Juventus will be heading to Rome this weekend to take on old friend Jose Mourinho and his Roma squad in another one of these massive January fixtures that seemingly come at every turn. Juve will get a few key pieces back in the form of Giorgio Chiellini and Luca Pellegrini, a welcome addition after what we saw earlier in the week against Napoli.
One person who won’t be in Rome on Sunday night: Max Allegri.
That’s right, folks. Juventus’ manager will not be in his slick suit when Juve kick things off against Roma. Instead, Allegri will be back in Turin and watching on television like the rest of us after it was announced Saturday morning that he has been suspended for one game having “addressed in a loud voice seriously offensive expressions towards the referee” following the final whistle of Thursday night’s 1-1 draw with Napoli.
We don’t know what Allegri said exactly, but apparently it was on the not-so-nice side and, in the sporting judge’s mind, warranted a one-game suspension. Allegri was also fined €10,000 for the bad words he directed toward referee Simone Sozza.
This will be the first time in quite a few years that we haven’t seen Juventus’ manager actually on the sidelines being Juventus’ manager. This also isn’t a case where Allegri can just hang out in the locker room and radio his instructions to an assistant on the bench (or close to it) as the game progresses. (Although we’d be kidding ourselves if somebody on the Juve bench won’t have a phone with Allegri blowing them up with text messages. That has to be a stone-cold lock, right?)
Despite being suspended for Sunday’s trip to Rome, Allegri spoke as scheduled at his pre-match press conference just before noon in Italy. Regarding his suspension, Allegri said ... not much at all about it:
“My disqualification? Things that happen, no comments are needed. Tomorrow there will be changes, we come from a week of hard work, today I will evaluate the team at training.”
In Allegri’s absence, assistant coach Marco Landucci will be the one to call the shots from the technical area on Sunday night.