Are you enjoying the Friday night games? If so, then here’s another one! If not, well.. here’s another one! Juventus travel to Genoa for their third consecutive game on a Friday, with yet another opportunity to get ahead of Inter Milan, with the Merdazzurri (oops) going to Lazio on Sunday.
Speaking to the media earlier today, coach Massimiliano Allegri talked about tomorrow’s opponents who have a number of Bianconeri amongst their ranks.
“We need to be aware of the match we’re going to face, given that Genoa have important numbers at home. Gilardino is doing an excellent job, we will also find three guys against who grew up in Juve – Dragusin, De Winter and Vogliacco.”
The coach was asked what his personal goals for the season were.
“The personal goal counts for nothing, the important thing is the team’s goal. After four games we will evaluate the points from the first half.”
Allegri also provided an injury update on the squad.
“Adrien Rabiot is fine, we decided to stop Moise Kean due to that tibia problem that we brought up. He was good at training and suffering, but now the time has come to stop him for three to four weeks to resolve things.
“There is no Mattia De Sciglio, who’ll be close to returning next year, Timothy Weah is back.”
Giorgio Chiellini announced his retirement from football this week, while his less illustrious teammate Leonardo Bonucci is likely done too this season with Union Berlin dumped out of Europe and flirting with relegation in the Bundesliga.
“I believe that as an intelligent guy that Giorgio is, he has had an extraordinary career, now he has finished a part of his life and will have to decide what to do in the future. He has all the characteristics to play different roles.
“I don’t know about Leo, I think he intends to be a coach and I wish him the best when he stops playing. Maybe he will have the qualities and possibilities to do it. When players stop, they start a new life, and the jobs are completely different.”
Is the Scudetto a two-horse race this season?
“We know that Inter are the favourites, they are a team that were built to win the league. President Zhang also said that the objective is the second star. We must work to improve without being satisfied. The league is a path to be managed with balance.”
Lots of jokes are made about Allegri ‘enjoying’ the “corto muso” (Italian for “by a nose”) 1-0 victory.
“No, the perfect result would be 3-0 so we suffer less, but then 1-0 is fine too. At Genoa we always struggle, I remember once that after 20 minutes we hadn’t even started on the pitch, and we were down 3-0. We have to get to their pace and then show our qualities on the pitch.”
Was his coaching style contrary to the new generation that are approaching the game in a different manner?
“The fact that Ancelotti put me together with him and Mourinho is an honour. There are many good young coaches who necessarily have to make a career, we try to defend ourselves well regardless of how one interprets their job.
“I’ve always heard from those who have more experience that there is no winning method, no one can have the truth about football because there are too many variables.”
What was he looking for from his first choice forward pairing of Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic?
“I’m very happy with the forwards. The last three games, especially Dusan, he has had good technical matches, even if he didn’t score a goal and missed a penalty in Monza. He’s also in a good physical and mental condition.
“At the start together with Chiesa he scored a lot of goals, maybe tomorrow he could break the deadlock. Now the goals have been scored by the midfielders and defenders. The important thing is that the forwards provide this pressure which helps us defend better.”
Was he surprised by the performances from his squad this season?
“Surprised, no, I was intrigued, and I am now by what we could and will be able to do. These points are not enough for anything, we have to get as many as possible. The best feature is that the boys have become a team, there is no one who sets personal goals ahead of team ones.”
To close, Allegri was asked if he would leave Juventus if they lifted the Scudetto this season.
“First of all, I’m not tired, I haven’t been a director because Juve has had and has excellent directors. To obtain results you need an excellent club, and this has never been lacking.
“We have followed a path of growth and we must continue to improve with the main objective which is to return to play in the Champions League. An objective which we did not miss last year.”