Max Allegri outlined what made him ‘angry’ at Juventus during the 2-0 win over Udinese, shrugged off Paulo Dybala controversy and explained what unites Weston McKennie, Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal. ‘Maybe they have one more dominant eye!’
The Bianconeri put the Supercoppa Italiana defeat to Inter behind them and extended their Serie A unbeaten run to eight games, including six victories.
Dybala opened the scoring and then refused to celebrate, glaring at Juve directors in the stands, before McKennie rose to meet a Mattia De Sciglio cross for the 2-0 final result in Turin.
“We held out mentally and technically for 120 minutes on Wednesday, but there was a moment tonight when we just left the game,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.
“That’s not right, we always have to be fully focused, especially when there aren’t enough fans to keep us on our toes, because for 10 minutes we ran some big risks.”
Dybala fuelled the speculation about his frosty relationship with the club hierarchy, refusing to celebrate and glaring into the stands. Allegri was naturally asked about the situation and tried to laugh it off.
“There was nobody in the stands, who was he looking at?! He was imagining the stands were full. It was a very good goal, a quick passing move with Kean, then when he gets between the lines and moves the ball, that helps the team to breathe. He was extraordinary in those situations.”
Allegri was asked what role McKennie is best suited to, as he seems to be shuffling around the Juventus midfield and has lately been in a more advanced role.
“He is attacking, especially down the right, because I don’t think he had a good game on the left. His timing of the runs from the right is better, he finds himself in front of goal, but struggles more on the left.
“The goal he scored in the Supercoppa on Wednesday was coming from the right too. He is one of these players with a different view of the pitch from one side to the other.
“I was the opposite, I did better on the left and cutting inside. Paul Pogba is better on the left, Vidal on the right, when Khedira was on the left it fell like he was running into a brick wall. It’s characteristics, maybe they have one more dominant eye or something!”
Allegri was also asked about the transfer speculation and the apparent reconstruction of Juventus, so he pointed to the relative youth of his team.
“The thing we absolutely cannot do without is intensity, tempo and aggression, because if we don’t drop the intensity level, then we don’t get distracted and can make our technique count.
“I looked at the line-up, we had De Ligt born in 1999, Kulusevski 2000, Kean 2000, Pellegrini ’99, the oldest was Cuadrado and the others all between 20 and 23 years old. You can lack some experience and understanding in those moments of when to hold off and when to control it.
“We made a mistake in the second half, thinking we were relaxed and in charge, so we drifted out of the game. It’s not about finding a leader, it’s about the general maturity of the lads as a whole. You need experience in every profession, nobody is born knowing everything.
“We need patience. I did get very angry at that moment, but I talked to them afterwards and tried to make them understand. The important thing is they understand quickly and it has to be done on an individual level, whether they are at Juventus or elsewhere.”
— Alfredo Pedullà (@AlfredoPedulla) January 15, 2022