Mourinho, Allegri, Sarri … the ghosts of the bench


Mourinho, in Rome to rebuild

Roma have not won anything since 2008 and even come out of their worst season (7th in the league) for nine years. But the surprise arrival of the demanding José Mourinho is a sign that the Friedkins, the American owners, remain ambitious.

For the « Special One » whose star has faded since the historic treble with Inter Milan in 2010 (Champions League, Championship, Italian Cup), it is also an opportunity to relaunch without delay, after his ouster in April from Tottenham.

Since his arrival, the Portuguese (58 years old) has mainly tried to calm impatience, not promising a title and ensuring to be there to « build over time ». His first task will be to restore confidence to a solid workforce (Zaniolo, G. Mancini, Pellegrini, Veretout, Smalling, Mkhitaryan, Spinazzola), reinforced by the arrival this week of English striker Tammy Abraham (Chelsea).

Allegri, to Juve to win back

Detained after a record reign of nine years (2012-2020), Juventus put an end to the Andrea Pirlo experiment to return to the fundamentals: the pragmatic Massimiliano Allegri, whose five seasons with the Bianconeri (2014-2019) had been punctuated of five league titles and four Italian Cups, was recalled to bring the club back to the top.

Without a team since leaving Turin two years ago, “Max” intends to open “a new cycle”. With undoubtedly the most impressive workforce in the championship, with experience (Bonucci, Chiellini, Ronaldo), talent (Dybala, Cuadrado, Morata) and youth (Chiesa, Kulusevski and rookie Locatelli).

Sarri, at Lazio to seduce

Maurizio Sarri also finds the bench, a year after his ouster from Juve in the summer of 2020. Despite a league title, he paid for the exit from the road in the round of 16 of the Champions League against Lyon.

The one who made Naples shine for three seasons (2015-18), thanks to a sophisticated and moving game, knows that he will need a little time to make his mark on a team shaped for five years by Simone Inzaghi, gone to Inter Milan.

« There are the conditions here to be able to develop the game I want, » assured the 62-year-old coach, known for his cigarettes and his tracksuits, while remaining very cautious about the ambitions of his « Laziali »: « L « The objective is to become a highly competitive team, which means to be in the fight. Whether it is a short, medium or long term objective, we will see ».

Spalletti, in Naples to bounce back

After the tensions that surrounded the last months in Naples of Gennaro Gattuso, at odds with its president, the arrival of Luciano Spalletti aims to bring back a little serenity at the foot of Vesuvius.

The Neapolitans, who let slip the qualification for the Champions League on the last day of the Championship, are counting on the experience of Spalletti to reconnect with the C1. A goal that the coach had achieved during his two seasons at Inter (2017-19), his last experience on a bench.

« It is clear that joining the Champions League will be my obsession, » promised the 62-year-old technician.

Thiago Motta, in La Spezia to grow up

His first coaching experience in Serie A was cut short: barely ten matches with Genoa, before being dismissed at the end of 2019. Former Paris SG player, Thiago Motta is trying his luck again, appointed to La Spezia in succession to Vincenzo Italiano left for Fiorentina after having had a good season, for the club’s first year in Serie A (15th).

At 38, Thiago Motta is the youngest coach of the elite with Paolo Zanetti (Venice). « La Spezia is the right place at the right time, I wanted to come back to a bench, » said the Italian-Brazilian. He assures us that he will remain faithful to the “collective” game philosophy of his predecessor.

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