Massimiliano Allegri unleashed a flurry of emotion in the closing stages of Juventus’ Coppa Italia final win over Atalanta, something that’s been a long time coming for the Livornese tactician.

On the pitch, the Bianconeri did not pull off too many surprises as they edged out a 1-0 win over Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, lifting a record-extending 15th Coppa Italia after an early strike from star forward Dusan Vlahovic.

The real story was found on the touchline. Allegri was growing increasingly frustrated throughout the final at the Stadio Olimpico and his obvious rage earnt him a red card in the 95th minute, a moment that saw him unexpectedly start ripping off his clothes in fury.

For many, this came as a surprise, especially considering that the 56-year-old tactician is usually one of the more composed Italian coaches in Serie A, and his fury wasn’t contained after the match, seeing him essentially threaten Tuttosport editor-in-chief Guido Vaciago.

In reality, this outburst has been a long time coming for Allegri, a man who has felt increasingly disrespected and unfairly treated across his second spell with Juventus, having to deal with all manners of difficulties.

Allegri and the Juventus trials

When the Livornese tactician returned to the Old Lady in May 2021, he did so at the expense of a job offer from Real Madrid, unwilling to reject a club who he’d guided to much success across his first five-year spell.

Things didn’t go to plan, however. His first season in charge saw him try to start a new project following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, and it quickly became apparent that some patience would be needed to keep the club at the top, even if he almost managed a Coppa Italia title.

The following season is where things really started to go wrong; only months into the campaign, Andrea Agnelli and the entire board of directors unexpectedly resigned amidst legal investigations into Juventus’ accounts and secret wage deferrals during the COVID pandemic, something Allegri had no say in.

The off-pitch drama saw the Bianconeri handed a point-deduction in Serie A, which was then removed before being reapplied with slightly less severity, derailing the team’s top four hopes. On the pitch, Allegri had done his job, but it wasn’t enough to secure Champions League football.

Already in these two first seasons back, the Italian coach was under increasing amounts of criticism, with many fans furious at his inability to keep Juventus in the fight for the Scudetto, clearly not appreciating the absurdity of the chaos surrounding Allegri and his players.

The summer of 2023 saw incredibly limited investment, but the lack of European football seemed to suggest that Juventus could try to fight for the league title still, until the Turin turmoil again started to derail proceedings.

Only weeks into the 2023-24 campaign, Paul Pogba was handed a ban after failing a doping test, and soon after Nicolo Fagioli was suspended for gambling on football, two more problems Allegri had literally no part in, removing two important midfielders from his squad.

Regardless, the coach tried to keep up with Scudetto hopefuls Inter, who had just finished second in the Champions League, and did fairly well considering the heavy reliance on previously unknown youth players.

As the season progressed and the toxicity grew, the Old Lady eventually fell away in the title race. Allegri was an easy figure to blame, especially as the football on display wasn’t particularly inspiring, but focus remained on the stated objectives – a return to the Champions League, Club World Cup qualification and the Coppa Italia.

Allegri hit these targets. Whilst a terrible vein of form in the final few months condemned his fate in Turin, it’s painfully remiss to suggest that he did nothing positive in his final season with Juventus, still securing a trophy despite the endless drama and anger that pilled on the pressure off the pitch.

In this context, then, it’s hardly a surprise that the Livorno-born coach cast off his emotional restraints in the Coppa Italia final, finally feeling able to feel the emotions he’d essentially been forced to bury as he tried to keep things under control amidst the stormy seas.

In many ways, Allegri was an instrumental reason why Juventus haven’t started to become an Italian version of Manchester United, a historic club wrought with misery, low motivation, and a lack of real success.

He has brought another trophy to Turin with the Coppa Italia and set the club up for an exciting 2024-25 season in the Champions League and Club World Cup, laying an important foundation for his successor. An easy figure to blame, it’s not hard to imagine a world where a different coach sunk under the unreasonable pressure and toxicity pilled on by fans, journalists and pundits.

At this point, Allegri’s stocks are at an all-time low and a sabbatical year seems a smart move. Years down the line, his second spell at Juventus will likely be seen with far more appreciation and respect, having suffered through a rather agonising 36-month spell at a club who’ve lost all respect for a top tactician.

Words: @ApolloHeyes

2 thought on “Allegri outburst a long time coming in stormy Juventus seas”
  1. A ‘top tactician’ – really? A top tactician does not constantly play players out of position, does not select Sandro, Kostic and Locatelli in the starting line up. A top tactician has a clear game plan and a good plan B and C. A top tactician knows how to motivate players, not constantly say they are inferior to this team or that team. A top tactician does not win 1 game out of 6 UCL group games.

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