Having returned to Juventus from a long coaching sabbatical, two times UEFA Champions League runner-up Maximiliano Allegri was supposed to fix things. His exit from the club seen the Old Lady enter a period of wild coaching hires, ranging from the ill-suited Maurizio Sarri to the rookie Andrea Pirlo. The return of Allegri was supposed to bring balance and professionalism. Instead, it has brought only memories of why he left in the first place.
The tactician seen Juve finish a meagre fourth last year, failing to achieve anything of note in Europe at the same time. With his coat already on a loose peg, fans wanted to see Juve compete this year. An interesting, if typically chaotic, summer seen numerous faces arrive to complement new era-defining striker Dusan Vlahovic. Instead, the Bianconeri are already looking out of a title race and sit with zero points in a competitive Champions League group.
The dreadful start has seen fans demand that the coach leaves and resigns. Six points behind Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain in the group after having lost twice, they also have won a mere two games from their last eight. They might only be four points off top spot in the league, but they look like a poor team at present.
Allegri was asked about his future in the post-match press conference in the aftermath of the Benfica defeat. He rejected the idea, though, saying that he feels “part of the solution” before adding: “I must find a solution,”
On that point, he continued by saying: “When I returned, I thought it would take time to build. Unfortunately, I didn’t think we could lose two games in a row. The important thing is to do well and remain in the Champions League. These defeats are annoying, but it’s useless to talk too much now.”
Allegri positive despite dangerous downturn in results
After the Benfica game, where a Joao Mario penalty and a David Neres finish seen Juventus throw away a 4th minute lead, Allegri was surprisingly upbeat. The Italian coach was asked by Sky Sport Italia his views on the game, and he added: “Football is difficult to explain, all we can say is that after going 2-1 down the game was over, we risked conceding 3-1 and 4-1,
“There was a chance late on, but the performance would not have been any better. There’s no point explaining and talking now, we can only work hard.
“I already told the team these moments happen in football, we need to emerge from them as a team, with a sense of responsibility. We have an important Serie A game coming up against Monza and after that we can think about Europe. It will certainly be complicated, but not all is lost.”
For many Juve fans, the return of a well-regarded coach has simply not worked out. With such a disjointed squad and such negative mood music around the club, it feels like a separation is inevitable without a major turnaround in form and performances.