the best team in the league,certainly last season. sarri is very much like Wenger, his time to win is over, he seems to instill a don`t care attitude in his players, just like wenger did in the end.

  2. Sarri, unlike Wenger, never had a time to win. He is a loser pure and simple. To be honest, Juve do not deserve the title – they were benefited by the virus ( perhaps the only people that were ).Anyone who believes Sarri is capable of winning the C.L. is certifiably insane – if they are lucky enough to beat Lyon they will be massacred by City.

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