5. Don’t be scared to sack Massimiliano Allegri
Once Massimiliano Allegri was revealed as Andrea Pirlo’s successor, many automatically assumed that Juventus were back in business.
This was a manager who had led the Bianconeri to five Scudetti on the spin and two Champions League finals during his first stint in charge. Thus, Juve’s return to Calcio supremacy was a matter of immediacy, right?
Well, as Allegri’s quickly discovered, football, especially in Italy, has evolved rapidly since his initial departure. Teams are playing with higher defensive lines, pressing has become ubiquitous, while Antonio Conte and his imperious automatisms influenced many to start building meticulous attacks from defence.
The philosophy of pragmatism, once so influential in Italian football, has dissipated to the extent where Allegri is one of its very few remaining disciples. Idealists such as Vincenzo Italiano and Alessio Dionisi are in fashion, and the first half of the 2021/22 season proved that the Juve boss has struggled to evolve tactically.
Allegri’s default principles see Juventus struggle to exert control on matches and his methods are not conducive to winning a league title. They can win him a big game, but sustainability is an issue. The manager is adaptable, however, and we’ve seen him test various systems already this term. Some of which, the 4-2-3-1 especially, brought about more dynamic and controlled performances.
But, for the most part, Juve have been close to unwatchable this term and the manager’s outdated ideals have been a major factor as to why. Sure, his squad isn’t perfect but he has two attacking superstars at his disposal. So far, their potential as a unit has been merely teased.
Overall, the signs from Allegri suggest he isn’t the optimal leader of Juventus’ rebuild. But, this isn’t a clamour for the manager to be sacked. He deserves time. He deserves a couple of transfer windows to build a more competitive squad. However, Allegri’s position at the club shouldn’t be secure as a result of past glories and the hierarchy must ensure that his successful first stint at the club doesn’t cloud their judgement on the here and now.
Don’t be afraid to give him the boot if Juve’s woes persist in 2022/23.