Juventus succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Israeli side Maccabi Haifa in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. The night will go down in history as one of the Old Lady’s worst, with the team being utterly dominated by the European minnows. Despite another shocking result, Juventus confirmed manager Max Allegri will remain in charge of the club.
The Bionconeri have only recorded four wins from their opening thirteen games across all competitions. The start was not ideal given that Juventus finished 4th in Serie A last campaign, which is considered a failure for Italy’s most successful team, winning 36 Serie A titles, almost double the number of AC Milan in second place (on 19).
Juventus were expected to start this season strongly in order for them to once again establish themselves as the frontrunners for the Scudetto. However, things could not have gone much worse for Allegri’s side, currently lingering in 8th position in Serie A, 10 points behind league-leaders Napoli.
Furthermore, Juventus are on the brink of UEFA Champions League elimination as they sit five points behind joint-group leaders (they have the same head-to-head record) PSG and Benfica, both of whom the Old Lady face in their final two group stage fixtures.
Despite Tuesday’s shock result, as well rumours linking Spurs coach Antonio Conte with a sensational return to Turin, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has reaffirmed that Allegri will remain at the helm of the Allianz Stadium.
“This is a difficult night in a difficult period. It is one of the most difficult periods and the moment to take responsibility, which is why I am here,” said Agnelli to Sky Italia after the game.
“I feel ashamed for what is happening, I am angry, but I also know that football is played with 11 men, you lose and win with 11.
“In a situation like this, it’s not about one person. It’s a matter to be dealt with by a whole group. We feel ashamed, we apologise to our fans, because we know they must feel ashamed to walk around at the moment.
“Allegri is the coach of Juventus and he will remain as the coach of Juventus.”
Upon hearing this, many Juventus fans took to social media to voice their frustrations and demand Allegri step down from the Bionconeri hot seat. However, the Italian coach spoke after the game, swiftly denying any chance of resigning from his role.
“No, I’m not going to step down, absolutely. Because it’s a challenge now. When it gets harder, it’s even more beautiful. We must come out of it with courage and desire,” said Allegri during his post-match press conference.
“It’s difficult to explain (what went wrong), we just need to be silent because we did not have a good performance from the character point of view.
“We need to get out of this situation and keep quiet. Our tactics lack heart and passion. We play too individually, we have to go back to being a team.”
Juventus will be desperate to bounce back this weekend as they head into a Turin Derby with local rivals Torino in Serie A. Given the high stakes and bragging rights up for grabs in this game, Allegri will be raring for his side to get the win, or else Agnelli and the Juventus board may just have their hands forced into axing the manager.