The Italian champions Juventus have appointed Andrea Pirlo as their new head coach on a two-year deal following the sacking of Maurizio Sarri. For Sarri, it was a déjà vu after Juventus crashed out of the UEFA Champions League on away goals against Lyon. Although Sarri did win the Scudetto with Juventus, his side was far from convincing, and frankly speaking, Inter Millan, Atalanta, and AC Millan looked much better than Juventus after the Covid-19 break. The appointment of Pirlo made shockwaves as he was named the manager of the Juventus under-23 side late July.
At the moment, the former AC Millan and Juventus midfielder will make the step up to manage the Serie A champions without having any games as a head coach under his belt.
Pirlo will be the second-youngest coach in more than 100 years to manage Juventus at the age of 41 years. Current Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti still holds the record as the club’s youngest ever manager following his appointment in February 1999 at the age of 39 years. Pirlo, one of Italy’s most excellent midfielders, won five major trophies in four seasons as a Juventus player. He made 164 appearances across all competitions for Juventus before heading to the United States of America to play for MLS outfit New York City. The board of Juventus in the past years has appointed top managers like Fabio Capello, Carlo Ancelotti, Didier Deschamps, Claudio Ranieri, Antonio Conte, and Max Allegri. However, they have all failed to deliver the Champions League trophy to them, so they think the time has come to give the job to an insider. Pirlo fits the profile of Juventus, and his arrival brings elegance and class to the Juventus bench. The fans view him as the one who can bring back the Juventus identity, and given the right resources can help them clinch the European glory, which has eluded them since 1996.
Why was Pirlo Appointed?
Pirlo may not have the coaching experience at the moment, but he has other qualities that the Juventus board hopes will speed up the development of the team.
Pirlo understands the DNA of the club, and he could also bring back the team’s exciting brand of football, which made them an attractive side a long time ago.
He has played for Italy’s top three teams. Pirlo understands the strength and weaknesses of his rivals in Serie A. The affiliation Pirlo has with the club was a significant factor behind his appointment as the new manager. During his playing days, he played his best football during his spell at Juventus. He knows all about the Juventus mentality. During his playing days, he was a good passer of the ball, and he will bring that style, which is the free-flowing football, dominating possession and offensive mentality the Juventus fans will love their team to have. Pirlo will also bring his man-management skills. He was a captain during his playing days, and he has always been a natural leader with charismatic qualities on the field.
With his style of leadership, Pirlo might get along with Cristiano Ronaldo and handle the massive egos of some of the players. Ronaldo is 35 now, but he remains prolific. He scored a remarkable 37 goals in all competitions this season. As such, Pirlo will act smart by building his team around the star man and manage the group intelligently without causing any rift in his side.
Is Pirlo a massive gamble for Juventus?
Since Pirlo doesn’t have any coaching experience, it will be difficult to predict what he will bring on board.
There are a lot of concerns because of his lack of experience, and teams like Inter Millan, who finished second with a point behind Juventus last season, could take advantage. Pirlo’s appointment is not the first time Juventus have named a former club legend with no experience.
The Club appointed Ciro Ferrara in the 2008-09 season, but he failed to deliver. However, Pirlo could go on a different path as Ferrara’s Juventus team had fewer quality players and was fresh off promotion to Serie A and emerging from the Calciopoli scandal. The current Juventus team has won nine straight league titles. Pirlo’s position is similar to Pep Guardiola’s time at Barcelona and Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid. Perhaps Pirlo could follow in the footsteps of Guardiola and Zidane and clinch the elusive Champions League title for Juventus, or he could mirror his colleagues Filippo Inzaghi and Clarence Seedorf’s stay at AC Millan and lose his job after a year in charge. His appointment is a high stake gamble from Juventus, even a bolder one than Sarri’s own, but time will determine if Pirlo’s appointment at Juventus will pay off or not.