Finding meaning in a championship that seems to lack it: yet a new path can start from here
In the middle of the championship, it’s as if Massimiliano Allegri and his Juventus had already lived two or three seasons. And not even the simplest ones. In the beginning there were the criticisms for the game – for many the non-game – of the black and whites, accompanied by results that it is an understatement to define as disappointing. The “magician of the groups”, the coach who had always managed to reach the round of 16 of the Champions League, also had to drink the bitter cup of elimination and relegation to the Euroleague. Then the results began to arrive, a good streak of victories opened up, the defense, the trademark of the house, returned hermetic and thus a decisive rise in the standings began. But abruptly stopped by the 5-1 caught in Naples. Precisely in those situations other fronts opened up: the revolution in society, following the investigations by the Turin prosecutor’s office, anticipated the decisions of the federal Court of Appeal, with the -15 which dropped the Lady to mid-table, as in a game of the goose in which at the most beautiful you are forced to return to the starting square.
It may seem so mocking that right now Allegri can once again count on all his caliphs, the ones with whom he had imagined a Juve that hasn’t actually been seen on the pitch yet. After having recovered Federico Chiesa – it was immediately clear how important he was – and having finally enjoyed an Angel Di Maria at the levels of his fame, now Dusan Vlahovic and above all Paul Pogba are back, the champion who has returned to base amid blasts of trumpet and immediately disappeared in a whirlwind of injuries, misunderstandings with the club and delicate personal affairs. What is the point of having all the champions available, when you find yourself 14 points behind fourth place and with the sword of Damocles of sporting justice, which could land other heavy blows?
Paraphrasing Vasco Rossi, there is a sense to be found in a season that seems to lack it. And, looking at it from this point of view, the second leg that is about to begin looks like the most difficult, or at least the most complex that Allegri has ever faced in his entire long career. First of all on a personal level: in this singular and very complicated season, Max has gone from being a burden, badly tolerated by the fans (and also by part of the management) to the role of buoy to cling to in the storm, when all the other points of reference they had failed. Except then come back into discussion after Naples and on the shields at the end of the test of pride with Atalanta, in the usual roller coaster that the world of football enjoys riding on every matchday of the championship… But for someone who has always repeated how the coach is “a man alone with a suitcase in hand”, this all in all is daily bread. It will be more difficult to always keep the team on the tightrope, give it a goal, an objective, a reason to believe and move forward, isolating it from all other contexts: the Italian Cup, the Euroleague, an honorable placement in the league, wanting to consider how an Everest odds 71 that the Tuscan coach himself has set as the gateway to the Champions League (and all this, obviously, net of other surprises from outside the pitch…). But we will also play for the future: today, in the middle of a no-man’s land, the Juve of tomorrow can be born, the foundations can be laid for a true reconstruction, new technical solutions can be experimented with, testing possible interpreters. The club, determined to take new paths, and the coach have moved forward: Miretti, Fagioli, Soulé, Iling-Junior are sap that can fuel the growth of the plant. As for all the others, without exception, they will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they truly deserve a club that – despite mistakes and dark moments – has built the history of our football, and beyond, through immortal star players and exciting pages. As you can see, everything can still make sense. Here he is if he can have it.
January 27 – 10:23
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