The appointment Andrea Pirlo as the replacement of Maurizio Sarri was surprising. He was just promoted as the Under-23 coach and a week later, promoting him as the coach of Juventus, was simply termed as a smart but risky gamble. A man without the experience of coaching now has to run a side, which experienced hiccups last season and looked down under Sarri. Then their European glory days were the shadow of the past despite having the man of UEFA Champions League – Cristiano Ronaldo.
Juve needed a new and dynamic personality to change the fortunes and the hierarchy invested faith in Pirlo.
In the opening encounter against Sampdoria, Pirlo hinted what might Juve do under him in the coming days – They came out all guns blazing and looked energized – hungry for goals and more goals.
They moved to regain the ball immediately after it was lost. They created a lot of really good scoring chances — so much so that it was only by dint of sheer bad luck and good goalkeeping that Juve didn’t go into halftime up three, even four goals against Sampdoria. The first-half goal they did get was an absolute beauty by Dejan Kulusevski.
Sampdoria came out of the second half looking to get back into the game, but ultimately didn’t end up forcing a save out of Wojciech Szczesny until there were 10 minutes left in the game, by which time Juve had picked up an insurance goal on a corner. A textbook Cristiano Ronaldo strike from the channel put things away late, giving Juve a 3-0 win and starting off the Pirlo era in style.
Pirlo would mobilize the midfield more and it was expected he would rotate the formation from 3-5-2 tp 3-4-1-2 while on attack and defend in a 5-3-2 or 4-4-2 formation.
As soon as the match started one could see the above-mentioned formations in action.
Sampdoria are not the force, which they were in the late 80s and early 90s; and thus Juve played the way they should against an average side. Never let the tempo down, but consistently remained charged up. Aaron Ramsey seemed rejuvenated under Pirlo and played one of the best games in his Juve journey.
Maybe the best is yet to come and even in defeats, Pirlo’s men won’t go down without a fight, that is the kind of spirit Juve showed last night.