Who will Massimiliano Allegri be managing next season?

by Chloe Beresford / 05 April 2018, 16:07

"What is missing right now is the Champions League," said Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri to the Telegraph ahead of their clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League last Tuesday night. "That is my focus."

Yet just like in the final of that competition the year before, his side were thoroughly outplayed and outclassed by Los Merengues, highlighting that the Old Lady still has substantial ground to cover in order to win that coveted prize for the first time since 1996. The sheer brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo was on full display in this week’s quarter-final first leg, not least for his breathtaking overhead kick that contributed to the 3-0 scoreline.

Allegri really couldn’t be blamed for the failure this time around as Real Madrid displayed superior quality all over the pitch. No amount of tactical prowess could’ve conquered the gulf between the two squads on the night, Juventus left to simply hold their hands up and admit that even their very best performance would not have been enough.

“I understand the disappointment,” wrote the Tuscan Coach on Twitter after the defeat.

“It’s justified. But I struggle to reproach a team that tried, against the best in the world. In sport and in life there are those who prove they are better: you applaud them, and continue to work in order to become like them.”

With six consecutive league titles – three under the tutelage of Allegri – already having been sewn up by the Bianconeri, winning the elite competition remains the ultimate aim of this side and indeed their intelligent boss. However, rumours are increasing that he is wanted by Chelsea as a replacement for his Juventus predecessor Antonio Conte, as well as the re-ignition of whispers of a move to Arsenal, and who could really blame those Premier League clubs for wanting to bring the Livorno-native in?

If we move away from Tuesday night’s European defeat and take a look at the domestic match versus Milan the Saturday before, Allegri’s tactical acumen was clear to see. A confident and resurgent Rossoneri had levelled the scores after the Bianconeri had taken an early lead. The Coach realised that it was going to be tough to defeat a team who were fired up full of effort and desire, and so set about a series of tactical changes.

Allegri must have known that inexperienced opposite number Gennaro Gattuso would not be able to keep up as he moved from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3, then 4-2-3-1 and returned to 4-3-3 as he used his substitutions to devastating effect. An eventual 3-1 win for Juve would not accurately reflect the match as Milan really had deserved a draw, but the boss had successfully unleashed the power of astute coaching.

It is only natural that Chelsea see Allegri as a natural successor to their current boss after having seen the results of such progression over in Turin. Just as he has done consistently over the past year at Stamford Bridge, Conte had bemoaned a lack of investment in the squad in his last year in charge of Juve, citing this as a reason why the team had failed to progress in Europe despite winning three consecutive Serie A titles.

Allegri came in from Milan as Conte’s replacement and – without any further significant investment in the squad – took the Bianconeri to the Champions League final in the very next season in addition to winning the Scudetto back home.

As always though, the million dollar question is whether Allegri would leave Juventus this summer. In the past the Coach has declared that he would like to take charge of a Premier League side, but it is all a question of timing and whether the Juve hierarchy is willing to make the necessary investment in order to narrow that aforementioned gap to the likes of Real Madrid.

It seems as though the boss will always have unfinished business at Juve unless he wins the Champions League, but if he doesn’t think there is a credible chance of doing so then he may decide to walk away, especially as he has already mentioned a desire to keep his managerial career short.

“Certainly I will go abroad,” he continued in the interview with the Telegraph. I don’t want to go being a coach forever. Probably I would like to carry on being a club coach for another five or six years then I would like to coach a national team.”

Whether Max Allegri decides to move to England this summer or not, it is clear that – just like his substitutions – this deep-thinking man will make the right choice at the right time for him.

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Antonio Conte
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