Maurizio Sarri insists he does not know what ‘Sarrismo’ is but admits he would like to impose his philosophy on Juventus from the ground up.
‘Sarrismo’ is the nickname given to Sarri’s style of play and was inducted into the Italian Treccani Encyclopedia last year.
The 60-year-old made it clear he was more than just a ‘tactical fundamentalist’ but did reveal he wanted to leave behind a legacy of short passing and high pressing.
“You can’t start with a system and send players away or bring them in. We have to identify the two or three players who can make the difference,” he continued at his Juve presentation.
“The third step is to talk to the players, listen to them and then see what system we can use.
“In recent years, I’ve had 4-3-3, but the 4-3-3 at Chelsea was very different to the one at Napoli. We had to accompany Eden Hazard’s characteristics, as he could change the game, but also his presence caused issues in defending that we had to work on.
“I played 4-3-1-2 for a lifetime before the 4-3-3, so we’ll see. I think the objective of enjoying yourself on the field is not antithetical to winning.
“If a team entertains the crowd and enjoys its football, that can be further fuel towards victory.
“It’s not as if a team that enjoys itself is frivolous. I remember after the first 2-3 Empoli games in Serie A, I was asked if we thought we could secure safety playing this style of football rather than defend and counter? We saved ourselves with six rounds to spare.
“There have been Coaches who won with completely different and contrasting philosophies of football. There is no one way to win.
“Therefore, a Coach should stay true to himself and his vision, taking into account the possibility of failure.
“What changes are the characteristics of the players. Napoli had team players, who were totally at the disposal of the team and moved the ball at a decisively quicker pace.
“Chelsea are made up of probably technically superior players, but with different individual characteristics.
“They have wingers who want the ball at their feet and like to go one-on-one. It leads to a less fluid style of football, because Napoli had 11 who could play one-touch football, Chelsea had seven or eight who could do that and the others were individuals who could make the difference going by themselves.
“We were fairly unbeatable in the last two-three months. You’d be insane to think you could change the characteristics of the players at your disposal. I’d be in the amateur leagues at that point.
“You are dealing with players at this level who are already champions. The philosophy of football remains largely the same, but you must have the mental elasticity to adapt to the players and figure out how to win games.
“I only got here yesterday, Sir Alex Ferguson took 20 years to impose a style on the youth teams as well as the senior squad.
“I’d like to do that, but it’d be a very, very long process meeting with the various youth Coaches. I don’t think I am young enough to stay here as long as Ferguson did at Manchester United.
“I don’t see how you could say that I’m a tactical fundamentalist when I started at Empoli with 4-3-1-2, then moved to 4-3-3 at Napoli and a disguised 4-4-2 at Chelsea.
“I honestly don’t know what Sarrismo is. I read in the dictionary it was more than a tactical philosophy. I have always been me.
“I might change my views of football and life over the years with experience, but the concepts remain the same.
“I am a direct person, at times a bit too direct, who needs people to be open and say things face to face.
“This can lead to clashes, but those can be resolved. Rancour only ever occurs because of things that are not said out loud.
“I hope that I never change the fundamental concepts of my life and football. It’s not about working on one area.
“Clearly, my style of football is different. I have to figure out how much I can bring of my ideas and be productive.
“I have to gain more points, not fewer, while using my philosophy. It’s about the balance of how much is down to the tactics and how much we leave in the hands of the players.
“If you ask my opinion, I’d like to see Pjanic touch the ball 150 times per game. However, it’s about balancing everything and the various characteristics.
“I tend to give a lot more freedom to my teams from the final third, as that is where the players can improvise a little more.
“Every team is like a son, you can’t all have the same, nor should you want to. They all have their characteristics.”
The former Napoli boss was then asked about the size of the task facing him, given his predecessor Max Allegri led the Bianconeri to five straight Scudetti.
“Allegri leaves a lot to live up to. We know full well that it’s not easy to win all that he did over the last five years. His results were extraordinary.
“I’d like to see the same capability that Max gave the team to hold out under pressure for 30 minutes and still win.
“It’s something I rarely managed, perhaps that is because of my approach. If you get the team accustomed to keeping the ball and they don’t have it for a while, they can struggle and start to panic.
“Allegri’s teams on the other hand seemed to be struggling, but then you always had the thought in your mind that they could win it anyway.
“At times, I chat with Allegri via common friends, but so far I haven’t heard from him. I hope to do so during the summer.
“We tend to joke around, though, we don’t usually discuss anything serious.”
Finally, will he don a suit or keep wearing his tracksuit?
“I’ll talk to the club. Obviously, when representing the club, I will wear their uniform. The important thing at my age is that they don’t send me out there naked...”