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Monday April 22 2019
Time for a new Conte era at Juventus

Max Allegri has taken Juventus as far as he can and it’s time to come full circle with Antonio Conte’s return, argues Anthony Barbagallo.

Juve’s lacklustre display against a youthful Ajax side was a catastrophe waiting to happen, especially the way the Bianconeri have been playing this season. An experienced and talented team, with a five-time Ballon d’Or winner up front, failed to achieve that elusive European dream. The animosity between the fans, players and Juventus management suggests that there will be a massive player overhaul, and potential coaching change, this summer.

Massimiliano Allegri may have guided the Old Lady to her eighth consecutive Scudetto against Fiorentina at the weekend, but his pragmatic playing style has failed to conquer Europe these recent years. The total domestic dominance and underwhelming Champions League performances are a sign that Allegri has taken this Juve side as far as he can. Unless the 51-year-old can adjust his tactics and utilise the team’s attacking prowess, it might be time for club President Andrea Agnelli to bring in a new conductor.

The coaching issue now raises the question, should Juventus bring Antonio Conte back? The former Chelsea boss has been out of work for an entire season now, remaining linked with some of Europe’s giants – mainly Inter keeping tabs on the 49-year-old. It’s like Conte was waiting for something chaotic to occur with his former Juventus. Was he planning to be jobless for a year, just in case Juve capitulated in the Champions League?

It was Conte who remodelled La Vecchia Signora back in the 2011-12 Serie A season. The Italian tactician managed to take a mediocre Juventus side that finished seventh in the two previous campaigns and immediately turn them into Scudetto winners – ending that nine-year silverware drought in the most emphatic way. Conte’s exceptional tactical work also saw the Bianconeri break a record for ending the entire 2011-12 Serie A season undefeated.

Then there was the 3-5-2 formation, a system that rebooted Juve’s identity on the pitch. This formation also shaped the BBC (Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini) defence, arguably the most organised defensive unit displayed in modern-day football. With a robust defence and a goalkeeper like Gianluigi Buffon adding another layer, it’s no surprise that this superior Juve side only conceded 20 goals throughout the entire 2011-12 Serie A campaign. After his first successful season in Turin, Conte followed up with two straight Scudetti in the next couple of seasons, beginning an era of Juventus dominance.

However, Conte struggled to balance European and domestic competition with his Juve side in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. In 2013, Juventus were no match for a lethal Bayern Munich outfit after the 4-0 demolition over two legs. During the 2013-14 season, the Bianconeri had a phenomenal Serie A campaign, finishing with 102 points. But for much of the dominance in the Italian campionato, the Turin side were abysmal in the group stages of the Champions League – only managing to secure a single victory against Danish side FC Copenhagen. Being eliminated by Galatasaray in the Turkish snow spoke volumes on how Juve kept playing with this frail mentality in Europe. 

Conte also struggled to demonstrate that he could balance domestic and European competition in his second season at Chelsea. He has so far shown that he can be a Serie A, English Premier League and national team specialist. The former Italy CT started Juve's Serie A domination, and it only seems right that he returns to Turin to emulate that past domestic success in Europe.

Nevertheless, Conte has always ensured his sides use passion and grinta, but most importantly, play with a 3-5-2 identity. This current Juve side needs more motivation, grit and a playing style. While the Italian champions are looking to rebuild that flawed midfield and defence, now would be an appropriate time for an available Conte to step in. 

Credit needs to be given to Allegri, who took over Conte’s foundations – helping Juventus win four Coppa Italia titles, five Scudetti and reach two Champions League finals. However, that icing on the cake has now melted. It’s time for Juve to commence a new coaching cycle.

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Have your say...
Seria A has become the new Ligue 1!!!!
JUve Juve Juve every year. They can win the scudetto for 50 years in a row, who cares....
Everyone jumps on the Juve Band wagon, its all about the Champions League!!!!
Put in a salary Cap and we will see how interesting things will get!!!
on the 26th April, 2019 at 7:37pm
I am afraid that both the journalist, for this article on Conte, and most of you who have commented in a negative manner about Conte and Allegri are quite frankly ungrateful and uneducated observers who do not have a clue about how big teams operate in the 21st century. The managers who you all seem to want, be it Klopp, Guardiola or Zidane, have had massive amounts of money invested from clubs who are far more wealthier then Juventus have ever been. You can't compare Real to Juventus can you?
on the 26th April, 2019 at 6:31pm
@Pinturicchio

Do you expect me to believe every s*** you say because you hate Allegri for some lame reasons? Get outta here. LMAO

You're nothing but a moron who believes Juve can win double trophies three times in a row without a coach. Practically, you're wasting my time.
on the 25th April, 2019 at 11:21am
@A Varsavia, I would pick Isco over Rodriguez. The latter is very inconsistent and injury prone. Isco is a great player. he's outstanding at finding space and linking the attack to the midfield. He would provide some much needed imagination to Juve's play, take some of the creative burden away from Pjanic & compliment Juve's more industrious CM's. If not him, then I'd go for Barella & also take a gamble on Sensi.
on the 24th April, 2019 at 4:31pm
Conte never thought that when he quit on Juve there wouldn't be any 8 straight scudetto
on the 24th April, 2019 at 2:51am
@Anonymous

First, get yourself a real name, and try to make some valid points instead of acting like a 10-year old with the IQ less than his age.

Madrid failed because they sold their main star, and their bellies were full. Chelsea won the league, but not Europe, which is why Conte isn't the solution to Juve's problems. It's been mentioned already that Conte failed miserably in Europe.

So, in closing, next time try to listen to others instead of trolling like the nincompoop you are...
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 11:29pm
How do you think about James Rodriguez (Real/Bayern) coming to Juve? Are they too similar style with Dybala?
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 6:23pm
How do you think about James Rodriguez (Real/Bayern) coming to Juve? Are they too similar style with Dybala?
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 6:23pm
But make sure to keep your mouth shut and not complaining if Juve doesn't get any trophies in their first year with new coach because of transition.
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 5:33pm
@Pinturicchio

LOL Your points are full of BS. Why Madrid failed after Zidane departed? Or Why Chelsea won EPL with Conte whereas 1 year earlier, Chelsea with the same squad could only reach 10th in EPL?

I expect an "expert" answer from you but you came with a lame excuse "Madrid is a wormhole of maggots crawling with bloated egos, they aren't a great club for football..."

Who's the real douchebag here?

Like I've said before, Allegri will go, so relax no need to whine.
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 5:32pm
Allegri has done way better with Juve in Europe. What did Conte's Chelsea do in Europe???Roma topped his group and Chelsea crashed out round of 16. Juve had Prime MVP and BBC and Tevez and Conte made Juve flop in Europe.

Juve has to go in a NEW direction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 4:34pm
Gian Piero Gasperini is definitely the coach to instill the right spirit for the CL. His teams are fearless against any opponent.
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 3:19pm
Guardiola???? So we can have +65GD in the league and still crash out in quarterfinals?

Also Conte failed because he did not trust the bench Juve had so he didn't rotate... I mean come on we had Este-freaking-garribia, Lord Bendtner, Anelka, Vucinic etc
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 3:06pm
There's no disputing Juve's current winning cycle started with Conte. He's a hero who returned us from the abyss. He's not the solution now, though. Allegri can do it and his work needs recognising. Too many injuries have cost us late in the season and reinforcements in defence and midfield are needed. Winning for so long takes effort otherwise you risk being Inter who clean up in a flash and then disappear for 40 or more years.
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 1:50pm
Conte is a very one dimensional, predictable coach, one that gets found out as soon as he comes up against top quality managers & opposition. Let's not forget that he had the likes of BBC, Buffon, Vidal & Marchisio in their prime, and a reinvigorated Pirlo. Personally, I'd be looking at Gasperini. What he did at Genoa & especially what he's doing at Atalanta borders on the miraculous. His sides always play on the front foot, he's great at rebuilding & developing young players.
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 10:52am
Conte is never an answer for a team that aspire to win in Europe, because conte 3 men in defense is never a pattern of winning UCL. I think is enough for italian coaches since that no new Lippi or Capello. Juve have all the talent to win UCL but need a coach that is more attacking and proactive in his team selection not a garbage like Allegri that is always making his players to be pessimistic, panic and nervous. What it takes to win in europe is to score more goals than your opponent not defend
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 10:40am
The problems are
1. Too slow midfielders.
2. Juve never dare to attack or win 4-0.
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 8:10am
(2/2) because he's peaked in terms of the things he can achieve with Juventus.. Time and again he's proven he doesn't have the mental forté to go for the jugular or play the kind of football that will make other teams s**t their pants. Liverpool are doing it week-in/week-out and they're close to winning an actual double of EPL + UCL.

Juve's squad needs freshening up, because only a handful players are top-class, rest are only Serie A level. But it starts at the top, and a new leader is needed.
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 4:36am
@Giancarlo C's Mom

Well it's much easier to coach on an amateur/primavera level but the pressure at the highest level i.e. Serie A / UCL is like living in another galaxy... So my point is still valid. Try to not be a douchebag.

Furthermore, your point about "Madrid without Zidane" is invalid because Madrid is a wormhole of maggots crawling with bloated egos, they aren't a great club for football, just a team of superstars clubbed together. That's worthless.

Allegri should leave (1/2)
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 4:30am
I Would prefer Gasperini than Conte
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 3:40am
We always fail in Europe and want to fix that, so let's bring in a coach who always fails in Europe.

Makes heaps of sense..
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 3:24am
Wow, this blog just reminded me of how bad we were in Europe with Conte in charge. He lacks a tactical mind and gets the best out of his players by hard training and hyperactive emotion..... but that wears off after a season or two. I'm no fan of the pragmatic Allegri, but did anyone notice how much better we were in Europe the season he took over from Conte, with much of the same team ??? If Allegri stays, lets hope management invests in a few midfielders to help this team improve...
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 2:39am
If Juve can´t get a top coach such as Guardiola, Klopp, Pochetino, or Zidane...we should stick to Allegri, rebuild the team (midfield and defence) and give him his last shot at winning UCL. He probably won´t win it, but we will have a reinforced team and until summer 2020 to look for an elite coach, which definitively is not Conte. Juve needs a proven leader in the international stage and Conte has proven to be a disaster in that regard, so why take any chances with him.
on the 23rd April, 2019 at 12:24am
...Players will run into chaos without a good leader. Just look what happened to Real Madrid after Zidane departed.
on the 22nd April, 2019 at 10:35pm
Players will run into chaos without a good leader. Just look what happened to Real Madrid after Zidane departed.
on the 22nd April, 2019 at 10:31pm
@Pinturicchio, I don't have it all but at least I know what is like to be standing at the edge of the field instructing my boys what to do when they are in some bad situations or what is like to have my first trophy as a rookie manager. I understand you demand a more attractive side from Juve, but doesn't mean you can freely express your self by calling him an idiot as if you know football better than him. And it's funny when you said Allegri reached finals because of his players.
on the 22nd April, 2019 at 10:29pm
Conte did his time and I am grateful for what he did for us, but getting him back would be a big mistake. We can all blame Allegri for the loss to Ajax, but at least he had us winning in Europe again. I think the biggest reason why we didnt do well in the CL because our Midfielders were too slow and Bonucci just kept making mistakes. Allegri deserves to see out his contract and if we go to the CL finals again. I would give him a new Contract. He just needs to play more attacking i would say.
on the 22nd April, 2019 at 10:11pm
@FERBAN

Yes you're right. But doesn't mean I was wrong. The current Juve's players are still considered top class players. Read my words again, "Unlike 5 years ago, now Juve has all the top class players in every position (with good back up in every position)". This is something that Conte couldn't get from Juve's board 5 years ago.
on the 22nd April, 2019 at 10:06pm
Agnelli wants to grab 9th &10th scudetto, thats his priority. If we continue like this the CL will come. You learn by your mistake, it seams that this CL is more important for the fans living outside of Italy. Its not only Juve who didnt lift that trohy for a long time. City, PSG, Liverpool are also pretty good contenders in the CL. The board dos not want to base the season on one thing like a knock out tornement CL. Thats smart i think, Its only that we lost a lot of finals and we want revenge
on the 22nd April, 2019 at 8:24pm
Are you looking football games or just the results on the livescore ? Why shoud allegri deserve 1 more year? To tell you the truth i can coach Juve and win Serie A these years after Conte because only Npoli was there no other team. The problem with Allegri is he only think to defend and all the games in the second half he plays defensife .. And all the game lost .. we were wining in BAyern when he move the team to defend we lost same with real madrid same with atletico and same with Ajax
on the 22nd April, 2019 at 5:03pm

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