Sunday May 19 2019
Underappreciated Allegri

Max Allegri arrived under a hail of abuse and leaves with some fans celebrating, but Emmet Gates feels Juventus owe the Coach a debt of gratitude.

It will take the passing of time to fully analyse and appreciate the true measure of the Max Allegri era, to comprehend what he brought to the club during his five-year stint.

Let’s start with the statistics: five consecutive Scudetti, four consecutive Coppa Italias, four consecutive domestic doubles, two Champions League finals and two Italian Supercups. That’s 11 trophies in total, which puts him third in the pantheon of Juve managers, behind Giovanni Trapattoni and Marcello Lippi. If basing it on one spell, he would be second behind Trap.

Allegri’s achievements are all the more remarkable given where the club was when he walked in under a hailstorm of spit – literally - and criticism in July 2014. Antonio Conte had just walked out of the club after two days of pre-season training, and Allegri’s stock hadn’t exactly been high, having been sacked by Milan midway through the previous season.

Fans who initially couldn’t forgive his Milan past soon forgot about it quickly. Allegri made Conte’s now infamous “you can’t eat in a €100 restaurant with €10” remark utterly redundant within nine months, almost steering the same group of players who couldn’t score a single goal at home to Benfica to advance to the Europa League Final the previous year, to within 90 minutes of a Treble. Only the brilliance of Barcelona’s MSN stopped what would’ve been an historic season.

The Coppa Italia was won for the first time in 20 years in that first season, a fact seemingly forgotten in the slew of trophies that followed. Allegri would turn Juve, for so long a great league side and terrible at knockout tournaments, into a fantastic cup competitor. His reading of situations and games was, more often than not, spot on.

The brilliance of Allegri was that despite losing key players in his first two full summers, he would go about chopping and changing systems until finding the right formula going into the business end of the season.

A perfect example of this was in 2016-17, when he implemented the ‘cinque stelle’ system of shoehorning all of Juve’s most technically gifted players into a 4-2-3-1 system as a means of masking the departure of Paul Pogba. Despite the 4-1 battering at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League Final, that incarnation of Allegri’s side was arguably the most aesthetically pleasing.

This season proved to be Allegri’s least successful on the pitch and most problematic off it. A top-heavy squad lacked the balance of previous iterations and the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo affected a number of players, most notably Paulo Dybala, who looked uncomfortable in every system Allegri employed. Defeats to Manchester United and Young Boys, whilst brushed off at the time, underlined the vulnerability of the once almost-unbreachable defence.

Towards the end of the season, Allegri appeared increasingly irritable, getting into squabbling matches with Sky Italia pundit Daniele Adani about the style of Juve’s play, live on television. Many, like Adani, felt that for the attacking talent that Allegri had, the style of football was lamentable.

The tepid nature of the Champions League defeats to Atletico Madrid and Ajax are reported to have sealed Allegri’s fate in the eyes of Pavel Nedved and Fabio Paratici, with further reports claiming that only Andrea Agnelli wanted to continue with the Tuscan. So far have standards at the club risen that an eighth consecutive Scudetto and a place in the final eight of the Champions League feels like an abject failure.

So, what is Allegri’s legacy? It can be measured on who currently wears the No 7. In July 2014, it was Simone Pepe. We all know who its occupier is now. Allegri inherited a squad that had been left terrified at the thought of European football, scarred from the Conte years. As Allegri has since said, when he arrived, Juve were afraid of facing Malmo in the Champions League, their faces would go as white as the ball they kicked.

Allegri instilled a belief in the very same players Conte repeatedly belittled. Deep forays in the Champions League under Allegri eventually gave Juventus the capital needed to buy a Cristiano Ronaldo. One of the reasons Conte walked out was due to the fact the club couldn’t afford to pay Fiorentina’s €30m asking price for Juan Cuadrado. Just four years later, they bought Ronaldo for nearly four times that amount. That transition from Pepe to Ronaldo is ultimately down to Allegri.

He leaves the club in an immeasurably better place than when he signed half a decade ago, restoring the club’s reputation in Europe and putting them amongst the frontrunners to win the competition. 

In time, the fans that became fatigued with Allegri’s continual pragmatism and strongly wanted his departure will recognise just how good a Coach the Livorno-native is.

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Have your say...
@White Rabbit

Well, they are 1) rival fans who pretend to care about Juve but actually they only want to see Juve falling down. 2) Arrogant Juve fans with childish manners who can't accept defeat. Ppl who show their true colors when things don't go their way. This Ppl know little about REAL football but acting like they know it better than the professional ones.
on the 21st May, 2019 at 3:49pm
Parting ways with Allegri is a risk. I agree it's probably time for both to move on, but without the right replacement Juve risk losing their hold on the Scudetto. With the right manager and a couple signings, they can be the best team in Europe, but is the time right? The best coaches are unavailable.
The links with Inzaghi should be alarming to fans, even if he is a good coach. Juve are trying to win UCL, they need a proven winner.
on the 21st May, 2019 at 1:14am
Juve deserve to collapse with their new manager after getting rid of serial winner Allegri.Shame for serie A that we will lose a great manager.On the other hand hopefully the days of Juve walking the league will be over.
on the 20th May, 2019 at 3:26pm
I think Allegri is a good manager.
I do think he should have more respect for young players as he isn't the kind of manager to just leave a club after 2 years.
He has been made to look amazing because Serie A is such a mess but that's not his fault, he has been able to take advantage of that so good luck to him.
I'm certain the problem in this Juve team is Ronaldo and with all the youngsters set to leave I think it will get much harder for them in future.
on the 20th May, 2019 at 3:21pm
our Team is no longer Youthful, i know many Juve fans will not like the idea but if UCL is our priority we need to appoint Mourinho on 3 years contract he is capable of winning UCl in his first two years in charge with this players at his disposal and additional 2 midfielders and & 2 central defenders. But the repercussion is that after winning the UCL he will go and we will start allover again and rejuvenate the team with more italian talents.
on the 20th May, 2019 at 11:37am
Allegri is not a motivator at all, most of the Juve players are the shadow of themselves the like of Pjanic, Dybala and Alex sandro etc. Through out the season the only matches that Juve played like Juve are 2 legs vs man u and second leg Athletico. There is no connection between the midfield and attack watching Juve under Max is bored.The time for change is now. FORXA JUVE.
on the 20th May, 2019 at 11:29am
i don't understand this firing thing, Allegri is definitely underappreciated. I was one of those that were very upset when he replaced Conte, but over the years with his man management and tactic, he won me over. when a coach that won so much in 5 years can be fired, then how do we value a coach? look at Man United and Arsenal or even Ac milan and Bayern plus BVB, because changes come with a cost that might not worth it.
on the 20th May, 2019 at 3:38am
That 4-2-3-1 system that he accidentally stumbled on to was near unbeatable. In all my years the two matches against barcelona was the best football Ive ever seen juventus play. What does he do in the final? plays some asymetrical 3-4-3 bullsh*t. He paid a lesser attacking force more respect. That system along with that 4-3-3 he has been pushing hsa resulted in the most disjointed football that juventus has played ever. This season he had even better players to make a 4-2-3-1 work.
on the 20th May, 2019 at 3:31am
@Giancarlo C's Mom I think me and you are the only ones who understood the importance of Allegri. I honsetly dont know who this people are who are writhing this negative comments abou Allegri, but I know its very shameful to disrespect the man who made us again fearful in Europe. When you have something good going on like winning, why Change ?? MY whole argument is though if the next coach doesnt bring us the CL then this was the worst Mistake Juve ever made. I love Ronaldo, But we needed Midfie
on the 20th May, 2019 at 2:02am
To be honest I don't really understand Juve fans. Maybe it'll take a bit of bad coach to make them realized. People only understand the value of what they have after they lose it. He got you 5 scudettos in a row! if it's still debatable due to the opinions about serie A, he took you constantly being one of top sides in UCL including 2 finals. He did better than Conte.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 10:19pm
Again, it was a childish reaction from spoiled fans like you to choose degrading his great efforts instead of giving Allegri one last chance to fix the problem for all he have done to the club.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 7:36pm
It's true Juve played with no identity this year, but ONLY THIS YEAR. But again only an idiot will put all the blame on the coach and refuse to accept the fact that Juve is tactically in transition after Ronaldo join in, massive injuries and some key players play below expectation especially the midfielders.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 7:35pm
@Anon..Your argument is full of BS and you sound exactly like Pinturicchio.It was Conte made Juve become a laughing stock in CL, and then Allegri came in and made Juve fearless again in Europe.None wanted to face Juve in CL after he was in charge.

Only an idiot can say four consecutive domestic doubles is nothing special and worst, he believes in rookie coach can handle top players and can maintain stability in dressing room in a big club like Juventus with big pressure from fans and media. LOL
on the 19th May, 2019 at 7:35pm
With the greatest respect and gratitude to Allegri's achievements it is a folly to over analyse his era with that to Conte's; with such different levels of squad quality, finances and foundations to work on. I'm grateful for the adaptability (unlike Conte) that Max showed in the recent past esp with the bold switch to 4231. Since that fizzled out after Cardiff there was precious little visible input from him. The Ajax defeat was the final straw, with players scared to keep hold of the ball.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 5:18pm
...don’t FORGET the season where they started with shock losses and draws and were at bottom half of table,with Napoli Fiorentina Roma even Milan looking like they would/could take the crown...finally a new campeone.
Allegri was literally a game or loss away from chopping block. I said wow, looks like the reign is over.
Then Juve went on an undefeated streak taking 69 points straight or something to that feat.
That was truly amazing.
That cemented their dominance and clown as master tactician.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 5:13pm
Please! Nobody can argues about Juve's golden era during Mad Max on the bench. but also nobody can close his eyes on the level of frustration and confusion through the whole team during this season. The 7th trophy is not just the result of Juve performance. we should take other club performance take into the consideration too. Just like the first Allegri's trophy in Juve, that Had been prepared by Conte! Juve needs a revolution and the time is right now, with all respect to dear Mad Max.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 11:46am
@nn4 Apparently you are not Juve fan, or NEVER watch Juve play under allegri. Juve become laughing stock AFTER he come. With all the resource we have, his style of football is a failure. I don't get all these talk about "how great allegri is"--some even dare to compare him to Lippi--he is just winning Serie A; a crippled league. Nothing special about that. Even if some rookie coach from Serie C took over, Juve will still win this league.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 11:42am
See this equation - conte is bad at europe + allegri took them to europe + allegri negative tactics = allegri is a nutshell who cant eat you cl trophy. One two mistake, here and there some cautious approach which is only one thing in football that can give guarantees; Allegri is taken for granted. People lamenting he cant do anything esp In europe. Good, bring gurdiola the high fly whose personal attribution people dream to see in everybody. To sum it all up - THE AGE OF SARCASTIC MODERN FOOTBAL
on the 19th May, 2019 at 11:09am
Great article. He really is a great manager, and Juve fans don't realize that the reason he is leaving (UCL victory) is a dream made possible by his work. Before he came, they were a laughing stock in Europe, and he leaves with them seeming like European underachievers. 5 Serie A titles in a row is being taking for granted in an almost disgusting manner, and as an Inter fan (especially after these past 9 years) I never fail to appreciate victory in the league.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 10:31am
Grazie di tutto Acciughina!
on the 19th May, 2019 at 9:54am
I thought allegri missed a trick this year. he should have played a 4231. midfield was weak. he should have masked it by using the attack of the side. I think too at times he was not as brave as he use to be and ends up messing up the 1st leg. he did a lot to improve Juventus. he deserves tons of respect.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 9:00am
Great coach, shame about the club and its fans! In all seriousness though, this season he just looked tired, the matches uninspiring, the tactics stale... and he still won Serie A comfortably! Who-ever they replace him with has got a hard task ahead, there is no way Napoli and Inter can be as poor as this season and managing CR7 Inc. and expectations will be tough, especially if it is Sarri!
on the 19th May, 2019 at 8:36am
He is underappreciated just because he is underachieved.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 8:20am
No fan denies that Allegri did well in almost a golden age of Juventus' history.

Allegri didn't inherit Conte's entire squad (Vucinic, Quag, Matri had been shipped out) - rather an improved one with Morata, Tévez, BBBC at their prime, Pirlo, MVP. Surely these guys would've come good under Conte.

It was stubbornness - favouring Khedira and Cuadrado, lack of resolve, and negative tactics in Europe - Bayern, Atlético losses - which doomed him. He doesn't have the mettle to win in Europe.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 5:15am

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