Sack Him Or Not? Juventus’ Allegri Dilemma

On the 28th of May 2021, Juventus announced Massimiliano Allegri’s return to the club as manager two years after sacking him. His return hasn’t gone according to plan and the club are now in a dilemma whether to sack him or not.

The 55-year-old was extremely successful in his first tenure as he won 11 trophies: 5 consecutive Serie A titles, 4 Coppa Italia titles in a row and 2 Supercoppa Italiana titles.

He also reached two UEFA Champions League finals (2015 and 2017) and had 70.48% win percentage — the highest in the history of Juventus.

But at the end of 2018/19 season, Allegri was sacked and subsequently replaced by Maurizio Sarri as the club wanted a change of direction and a more aesthetic style of play.

But after just a season at the helm, Sarri himself got sacked because Juventus were eliminated in Champions League round of 16 by Lyon.

Sarri won the Serie A and needed more time to implement his “Sarri-ball” brand of playing.

Sarri replaced Allegri
Sarri replaced Allegri in 2019

Club legend Andrea Pirlo was brought in as the new manager but he also got fired after just a season, despite winning the Supercoppa Italiana and the Coppa Italia.

Pirlo lost the Serie A title to Inter Milan as Juventus’ 9 successive title win was finally brought to an halt.

Massimiliano Allegri was called back for a second term in order to rejuvenate the Old Lady and return them to winning ways. But the plan isn’t going as expected…….

Juventus were embarrassingly defeated by minnows, Villarreal, in the Champions League round of 16 last season.

Worse still, at the end of the season; the club failed to win a trophy for the first time since 2011.

The Turin giants have equally made a nightmare start to the 2022/23 season.

They currently occupy 8th place in the Serie A — 7 points off top spot after just seven games played.

Juve have also lost their opening two games in this season’s Champions League — with the possibility of a shocking group stage exit from Europe’s elite club competition staring them in the face.

The fans are even more concerned that their team may entirely miss out on next season’s tournament.

In their last match, Juventus embarrassingly lost out to newly promoted Monza — who recorded their first ever win in the Italian top-flight.

After the match, Juve players were subjected to abuses from their own fans.

The Old Lady are presently in a dreadful situation as they have won just one of their last six matches in all competitions.

Part of their struggles is because they are without some key players in their squad. The likes of Paul Pogba, Federico Chiesa, Wojciech Szczesny, Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot and Alex Sandro are all out injured.

But much of the blame has been directed at the manager, Massimiliano Allegri.

The fact that he isn’t taking responsibility has even angered the fans and those at the top.

In a recent interview, he stated that: “Quality always lies in the players, not in the tactics,” “A good coach has to think about the players first.”

It came across as if he is trying to say that he has no influence over what happens.

Worse still, Allegri’s extremely pragmatic style of play has made Juventus annoying to watch.

Critics have accused him of employing an outdated style of play.

In the Serie A this season, only Cremonese, Lecce, Verona, Monza and Spezia have fewer shots on target than the Old Lady.

Furthermore, they have scored 9 goals in seven Serie A games and are the only team — along with José Mourinho’s Roma — to have registered less than 10 goals among the top 8.

At this point, it seems as if sacking him will be the best option, but the Bianconeri are reluctant to do so due to the financial implications it will have on their tight budget.

Allegri earns a salary of roughly €13 million (£11.4m/$13m) a year, making him one of the highest-paid managers in the world.

His contract also runs until 2025.

Juventus President, Andrea Agnelli, is now in a huge dilemma whether to sack Allegri or not.

It was the President’s idea to bring him back to Turin despite opposition from some, notably vice-president Pavel Nedved — who instigated Allegri’s sack in 2019.

Sacking him for the second time will imply that Agnelli is admitting that he made a mistake by bringing him back. This would also put the President under fire.

If not for the huge costs, finding a top level manager to replace Massimiliano Allegri will not be a problem as the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane and Thomas Tuchel are currently available.

Also, Juventus have been linked with former manager Antonio Conte recently.

Juve now find themselves in a tricky situation; sack Allegri or keep faith in him with the hopes that he will turn things around.

With a fully fit squad at Allegri’s disposal, the team may perform better, but can the club wait till when Pogba and co return from injury?

In doing so, things may even get worse and not only Massimiliano Allegri will lose his job by then.

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