Usually when a new signee or manager is announced at a club, the best possible scenario for their introductory press conferences in their new digs is that they come and go without any controversy.
And really, it's easy to do so. The playbook is right out there — say some nice platitudes, how excited you are to be there, if there are any questions even remotely incisive say something evasive, shake hands, hold a jersey up with a big smile and you're done.
To the untrained eye, that’s pretty much exactly how Max Allegri’s press conference shook out this past Tuesday. “Untrained” being the key word here, since I don’t begrudge all the masses out there for it. You don’t have the years and years of journalistic experience that some of us have that are required to read between the lines, to follow the breadcrumbs and figure out the true, real significance of Allegri’s statements. Simply put, you are rubes, dear readers, and I do not blame you, this is not your fault.
Fear not, however, much like an old-time prophet, I’m here to show you the way. To guide you through the fog of milquetoast statements and into the light of real insight. Walk with me as we find meaning where there appears to be none and see what really went down in Allegri’s re-introduction conference.
“Buonasera a tutti...”
See, already here we have an issue.
For those of you uninitiated in the Italian language, Allegri is wishing everyone here a good afternoon — which, on first read, seems like it makes sense as the press conference was slated to take place in that time period in Italy. However, this denotes a severe lack of understanding of Juventus as a club with a global reach, a brand if you will. How about all of the people in the American continent that might have been watching when it was early in the morning? Up to and including potential new Juve player Kaio Jorge in Brazil? Guy is barely having breakfast and he’s getting disrespected like this? Might it jeopardize his signing?
Or the much vaunted Asian market where the press conference happened at 9:30 p.m. Did he even think of wishing the good people of that continent a good nights sleep? He did not. A disturbing unawereness of the scope of his decisions — can you say, “strike one”?
(Want to see how a pro does it? Andrea Agnelli starts the conference with the much more general “Buongiorno,” which depending on context means just “good day.” Global scope, people, that’s why he makes the big bucks.)
“There are also experienced players, such as Ronaldo, Chiellini and Bonucci. These three must be an added value for the club and the team, bringing experience and technique on the pitch, but they must also be role models for the young players.”
Wow! Talk about passing the buck there, buddy. I’m sorry, how old is Allegri, actually?
Allegri is 17 years older than Chiellini, the oldest of the aforementioned trio. If anyone should be bringing experience, it should be him. To me, this screams of a guy who really does not want to be bothered with actual coaching and just wants to look dapper on the sidelines again. In fact, I have proof, too — hear it from the man himself:
“I must thank Real Madrid president for the opportunity he gave me. I picked Juventus because of my love for this club and because I believe in this young team.”
Sure, sure, love for the club, or perhaps its lower expectations, huh, buddy? I think it’s fair to say that the Juventus job holds certain amount of pressure, don’t get me wrong, but coaching Real Madrid might very well be the most pressure filled job in football. I’m sure there’s heart surgeons with lesser stress levels than whoever is on the bench for Los Blancos. Real Madrid coaches age in dog years. No, no, it’s much more appealing to come back to a Juventus team in complete disarray and be the savior in shining armor. Armed with a sword forged out of fond nostalgic memories of his first run at the club and a shield with an engraved pattern that when you look closer it just says “Remember when Paulo Dybala was good?” over and over.
Which, by the way, what did Allegri do in his time away from football?
“I watched many games during my time off, especially at the end of the second year.”
“What we did will remain in history, two years ago we decided to part ways, now we start from scratch to achieve our goals.”
You see, a smart coach could make the case that because he has experience at the club he can hit the ground running and avoid a lot of the learning curve that comes with a new club. A good coach might even emphasize that experience especially given that he replaced a guy that had a — to put it mildly — pretty steep learning curve. But, no, Italian Fred Astaire over here wants to make clear this is all starting from scratch! Nothing to be learned and improved over his previous stint! Good stuff, its exactly why when you apply for a job you don’t specify you already have experience. Better to let them know you’ll come in to the job fresh and new and like a goddamn 18-year-old to set expectations nice and low.
“The captain and vice-captain are decided depending on how long they’ve been playing in the team. So Chiellini is the most experienced one, followed by Dybala. Bonucci left for one season, he made that decision, so if he wants the captain’s armband, he must buy it and play with it in the street. Leo is aware of it.“
LMAO, OK, there’s not a ton to glean on this one other than maybe he still doesn’t like our friend Leo Bonucci all that much.
Now that we have taken a trip through the real meaning behind the initial statements of our so-called “coach” what are our conclusions? What do we make of these shocking, shocking revelations?
Are you still feeling confident, readers, about the new appointment? Or as you as disappointed as I was to find out that in reality Max Allegri 2.0 is nothing more than a has been failed dancer who wanted a low pressure gig, will have no semblance of experience, wants nothing to do with coaching the youth and cares not about our precious, precious international brand synergy?
Mid-table finish on deck at best, ladies and gentleman, with a decent chance to be involved in the relegation battle at some point during the season. Book it.
Hopefully the Juventus board realizes that they made a mistake after this appointment and reverses course. If it was up to me I’d do anything that I could to bring a certain guy to Turin that for my money could do fantastic things with these players. A guy that just exudes the true spirit of what being a Juventus coach is all about...
BRING HIM BACK! BRING HIM BACK!