After sustaining back-to-back defeats in Serie A, Juventus are ninth in the table and already 16 points adrift of the league leaders following the conclusion of Matchday 11.
The confidence gained from a gritty nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions has rapidly dissipated and the Bianconeri now look as vulnerable as they’ve ever been, especially under Massimiliano Allegri.
While there are several factors in the Old Lady’s current malaise, including the manager, the form of several players is a major one. Following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Igor Tudor’s in-form Hellas Verona, Allegri decided to take the extreme measure of putting his squad in a week-long training retreat.
It’s clear that the Juve boss is unhappy with his players and after the Verona loss, Allegri said that his side aren’t better than the Gialloblu and added that his side need to “accept the reality” of being a mid-table team. After their win, Verona jumped ahead of Juventus in the Serie A table, with the Old Lady currently occupying ninth spot.
Five players are currently disappointing Allegri
According to Tuttosport (via Football Italia), Allegri gave his players the hair-dryer treatment after Saturday’s defeat. The Juve boss believes that he needs to spend more time with his players for them to return to peak fitness – hence the week-long training retreat.
However, reports have also emerged of Allegri being particularly dissatisfied with five of his players. La Gazzetta dello Sport (via @JuveFC) lists Dejan Kulusveksi, Adrien Rabiot, Moise Kean, Rodrigo Bentancur and Alvaro Morata as those five. In Allegri’s eyes, this quintet have performed well below the manager’s standards and some are said to have “attitude problems”.
We can only speculate on who the players with such issues are.
While Allegri’s reported assessment is harsh on Kulusevski and Kean, who have a combined five Serie A starts between them this season, the manager is right to expect more from the others. Bentancur’s perpetual issues with the ball continue to undermine his good work without it, while Morata has been awful since his return from injury.
Allegri, meanwhile, has placed way too much faith in Rabiot, who’s proved ineffective from a hybrid midfield role. The Frenchman has just one Serie A goal contribution this season, despite starting every game he’s been available for (seven league games).