Monday March 22 2021
Del Piero: 'Pirlo needs support'

Alessandro Del Piero analysed the situation at Juventus and 'worries' about the ‘lack of unity and concentration’ after a poor performance against Benevento.

A shocking defeat to Benevento in Serie A left Juventus 10 points behind League leaders Inter and Del Piero pointed at the ‘lack of concentration’ as a concern.

“A lot of things are going wrong,” Del Piero told ESPN. “What happened today, the mistake by Arthur, it’s not what you need to be focusing on, but the fact is that it happened in the Champions League against Porto too.

“This lack of, I don’t know what to call it, concentration, or being clear in your mind about what you have to do and how you have to deal with different stuff, it’s worrying. And the result is worrying.”

The former striker feels Juventus are missing some of the previous ‘unity’ and feels like there’s ‘a lot of confusion’ between the players at the Old Lady.

“I spoke a lot about unity, about Napoli and Roma. You would hear me talking about that a lot because, in order to win, you need to have something more than the other ones,” he continued.

“When you build a team, you have a lot of different situations, players, club, coaching, conditions, talent, you know, a mix of everything.

“You need to put it all together at the same time. That’s when it becomes unity.

“What’s happened at Juve now, is a lot of confusion. When you see them play, it doesn’t look like they are together in what they are doing.

“Everyone gives their maximum, because that’s what Juventus push you to do, but they are disconnected.

“You can’t lose a game like today. The game was very poor. Benevento didn’t win for three months, never won away.

“They already drew at Benevento’s home. It’s, I want to use the word weird, but it’s something more, unfortunately for Juve.”

But the former Italy international doesn’t believe Cristiano Ronaldo is the problem and said Juventus must build a team ‘for him’.

“You can’t see Cristiano Ronaldo as a problem,” the former captain continued. “You embraced him three years ago, so you go with him.

“He’s one of the best players in the world, with [Lionel] Messi. And now there are a couple of others that are doing quite well. [Kylian] Mbappé and [Erling Braut] Haaland, for example, or Neymar.

“But he’s a great guy, he’s a guy that scores every game. That’s why they brought Ronaldo, for him to score every game and bring them the Champions League.

“Unfortunately, the Champions League is the situation where Juve are the worst actually. They exited the quarter-finals once and the round of 16 in the other two. So they are very poor results.

“But you need to build a team for him, and that’s one of the keys. Juve have been winning for nine years in a row. It’s also about keeping that level of concentration and energy on top, which is very tough.

“Besides, there’s a new challenge on the bench. What happened in the three past years, is that you went from [Max] Allegri and changed completely the idea of football with [Maurizio] Sarri, for one year.

“Then you change again, with a guy that is an amazing guy, he’s my teammate and of course I love him, but he’s new in the job and has other challenges.

“OK, the club is very strong, but with all these things combined, it doesn’t work that well at this moment.

“They need to watch out, in terms of the race for the Serie A title, because they have to keep going, but they must look at what happens behind them.

“Because Atalanta now, without the Champions League, will run very fast. So, there could be one spot left for the Champions League and that would be a game changer for the club, if it doesn’t happen.”

Del Piero said Pirlo ‘need a lot of support’ but underlined that Juventus, who are currently third and two points above Napoli at fifth in Serie A, must qualify for the Champions League.

“Juve decided to move on with Pirlo this summer, for a project,” he said. “We see a lot of projects keep going after unsuccessful seasons.

“But we also see a lot of projects being cut as soon as one problem come up, one big problem.

“They are giving him a lot of support because they asked him to do a job where he suddenly went from nothing to being the head coach.

“Then you need a lot of support. So, what’s happening now is that he has full support also for the next year. But again, I think we will see if they get the Champions League spot or not."