“We worked with a number of systems and styles of play, in order to take the team forward we knew it was time to change.”
“I don’t know what to call it but 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 are just numbers on a page, what matters is the way they are applied.” It perhaps is no surprise he cites Pep Guardiola as the toughest coach he has ever faced “because just when you think you have the advantage, he changes everything in the middle of the game and countering that is so difficult.”
“I had an average career, but I was quite skilful” he says as he reflects on a resume which includes a stint at Pescara, partnering current Brazil boss Dunga in midfield and earning moderate success.
“That time in the provinces is invaluable it gives you the fundamental experience needed to be a successful coach, because while everyone dreams of a big club you first need to learn how to do the job.”
“When I was there [at A.C Milan] we finished second, third and continually qualified for the Champions League, but now their problems are completely different.”
“I arrived convinced that, with the group of players here, we could have a great season and we went on to do just that,” he says looking back on a campaign that saw him join Carlo Parola and Marcello Lippi as the only Juve coaches to clinch a domestic double, and the latter man has spoken publicly of his admiration for Allegri.
“I definitely see myself in him,” the 2006 World Cup-winner told Radio RAI earlier this year. “We share a solid approach, we both paid our dues. He soaked up everything he could on a tactical level and has instilled it into his team.”
“It’s a very significant compliment from a coach who did some extraordinary things,” Allegri says of Lippi’s comments, and Juve’s campaign also saw him earn a place on the shortlist for the Fifa World Coach of the Year award.
“Of course it’s important to recognise the coach but the players deserve credit because without them delivering on the pitch we would not have accomplished anything.”
Now they must do it all again and with the team looking to shake off that bad start, Allegri’s choices have come under scrutiny, yet he sees the way he rests and rotates players as the reason he sits on the bench. “That’s what I’m here for, that’s why I started doing this job and that’s what coaches are paid to do,” he says as they aim to climb back into Serie A title contention and secure passage to the knock-out stages of the Champions League.