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Tuesday July 15 2014
Conte's conscious uncoupling

Juventus and Antonio Conte can’t pretend this sudden divorce was entirely relaxed, says Susy Campanale.

This is a ‘conscious uncoupling’ – the ludicrous phrase introduced to the zeitgeist by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin when announcing their break-up. Juventus and Antonio Conte are doing everything possible to make this easy on the kids (players) and fans, but it just doesn’t make sense as an entirely relaxed and mutual decision.

This isn’t the kind of move you make on the second day of pre-season training. In fact, it must’ve been made on the first day, because a contract termination isn’t agreed within hours. It had to be at least a process started last night. What on earth happened to cause such a schism?

Conte’s issues with the contract renewal had already been clear over the last few months, but were knocked down the road after that historic third consecutive Scudetto. He had seemed to resolve the problems around their ambitions, what was expected of him and the squad he’d be given to actually achieve those targets.

Seeing Alexis Sanchez go to Arsenal and the on-going saga over Juan Manuel Iturbe must’ve stung Conte’s pride. I get the feeling there was more to it, as Juve might be considering a big sacrifice to fund new moves. There are only two players who fit that bill: Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal. Conte expressed irritation when Emanuele Giaccherini was sold to Sunderland, but losing a truly key player when expected to push for Champions League victory would be too much.

Conte will not be the Sir Alex Ferguson of Juventus. By Italian standards, three years is like 25, so perhaps he was their equivalent of Fergie. A Coach does not have a long shelf-life in Italy and people only remember the last result. Just ask Marcello Lippi after his return to the Azzurri bench. Perhaps Conte feared being torn to shreds, the same way Cesare Prandelli was after the World Cup regardless of all previous good work, if he failed to make history yet again.

President Andrea Agnelli’s open letter made me think, too. “Only two months have passed since the last great victory and Juventus must continue their journey. This club is gifted today with a young, ready and cohesive group of directors who over the years have been able to find the ambition and determination to achieve any target.”

Any target. Conte thinks they haven’t the structure to win the Champions League, but Agnelli and his staff do not see it that way. That is the basic problem, it was the issue a few months ago too, so why wait until now?

Juventus deserve credit for keeping this huge story very quiet indeed, as usually rumours emerge days beforehand rather than hours or even minutes in this case. On the surface, the club and Coach treated this ‘conscious uncoupling’ in the least traumatic manner. However, breaking up two days into pre-season training? Announcing it without letting the captain know, as Gigi Buffon was told about it in a Press conference for his other club, Carrarese? That points to rushing this news out before it could leak, like a controlled explosion – controlled only in appearance.

It’s going to be earth-shaking for the Juve squad. It’s July 15 and they have no Coach, despite already starting pre-season and with several transfers hanging in the balance. Will Alvaro Morata and Iturbe still want to come without knowing who is in charge?

Can any of the available tacticians out there be remotely suitable? Roberto Mancini, Massimiliano Allegri – don’t tell Andrea Pirlo! – and Luciano Spalletti are the only genuine candidates right now. Hardly a prestigious bunch. Maybe Juve will follow Roma’s path and look abroad for their Coach, finding someone who is separate from the endless controversy that inevitably follows the Old Lady around. Either way, they’ve got to do it quickly or start this season in utter chaos.

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Have your say...
Juve are touring Australia next month & I for 1 bought 5 tickets including planes flights & overnight hotel. Its cost me a small fortune. When it comes to Seria A I'm no Juve fan, however how could I let up an opportunity to see a Seria A team......but without Conte? The promotional material states Conte as part of the tour! I should ask for my money back.
on the 17th July, 2014 at 10:20am
@ nicola Oh will you relax. I don't support Juve and I will enjoy this moment while it lasts. It's called being a fan of a rival team! I'm sure you've had a good laugh at Milan in recent years and we've all had a good laugh at Inter since they last won a proper Scudetto in 1989......
on the 17th July, 2014 at 9:34am
MALDINI'S HEIR I've always pegged you as the hypocrite that you really are..... revel in JUVE'S DEMISE HOW "TACKY", the season's not even started and your SINING AND DANCING. WHAT I KNOW OF IS ALLGRI'S SWEET REVENGE to MILAN THIS SEASON,which we will beat them for every game that's for sure. "It's true what they say" when the cat's gone the mice come out and play, WELL JUVENTUS ain't no pussy cat, AND ALLEGRI will be GROOMED TO BE A LION. SEE YOU AT THE FINISH LINE behind the rearview mirror.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 8:37pm
Allegri a great coach? Based on the abject football at Mila. don't think y'all understand it wasn't just the results, it was the lack of pride in the shirt & the awful football. Yes the hierarchy don't help but what winners have a good word to say about him? Enjoy the rigid 442 & the constant change in personnel & lack of identity. He will be lucky to last until the winter break. Expect Buffon to be taking teamtalks by October & pirlo to devote a whole book on how not to manage - the allegri way
on the 16th July, 2014 at 7:33pm
Allergri is a great coach. With the correct investment and team behind him I think he will shine at juve. Milan could not give him what he wanted and berlusconi and galliani tend to take over transfers and eventually even tried to run the team! Conte has been left to his own devices and think with that freedom and a better investment policy I think allergri will be great.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 6:56pm
Everyone says Allegri destroyed Milan but how can you be sure all blame is on him? Milan is a team without money apparently selling their best players such as Ibra and Thiago under Allegri. It was Galliani who was pulling the strings on transfers. Same with Conte at Juve. If he was not getting the players he thought he needed to compete in CL then why continue? Its hard being a manager at teams that don't have either a good youth system or the financial clout to compete.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 4:43pm
Once again "the suits" are interfering and displaying their inexperience in the game. They had arguably one of the TOP coaches in Europ if not the world (see his cv)
and let him go because of his ambition to win the Champions League for the Club. They probably say they can't afford his ambitions but it is their job to find the ways and means of doing so. If you want yo dine at the top table you must show that you have the class to do so. Instead they try to poach out of contract players FREE.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 2:03pm
@ Martin Oh the rest of us will get over it! Hopefully Roma and Napoli can do better in Europe this season than Juve managed in 3. I don't normally have too much of a go at Juve since in fairness when they're not influencing refs they're good for Italian football and produce decent Italy players. I much prefer slagging off Inter who do neither but this opportunity is too good to miss. I'll continue to revel in your misfortune. If I can't be happy about Milan I can at least enjoy Juve's demise!
on the 16th July, 2014 at 1:43pm
It would be tragic if Serie A lost Conte to another league.

Our league has already fallen behind The Prem,La Liga and the Bundesliga.We have become a selling league and also now take players coming to the end of their careers like Cole,Vidic etc.To add to that if we lost Conte
that would be our two best managers not being in Italy.
Ancellotti being the other.Even Prandelli is now gone.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 1:16pm
To those who think calcio will suffer, consider this; how can the fate of a 20 TEAM league be decided by ONE club? NOT HAPENNING! Its not enough for Juve to be the 'bench mark' and drag everyone else along with them, EVERY club must get their act together for SerieA to be strong again. Have some respect and some faith for the others in Europe, so many have said Roma are heading in the right direction but are acting like they wont get past the group. Roma, Napoli, Inter, Viola will all fight too!
on the 16th July, 2014 at 1:02pm
When Ancelotti left Milan Disaster
When Mourinho left Inter Disaster
Now Conte has left Juve...

Allegri? I would rather Seedorf, Leonardo, Del Neri or even Gasperini. I would take any other flop over him. For 3 years at Milan the team had no style of play, relied on Ibra magic or balotelli pens and got spanked every year in europe. He ran Pirlo out the door, and turned a c.l side into mid table mediocrity. He will ruin Juve. Napoli, Roma and Viola will have to carry Seria A in europe
on the 16th July, 2014 at 12:28pm
@ adrian g you're spot on about how transfers seem to work in Italy. It's like musical chairs sometimes with players changing clubs just for the sake of it. Definitely quantity not quality. Managers need to be given a say on transfers since they're the ones who pick the team and get fired if they don't the results.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 12:03pm
Devastated...

And to rub salt into the wound they will replace him with the joker Allegri. A man who single handedly destroyed AC Milan and let one of the best players in the world leave for free to a rival club.

I think Juventus will be very lucky to qualify for Europe next year. All that hard work and success is going to be lost.

Bad times ahead for us Juventus fans.... But for those gloating, this is also terrible news for Italian Football. Serie A will suffer as Juve is the bench mark
on the 16th July, 2014 at 11:56am
Ron quote:"Nobody, in their right mind, would hire him, or to end up getting the same result."

Hilarious (unless you are a Juve fan, of course)
on the 16th July, 2014 at 11:15am
Anyway juve's loss is hopefully the Gli Azzurri's gain. Think he would be a great CT - i can't see him allowing Italy's standard to slip like Prandelli did. Certainly he would not allow us to draw against minnows due to experimentation. He knows what he wants, will not stand for disobedience and players not putting the team first. As disillusioned about the national team as i have been over the last month - if he takes over i will have something to get excited about.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 11:00am
He is clearly a winner and an uncompromising character. I do think that alot of the transfer activity in Serie A is fictional, it is done to keep agents happy and line their pockets and the big teams do it to keep them happy. The candidates to replace him are poor. Allegri? This guy will run them into the ground - lucky to finish in top half. Pirlo's agent must be ringing round Europe as we speak, as must half the squad. Personally would love to see someone from within Juve take over.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 10:58am
Conte can't have taken this decision lightly. Juve have had a slim squad & forced Conte to sell some players like Giacherini against his will. In Europe when they have needed options and variation it simply isn't there in the current squad. You can understand that for him bringing Juve a CL had to be his biggest motivation & if everyone else is not pulling in the same direction, he wan't one to stand for being second best. I have to say if this is his reasons for leaving i admire him.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 10:52am
I understand Allegri will be the next Juve manager.It is my worst nightmare,it reminds me of Marchesi and Manfredi.
I hope all Juventini protest against this stupid idea.Allegri destroyed Milan and will do the same to the bianconeri.

Frank M.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 10:49am
Wow shocked. As much as mila are my team - i always want italian teams to do well and look for a succesfull Seria A & National team. This is devastating news - i really thought that Juve would have a proper stab at CL & bring back some pride to Italian football. Instead it looks from the outside that Italian football is disintegrating. Those rejoicing need to think about what this does for CL places going forward - have said it before we are on the verge of losing another CL place.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 10:47am
I hope Conte doesn't become the new Italy manager. We need real leadership and someone who can guide Italian football. Conte did the samething at Bari remember and I believe we need a manager in the mould of Joachim Low.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 10:00am
Apparently shipping off Vidal to MU is the last straw for conte. Provincial Marotta could have sealed Sanchez before the WC but no, he is too cheap and the opportunity comes and goes. Then he scrambles for panic buy (30m for an unproven iturbe?) and to keep a balance sheet Vidal will be sold. Back to getting freebies you cheap man Marotta.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:57am
The timing is really bad for juve. Iturbe looks like going to us, Evra and Morata are waiting to see what happens, but could easily end up going elsewhere. Juves transfer campaign is in a mess. I can understand them wanting to get someone in asap, but allegri my god. The power is shifting. My Roma are on the up every year now, good owners and signings and a new stadium on the horizon, brilliant. We must keep Benatia, alongside Castan with Cole/Romaglioli and Maicon we look good at the back.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:51am
It is very sad moment for ALL Juve fans around the wrold as well as for Juve players IMHO!!!
I wish Conte be in charge of another club and win CL with it from the first attempt!!! This will be the GREATEST answer to Juve "directors"!

Good luck Antonio!
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:47am
I would love Conte to take the Italy job. He is passionate and would nail Balo or any others that step out of line. He is a leader of men and gets the best out of his players. People who say he has failed in Europe are clueless. Juve made QF of champ league and lost to a great Bayurn side in first season back in Europe. Last season lost in the snow in turkey, and where very unlucy to lose Europa semi with Benfica. Juve don't have the finances of europes top teams, people are unrealistic.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:46am
As a big roma fan this is music to my ears, also it looks like we have snatched Iturbe who is a top player from under Juve s noses. If we get him and continue to strengthen this summer we have a great chance to win the scudetto. Also if Allegri takes over juve are only going to go backwards. It does worry me in Europe though as a weaker Juve is really bad news for serie a. I think my Roma will do ok in champ league but its our first season back so we cant expect to much.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:43am
Disaster for Italian football, people like Maldini Heir are stupidly narrow minded. Yes clubs like Milan will benefit off the back of a Juve domestic demise but the impact in Europe will be felt by all. At such a late stage in preseason any predecessor is likely to fail. Juve were Italy’s best hope in this CL campaign & with Conte & top players leaving, its blown. Italy needs all of its top sides competing with stability & good management, it’s the only chance to generate & build a Serie A recovery. Get it right in Europe = better investment, better TV rights, better transfers = benefits for everyone.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:42am
im devestated about this but after sleeping on it for a night i cant help but think that maybe it was time for a change. Conte brought a great intensity and desire but sometimes we were caught out badly with tactics. He was very rigid and didnt really allow creative players express themselves (except pirlo). i would love to see Roberto Martinez get the job but its unlikely, if its Allegri i may have to switch allegiences!
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:36am
Not good enough for milan! what do the board etc think this train wreck of a manager is good enough for us?! Pirlo! must be sweating now! because this guy couldnt find the best out of him and play him properly to get that! has nooooo tactical nouse at all! destroyed milan over the course of a season and got the chop! and now sits on the juve bench! if its true...and it does look like Juve were going to sell and not buy again! hence why it looks like conte has left...

JOKE!
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:21am
And there you have it! ALLEGRI!!! what a fall from grace for Juve! how on earth is this joker been put in charge of juve! he doesnt have a clue! may aswell just have re signed Luigi Delneri! we have totally lost the plot! all the hard work thats been put into place will be destroyed in 2 season! forget money and sponsors! they do not come without SUCCESS! simple as that esp on the continent! agnelli said 2/3 years we will be at the top again LOL! make that 5/10 pal! Allegri! what a joke!
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:19am
I'd be so annoyed if I was a Juve fan right now. I personally don't see why he would leave that team.

@Interista, Im willing to bet you we will end a head of your team yes.
on the 16th July, 2014 at 9:02am

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