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Sacking Allegri is a grave mistake for Juventus

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Cristiano Giuntoli has seemingly made up his mind about Massimiliano Allegri’s future: The Juventus manager will be sacked, and the club will have a new boss next season. But has Allegri been Juve’s problem?

Massimiliano Allegri’s lonely fight

We are only a year away from being in a solid position to win the Serie A, before the points deduction turned eveything upside down. Napoli claimed the title after a fluke season, which was followed by Giuntoli’s arrival at Juventus.

The current season is a direct result of what happened in the previous campaign. Andrea Agnelli and Pavel Nedved simply walked away during the club’s mid-season crisis, leaving Allegri to deal with the team’s wide-ranging issues. Even the likes of Federico Cherubini and John Elkann were barely heard from during that period. Elkann seems to be more focused on transforming Juve into a selling club, which is the real reason behind the entire Next Gen idea.

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Now, let’s move on to the current season. Who did we sign to improve Allegri’s options on the pitch? Paul Pogba was Banned. Timothy Weah, who was signed as Juan Cuadrado’s replacement, has mostly played out of position, where he’s far from being effective. Nicolò Fagioli was expected to become a crucial part of our midfield alongside Pogba, whose ban exposed the disastrous mistake of allowing Nicolo Rovella’s exit. The 22-year-old could’ve thrived as Juve’s regista this season.

Yet, Allegri never complained about the transfer decisions. To make things even worse for the 56-year-old, Fabio Miretti, Manuel Locatelli and Adrian Rabiot have all had below-par seasons. Despite all this, Juventus went on a 26-game run where they only conceded more than once in one game (the terrible defeat against Sassuolo). The Bianconeri also stayed on pace with Inter for the Scudetto challenge until February, more than the likes of AC Milan, AS Roma, Lazio and title-holders Napoli.

Winning games or keeping strikers happy?

Not conceding goals and keeping clean sheets to win trophies is in Juventus’s DNA. Despite all the attacking and midfield problems, Allegri’s side have had an acceptable performance regarding their clean sheets and overall defensive form. Juventus has never been known as a club that prioritized scoring three goals in a game over keeping a clean sheet. Why should we stop caring about clean sheets to make so-called star forwards look better by stat padding? Remember this is Juventus not Ajax or Barcelona.

Chiesa went 10-20 games without scoring and barely providing any assists while still expecting fans to feel sorry for him for not being fed more opportunities. Allegri finally decided to bench the Italy international in order to give 18-year-old Kenan Yildiz a chance. The decision was obvious from a technical prespective but now it seems that a major reason for Allegri’s sacking is to keep Chiesa and his agent happy.

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If we’re keeping a clean sheet every game, but Chiesa/ Vlahovic can’t find a way to score a winner for several matches in a row, then maybe they are a bigger part of the problem. Let’s not forget that Juventus still average 15 shots per game, which puts them among the best attacking sides in Europe. In terms of defence, we have also enjoyed excellent numbers, at least until the past few weeks. Considering Allegri’s personnel limitations, Juventus forwards are still being fed enough balls, but they don’t seem to convert them efficiently.

A depleted squad

Allegri has got the best out of a limited squad with next to no help from the club’s management. Their recent transfer activity has barely scratched the surface of the team’s personnel issues, especially in January. Allegri has thus resorted to giving more playing time to younger, who are barely on a level to start for Juventus week in week out.

Now the team is in the Coppa Italia final while exceeded all expectations in Serie A, somehow still claiming a top-four spot. Leaks have continued to come out about negotiations with Thiago Motta, with the management not making any efforts to dismiss them for months. Disrespecting Allegri and his staff in this way has had a significant impacted the squad’s rhythm and in recent weeks.

Juventus’ squad needs at least six transfers to change formation to a back-four. However, out of all the candidates, the club has fallen in love with an unproved Motta and his mediocre Bologna players to get the club back to winning ways. Motta even seems to be ahead of Conte, probably since Giuntoli knows that Conte will expect to have more control over the transfers. And where has Giuntoli’s management taken us? Selling Bremer as one of our best players for the sole reason that he might not be suitable to play in a back-four system.

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Blame Giuntoli not Allegri

It’s hard to imagine another coach would stick around after all the drama last season. Yet, Allegri chose to stay at the Allianz Stadium despite having offers from Saudi Arabia. His management led the fans to believe that Juventus had a chance to fight for the Scudetto, while it was apparent that Allegri’s squad was nowhere near good enough to do so.

Now Juventus are at the mercy of Giuntoli, who has no ties or loyalty to the club. Allegri achieved all of the sporting director’s unrealistic goals by January. The club had their worst winless streak since 1938 and still finished the season in top four. Meanwhile, Giuntoli has been busy negotiation with an ex-Inter player while balancing books for Elkann. How can Juventus fans trust this man to rebuild the squad after Allegri’s departure?

Giuntoli’s camp has even leaked information about Allegri refusing to walk away without claiming his remaining salary. They are blaming a coach because he wants to make sure his staff get paid after being lied to and backstabbed by the club.

The post-Super League problems with UEFA and FIGC has been the biggest disaster the club has had to deal with since Calciopoli, and the only person standing by the club during this period has been Allegri. However, instead of being praised for it the way Nedved, Del Piero and Buffon were in 2006, fans are demanding his exit, as if that would miraculously solve every problem.

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People won’t know how important Allegri is until after he’s gone. The club will most likely trust more mercenaries like Giuntoli, who in turn will hire mercenary managers with no interest in Juve’s history and identity. There is no manager in the world who knows this club better than Allegri.

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