Max Allegri discussed man-management, irritation with the “theory” part of football and why the best Juventus performance of the season was a defeat to Manchester United.
He was speaking at the presentation of his new book, ‘E Molto Semplice’ – It’s very simple – and explained why this was not just a book for football experts.
“I don’t write about tactics or techniques in this book, because in Italy everyone seems to know about those. Some even know more than me,” smiled Allegri.
“I think it’s a book that can help you understand how to deal with certain situations, not just in football. For example, it’s about human resources, which are fundamental whether you are a Coach or the manager of a company.
“Often nowadays, a Coach has to be a psychologist. He also has to follow his instinct. At times, I get asked these questions about strategy and it makes me irritable, because I believe far more in perceiving the game as it’s developing, understanding various moments and what needs to be done.
“It’s difficult to describe, because in those moments, either you’ve got it or you don’t. The rest is just theory, because you can prepare all you like, but once the game starts and things happen, your strategy must change and you throw everything you worked on during the week out the window.
“At that point, what matters is what’s in your gut, as well as courage.”
Juve crashed out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals against Ajax, but had some highlights in the tournament this season.
“Valencia, Manchester United, and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League were three great games. With Valencia, we went down to 10 men, and that was when the true Juve DNA came out, concentration, aggression.
“We wanted to prove that even after Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off, we could still win. Then against Manchester United, it was probably our best game, but nobody remembers it because we lost.
“We threw it away at the end, and that just shows you, that in football you don’t win if you only play 85 minutes.
“It was better than our performance against Atletico, because against the Spanish side we didn’t play as well, but we took all of our chances. In that match, we had nothing to lose and everything to win.
“Those were all different games, two of which we won and the other, which was our best performance of the season, we lost.
“I say this because no match is the same as the last, every situation is different, every season different. It is not an exact science, because who knows if the best Juve player of this year will be the best player of next season?"