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Sunday March 1 2020
Juventus just not built for Sarri

Juventus hired a coach like Maurizio Sarri only to provide him none of the players he needed for his football, explains Kaustubh Pandey, so why would Pep Guardiola be any different?

The Maurizio Sarri era was always meant to have a transition period. For a club that has been into playing a more pragmatic brand of football over the previous decade, changing into another extreme was always going to take time. As things stand, it certainly is taking longer than expected for Sarri to get this Juventus side to play how he wants them to.

Even though there was always a general acceptance from fans about the need to give the Neapolitan some breathing room, things have been frustrating. The recent defeat to Lyon was a key indication that instead of moving forward, Sarri’s men often look like Massimiliano Allegri’s Juve. It isn’t just the Lyon performance that confirmed it. It has been the story of the season and it has been letting them down consistently.

It is often like a ride back to last season when the Old Lady were drab in circulation from midfield. It was sluggish and there was too much emphasis on wing-play, not realising how a flair player like Paulo Dybala thrives on freedom. The outball to Cristiano Ronaldo would more or less work, getting the team goals on a regular basis. But Allegri’s Bianconeri were exposed in the Champions League against Ajax - a much more dynamic outfit under Erik ten Hag.

The Lyon defeat was similar. Rudi Garcia might be a familiar foe to Juve, but his team was much more dynamic than Sarri’s. Houssem Aouar - who can easily be in Turin next season, ran the show from attacking midfield. Juve were left to keep passing the ball around with very limited movement and a desolate hope that something might be conjured up. But just like against Ajax, nothing magically appeared. To many, it was hardly a surprise.

Bar a little period around the turn of the year, that is how Juventus have been. They’re lacking the cohesion on the ball that opens up the opposition. Sarri’s system doesn’t just rely on intelligent passing, but there is also a need to smart movement off the ball from the third potential ball receiver. Both aspects are equally crucial to unlocking defences, something that has hardly happened against multiple lesser sides.

They’ve scraped through wins against Verona, Brescia, Sampdoria, Genoa, SPAL and Bologna. A Kalidou Koulibaly own goal gave them a win against Napoli. A late Dybala winner got them three points against Milan. A dependency on individual performances from the likes of Ronaldo, Dybala and even Juan Cuadrado has been mirrored by the side creating an xG of only 47.16. That is less than Atalanta, Roma and Lazio. The overperformance of 0.87 only shows that their situation is very much deserved.

Sarri has had to change his shape to a 4-3-1-2 instead of using his traditional 4-3-3. That has increased the adaptation time period. The issues in midfield have gone up a notch because Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey have been in and out of the side. Blaise Matuidi has been struggling because of a lack of technical quality, leaving Sarri to miss Rabiot and Ramsey more than he should ideally.

But that, in itself, shows where Juventus have gone wrong. If Fabio Paratici knew about the style that Sarri would bring to the table, the summer transfer business should have matched his approach. But it didn’t. Ramsey and Rabiot were signed on free transfer deals but it was unlike how a club like Liverpool would do business. Ramsey has had infinite fitness issues in the past, while Rabiot hadn’t played first-team football in the whole of the second-half of the 2018-19 season. A top club like Juventus isn’t meant to recruit without too much background research.

Dybala, who has been a saviour on multiple occasions, was being pushed out despite having the supreme technical ability that Sarri’s system thrives on. In a parallel universe, he could have been at Tottenham or Manchester United today. The club was looking to sell multiple players to get enough money to sign Mauro Icardi. That too resulted in failure, as the Argentine joined Rabiot’s former club on loan.

With Miralem Pjanic struggling in recent games and Federico Bernardeschi yet to contribute to a single Serie A goal, Paratici and Pavel Nedved should know that they have failed Sarri in many ways. The transfer policy in the summer was aimed at making capital gains instead of supporting a manager who was meant to ride a transition. But they thought otherwise. The results of that left Sarri to talk about how he can’t get ‘Juventus to understand’ his methods when the blame lies elsewhere.

This is the same club that takes pride in going after Pep Guardiola. As glamorous as it might sound, Paratici and co have shown nothing to prove that they can back a manager who plays like Juventus have never played before. Sarri has fallen victim to that. The people running the club should realise it and correct themselves in the summer instead of changing the manager.

Have your say...
Sell Pjanic. I feel like Sarri should be given another chance but at the same time you can see the lack of inexperience. I feel that winning coaches are highly opinionated in their choice of players while Sarri strikes me as a guy who thinks he can get any moped to race in formula 1. He will accept any player that the imbecile Paratici decides to get. Completely stupid. Hopefully, though, from his last comments he's beginning to understand this.
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 11:36pm
Well Jimmy, you know more than most of the Inter clowns posting here, and I agree with everything you've said. Forza Juve !!!
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 11:31pm
With Costa getting injured & Cuadrado dropping to RB, this should of been Bernardeschi year to take the next step in Sarri's 4-3-3 but it has not happened. Playing him in the mid is an option which I think Sarri will need to explore to for some creativity if Ramsey can't go. But what do I know, i'm some guy from Canada writing on a blog Monday morning instead of working.
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 3:07pm
Ramsey has been injured off and on this season. He can create in the midfield. Bentancur is better in the middle replaying Pjanic, but once he plays on the RM he is caught out of position far to often. Rabiot is blah, haven't seen enough from him. This forces Matuidi to play on the left. He has a limited skill set but he does provide cover for Ronaldo who doesn't track back.
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 3:03pm
Agree with the article. The team was not built for Sarri, which is why it was puzzling of some of the transfer moves or lack of movies. I still think Juve thought they were getting Pep, but he bailed at the last second. The belief with Sarri was he was going to improve Pjanic, but that has not been the case. Pjanic, now with Ronaldo on the team, is useless. He is only a right footed free kick specialist. In ball play, he has no vision or creativity.
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 2:57pm
@Pathetic Dario and deluded inter fans, i can feel your pain and anger, bruh. Somehow, i enjoy your misery. Im highly entertained by conspiracy theory of yours. It's like reading failed movie scripts in Holywood.
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 2:06pm
Yes yes let's talk about corruption and how Juve orchestrated this mess.
That would make a lovely Alex Jones episode. Or is it a podcast now?
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 11:45am
Allegri was faulted for his bad football, now they realized, he didn't have the squad to play good football. Reality is Allegri only asked for a couple of midfielders to perfect his squad & Pariatici got the two midfielders then fired Allegri!! bad management of the club that led to this. Allegri would have done wonders with this squad because its what he asked for. Mandzukic/Emre would have been kept and key to the project. A bad season is good news so they learn from these mistakes and rectify
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 11:22am
I might be the only one on the limb here. but I think the problem in playing the system is pjanic. he wants to hold unto the ball long similarly to a Pirlo role. but that is not what is needed in the sarri system. to me he is better off playing with bentancur, rabiot/matuidi and ramsey. I saw some good signs vs lyon late in the game. players have to but in. they needs to be more runs off the ball in midfield with one touch football.call me crazy I still think sarri can win juve the c.league
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 7:49am
Well the result of the whole mess is that Italian football is once again being seen as corrupt and with good reason. Just as it looked like UEFAlona were taking over, being allowed to sign a player from a weaker club outside the transfer window.
on the 2nd March, 2020 at 4:54am
@Ravanelli, The issue is actually with people like yourself who would rather NOT talk about corruption because it benefits only a certain club! This is the only reason why Italian football is falling behind... here, I corrected for you.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 11:58pm
@Naidman

The issue is actually with people like yourself who would rather talk about conspiracy theories rather than actual football.

Talking about coaches and styles of play is "pointless" now..

This is one reason why Italian football is falling behind.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 8:47pm
Juve need to admit it was a mistake hiring Sarri,his style of play is alien to what Juve have been playing for the last
10 years.I do not understand how they thought that Sarri was going to be able change the team into a another Napoli,but we must remember he won zero except praise for his style.
Sorry to say but,i do not think you can teach old dogs new
tricks.
Sarri needs to admit that he is not the right manager for Juve and needs to leave.The players need to get back to what
they know!!
FJ
on the 1st March, 2020 at 8:41pm
Sarri is so stuben it’s un real, his persistence to start pjanic every game is a big disadvantage it’s like fielding 10men he does no assisting no tackling no running so is weakening an already week midfield. Sarri has a 4-3-3 fetish I understand if it’s his way of playing that’s fine. but we don’t have the midfield for that so he must adapt but clearly can’t so for me that’s bad management. Sarri out and pjanic just give away I would feel bad if we received any thing for him.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 8:27pm
Football Italia being the epitome of journalistic ignorance of course decides to dedicate a blog to a completely pointless discussion around Sarri's fit to cater to one over indulged segment of Italian football fans when there is a real issue that is crying for attention from the entire football world. But hey why write something that calls the sham of Lega Calcio into question when we can talk about rainbows and unicorns right.

Get real before you become even more irrelevant.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 6:44pm
Typical Juventino reaction...if they dont have bread then let them have cake...completely delusional and happy to live in their own bubble of corruption while the world burns...the Agenlli's are a cancer that has stricken all of Italy with Juventus their modus operandi for the world of football...

Anyone who thinks that anything but Agnelli family influence was behind this clearly biased decision from the Lega Calcio muppets is off their rocker...
on the 1st March, 2020 at 6:38pm
No idea why Juve junior(inter) fans are barking against Juventus after all before we give you proper people to manage this joke of a team that you have,you warent playing champions leage 6-7 seasons in roll.Just get balls to say thank you Juventus for givin us some proper managment,and admit to yourselfs that you cant win on d pich,your only seria a titles come when evryone else got 20 point reduction.Statute of limitations and you are paper champions.Inter fans to kill italian football again
on the 1st March, 2020 at 5:49pm
So Sarri needs a whole new team to be able to beat a mid-table French team? No thanks. It's pretty obvious who needs to go.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 5:36pm
We are here to talk about Juve and Sarri, not Inter. Inter will never be an important club because a loser mentality is pervasive throughout the organization. Inter worry too much about Juve and not enough about themselves. They would rather lose and watch Juve fail than have both clubs win. So strange. Please go away and cheer every Juve failure and cry about every Juve success. Meanwhile, we barely know you exist.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 5:31pm
I'm not sure FFP was introduced to help juventus dominate, i think it was more to keep the likes of man city, PSG and monaco down, to keep the status quo, the same teams the biggest teams in Europe dominating the champions league, that suits the footballing agenda, just like they changed rules on entry to champions league the year liverpool won it, but finished 5th, cost Everton their place I think, the rich get rich
on the 1st March, 2020 at 4:54pm
Also
this was a blog about Juventus and their transfer strategy and the problems, seems some people one here has lost the grasp
on the 1st March, 2020 at 4:45pm
Part 3: inter fans do not need to look for excuses this season, you play good football, Ex-Juventus people have come in and helped your team become good again, you are welcome for that, you can be proud of your team and enjoy your season and I still think they have a great chance to win it, and should win the europa league cause that is the easy one now days...cheer up, it is just football
on the 1st March, 2020 at 4:24pm
There have been dubious calls made all season for all the big teams, inter have had them, it is just Juventus fans and the media dont have a hissy fit every time that happens, it is ignored but when it happens to Juventus of course it makes headlines. Other games have been called off, Lazio have been given the overall advantage here, they are now top of the league, putting pressure on inter and Juventus. many games were called off last minute
on the 1st March, 2020 at 4:22pm
Hahahaha, Dario, come on man, relax, it is football, nothing more, Juventus have been playing poorly all season, I dont think they are in any worse shape now than they have been, costa has been out most of the season, Deligt has been below power all season, a goal keeper isn't the difference maker. Using the term Jubentus repeatedly is a bit sad, when yet again another Inter fan ignores that they only escaped cacliopoli due to statute of limitations
on the 1st March, 2020 at 4:19pm
The conspiracy theorists need to relax and go build some more signs for the curva. We are here to talk about football, not UFOs. Perhaps you should get back on your medication and your rage will pass.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 3:38pm
Juve management and Paratici caused this issue. We need attacking full backs and at least one creative passing midfielder but we bought players on expiring contracts instead. We need a Jorginho, Verratti, Tonali, De Bruyne or Bernardo Silva type in our midfield to build up the play. Our full backs cannot cross a ball and all they do is pass back so they kill the play right off before it even starts. We need reinforcements that are younger and many players must be sold to raise the nec funds.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 2:36pm
Paratici and the management are to blame as we lack a creative passing midfielder and attacking fulls backs. Pjanic is not a regista and we just look slow in midfield and are ful backs just run up only to pass it back. This team cannot cross the ball. The attack is not the issue its the build up that is the problem. They need a Verratti, Jorginho, Tonali, Bernardo Silva or a De Bruyne in midfield. We have far to many similar midfielders. This summer they need to make the right choices.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 2:32pm
Step right up folks!!! See below comments and witness
The most spectacular idiots in the world.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 2:08pm
The Juventi mindset has really left UEFA in hot water thanks to Platini's Farcical Fair Play, introduced to help Juvirus dominate in Italy, it worked, but it has now left UEFA up the creek - they have to push ahead against Man City, (who will spend big $$$ on lawyers) because if they just scrap FFP, the Milan clubs, Roma eta al will sue them for 10 years of forced non-competitiveness, and lost revenue. What a tangled web to weave.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:32pm
Part 9:
- The only consolation I can take with me is seeing juBentus fail in Europe, where they don`t have their corrupt men in charge (Platini busted, remember?). A digusuise in blessing, because players are used to be gifted penalties and rely on the constant unfair advantage coming in from the refs. But this will prevent them winning Champions League. And when this does not happen, they implode just like vs Lyon. However, Serie A is unfortunately still corrupt and no signs of improvement
on the 1st March, 2020 at 11:45am

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