Maurizio Sarri has been sacked by Juventus after just one season at the club. The decision comes the day after Olympique Lyonnais knocked the Italian side out of the Champions League.
That defeat means Juve have fallen at the hands of Ajax and Lyon in the last two editions of the Champions League. The club’s board expect better and failure to compete in Europe has cost Sarri his job.
Maurizio Sarri Sacked by Juve
An Uninspiring Season for Sarri’s Juve
When Sarri swapped London for Turin last summer, high expectations were placed on his shoulders.
The 61-year-old was expected to replicate the thrilling brand of football that he implicated during his time at Napoli. He was also charged with building on his Europa League victory at Chelsea by masterminding further success in Europe’s elite club competition.
Sarri was, however, unable to fulfil either duty; it has left the Turin club’s bosses with no other option.
The former banker led Juve to a ninth consecutive Serie A title this season; however, winning the Scudetto every year has become something of a formality for the club in recent times. Expectations nowadays are to achieve domestically and be a competition in the European cups.
Juventus believed the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo would be the the missing piece needed to win the Champions League. But a last-16 exit at the hands of underdogs Lyon has proved the final straw for Sarri. The club will look for a new manager in their pursuit of European football’s biggest prizes.
How Champions League Misery Has Costed Sarri
It has been highly anticipated that failure in the Champions League would cost Sarri his job.
The first leg of the tie with Lyon was played back in February, and Sarri’s team were worse in that game than they were on Friday (August 7).
In that first leg, Juventus failed to register a single shot on target over the whole 90 minutes.
In truth, Lyon were fully deserving of the shock lead they took early in the second leg too.
Aside from the performance of Cristiano Ronaldo – who notched his 67th goal in 81 games in the knockout stages of the competition – Juventus lacked any kind of response and deservedly crashed out in damaging circumstances.
Sarri Defiant but Powerless to Prevent His Sacking
Sarri himself remained defiant in the aftermath of his side’s defeat, he said: “I don’t think directors at a top level club will make a decision based on one match. They are going to evaluate the whole season.”
Sarri also told the media that he planned to respect his three-year contract and did not “expect anything” to change regarding his future.
His comments in relation to the overall picture regarding Juve’s season are accurate but were not enough to save his job.
Juventus fell over the line in Serie A, winning only two of their last eight games. Such a poor run of form culminating in European embarrassment has not been lost on the club’s directors.
Who Next for Juventus?
Many of the club’s fans feel that it was the wrong decision to sack Sarri’s predecessor, Max Allegri. Fortunes certainly failed to improve since.
For now, though, The Old Lady must assess what went wrong over the course of a disappointing season overall in this campaign. The way they respond is critical if they are to achieve the immediate success they crave.