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.

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Have your say...
Part 8: - It`s painfully clear to me that juBentus run the league. You can call this Calciopoli 2 or whatever, but the is going on in front of our eyes and I won`t invest time in this any more. It`s just useless to watch a rigged competition where they do everything against a fair competition and values of sportsmanship. This is the reason why I always hated juBentus, but proof of their dark power being exercised is here and we can`t ignore it any more.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:43pm
Part 7:
-BTW, can anybody explain why has the date for juBentus - Inter been set BEFORE the initially postponed Inter - Sampdoria? Decision made at the base of which princpiple?

Karma is a bitCh, it will hit them eventually, just like it hit them in the finals against Real Madrid when Benatia fouled in the area and generated a penalty. In his head he made no mistake, because he was used to doing a foul in Italy and not being punished.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:42pm
Part 6:
- TIMING: "equal" decision - postponing only a couple of matches, not all is least to say suspect. So why not have equal decision for all matches if it`s indeed because of the corona virus? Nah, juBentus have friends in every institution. Why not postpone if possible?
- TIMING: Please note that juBentus - Milan is scheduled to play on Wednesday, after only 3 days after the current "infected" match. Same venue! Will be played with spectators! So you`re telling me Agnelli family knew
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:41pm
Part 5:
- TIMING: It`s all about the morale of the players for the rest of the campaign. They were scared we could beat them now and breathe down their neck for the rest of the season with 1 easy game in hand. Why risk having Inter think they can win it? Why not postpone if possible?
- TIMING: hit them by surprise - postponing Derby d`Italia only 1 day before the actual match was supposed to play. Why not postpone if possible?
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:41pm
Part 4:
- TIMING: Sarri is so stupid that he actually exposed what`s going in Italy by saying after Lyon-Juventus 1-0 "If the match would have been played in Italy, we would have received 2 penalties". If you look at the incidents, you can clearly see how blatantly Dybala dived. Why not postpone if possible?
- TIMING: Sarri is so stupid that he openly admits his players are not following him, implying that he needs more time to teach/manage them. Why not postpone if possible?
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:40pm
Part 3: - TIMING: Their locker room is in trouble, recordings surfaced from Cristiano and Dybala critizising their own midfield. Why not postpone if possible? - TIMING: juBentus have several players out (Demiral, Costa) or recovering from injury, many out of form (De Ligt, Rabiot, Chiellini). Since we announced on Friday that Handanovic is going to play, juBentus realized they are not in advantage any more (playing against our reserve keeper), so it`s not OK to play now. Why not postpone if possible
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:39pm
Part 2: Everything is too obivous to be ignored any more. All those penalties in the league were not enough, they just had to postpone it since it`s in their powers. Not playing a decisive match NOW and playing it in May is EXTREMELY different: - TIMING: juBentus are in deep, not playing decent football at the moment (just look at their recent form). juBentus are coming off a defeat in Europe and morale is not high. Why not postpone if possible?
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:39pm
Part 1: I`m in RAGE MODE ever since the mafiosi announced unilateral decision to postpone this derby!!! I mean state Government says it`s OK, matches can be played, then suddenly when juBentus refuse to refund the tickets and put pressure, their friends at Lega Calcio do them a huge favor. If this is not eye-opening enough to prove what is still going behind the scenes, then I don`t know what.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:38pm
Ronaldo is a disaster for a system based on quick passing. Every time he gets the ball he keeps it for at least a few touches, often losing it. Never any attempt to pass it on quickly.
on the 1st March, 2020 at 12:06pm
You could not make this up - Juve -Inter cancelled. Then 2 hrs after the game was supposed to have finished, the embargo is lifted and hey presto 72 hours later Juve Vs Milan with fans!!!!! Is George Orwell giving these instructions?
on the 1st March, 2020 at 11:45am
Juventas have to explain the sell off of cancello. How does that happen. He was leichestner replacement and supposed to be taken them to manchester city's attacking level but instead sold to them.... and now sarri who is more man city type taking the jibes??
on the 1st March, 2020 at 10:22am
on the 1st March, 2020 at 9:50am

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