After the defeat against Lyon over two legs in term of away goals in the round of 16 in Champions League, resulting in their way out of the tournament. This resulted in the sacking of Maurizio Sarri, who’s tenure at Juventus have been marred with controversies over playing style, leadership among many other things. Though he won the Serie A with the side, his removal is welcomed by the fans. Now Juventus has selected Andrea Pirlo as Juventus Manager. It has caused a huge surge of excitement for all the football fans. In this article, we will look at how Pirlo can resurrect Juventus’s fortune.
Juventus team is filled with the old and experienced player but most importantly they have passed their peaks. So many of the dead weights need to be cleared. But selling them will be done at a reasonable price. Players like Higuain, Matuidi and Khedira have all past their prime and their performances are below par. We already know that Matuidi is going to the MLS after agreeing a deal with David Beckham’s Inter Miami. It is also being reported that Higuain and Khedira are also on the brink of leaving the club.
Selling them will not only lighten the wage bill for Pirlo for new signings but will also give a clear message to the team that either you will perform at the highest level or the club may sell him. This will create an atmosphere of competitiveness in the squad. The average will also decrease and an air of youthfulness will be instilled in the squad.
Solving the Ronaldo Dilemma
Is Cristiano Ronaldo’s stay at Juventus now at risk? With him being reportedly inching for a PSG move. This rumour should be firstly dealt with by Pirlo as Juventus Manager. He should try to pursue Ronaldo to stay if he doesn’t agree he should be sold accordingly. A player of Ronaldo’s status could not give his best if he is not backed by the management.
His transfer rumours can result in a tense situation in the dressing room. This must be avoided. Ronaldo is an integral part of the squad but more importantly, his wish should be listened by Pirlo. Making Ronaldo stay will be Pirlo’s first task and if not then he must see through Ronaldo’s deal, so he can give out a statement that only those who want to stay at the club will stay.
Pirlo’s favoured 4-3-3 formation
Pirlo as Juventus Manager has made it clear that he will follow the 4-3-3 formation on and off. 4-3-3 is a balanced formation, used by most of the modern football teams, at Juve under Sarri the same formation was used. So the structure will not change but yes a new philosophy can be developed by Pirlo.
Pirlo can play De Ligt and Bonnuci/Chiellini at the back as it will give him the right mixture of youth and experience. With Demiral on the bench, it looks good in defence. Next, they will be focussing on the fullbacks, Alex Sandro may get a new partner or De Sciglio can also be a good option at right-back.
The midfield three of Arthur, Bentancur and Rabiot can be a way out for Pirlo. As the midfield will produce a youthful as well as a creative hub for the team’s attack to build on.
If Ronaldo stays the front 3 of Douglas Costa, Ronaldo and Dybala can become a threat. With all this option available Pirlo has a solid base to work at.
Solving the Fullback and Midfield puzzle
The two main weaknesses faced by Juventus is the team’s fullback and midfield. The fullbacks are a major reason for Sarri’s downfall at Turin. Danilo and Alex Sandro weren’t at their best and lot of the goals they conceded were due to these two’s defensive errors. Danilo has looked completely out of sorts at right back. Pirlo needs to take a decision on him, either he would have to boost his morale and tactically accommodate him or else he needs to be sold. Alex Sandro needs the backing from the management to get into form.
The midfield is the main concern for Juventus, lack of creativity and desire has been a grievance that is often being heard in the supporter groups of the club. The midfield is needed to be balanced. Players like Ramsey and Rabiot can be used properly to get the most out of them. Under Sarri, a talented player like Rabiot was found in the bench most of the times. Surprisingly in a midfield which lacks creativity Ramsey was unexpectedly not used much by Sarri. Pirlo as Juventus manager can use both Ramsey and Rabiot. With both age and fitness are now on their side that can solve a lot of problem in Juventus midfield.
Pirlo’s presence can turn out to be a major boost for Juventus midfield, as they are guided by the man who once led the team’s midfield in the very stadium that they are playing now. New players are must need at Juventus especially in the midfield, this will create a competition for spot and at the same time it will end up in reducing the average age of playing squad.
Instil the winning mentality in the players
In this case, no one can be better than Pirlo, the man who played in that jersey for years will be the perfect mentor for the team. Young players like Rabiot, De Ligt, Kulusevski can all learn about the club’s culture and history. With a man who had won a world cup and regarded as the best regista in the world. Pirlo’s knowledge about the club and supporters will play a big part in integrating the Juventus squad which looked in trouble.
With Pirlo at the helm, he needs to be tough with his decisions, as most of the current Juventus players were his teammate and thus he needs to strong with his decision and not yield with the other players’ demands. He needs to keep the ego out of the dressing room which could the good work is done. With Pirlo as Juventus manager, it’s clear that Juventus are trying to integrate the Juve DNA among this set of players and who can be better at this than Pirlo. Pirlo represents Juventus ‘s mentality of class and elegance. He needs to spread this among the current bunch of players.
Transfers Holds the Key
With all these stories of transfer out. News is also there that Pirlo is planning to strengthen the squad. With Sandro Tonali being targeted for solving the midfield crisis. This makes sense as a total rejig is expected in the midfield. Nicolas Zaniolo is also in the radar of the club. The attacking midfielder from Roma looks in stellar form and is dubbed as the next big thing in Italian football. Eric Garcia also had contact with Juve Officials according to different sources. But it looks bleak as the defence is already filled with great superstars of different age groups. Juve are also planning to bring a no.9 to replace Higuain. Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, and Napoli’s Milik are top of the lists at it seems.
Managing the Expectations
Pirlo comes at the club with a huge burden on his shoulders. The inexperienced manager is now the manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world. Fans will be expecting a lot and Pirlo will be on pressure from day 1 of his job. He will have to deal with it tactfully, as a simple wrong step can lead to a downward slope. But the question is, what do we expect from a manager who has not even coached a under-8 match in his whole life?
Pirlo as Juventus Manager: Final thoughts
Pirlo’s return to Juventus as a manager has turned out to be a source of anger and excitation and it has rippled through the hearts of all neutral football fans. With a few days left before the next season start, we will look all up to how Pirlo coped with the pressure of management. But first, he needs to take care of these above-mentioned problems. Will Pirlo turn out to be the next Guardiola or Zidane? Only time will tell.
What’s your opinion about the selection of Pirlo as Juventus Manager? Let us know in the comment section below.