Friday May 3 2019
Allegri: 'Football is not science, it's art'

Max Allegri had a lengthy and fascinating discussion on the Juventus DNA, pursuit of result rather than style and proving “football is not an exact science, it's an art.”

The Coach spoke to Sky Sport Italia after the 1-1 Derby della Mole draw with Torino, as Cristiano Ronaldo’s header cancelled out a Sasa Lukic opener.

“A defeat would’ve been undeserved, as the team had a good game. We got a few passes wrong in the final third, but Torino basically didn’t have a shot on goal in the second half.

“We gifted them the goal from a throw-in and then they were only ever dangerous on the counter. I have to compliment my lads, as they always give everything even after winning the Scudetto and we’ve got more important games coming up where we want to prove ourselves.

“We are getting some young players to gain experience and that is needed for them to improve.”

Tomorrow is the 70th anniversary of the Superga disaster, which saw the entire Grande Torino squad killed in a plane crash.

“Il Grande Torino represented the history of Italian football. We must commemorate this tragedy and although it was 70 years ago, it remains in the hearts and minds of everyone.”

This was Allegri’s first interview with Sky Sport Italia since last week’s ugly row with pundit Lele Adani, in which they argued over whether Juve were too negative in the Champions League against Ajax.

“I was disappointed with what happened on Saturday, but I am here to talk about what happens on the field and I insist not everything is to be thrown away.

“People have talked for years about this evolution of football, but I don’t think we should throw the baby out with the bathwater and forget everything the Coaches of our youth taught us.

“I maintain the job of a Coach is tough, we should perceive the various moments of a season, how the team is feeling and what should be done. Otherwise it’d be easy and everyone could be a Coach.

“Football is not an exact science. Otherwise you could explain why we had 38 per cent possession against Real Madrid and won 3-1, but we dominated possession with Ajax and lost. I don’t want new Coaches to grow up thinking you can build teams on numbers, because they don’t always add up.

“It is only right that there are opinions and I can be criticised, but I still believe we should unite everything we’ve been taught in the past and all that awaits us in future. The players are the stars, they play the game, and we Coaches can only put them into the right conditions to give their best.

“People might criticise my style of football, but the job of a Coach is to bring the results home for his club.”

Allegri again was on the defensive about his approach to the game, refusing to follow tiki-taka, Sarriball or the Ajax model.

“We had three emblematic games this season, against Valencia, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid. I thought our best overall performance against Manchester United, but nobody remembers that because we lost.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to train Juventus and Milan in my career. These are two clubs with different DNA profiles, so you can’t try to emulate the style of Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

“It’s very simple, Liverpool had three big scoring opportunities, but Barcelona had four and they scored three of them. Why? Because their players are of a higher level and make the difference in certain situations.

“In the last 10-15 minutes, Liverpool could’ve conceded five goals. It’s because, seeing their faces, Liverpool could not handle the situation of a Champions League semi-final. It’s like we lost to Ajax because we conceded a goal and then got scared.

“Barcelona have players accustomed to that level and they proved it on the night, regardless of whether Liverpool played a good game or not. It’s like in a race, everyone can run the first 900 metres, but very few run the final 100 metres.”

Adani insisted that it was better to go out like Liverpool against Barcelona with that attitude rather than the way Juventus did with Ajax.

“But we conceded the first shot on goal after 37 minutes and it came out of nowhere. We were feeling greater fear of defeat at half-time than we should’ve done. It was difficult to explain,” continued Allegri.

“The Champions League has always been an objective like the Scudetto and Coppa Italia. It’s a very difficult target to achieve. Very difficult.

“There are times when it all goes your way. Ajax were up against us, who were missing five players. They went to London against a Tottenham side that was missing both star strikers. I am saying Ajax are a good team, but they’ve had some luck to get where they are.”

Adani pointed out there were different ways of winning, especially with the quality that Juventus have at their disposal.

“There are many players and many Coaches, but very few get to win. Very few. If I need to bring home the result and the team is not in perfect shape, I’m happy to play five or six games really badly.

“I understand there are fashions and trends in football, but there are few Coaches who win, few players who win and football is not an exact science, it is art. What Messi and Ronaldo do is art. You can tell them what to do, but they’ll find their way. All we can do is organise the others.”

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