Max Statman’s trio of writers, Max Aimé-Thierry (@maxaimethierry), Muhammad Shakeel (@muhammad_9191) and Jurre van Wanrooij (@WanrooijJurre), shared their opinions regarding Juventus’ 2021/22 season. The three main talking points were: Max Allegri and his first season back as a Juventus coach, the performance of Juve’s players and speculations about certain deals and the Old Lady’s future.
1) Massimiliano Allegri.
How did Max Allegri do in his first season back as a Juventus coach, in your opinion?
@maxaimethierry: “Not good enough, but also not bad.
Cristiano’s late departure was really so hard to replace. Personally, I blame him for losing against Inter in two finals but his performance in the Serie A isn’t bad considering the situation we faced after Cristiano’s departure. Serie A’s first leg matches weren’t easy for Juventus. I still believe we would have done better if Cristiano had stayed, but Moise Kean’s addition wasn’t enough for our attack. It was tough.
In the second leg after adding some players, it was great. I think we did well since we were even close to bringing ourselves back in the title race after losing hope. Apart from the games against Inter, I think we improved in the second leg of the season which gives me hope for the upcoming season. It didn’t go worse than I expected.”
Do you believe Allegri can turn the team around in the long run and achieve the goals, trophies and level of competitiveness that club such as Juventus should be achieving regularly?
@WanrooijJurre: “To be completely honest, I don’t know. Based on what we’ve seen this season, no. The results were okay, but Juventus played awful football. Also, they couldn’t seem to win any big game. It seems like Allegri lost his touch. The reason I don’t fully write him off, is because he inherited a squad not built to play his kind of football. This season, after a transfer window where Juve can get the right players for Allegri’s playstyle, we can judge Allegri fairly.”
Would you change the coach (theoretically speaking, = no contracts/money issues attached) if you were on the board of Juve?
@maxaimethierry: “Right now, No. I believe we had a terrible season because of Cristiano’s late departure. If Allegri manages to add some experienced players – as he wishes – we’ll be back to our level next season in the league.
I see Juventus winning the league next season if we manage to have a great summer in terms of signing players. Losing Cristiano without being able to replace him, and having Chiesa injured, it can’t be easy for any manager. I still believe in Allegri.”
Based on the players that you think were underperforming, what areas would you bolster in the Juventus squad as we are approaching the summer Mercato?
@muhammad_9191: “Everyone in the squad underperformed except Locatelli, in my opinion. I expected more from De Ligt, Dybala, Morata and even Vlahovic when he came, but the management cannot replace everyone, of course, but they need to bring in more than half of a dozen new players. The position I’m looking at is the midfield: I think they need both a new mezzalla and regista. Arthur and one of Rabiot/McKennie should go as well as both the full backs: Sandro is past his best and I don’t rate Danilo at all, Juventus need someone better going forward at the full back positions. Also, Chiellini replacement, I remember Chiellini saying Gatti will replace him but that is too big of a risk, we can’t have a player from Serie B as a third choice centre back at a club like Juventus especially when one of the starters is heading towards the end of his career, then we look towards the forwards, except Chiesa and Vlahovic, I don’t think anyone will be here next season from this current squad. There need to be at least three new attacking reinforcements: a right winger, back up for Vlahovic and a left winger as well. This would mean Juventus need to bring 8 new players in.”
3) Deals and future chances.
Whereas Juventus fell short in the trophy run this year, we can only expect the club to be aiming for trophies the following year. Are you convinced enough with the coach, players, plan, etc., to already predict any silverware for Juventus in 2023? Why?/Why not?
@WanrooijJurre: “With the current players that seem to join (Pogba and Di Maria), yes. I think, if Juventus are able to strengthen the squad in the right positions, fitting Allegri’s playstyle, the Bianconeri will fight for the Scudetto. We mustn’t forget that Juventus played a Coppa final this season too. Inter and Milan aren’t invincible and will lose some players too. That’s why I think Juventus will at least compete for silverware. The only thing that worries me, like I said before, is Juve’s ability to win big games.”
In January, we saw Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur leaving the Old Lady to join Tottenham. This occasion happens to be a talking point now that both the players are performing really well. What is your opinion on the whole operation of offloading the duo? How did it, in your view, affect Juventus’ run in the end?
@muhammad_9191: “The decision to offload Bentancur and Kulusevski was the right one, sometimes players just don’t fit in well, Juventus can’t be thinking they made a mistake by selling them because if they were here right now, they would be the same old frustrating players. The pace of Premier league helps the duo, especially Bentancur, who wants to play the game at a million miles an hour, back and forth. On Kulusevski, I think Conte has made him a huge favour. Since day one, he’s played in 1 position which was not the case at Juventus, Here, he was being used as a second striker, a no.10, a left winger and Pirlo or Allegri never figured out what his best position was. Conte has been clear on that since day. The deals proved to be good ones for all parties- the players benefited, the Spurs’ squad improved massively and Juventus got rid of two under-performing players.”
Huge thanks to this episode’s interviewed “MS” writers, for dedicating their time to answer my questions. Make sure to follow them and follow us here at Max Statman to stay in touch with similar Q&As in the future.