Max Allegri must reverse Juventus’ disastrous start to the season – and quickly.
The comparison with predecessors Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo is merciless and reveals many faults pointing the way of the 54-year-old, in his second stint at the club.
After 10 Serie A matches, Sarri recorded 26 points and Pirlo notched 20. Alllegri, on the other hand, has only collected 15 points – it’s simply too few for the Old Lady to be satisfied with.
Head coach Max Allegri must reverse Juventus’ disastrous start to the season – and quickly
Juventus lost further ground to Serie A leaders Milan after a late home loss to Sassuolo
Four wins, three draws and three defeats is the record, scoring 14 and conceding 13. This time last year, they had conceded six fewer and scored four more. It’s a damning indictment.
Allegri’s his side play an ugly and cynical brand of football and thus, when victory isn’t achieved, the performances of his teams are horrible.
The anger of vice chairman Pavel Nedved in the final minutes of the defeat to Sassuolo on Wednesday night is the photo that epitomises Juve’s struggle at the moment.
The Czech legend shouted something at fellow board member and club chief Andrea Agnelli, who remained impassive, in a stadium frozen by Sassuolo’s stoppage-time winner. So, where has it all gone so wrong?
The Sassuolo coaching staff go wild after watching their players claim a shock victory
The reaction of vice chairman Pavel Nedved told its own story on Wednesday evening
A DEFENCE LITTERED WITH GAPS
More and more, Juventus look a team without any identity at all.
The results confirm the unfortunate decline of a club that won nine Scudetto titles in a row due to their strength and security at the back.
With 13 goals conceded following two more at home on Wednesday evening, it is Juve’s worst first 10 games since the 1992-93 season, according to Opta.
One fact is particularly worrying: it is only the third time in the ‘three point a win’ era that Juventus have suffered so many so defeats in their first 10 games.
Individual errors are becoming an issue too: at least five goals can be blamed at one person’s door, with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny culpable for three of those.
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been culpable for three goals so far in the first 10 games
Juve have also left 10 points slip from advantageous situations and now, lying in seventh place, they have allowed Udinese, Milan and Napoli surpass them in the table. Formidable centre back pairing Leonardo Bonucci and Matthijs De Ligt need to sort it out.
AN ATTACK WITHOUT GOALS AND IMAGINATION
A total of 14 goals in 10 games is too few for a team who wants to win the Serie A title.
Despite boasting four forwards in their squad, their sum total is less than Lazio’s Ciro Immobile – who is on eight – and the same as Edin Dzeko, who has scored seven.
It is a very serious problem, especially considering Allegri has rotated all his options in an attempt to find a solution.
Without Cristiano Ronaldo, the fans are anxious and impatient waiting for the likes of Federico Chiesa, Moise Kean, Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata to find the back of the net consistently.
Unknown quantity Mattia Destro is third in the Serie A goalscoring stakes with six goals and, so far, the sum of Morata and Dybala’s goals in the Italian top-flight is lower than that of the Genoa strike.
Without Cristiano Ronaldo, the fans are anxious waiting for his goals to be replaced
The likes of Federico Chiesa and Moise Kean are finding it tough to score goals in attack
Paulo Dybala, now Juve’s brightest attacking outlet, has also experienced difficulty so far
ALLEGRI’S RECORD LOOKS BLEAK COMPARED TO PREDECESSORS
Allegri’s numbers at this point of the season do not make good reading when compared to predecessors Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo.
He has 11 points less than Sarri and five less than Pirlo. The home loss to Sassuolo highlighted the limitations of this team at the moment, as well as the structural deficiencies which have resulted in this embarrassing beginning.
Juventus have lost to the likes of Empoli and Sassuolo at home and some players just don’t look suited to the team at the moment: Frenchman Adrien Rabiot is one of those.
Allegri’s numbers at this point of the season do not make good reading when compared to predecessors Maurizio Sarri (left) and Andrea Pirlo (right)
Morata, also back for his second spell, also looks short of confidence and personality.
Allegri needs to not be afraid to intervene tactically when necessary. Otherwise, a change in form genuinely looks unlikely.
SQUABBLING AMONGST THE TEAM
As observed from the TV cameras on Wednesday night, wing back Danilo looked extremely nervous about his mistakes on the pitch.
In particular, he had a long confrontation with Brazilian compatriot Kaio Jorge. The ex-Manchester City player spoke to the young forward for a fair while about positioning on the pitch.
Danilo had a few confrontations on Wednesday which epitomises Juve’s lack of unity currently
Allegri needs to reverse the slide and must rely on leaders such as Leonardo Bonucci (left)
At one point, Danilo put his index finger to his mouth, saying: ‘Shut up and stay there.’
Shortly before, the defender had words with keeper Mattia Perin and defender Leonardo Bonucci about his own position on the pitch.
Panic and insecurity amongst the players is becoming a common theme amongst Allegri’s team. He needs a reverse, in all quarters.
The formidable pairing of Bonucci and Matthijs de Ligt (right) have shipped goals this season