Enough is enough. Massimiliano Allegri has hit his limit with the constant negativity around Juventus, from fans, media, the whole lot. If Juve win, it wasn’t pretty enough. If Juve draw then it’s a sign of impending doom. And God forbid if Juve lose then it’s surely the end of the universe as we know it.
During his pre-match press conference as the Bianconeri head back to Naples to take on Napoli tomorrow in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final protecting a 3-1 lead, Allegri was less than his usual reserved self.
“First of all we’re in a good period, because with a month-and-a-half to go we’re playing for the final of the Coppa Italia, for the chance to go to the Champions League Semi-Finals and we’re currently still first in the Scudetto race.
“So right now there’s nothing more we could do. Then there’s this negativity, this negative aura, it’s the one thing I hate. I think if we could see things positively it would be better.
“I think this team has played a few finals over the past few years, we’ve won a couple of Coppa Italia, we’ve won two Scudetti, then one draw and it’s like none of that happened.
“At the end of the day, the important thing is to achieve your objectives. It’s also true that you have opponents, and winning is difficult.
“You say winning is the norm but no, winning is extraordinary because only one team can win. Besides, this is a team which in the past three years has been to a Champions League final, we’re playing for another Coppa Italia final, and we’re in the fight for the Scudetto.
“Right now we couldn’t do more, that’s a fact, like it or not.
“In the course of a season, just as in individual games, there are moments where you play well and moments where you’re less good, the important thing is having a clear objective.
“It’s not easy to achieve, the lads are doing incredible things, because there are opponents, because to always win is impossible.
“The team is growing in Italy, but above all on a European level and I think that’s important. I think that’s the best result, regardless of the Scudetti won.
“Right now Juventus are a respected team, that’s the most important thing.
“Then I hear you say - and I’ll finish with this - that Juventus have lost five finals, seven finals - how many have they lost? - seven.
“If you turn that around, and say ‘Juventus played nine finals’, it’s different. Because others didn’t play them. Then at the end of the games you win or you lose.
“You can reverse things and see the positives, but here you only see the negative goddamnit. That’s not good. Buona giornata.”
Luckily, Allegri had spoken in an earlier part of the press conference when he was less incensed, at which time he had talked about Mario Mandzukic being out and other team news.
“It’s difficult for Mandzukic to make it for the game. We’ll assess him today, but he’s unlikely to be there. Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado are available.
“As for the rest I don’t know what to tell you, because we’ll train today and after that I’ll work out who will play tomorrow.”
Will he take a conservative approach to tomorrow’s game with Juve holding a lead?
“First of all they’re two different games. Sunday was a League game and this is a knockout game.
“We have this important objective, to reach the Coppa Italia final for the third year in a row, then go to Rome and try to win it.
“It won’t be easy, because tomorrow’s game will be very open. Napoli are a team who played well on Sunday from a technical point of view, they caused us problems but we have everything it takes to reach the final.
“We need to be very different in technical terms to what we showed on Sunday, technically we got a lot wrong and that meant we couldn’t develop the play and that’s why we were more defensive.
“We gave away two or three shots after we’d cheaply given the ball away, so we definitely need to play a different game from that point of view.
“If you’re technically better you’ll have more of the ball, which means you have to defend less.”