Juventus exceeded all our expectations, as manager Maurizio Sarri was sacked by the Italian giants following an unconvincing Scudetto defense & elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Olympique Lyonnais. Just when we thought 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, with speculations all around of who could possibly replace Sarri “Andrea Pirlo signed a two-year contract, barely a week on from being named coach of the Bianconeri’s Under-23 team in his first managerial role.
Juventus desperately wanted to be seen as a superclub on the level of Real Madrid or Barcelona, to lift the Champions League and end that two-decade curse. At least President Andrea Agnelli admitted as much this time when sacking Maurizio Sarri, declaring out loud once and for all that no, the Scudetto is not the main objective of the season and European glory is not a dream. It is a target.
Having said that, is Andrea Pirlo really the man to take them there? Make no mistake about it, this may be the riskiest appointment Juve have ever made.
Bringing in Sarri last summer was brave enough as it signaled Juve’s intent to scrap the formula that delivered them a succession of Serie A titles, in favour of a more ‘modern’ approach.
When Massimiliano Allegri was told to leave the Bianconeri in the summer of 2019, he had made it very clear this Juve team needed a revolution. With that, he meant that some players needed to be moved on and fresh faces brought in to make sure that they don’t stagnate. The five or six-year cycle was coming to an end and Allegri had foreseen all of it well before anyone else could. The Bianconeri failed to provide him with players suitable for his system, which didn’t mesh well with the coach’s insistence on playing his way.
he signing of Cristiano Ronaldo was a clear suggestion of their move towards the idea of becoming a superclub like Real Madrid or Barcelona.
The problem with success is that nobody has one correct recipe and one gets the feeling there is a lack of unified vision at Juventus. Many can say, it’s no secret Allegri was pushed out by Fabio Paratici and Pavel Nedved. If they don’t do that, they become painfully predictable, as we saw much of the time at Chelsea. Teams found it easy to sit deeper and restrict them to playing sideways passes – as was evident in the Coppa Italia final against Napoli.
In my Opinion:
There are claims that Sarri lost parts of the dressing room because of faults of his own. At the same time, one should ask what Juve really had in mind when they hired Sarri?
Cohesion was always going to triumph here, a characteristic that Juve sorely lack. When Plan A is faltering, that’s where a coach earns his salary by making a difference from the sidelines. Worryingly for Juve, Sarri has shown an inability to do this at the top level where it is needed most. On occasions, Adrien Rabiot and Rodrigo Bentancur flirted with the idea of positioning themselves higher, but in general, when Miralem Pjanic had possession, there was almost no way of playing forward.
This power struggle is not helping anyone, and most of the positives from this season came about by accident rather than by design. This club tried so hard to off-load Paulo Dybala and he ended up being the MVP in all of Serie A. Deadwood like Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain remained, Mario Mandzukic and Emre Can were moved on, while Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey were just the latest in a selection of players Juve seemingly signed just because they were free agents.
He was great as a player & the same confidence he can do the same as a coach. The most intriguing aspect of Pirlo’s appointment concerns his complete lack of experience. He becomes, the latest legendary figure to manage the team they enjoyed so much success with as a player, following in the footsteps of Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United and Frank Lampard at Chelsea. Yet the former Milan midfielder only received his UEFA Pro Licence earlier in the summer and therefore, unlike them, hasn’t served any sort of apprenticeship.
Not much is known about Pirlo’s managerial philosophy at this stage, but he did recently tell fellow World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro that 4-3-3 was his desired formation, with ‘everyone forward’ and ‘lots of possession’. He then made some revealing remarks at his U23 unveiling, professing his love for passing football but also stressing the need to win. And despite being an admirer of Sarri, the Italy icon suggested he would not be as stubborn, focusing more on getting the best out of the players available to him.
“Andrea has in his mind the same approach to coaching as he does when he played. That’s football of great quality and hard work. He wants to propose a certain type of football, the kind European teams are generally trying to follow. Andrea told reporters in one of his interviews,
“I hated some things as a player and never wanted to see them again. Systems aren’t the issue, it’s about occupying the space and working with the characteristics of the players”
This is something that Sarri lacked or I may say wasn’t permitted too. I like Sarri’s style of football, the playmaker sees so much of the ball and what Andrea should do is let the lads know what it really means to be Juventus & bring back the fear that Juve once had
A two-year deal suggests Juve will not hesitate in pulling the plug on Pirlo if the job proves too much for him, but he will surely be wrapped in cotton wool with a first-class backroom team behind him. President Andrea Agnelli has high hopes for his high-stakes gamble, allegedly believing he can emulate Zidane by commanding instant respect for the squad, which includes several of his former teammates, among them Gianluigi Buffon, who at 42 is older than his new boss.
I am looking forward to seeing, how Pirlo will use CR7
Juve’s Transfer Rumours
It’s shaping up to be another exciting day in the transfer market as clubs continue to seek reinforcements ahead of next season.
With the season gradually drawing to an end as teams round off the European tournaments, it’s the perfect time to size up what areas should be strengthened, especially considering the new campaign is just a matter of weeks away.
The Argentinian forward, who won the Serie A MVP award this month, currently earns around £9million-a-year and a sale between £90million and £110million would allow the Old Lady to fund a new squad.
Juventus owner Andrea Agnelli does not want to dismantle the team but feels he may need to rejuvenate the squad following the arrival of new head coach Andrea Pirlo this summer.
Matuidi and Juventus have mutually agreed to terminate the final year of his contract in Turin. The French World Cup winner made 45 appearances for Juve across all competitions last season.
Matuidi, who signed for Juventus from Paris St-Germain in a deal worth up to 30.5m Euros (£27.8m) in 2017, is linked with a move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami. Inter Miami have lost all five matches so far in their debut Major League Soccer season and if the rumour proves to be true Matuidi would be the highest-profile signing yet for the franchise which is part-owned by former England and Manchester United midfielder David Beckham.
New Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo is reportedly desperate to bring Alexandre Lacazette to Turin from Arsenal.
In fact, the former Bianconeri midfielder is also willing to offer Mikel Arteta his pick of three Juve players in order to make the deal happen. The Gunners are in need of a huge cut to their wage bill after releasing 55 members of staff earlier this month and with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being offered a new contract. Lacazette could well make way, with the Serie A champions keen on the France international.
Claims suggest Juve will offer either Gonzalo Higuain, Douglas Costa or Cristian Romero to Arsenal to sweeten the deal. Given Higuain is 32 and would command extremely high wages, the former Chelsea striker is unlikely to return to London.
Sportitalia claim Juventus have started negotiations with Roma for Edin Dzeko as an alternative to Arkadiusz Milik and Alvaro Morata.
Juve’s grip on Serie A has been a given for the last nine years, but they seem prepared to lose it if it means finally winning the Champions League. It may be that the Bianconeri end up with neither as a result of having Pirlo in the hot seat and cause themselves more damage in the long run compared to sticking with Sarri. For them, however, the rewards outweigh the risks. For them, Pirlo holds the best chance of ending 25 years of hurt.