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Every word from Allegri’s post-Empoli press conference: Concerns about Pogba’s injury, tactical changes and Scudetto race

Max Statman

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Photo by Getty Images

In a candid post-match interview, Juventus coach Max Allegri shared insights into the team’s performance, including concerns about Paul Pogba’s injury, tactical changes, and the Scudetto race.

The match against Empoli saw a stellar performance from Juventus, but it wasn’t without its concerns. At the final whistle, Paul Pogba appeared to be nursing an injury.

Allegri addressed this issue with caution, stating, “We don’t know anything yet, he felt a twinge at the back, so we’ll see what the tests say. He came on and showed quality for half an hour.” The uncertainty surrounding Pogba’s injury remains a point of concern for the team.

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In the quest to make amends for the previous week’s controversial draw with Bologna, Allegri opted for more changes in the starting lineup. These changes paid off, with Danilo and Federico Chiesa delivering standout performances. Allegri acknowledged the need for improvement, particularly in the final third, where the team sometimes appeared too frenetic.

Allegri stated, “It was a good performance against an Empoli side that is not easy to play against. We allowed practically nothing at the back, but need to be calmer in the final third or with the final ball, as we were a bit too frenetic. These are things we will improve as time goes on.”

Allegri also addressed his decision to shuffle the squad, bringing in Filip Kostic and Weston McKennie. Explaining Timothy Weah’s absence from the starting lineup, Allegri stated, “Weah was a little tired, while he was also coming into a far more tactical league than he is accustomed to, so I felt he needed a bit of rest.” The coach emphasized the importance of having impactful substitutes who can change the game.

The coach also touched upon the ongoing development of the partnership between Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa upfront. While there’s room for improvement, Allegri expressed satisfaction with their progress, highlighting Vlahovic’s better performance compared to the previous game.

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Allegri said, “Their rapport is growing, I am happy that Federico scored and sad that Vlahovic didn’t convert the penalty. However, I thought this was a better performance from Vlahovic than last time when he did score. We need everyone and must keep the tempo as high as possible to cause problems for the opposition.”

The coach emphasized the need for better cohesion among midfielders and forwards. Playing against a high-defense team like Empoli requires precise timing and passing accuracy. Allegri praised Manuel Locatelli’s performance and noted areas of improvement for Stefano Miretti.

Allegri said, “The midfielders and forwards are also working on getting to know each other better. When you play against a high defence like Empoli, you need to pick the right timing for the passes and make them precise. Locatelli did very well today. Miretti plays well between the lines, but must improve in passing the ball quickly and going for goal more often. We are working towards reaching full fitness from October and November so that we can start really pushing hard.”

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Despite a convincing victory, Allegri remained cautious about Juventus’ Scudetto aspirations. He mentioned that other teams like Inter, Napoli, and Milan are better equipped and considered stronger contenders. Juventus’ aim is to secure a top-four finish, and Allegri acknowledges that unexpected twists in the Scudetto race can occur but refrains from claiming favorites status.

Allegri said, “Nobody likes being outside of the Champions League. We finished third in the table, so it’s easy to say that Juve failed last season, but without the points penalty we were third. There are teams out there better equipped to win the Scudetto, such as Inter, Napoli and Milan. We must do well to stay as close to them as possible and finish in the top four. Things might happen and we find ourselves in the Scudetto race, but you cannot say we are among the favourites.”

Allegri’s philosophy about football being a simple game and his emphasis on adapting strategies to the available players sparked a discussion.

He defended this approach, stating, “The intelligence of a coach is to understand the players at his disposal. You cannot try to use a gun against a tank, you need to find a different strategy.”

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Allegri continued, “This season we have players who don’t have as much experience, but they do have legs. As Ariedo Braida used to say, it is not an obligation to run in football, but it helps. I don’t want to say it’s very simple, because I know people don’t like that, but I will say the simplest things on paper are usually the most difficult.”

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Max Statman is a reliable and trusted reporter known for his insightful coverage of Juventus and Italian football. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for delivering accurate news, Max has established himself as a go-to source for fans seeking the latest reliable updates on their favorite club as well as stats.

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