Sunday October 6 2019
Sarri and Juventus tweak recipe

Maurizio Sarri seemed to fit Juventus like Parmesan on seafood pasta, but Giancarlo Rinaldi can imagine them changing each other for better - or worse.

It’s hard to avoid a wince when someone asks for Parmesan on their pasta with a seafood sauce. And many of us felt it was a similar faux pas when Juventus appointed Maurizio Sarri in the summer. Could these prime preachers of ‘winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing’ really add a sprinkle of ‘let me entertain you’ to their footballing philosophy?

That’s an over-simplification of the situation, for sure, but there’s a grain of truth somewhere inside. For most of his career, the former Napoli Coach has found himself on the side of the underdog in his most important matches with the odds stacked against him. How will it feel for him to go into the biggest game of the Serie A season so far - the Derby d’Italia - with a victory the expectation rather than simply the aspiration?

In truth, he tackled a few of these issues during his short sojourn in England. Before he went to Chelsea, he had a reputation in Italy for delivering beautiful football, but with a bit of an allergy to silverware. Most fans at Stamford Bridge would confirm that he tackled both of those claims by lifting a trophy, but without regularly producing anything like the attractive play that had been his hallmark in his homeland.

Now he faces a new challenge at the Allianz Juventus Stadium, where he no longer has any excuses for not winning things. This is a club that has the Scudetto - at the very least - in its DNA and anything less will not be easily accepted. No longer will it be sufficient to earn plaudits for your performances without something concrete to show for it. La Vecchia Signora is a demanding mistress.

The transformation he is expected to carry out was never going to happen overnight and there have been some occasional signs of weakness from his team so far. The simple fact that they find themselves playing catch-up to Inter is something that is a bit of a novelty for the Bianconeri. Italy’s most powerful club is unlikely to settle for being plucky losers.

That wasn’t always the case for Sarri’s sides in the past, of course. However, his managerial record against Juventus has seen him lose twice as many as he has won. Now he must show that he is just as comfortable at the helm of a finely tuned winning machine as he has been with sides where spectacle was sometimes a substitute for success.

Adding to the intrigue is the fact that he is coming up against a man who is almost his polar opposite. Nobody could ever imagine Antonio Conte being worried about pretty patterns if they failed to produce points. Plus, he knows his opponents inside out from years within Serie A’s most regularly triumphant organisation.

How comfortable Sarri will be in his new position among the favourites to win pretty much every competition he enters remains to be seen. Will he end up having to sacrifice style for substance? Can he combine both power and panache? What heights can he scale if he manages to unleash all the potential of this club by allying its addiction to trophies with a sprinkling of sexy football? The mind boggles.

Some more answers will be delivered on Sunday night in the special surroundings of San Siro. It will give us more early insight into where this new era is heading for both Coach and club. Will he be able to settle into his new surroundings like a comfy old tracksuit? Or will he ultimately remain a little incongruous in such illustrious circumstances - like that grated cheese atop some luscious langoustine?

Have your say...
What's the point with Rabiot not playing?
on the 14th October, 2019 at 9:07am
@ varsavia, they will fill places of Matuidi n Khedira (coz their age)
on the 9th October, 2019 at 7:36am
Well last nights match gave us an early answer to yours and my ponderings Giancarlo.
The early signs are that Sarri ball is emerging. He is (fairly quickly) transforming Juve with his optimistic proactive football.
No disrespect to Chelsea fans but Sarri (or Conte) just didn't have a chance with the cowboys that are running Chelsea FC.
Juventus is a serious club that is run by ambitious hard working professionals and this is evident all the way through. They have the world at their feet
on the 7th October, 2019 at 8:34am
Do Rabiot and Ramsey have custom-made armchairs for their bench? There will be long, long holidays for both albeit well paid.
on the 7th October, 2019 at 5:37am
This blog post offers no real substance. Please at least give readers some insight on something than just a bunch of cliche's. I for one appreciate the marked improvement in Juve's play under Sarri compared to Allegri. I will also be the 1st to go out on a limb and say that if he can also solidify the defense with the return of Chiellini than they may actually have a real shot this time at the CL trophy as crazy as that sounds.
on the 6th October, 2019 at 10:15pm
I feel he's doing well so far. I watched em against Leverkusen who they breezed past n it sounded like they were deserved winners away to Inter tonight. I feel if De Ligt settles n if they can tighten up on crosses then they could become awesome. Important goal for Dybala tonight n Higuain looks back to his best. Him n Ronaldo seem to be clicking!
on the 6th October, 2019 at 9:09pm
With all due respect, but what is the point of this article? I notice here a few things that seem to have become trends in the opinionated pieces of this site.

i) Firstly, there is no opinion. Basically this article describes a) Juve's succes and style, b) Sarri's coaching style, c) Conte's coaching style, and then throws its hands up in the air saying 'Well, we don't know.'
ii) Closely related, there's no depth. All three elements as given above are plain obvious.

What does all of this add?
on the 6th October, 2019 at 2:30pm
Good point(s)! I think this Sarri's Juve will be pretty much about how Ramsey-Pjanic mix together. So far, so good;)
on the 6th October, 2019 at 12:29pm
Lets hope Sarri is a winner, as the Bianconeri just doesn't accept failure.

As good as Ancelotti proved to be at Milan, his two years at Juve were considered failures.

Ranieri, Ferrara, Zaccheroni and Delneri managed Juve in possibly the bleakest period of the club, post calciopoli.

And stretching back to Luigi Maifredi, who got the job off a fine stint at Bologna, his 'champagne' football turned rather flat and he was soon booted out
on the 6th October, 2019 at 10:52am

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