How Max Allegri’s Second Spell at Juventus Ended in Flames

Two days after leading Juventus to their first trophy in three years in a 1-0 win vs. Atalanta in the Coppa Italia Final, Massimiliano Allegri has been sacked as Juve manager, with Paolo Montero stepping in as interim coach. After edging Atalanta via Dusan Vlahovic’s opener, the Bianconeri found themselves down 3-0 to Bologna via a brace from Riccardo Calafiori and a goal from Santiago Castro, but they would nevertheless come away with a draw on the road after scoring three goals in nine minutes.


Montero’s side will host Monza in their final game of the season, with the Bianconeri looking to pick up their first league win since April 7 and end a run of six straight stalemates. They enter the final matchday in fourth place, level on 68 points with Bologna, and they look set to raid Bologna of not just their manager Thiago Motta this summer, but potentially a few key players such as Calafiori and Joshua Zirkzee.


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Allegri’s first spell at Juventus would begin in the summer of 2014 after Antonio Conte left to take charge of Italy. Whilst Conte had laid the foundations of Juve’s dynasty with three straight league titles, Allegri would go on to surpass Conte’s legacy with five championships in a row, four Coppa Italia titles and two Super Coppa Italia titles. He would lead them to two Champions League Finals, only to fall to Barcelona and Real Madrid, whilst also receiving three Panchina D’Orso awards, given to the best manager in Italy.


He was given the boot in 2019, with Maurizio Sarri stepping in and guiding them to yet another Scudetto, only to be given his marching orders after Juve’s Round of 16 defeat to Lyon in the Champions League. Andrea Pirlo took charge, but he would last just a year at the helm as the Bianconeri’s reign atop Italian football came to an end.


The veteran manager returned to the Old Lady, but he failed to generate an immediate improvement: just like in 2020/21, Juve finished fourth and lost in the Round of 16 of the Champions League, but this time, they finished as runners-up in the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa, having won both under Pirlo.


The 2022/23 season would see Juve finish third behind Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain and ahead of Maccabi Haifa with just one win and five defeats, proceeding to reach the Europa League semifinals against Sevilla before losing to the eventual champions, whilst they were also knocked out of the cup at the semis by Inter Milan.


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As far as their domestic season goes, Juve would accumulate onerous point deductions for capital gains violations, prompting them to finish seventh in the league. They were also hit with a one-year ban from Europe due to breaches of club licensing and financial fair play (FFP) and fined £17m.


Despite a late goal from Federico Chiesa that saw them win 1-0 in Udine on the final day and finish one point behind sixth-placed Roma, they were unable to book their ticket for Europe. Instead, that spot went to Fiorentina, who have made the most of their second chance and advanced to a second-straight Europa Conference League Final, where they will take on Olympiacos in Athens.


Juve began the season in red-hot fashion and challenged Inter for the title in the opening months of the campaign, but their form has dropped off a cliff in recent months, causing them to drop to fourth in the Serie A table. They have managed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League and end a trophy drought, but ultimately, their failure to maintain their early-season results proved fatal for Allegri.


The death knell would come in the waning minutes of the Coppa Italia Final: with tensions running high in added time, Max Allegri was sent off by Italian referee Fabio Maresca. Like a drunk uncle at a wedding, the attire started to come off. In a rush of blood to the head, the jacket was thrown to the floor in disgust at fourth official Maurizio Mariani, who alerted Maresca, and the red card was brandished.


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In a fit of fury, a sarcastic applause and thumbs up was done in the direction of Maresca, the tie came off. The shirt was untucked with Juventus subs and staff watching in a gaze and left Juventus fullback Andrea Cambiaso in fits of laughter. As Patrick Kendrick stated on commentary “and if Allegri keeps going, he will not end up with any items of clothing left”. 


It got worse after the final whistle with Allegri insulting Tuttosport editor Guidio Vaciago. Allergi had a blazing altercation with Vaciago saying “S*** editor, write the truth in your newspaper, not what the clubs tell you to.” Allegri then had an altercation with Juve sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli, with his obscene gestures quickly making the rounds on social media.


Juventus decided to cut ties earlier than expected on Max Allegri and were quite damming on Allegri’s antics in the statement issued on Friday afternoon. “The dismissal follows certain behaviours during and after the Italian cup final which the club deemed incompatible with the values of Juventus and with the behaviour that those who represent it must adopt it.”


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The football under Allegri a second time was very tough to watch and quite predictable, with a 3-5-2 setup that had wingers playing as wing backs in Filip Kostic and Timothy Weah. A front two of Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic who Juventus spent big money on both coming from Fiorentina, looked isolated and lost this season at times. They both look stagnated and did not look like they were enjoying themselves on the football pitch. The talented attacking players in the squad have been stifled in the attempts of Allegri’s old-fashioned tactics and lost the freedom on the pitch and the enjoyment that goes with it.


Juve have now missed out on the Scudetto in four straight seasons to Inter, Milan, Napoli and Inter again, and they look set for a major reset this summer with Alex Sandro, Adrien Rabiot and Daniele Rugani entering the final weeks of their contract, whilst Carlos Alcaraz looks set to return to Southampton. The biggest transfer, however, will come at the managerial position, and all signs point to Thiago Motta taking the reins and filling the vacancy in Turin this summer.


By: Scot Munroe / @scot_munroe

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Chris Brunskill – Getty Images