During the course of Max Allegri’s second stint as manager at Juventus, the words “This can’t keep happening” has been said a lot in words on this site, on the podcast and just in general. That’s because every single time you think it can’t possibly get any worse, it ends up getting worse and there being the overlying feeling of dread about the state Juve is in.
And then there’s what happened on Sunday.
For the second time this season, Juventus lost to a Monza side that had never been in Italy’s top flight before this season. It wasn’t just an unlucky loss by any means. This was Juventus getting run off the field for the first 45 minutes against a Monza side, coached by a former Juve player in Raffaele Palladino who was at the primavera level when the season started, that was playing about the opposite brand of football as the team managed by Allegri. Monza was up by two goals well before halftime — and that was with the first time Wojciech Szczesny was beaten being called off for offside.
Despite Juve’s “improved” second half — it couldn’t have gotten much worse! — the scoreline didn’t change. This was a 2-0 loss to Monza that felt like much, much more than that simply because it only extended the issues that we’ve seen of late and Juventus revert back to the brand of football that we’ve seen far too often during Allegri 2.0.
2 - #Monza are only the second historical side to win both their first two games against Juventus in Serie A, after Inter in 1930. Bagai. pic.twitter.com/nMh6b7Wor7— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 29, 2023
Let’s just go ahead and update the running tally of how things have gone in the league as of late for Juventus:
- Three games played.
- 10 goals allowed.
So, with all of that being said, I want to pose this question to you: What is the point of having Allegri as your manager if you have absolutely no defensive stability? That is what he has tried to build this team around, notably to the hindrance of other aspects of Juventus’ overall product. But Juve aren’t sound defensively anymore. They’re leaking goals right and left and the days of racking up eight straight shutouts seem like they are much further in the past than they actually are.
There is no denying Juventus deserved this loss. They deserved it in every way possible for the way they played and how Allegri set things up. Monza came to Turin, played quality and fluid football and Palladino basically taught Allegri a lesson in how a team should be playing compared to how the old warhorse has Juve set up these days. Palladino doesn’t even have 15 league games managed under his belt and he can already say he’s beaten Juventus twice.
Good thing to be a part of, isn’t it?
I have no idea where this Juventus team is going. We didn’t know that the last time Juventus lost to Monza, too. But there was a two-week international break to try and reset after that loss. This time? Juve has to play in four days in the Coppa Italia against a Lazio side that has been playing pretty damn well even without its top goal scorer, Ciro Immobile, in the lineup due to injury.
It doesn’t how much Allegri continues to hammer home that Juve “have 38 points on the field” if you continue to play the way that his team did against Monza on Sunday. That’s because even they were sitting in third rather than 12th then their top four status would be anything but secure, anything but on firm standing.
Allegri might think that everybody is to blame for this result as he said to DAZN after the loss, but it starts with him. And until he comes to the realization — if he ever does — that this brand of football just isn’t going to cut it, this is going to continue to happen no matter who the opponent is. And that, my friends, just sounds like a horrible thing to be thinking about no matter how many points Juve does or doesn’t have to their name.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Obviously this has everything to do with the 15-point penalty handed down last week, but Juve can now say that they are behind Monza in the Serie A standings. Good times, don’t you think?
- If you’re still defending Max Allegri’s tactics and everything that comes with it, I got nothing to say. At this point, there’s nothing left to defend. It’s old, it’s outdated and it’s been completely exposed by the best team in Italy, mid-table teams in Italy and now TWICE by a club that had never played a second of Serie A action prior to August 2022.
- Juventus had an xG of 0.30 in the first half. You’d laugh if you weren’t filled with rage.
- Juventus finished with an xG of 1.82. They got shut out. You’d laugh if you weren’t filled with rage. Or maybe you are laughing because it’s more of a sick and maniacal chuckle.
- Moise Kean had 13 touches in the first half. THIRTEEN!
- Dusan Vlahovic had eight touches in his 25 minutes off the bench. Welcome back, buddy!
- You know who could use a player like Nicolo Rovella in its midfield? Juventus!
- Is it bad that we’re now officially in the second half of the season and I’m still struggling to understand what Leandro Paredes has brought to this Juventus team? The hook at the half was totally deserved and I wonder where exactly Allegri goes with him after this.
- Juventus couldn’t have swapped Rovella for Paredes at the half? Woulda been nice.
- I have no idea what has happened to Bremer in the year 2023 but I would like it to stop and for the very good version of this hulking Brazilian to come back ASAP.
- If this is the kind of end product Juve is going to get from Filip Kostic, then why not play Samuel Iling-Junior more often? The young Englishman offers something that a very small number of players currently at Juventus can — direct play, a whole lot of speed and the kind of mindset that this team needs more of right now. Let Sammy cook, Max.
- Same goes for Matias Soulé, to be honest.
- I’m not saying for Juventus to go all in on the youngsters, but when the veterans don’t produce and still get rolled out in the starting lineup game after game, then there’s nothing there to light a fire under their ass. Let the kids get more minutes and challenge a few guys who have been looking rather average (at best) the last few weeks.
- It’s a good thing that the first goal Monza scored was actually called off by VAR due to offside because I really didn’t feel like talking about how Szczesny allowed a goal to slip past him at the near post. That would have been bad.
- Michele De Gregorio played the role of Stefano Sorrentino and that was annoying as hell. Dude made eight saves and it felt like at least half of them were high-quality stops.
- Ugh. I’m so tired of Max Allegri. So, so tired.
- The Juventus women won 5-0. Juventus NexGen won 2-1 in thrilling fashion. The biggest Juventus team of them all, though? Yeah, that was just as bad as it can get. Again. Because we’ve seen this team in this position before — and it ain’t fun. Not one bit.
- In conclusion: Go 49ers. Sorry, Sam.