Maurizio Sarri maintains Juventus do not have tactical problems after the Coppa Italia defeat to Napoli, but rather ‘we lack the sharpness’ for individual skills to make the difference.
The Bianconeri again seemed sluggish and inconsistent, failing to find the net after a 0-0 semi-final draw with 10-man Milan, as only Gigi Buffon heroics prevented the Partenopei from winning in regular time.
It was eventually decided on a penalty shoot-out, but Sarri has still only ever won one trophy – the Europa League at Chelsea – and lost two Finals this season, falling to Lazio in the Italian Supercup in December.
“There is disappointment for the club, the lads and the fans, but at this moment we cannot do much more, because we are lacking sharpness,” Sarri told RAI Sport.
“We were missing a few players and had to make some different choices to usual, because our fitness levels are not optimal. We keep the ball well, but lack the sharpness to turn that into dangerous scoring opportunities.
“We are struggling to get past opposition players when taking men on, we have a team built on individuals who can usually do that very well. I don’t think we’re lacking determination, because we were totally concentrated for 90 minutes and you can’t do that without determination.
“I think the problem is the characteristics, because these are players accustomed to taking men on and at the moment that’s just not coming off.”
The problems are evident, because Juve also drew 0-0 against 10-man Milan in the Coppa Italia semi-final last week.
“It’s unusual, pretty much unique for us, but that just shows the lack of sharpness after such a long break.”
Cristiano Ronaldo was again disappointing and is one of those who Sarri perhaps expected to create something by running at opponents.
“He’s in the same shape as the others, like Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa, he is lacking the sharpness to do what works best for him,” continued Sarri.
“I didn’t say much to the players after the game. I was angry and disappointed just like them, so at these moments it’s best to stay silent. We’ll talk better tomorrow morning.”