Mancini, Allegri and different views on youth development

by | Nov 9, 2021 20:49

Italy CT Roberto Mancini and Juventus coach Max Allegri have very different views on helping young home-grown players coming through the ranks.

When Mancini took over from Giampiero Ventura, one of his first moves was to call up Nicolò Zaniolo, who at that time had never played in Serie A.

He managed to take a side that had failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and transformed it by winning UEFA EURO 2020 and setting a new all-time world unbeaten record.

“There are many strong young players in Italy. They only need to play at a certain level,” said Mancini during his press conference on Monday.

“You can expect anything from youngsters. One may not be ready at the beginning, but in 6-10 months he can become good enough for the national team.

“We have many young players in the youth national teams, we only need to wait and hope they get playing time. They improve only by playing at a certain level, especially young players.”

On the other hand, Mancini is increasingly frustrated by the attitude taken by coaches at club level in Serie A, exemplified by Allegri at Juventus.

Ahead of the 1-0 win over Fiorentina, Allegri had defended sending Kaio Jorge to the Under-23 squad, which plays in Serie C, and taking a very slow and steady approach to helping younger players develop.

“The second team is important because it helps the players’ growth,” insisted Allegri.

“Then from the second team, which plays in Serie C, the player must go Serie B and play many games, a second-tier Serie A club and at that point you can evaluate if a player can play for Juventus or Serie A or other teams.

“Some might not agree with me. The players that emerge start from Serie C, go through Serie B and get to Serie A. Like 30 years ago.”

Roberto Mancini


  1. frankie

    Allegri is a dinosaur. My biggest fear when he re-joined Juve was that he was not going to give young players a fair go and, sure enough, that’s what we are now seeing. His comment “Some might not agree with me. The players that emerge start from Serie C, go through Serie B and get to Serie A. Like 30 years ago.” is exactly why Haaland decided not to join Juve. Some young players that are exceptionally talented don’t need to go through 3 divisions to make an impact. Verratti went from Serie B to Ligue 1 and the Italian national team. Allegri’s a fool who is slowly destroying players like Chiesa, Kulusevski, Pellegrini, and Jorge. I miss Pirlo already.

  2. Rytish

    I will be honest I think Mancini is the better rounded coach as he has coached abroad and seen the evolution of the game particularly in England. Tactics are thrown out of the window but games are free flowing, quick, direct and physical. However managing a national team in comparison to a club is very different in terms of preparation. Credit to Mancini for giving Pellegrini, Barella and Locatelli the trust. But what is Allegri to do with Rabiot, Bentancur and Arthur? Mancini can field Verrati, Barella and Jorginho with other strong players to backup. No way Frankie, Allegri has given Chiesa many chances but the goals have been a bit less. As Allegri said in the summer this is not the project he expected and before he was fired he knew and wanted a revolution. Until Allegri is given the players or a better midfield then I will judge. You are right with Kulusevski but Parma is not Juventus. Sometimes players can feel the weight of the shirt but I would keep him. Remember Coman!

  3. Reza

    Credit to pioli.. develop with many young player…

  4. House Party

    I respect Allegri. I don’t think he has a day job at the circus like some claim. 🎠 But I agree more with Mancio here. Working your way up the football pyramid can build character + discipline. That’s why older players such as Di Lorenzo are suddenly noticed when their clubs finally make it into Serie A. But by the same token it could also hold them back. Zola was 23 before he finally got a chance in Serie A. He’s adamant that it was crucial in his development to train with Napoli’s champions. Venezia’s Aramu is another case in point, he’s 26 now + obviously good enough for Serie A! But he could’ve been lost by the wayside + some may never make it at all! I know that they’re on about doing away with the Tax Law cut’s on new foreigner salaries now, to encourage club’s not to sign foreign player’s who they could offer cheaper wages to, rather than give their Italian youth a chance! However that may hinder Serie A’s ability to attract the Ronaldo’s + Lukaku’s. This is another example of the Liga + FIGC needing to work together to benefit all, the youngster’s, the clubs + the national team! But in this case, lower-level competition seem’s less productive than to cooperate, cultivate + nurture talent.

  5. Guevarra

    So sad to see Kaio Jorge now play with seri C team… If he were at milan, maybe different path…

  6. Buqruqul

    Champions are obvious. Del Piero was cleaning up and pushed Baggio out of the squad. Then he made way for Giovinco who couldn’t hit a barn door from 10 yards out. MLS doesn’t count… It’s a rest home for retired players. The greats impose themselves and it’s not enough to just be skillful. Maturity is a mindset. If they want to wear the Juve shirt, it needs to be earned. Enough carrying overpaid rich kids who are more interested in their Instagram feeds than sweating on the pitch.

  7. Lewa

    Anything or anyone with age spans between 35 – 45 is Allegri’s stuff. Chiesa, Locatelli, Jorge, Kulu, De Ligt and all Juve youth potentials are stalling themselves. They will never reach their full potential as long as Allegri is still around.
    Hopefully we will never ever get a coach like him in the national team. I am Juve fan but I don’t want another Ventura in our history.

  8. dangerboy

    Just because this article is about youth and how to bring them along, might as well post this here.

    Mancio said in his Presser that he has an eye on Davide Frattesi (Sassuolo).

  9. Milan Fan

    Mancini has to be right on this. Living example is Tonali. He was sometimes even terrible last season, some of us wondered if he was a mistake, if he will ever make it, now 8 to 10 month later of playing at a certain level, he’s playing great football and seems ready, just as Mancini said.

    Now Allegri is not particularly wrong but he’s too strict in his assessment. It doesn’t apply to every youngster otherwise we won’t have anyone breaking through under the age of 25.

  10. Dm

    Allegri is a disgrace it makes me so angry that Juve brought him back
    I’d prefer juve to struggle badly this season so they see sense and get rid

  11. Bruno

    Good sense would be to judge each player on their individual merits; their attitude, their talent, their physical condition; rather than placing all players in a pen based simply on their age. To discriminate because a player is considered too young (or old) is a very backward way of thinking.

  12. Michael

    I agree with Allegri to an extent. I do think there are interesting young players who are just not ready to play for the first team, and putting them in there weakens the side. So in that case I think they should be playing in the lower divisions, mainly because I want them to gain the experience of consistently playing as a starter, they will grow more than if they’re just sat on the bench because there are better starters than them in the first team.

    Case in point, Colombo. He’s now playing first team football in a lower league and doing well, but he wouldn’t be getting any playing time over Ibra/Giroud or even Rebic since Pioli likes to play him as a striker. But he will no doubt come back to us better than when he left. I’d like to see Maldini loaned out as well for the same reason.

    But of course it’s something that needs to be decided on a case by case basis. Some young players are good enough to play in the first team immediately, others need to gain more experience by being sent to lower divisions where they can get playing time.


    I don’t see a problem with Allegri’s method on the proviso that these players do not spend the best part of their youth in these divisions. It’s good for their maturity and should toughen them up too. But a promising 19 year old for example, should play in these ranks for a maximum of 2 years, once in Serie C with Juve U23 and one season in Serie B on loan. It should be obvious then if they cut the grade or not. If they’re showing continued promise, then get they must be blooded in to the first team or be shipped out so they can grow else where.

  14. Grande

    FI remove the pop up screen please….i can’t take it anymore!!

  15. kEEFO

    Some people are just obsessed with playing young players just for the sake of it. A manager should pick the best player available regardless of age, whether they are 20 or 40 years old it should not matter.
    Milan were widely criticized for signing Zlatan because he was said to be too old. The obsession with youth is ridiculous. If Allegri has a young player in the ranks that is good enough he will pick them when they are ready.
    It is all great and dandy for Mancini to select an untested player for an international friendly but there are no friendlies during the season for a club coach.

    Mancini made sure to select the two golden oldies Bonnuci and Chiellini for his big games. If many fans got their way these two players would have been sent to a retirement home years ago.

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