Juventus is staring down a massive challenge, about to face Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League. The Bianconeri entered the season with huge hopes to win the competition, but now they are facing elimination. Prior to the match, we were wondering if their manager, Massimiliano Allegri, should leave the club at the end of the current season.
Just a few days ago it seemed like Max Allegri was set to leave Juventus in the summer. The reason? They were being linked to names such as Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane. What a difference a few days can make as Guardiola has declared that he will not be coaching Juve and will indeed see out his final two years at Manchester City, while Zidane, as we all now know, has returned to Real Madrid for a second stint.
Where does this leave the club? Theoretically, the best and most experienced options to manage Juventus next season are Allegri, Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho. We threw the last one in there for giggles as the Juve supporters would never accept Mourinho at the club, nor would the Portuguese manager want to manage Juventus after his history with Inter Milan. The real options for Juve seem to be Allegri or Conte.
In this writer's opinion, it would be a mistake to let Max Allegri leave in favor of Antonio Conte. Juventus owes a ton of their current success to Conte as he brought the team back to the top of Italian football, but it wouldn't be right for him to return. When he left the club a few years ago, he disrespected the organization by complaining that they wanted to compete in the Champions League but not pay for players that were worthy. This was with players such as Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal, Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini on the team. That same summer, Allegri joined Juventus and he reached the final of the Champions League with a squad that Conte saw as incapable.
Their ultimate goal is to win the competition, and as great as a manager as Conte is, he has not had great success in the Champions League. Allegri, meanwhile, has reached two finals during his time at Juve. The other two years at the club he was eliminated by Bayern Munich in extra time in the round of 16 and eliminated last season by Real Madrid in the last second thanks to a penalty kick. In other words, Juventus has had great success in the competition under the former Milan manager. Even if they don't make it through to the quarterfinals, they will have lost to an Atletico Madrid team with a great coach and great players. One that has been trying to win the competition for years themselves. Can that really be seen as a failure?
Surely, the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo has increased expectations in Turin, but realistically speaking Allegri is still the best manager for the club. He has done a great job keep players disciplined while also rotating a very large squad with big personalities. Although being eliminated from the Champions League and Coppa Italia might seem like a bad season, Juve is still going to win Serie A again this season and Allegri has shown that he is capable of making another deep run in the Champions League after a round of 16 exit. At this point, Juventus fans should remember that the grass might not always be greener on the other side.