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Allegri: Parallels between post-Berlin and post-Cardiff

Manager’s comments ahead of Serie A season opener

Juventus v SS Lazio - Italian Supercup
Massimiliano Allegri
Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images

Juventus kick off the new Serie A season tomorrow against Cagliari and manager Massimiliano Allegri will have to deal with the fallout from Cardiff, saying it’ll be similar to the fallout from Berlin in 2015.

“Parallels with after Berlin in 2015? There are some, so we have to work with balance and ease ourselves into the season.

“We started late [for preseason] and the market is still open, so we need to be careful and focused.”

Speaking about the transfer market, Allegri is in favour of the window closing before the season starts as is being mooted in England.

“The market should close earlier, teams should be completed by the start of the season. I hope it happens.”

What will be his approach for the game tomorrow -

“For a top European team to remain a top one, you need mental balance, regardless of your results.

“If we don’t beat Cagliari tomorrow, everything is back under the microscope and what we’ve done in previous years is history.

“We have to think about picking up three points tomorrow and then pick up three more in the next game.”

On his thoughts about the Video Assistant Referees (VAR) technology -

“It’s new technology, you have to see how it develops [before judging it], but it can certainly bring about benefits.

“The hardest thing is managing it because there may be games that go on for a very long time.

“The good thing is that when VAR is adopted, there’ll be a minute’s time-out, like in basketball.”

Any changes in his attitude towards the players?

“I’m not a father figure and it’s not who I am. I have to be a Coach, not a guard dog.

“Juve have great players, who have to be responsible. I have the objective of winning a fourth Scudetto and my players must keep winning.

“If this doesn’t happen, we won’t be able to have a great season.”

Thoughts on Matteo De Sciglio so far -

“De Sciglio? He had two good years with me [at Milan] but then got a bit lost. He needs to find his feet again so he can put in good performances once more. He has to get that security back.

“Still, he and Lichtsteiner give me guarantees on the right-hand side.”

On losing to Real Madrid in the final -

“When we lost in Cardiff, there was a lot of disappointment, maybe Juve had too little respect for the strength of Real Madrid.

“Real won the final because they were better. They’re a team that have reached six out of six semi-finals, and the team that have won three of the last four Champions Leagues can’t be underdogs.

“We were on par with them for 50 minutes, but then Real killed us.”

Any new instructions from Andrea Agnelli for the season?

“The President talked to the team like he has every year, and he found the right words to say. The lads took them on board and are ready for the new season.”

Is there any added pressure on Paulo Dybala with the no. 10 jersey?

“Paulo doesn’t feel any pressure because he has clear objectives in mind. For him, it’s an important season he has to prove himself [as a world-class talent] in Italy and, above all, Europe.

“It would be a mistake to think that he’s already at the highest level. He can still improve and to do that, he must work hard.

“Dybala was a striker, but his role is now behind the strikers. His role suits him a lot because of his physical characteristics, which let him combine all his running with so much quality. He needs to have an extraordinary season.”

Tomorrow’s opener against Cagliari is sold out -

“It’s important to start at the Allianz Stadium and feel the warmth of our fans. We need them.”