Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri feels that striker Paulo Dybala still has some growing to do, especially to physically assert himself. Dybala had the game-opening goal as Juve won 2-0 at home against Atalanta on Sunday.
"Paulo Dybala must grow physically, he still can't take contrasts.
"The lads played a good game. We took no goals, we showed some good football at times and had some good chances to score.
"I'm quite satisfied, even though we shouldn't have lost so many balls and we should have saved our energy towards the end, when they were reduced to ten men."
Allegri had been criticized earlier this week for his apparent mismanagement of the young Argentinian striker. Juventus fans and Palermo president (where Juventus signed Dybala from) Maurizio Zamparini alike have mentioned that Allegri is not playing Dybala enough. The manager's response was pretty emphatic -
"I believe in what I'm doing. As for handling youth, you can say anything about me, that I get my formations wrong or whatever, but not that I can't handle young players.
"I liked Dybala's position, and Pereyra's too. Dybala will have to play between the lines.
"With all due respect for [President Maurizio] Zamparini, but the lad only just came from Palermo and we can't give him too many responsibilities.
"He must develop physically and improve. He's only 21 years old and the balls he plays here are not like those in Palermo.
"He used to play one or two balls per minute, here he gets one or two every 15 seconds. He must improve in terms of character too.
"He still has trouble with physical contrasts. But he's good at passing, he has a great shot and he can find his space.
"Nobody criticizes his quality, he always played. The fact he played changes nothing, but my mind was made up after the game against Manchester [City].
"In the championship there are highs and lows. If he can develop technically, tactically and physically, he'll become a champion.
"As for the defence, if we work as a group then we can cause our adversaries trouble and not take goals."
Paul Pogba missed a penalty, too, but Allegri wasn't too worried about it.
"Missing a penalty is not a problem. The only ones who don't miss penalties are those who don't take them.
"Pogba is developing, but he can still improve."