Tuesday August 26 2014
‘More imagination with Allegri’

Claudio Marchisio believes that one key difference between Antonio Conte and Max Allegri is in their philosophy when in possession.

Juventus are working under the latter ahead of kick-off for the 2014-15 season, following three years of success with the former.

For the team’s versatile No 8, the suggestion of issues in the transition are wide of the mark, even as formation changes continue to be toyed with.

“I do not see many problems, I feel like we are on course. Allegri and his staff are well placed and have found a group united and ready for sacrifice,” Marchisio has considered to Tuttosport today.

“We have begun again with new ideas and with a different style of play, but we know it. Over the past two years we have won with 3-5-2, but the first year we set ourselves out in a 4-3-3.

“We know a four-man defence - a little work to resume certain mechanisms is normal. Not even in the friendlies has it seemed problematic to me.

“Against Milan [in the weekend’s Trofeo TIM] the test was great, but we gave away a few too many counter-attacks. In Verona will be a different Juve.”

Speculation has centred on Marchisio perhaps taking a more advanced role in midfield under Allegri.

“I’m used to moving between different roles, I am flexible and open to the changes. Against Milan I was played in the trequarti [area between midfield and attack], but it was not a classic Christmas tree formation - in defensive phases I was alongside Pirlo to provide cover.

“I try to position myself between the lines for when we have more possession. It is something different to the days under Conte, when we had a much more planned game. It’s a different idea - we have to work, but not so much.

“Allegri has made us understand that we will not dwell on a single formation - we have a list of quality that allows us to change identity during the game.

“At the Trofeo TIM, Llorente was absent. And Morata has not yet returned. I expect a great season, we want to defend the three Scudetti we have won and to do well in Europe.

“The Scudetto or the Champions League? I would exchange the Scudetto only if we were to win the Champions League.”

Marchisio was asked if Juve are more free in attack under Allegri.

“With Conte everything was more planned and the results speak for themselves - three League titles in a row and two Super Cups. Now it is different, Allegri has a different idea of the game, as we saw against Milan.

“We work mainly on the possession of the ball. In Europe it works well, we saw it again last year when we faced teams with little to them - they played safe football, whilst we had some difficulties. This is the most important step to be taken.

“And will this improved imagination be best felt in Europe? Definitely. We often speak of our failure in Europe, but the first year we went out against Bayern and last time we threw away qualification against Galatasaray.”

Atletico Madrid have been mentioned as the type of example Juventus can take inspiration from in Europe.

“We are not so far behind Atletico. With a bit more luck we could have won the Europa League in May. We are not that far from the top eight in Europe.

“Then it is obvious - the economic difficulties are there in Italian football. The further down you go, the greater.”

It was put to Marchisio that Conte’s exit this summer signals the end of a cycle at the club.

“It is wrong to say this is the end of a cycle. It is Juve who continues - our nature compels us to win again.

“To win a fourth Scudetto is difficult, but we want to succeed. There are many rivals - Roma ahead of the rest, but I also see Inter, Milan, Napoli and also Fiorentina. We would also love to win a 10th Coppa Italia.

“Will we miss something without Conte’s screams? We are a big club, we do not necessarily need those screams. And then I can assure you that even Allegri raises his voice in the locker room.”

Marchisio will still be able to catch those screams whilst on international duty, though, as Conte is now the Italy Coach, following his exit from Juve.

“The resignation was a surprise, because it came on the second day of pre-season. I respect his choice, he also explained the reasons, but these will remain private.

“Certainly he is not the type to continue as a Coach and a Juventino if he does not feel 100 per cent.

“Italy will be a new role for him. But he is the right Coach for the ideas of football that he has. He will have more time to organise everything.

“His task is similar to that of Prandelli, after the failure in the World Cup at South Africa, where he prepared us for the European Championships, where we finished as runners-up.”

Juve’s pre-season campaign has seen them take in a considerable number of air miles.

“I don’t think it will disadvantage us. It seems we are reliving the same situation as 12 months ago. We suffered in America, we played games below our level, then… we won the Super Cup and then started out great.

“In this tour we have travelled further, that is true. But the group is the same, with some additions.”

Marchisio was also asked about his future, with two years remaining on his current contract.

“It is the first summer that my name has not appeared in the transfer rumours. The other day I was laughing about it with my wife - you’ll see that in the end I will be sold…obviously that is a joke…”

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