It has been a mixed season for Juventus, with the club failing to defend their Serie A title but winning the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana. The mixed results were not enough to convince the club to keep Andrea Pirlo. Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has now replaced Pirlo as he returns to the Bianconeri.
Juventus Season Review
Pirlo Leaves After Underwhelming Season
Going into the 2020/2021 season, Juventus had won nine league titles in a row but saw their streak abruptly ended. Supporters were left disappointed by Pirlo’s men as they scraped fourth place in Serie A, a full 13 points behind eventual winners Inter Milan. Finishing in fourth place does, though, mean that Juventus will be playing Champions League football next season, which will be of some comfort.
The club were sent crashing out of the Champions League this time around. Porto sent the Turin club packing, defeating them on away goals in the last 16 of the competition. In contrast, in domestic cup competitions, Juventus dominated, winning both the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana. However, in comparison to the status quo, this season is still regarded as a disappointment.
It appears the Turin giants are going through a period of transition. Pirlo was the club’s third manager in as many years and the chop and change nature continues with his replacement. Massimiliano Allegri is once again the manager of Juventus. The 53-year-old agreed to return and will be charged with regaining the title. Allegri guided Juve to five successive league titles, four Coppa Italias, and even reached the Champions League final twice during his reign from 2014-19.
Juventus paid tribute to Andrea Pirlo in their announcement to replace the coach. A statement read: “Thanks, Andrea. These are the first words that all of us must pronounce at the end of this special experience lived together. For the courage, the dedication, the passion with which he demonstrated every day, our thanks go to the ‘Maestro'”.
What Went Wrong at Juventus?
Juventus struggled to make an impact where it counted. Considering the quality of players at his disposal, to say that Pirlo did not perform to expectation is an understatement.
However, there is an argument that Juventus were fighting against improved opposition. They finished just four points from their title-winning campaign of 2019/2020. Yet this season the points tally only managed to place them fourth. Other than Inter Milan, there were just a few points separating the rest of the top four, which shows just how close the latest Serie A season was. This suggests the teams in Serie A are becoming more competitive and Juve will have to adjust. Smaller clubs stole points away from Juventus, with teams like Benevento going unbeaten against Pirlo’s side all season. Dips against smaller opposition will need to be rectified if they want to regain their title.
It seems the real problem lies in a lack of stability at the club. Having three managers in as many years will always cause some disruption as the philosophy of each coach is being built and then quickly torn down. Allegri will have to rebuild his once-indomitable Juventus, as well as answer the question marks over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future.
The Club’s Top Performers Can Help Rebuild
With Allegri at the helm, Juventus fans are hopeful that he can repeat his trophy-laden exploits. It seems that former players also sense his arrival means the good times will return. Former Juventus players are reportedly interested in returning to the club to rejoin Allegri. As reported by the Daily Mail, Miralem Pjanic is looking to force a move away from Barcelona. It is clear that Allegri is popular with the former stars and Juventus can exploit his popularity to bring in top talent.
And there are plenty of stars in the squad already. Federico Chiesa performed brilliantly in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the young forward chipping in 15 goals and 11 assists this season. Ronaldo managed 37 goals in all competitions – whether he will stay in Turin is unknown, however.
One of Allegri’s best attributes is his tactical versatility, often shaping his tactics to the available players rather than force players into unfamiliar tactics. This will be key as many expect Juventus to undergo a transfer rebuild that will freshen the clubs’ options.