Juve, black (white) crisis: Agnelli, Allegri and the endless flop

A foot and a half out of the Champions League, badly in the league and in the red

Crisis (white) black. Massimiliano Allegri’s Juve returns to Turin after the flop in the Champions League: the defeat against Maccabi Haifa sanctions the virtual elimination and the farewell to the second round, yet another misstep in a season that risks going to the archive already in October. The next match on the calendar is the derby: Juve, in retirement, arrives at the derby in very bad conditions.

Bad in Europe, bad in the league, with 10 points behind leaders Napoli after just 9 days: a bad roadmap, produced by constantly disappointing performances. “I am ashamed of what is happening”, said the president Andrea Agnelli yesterday, questioning the whole Juventus universe and dribbling the question relating to the position of the coach: “We are completely out of line, I am talking about the group, we are not there. they are individual responsibility. It is not a question of one person. This is a group question at this moment and from this we have to start again. There are no individual responsibilities. Juventus has always carried out checks at the end of the year, I find it hard to think at a change in the running at Juventus, Allegri is the coach and will remain “.

And Allegri, after yet another obscene match, what did he say? “Have I ever thought about resigning? Absolutely not, a challenge when it becomes difficult is even more beautiful. This must enter everyone’s mind. We must come out with courage”.

Beyond the good intentions, the present and future of the Old Lady are more black than white. The Board of Directors has just approved a loss-making budget of 254.3 million euros: the effects of the covid are still being felt on the accounts of a club which, after the recent capital increase, must choose a line based on sustainability. Allegri, in this sense, represents an absolutely onerous investment: a rich four-year contract for the Livorno coach, recalled in 2021 after the brackets Maurizio Sarri-Andrea Pirlo. Juve sacked the last 2 winning coaches after just one season. Sarri was discharged after winning the Scudetto, Pirlo – suddenly embarked in the summer of 2020 – was torpedoed with the Italian Cup and the Super Cup on the bulletin board.

Juve, who had divorced Allegri in 2019, did not have the strength and conviction to look for an alternative way to the ‘short muzzle’, the cheerful vision of football that snubs ‘beautiful’ teams and simplifies the development of the game until extreme: “You have to pass the ball to those with the same shirt”.

In this schizophrenic path, between attempts at evolution and sudden returns to the past, Juve now finds itself with an asymmetrical squad that is difficult to improve without yet another revolution. Veterans at the end of the race and young people to grow: in between, the absence of true leaders and the lack of quality. In the summer, a remedy was tried with the return of Paul Pogba – never available for the meniscus injury and still in the pits – and the arrival of Angel Di Maria, a phenomenon with the ball at his feet but present in fits and starts: muscle injuries in a burst – not exactly an anomaly for Juventus – is an expulsion in Monza with consequent disqualification for the South American.

Result: after the summer in which Matthjis DeLigt, Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata left, Juve find themselves with a weaker and more fragile team. The anomalous World Cup in Qatar, with the season split in 2, offer a potential chance for a reset or at least for a robust cut in view of the January transfer market, which for Juve could become the last lifeboat as already happened at the beginning of 2022: in January the bianconeri spent to take Vlahovic and Zakaria (then packed up in the summer and sent to London) and conquer the fourth place, useful for the Champions League and for the budget. In January 2023, in the league, the risk is to float too far from the top positions.