Does Allegri deserve praise rather than criticism?
Q. So what are your thoughts on Allegri? Unfair criticised or is some of it merited?
A. There have been occasions when i felt he made the wrong choices in matches, or set the team up the wrong way, but those occasions are few and far between. I think there's a tendency, especially in the social media age, of living in the moment and having an immediate opinion on something, which, in hindsight, isn't always the case. People were ready to throw Allegri under the bus at 45 mins into the Spurs game, and look at the outcome. Two changes was enough to win the game but it took Allegri to make the right choices. If you look at the bigger picture, we are in the finals of the Coppa Italia, still neck and neck with Napoli in the league and into the last 8 of the CL - That's incredible and should be applauded.
Q. With limited investment Juve have managed to remain competitive on all fronts. And beat a side largely lauded in England. What can Allegri do to ensure he has the backing of the fans?
A. Juve have spent big - A combined 80-ish million on Bernardeschi and Costa last summer was a sizeable investment for the club and the depth to the squad is what's helped keep us in all three competitions. Allegri needs to do just one thing: Win the Champions League. He's come close twice and not had the best of luck on either occasion. If he can do that, I think he will silence the majority of his detractors. For me, he's the best coach we've had in some time and i would happy to see him stay around for the foreseeable future
Q. Looking at the high-profile sales that have been made over the years too, surely Juventus deserve credit for remaining competitive? Is it a case of Champions League or busy for Allegri?
A. The management do a fantastic job and the squad that was built in 2011/12 was one of the best that we've ever had, although we didn't know it at the time. Over the years, Marotta and Paratici have added to the roster by being smart when they need to, and spending big when it was called for. I think we're in a better place now to compete with the big teams, provided we can retain our key players for 3-5 seasons. As for Allegri, i think he will remain at the club, even if we don;t win the CL - The squad is missing some key players and my hope is that the management address that in the summer so Allegri can have a fully stacked roster
Q. In terms of the Champions League, what's was the general reaction to the win at Tottenham? It was surprising to see so many Allegri critics after Juventus beat one of the top sides in the Premier League
A. Elation! It was a remarkable come back. I think there was an added exhilaration because many Juventini didn't expect the team to turn it around. The team didn't play to their absolute best in both leg's, but they should have scored the 3rd goal in the first leg and had a penalty in the second. On the balance of play, i think we used our experience when it counted most and that was what got us over the finish line. We have to use that result as a reminder that we can achieve incredible things, even against the toughest of opponents. I think Allegri has learned a lot in recent weeks and will probably tweak his team a little over the coming weeks. The criticism seems to be that he has benched younger players like Rugani and bernardeschi while Marchisio has been dropped in favour of Sami Khedira who hasn't had a good season. Perhaps there's still time to win over the doubters in the months ahead
Q. Allegri's changes seemed to make the difference so certainly was strange to see so much criticism! In your opinion now what does Allegri need to do to ensure the rest of the season is a success?
A. It's not entirely in his hands - We have injuries to Bernardeschi, who was one of the rising stars of the team. His absence is already felt. In midfield, we lack the bite and creativity at times, in part because Pjanic needs world class players next to him. Matuidi and Khedira are decent and they give plenty, but we need so much more to compete against the likes of Real and Barca. beyond that, it would be nice to see Daniele Rugani get more playing time as many Juventini see him as the future of the defence. Max could also win over some of the naysayers by sticking with a particular formation. If we can keep the team fit and get a favourable draw, we can make another CL final - from there, it's all down to the players
Q. What about Dybala? We spoke about him earlier this season, could he be the man to navigate Juve through the latter stages?
A. The goal against Lazio did him plenty of good, as did the goal against Spurs. My only worry for him is that he doesn't get as many chances as when he played further forward with Mandzukic beside him. He needs to be more dominant in games, really take the game by the scruff of the neck. We've only seen a fraction of his potential this season, he can offer so much more by being more proactive. I think he may benefit from being in a more fixed attacking role, but that's up to Allegri to decide
Q. Back to the CL then if you could draw one team for the QF who would it be and why?
A. I'd like United or Liverpool - Not because I think we'd have it any easier against either side, but I think they would be the least-best team, if that makes sense. Also, the matches against United were great spectacles in the 90's - I'd like to see that again. We had a better team when we last played Liverpool, but the coach got things wrong. I'd like a rematch
Q. Very interesting indeed! I saw you were vocal in your criticisms towards the Tottenham manager. What were your of Tottenham and their reaction to the defeat?
A. Tottenham were exceptional over the two legs, but at the back, they looked fragile - when we pressured them, ran at them, they made mistakes in the box, and in hindsight, perhaps that what we should have exploited more. They played some great football and the approach was excellent, but the managers comments were utterly classless. if the context is as it's been shown in the papers, he's alluding to some nefarious plot by Juve management to influence the referee. The facts are there to see - There was a stonewall penalty not given - The goals by Higuain and Dybala were score don merit and individual brilliance, neither were contentious. The ref seemed to be more biased in favour of Spurs if anything - Pochettino is hinting at a shadier side of Italian football that is in the past - The fact that he needs to bring that into a brilliant two legs of football says more about his own character than anything else.
Q. I do think some of the comments were taken out of context in fairness. His original response to why they lost was that they made 2 defensive errors. Lastly on Allegri what would your message be to his critics?
A. He will answer everyone at the end of the season - Judge him on his results. There's no trophy at the end of the season for beautiful football, just the title winners. History will remember him breaking records at Juventus, no one else.