The Italian has found the role challenging since taking over at the club.
“Today’s choice is based on the belief that Pirlo has what it takes to lead from his debut on the bench an expert and talented squad to pursue new successes,” – this was the statement released when Andrea Pirlo, legendary Italian footballer, was appointed as the head-coach of Juventus. A club where he won four league titles in four years as a player.
However, his appointment raised a lot of eyebrows. He was hired as the coach of the U-23 setup and even before his first match as the boss of the developmental side, Andrea Pirlo was promoted as the senior team head coach. Maurizio Sarri was replaced by someone who did not have any prior experience of coaching a team at senior level.
Since taking over, Pirlo has found it hard to compete with the likes of the Milan clubs and others, and their current league form suggests they might lose their supremacy to fellow rivals.
Here are five reasons why Andrea Pirlo, in his current capacity, remains incapable to lead Juventus FC.
5. Unclear approach towards tactics
Andrea Pirlo has never led any other team since this is his first experience as a head coach. Little was known about the kind of system he would employ and whether the current crop of players would fit in his system. His first press conference saw the Italian talk about bringing a fighting spirit and grit about the Old Lady of the days gone by.
This eluded to the fact that the players needed to work harder to win the ball and have the mentality of grinding out results. Having said that, there is still an air of shadow in the way this team wants to attack. They are often riding on Cristiano Ronaldo’s individual brilliance. The team lacks rhythm in the final third and the coach needs more time to find clarity in his own tactics.
4. Not strengthening the squad in January
The Juventus squad has a lot of gaping holes in it, especially in the defense. There are multiple injuries and the squad needed patching in the January transfer window. Andrea Pirlo did not have any clear transfer targets in mind, thus the club could not move in on any player early.
FC Dallas’s Bryan Reynolds was identified to cover for Juan Cuadrado and the transfer seemed to have finalized in December. However, Pirlo could not express the urgency to get the player recruited, and as a result AS Roma have become the front-runners to land the American full-back. The team also needs a striker upfront and missed out on Arkadiusz Milik, who has been snapped up by Olympique de Marseille.
3. Vulnerable squad
Injuries have crippled the squad which was already thin and boasted a lot of players past their prime. Defenders like Matthijs de Ligt, Merih Demiral and Alex Sandro have struggled for fitness and the team is short of options. The midfield is also a vulnerable area with Aaron Ramsey perennially injured and Adrien Rabiot lacking form.
These are challenges that Pirlo is certainly new to. He has clearly struggled to pump in young talent and recruit smartly, which would have filled the gaping holes inside the team. To be able to manage his way out from such a situation would be tough for the tactician.
2. Resurgence from the rivals
In the past few years, Juventus’s domination was also due to the fact that their immediate rivals like Inter and AC Milan, along with Napoli were undergoing their own rebuilds. However, these teams have now mounted the strongest challenge in recent times. Stefano Pioli’s Milan are a different beast this season. After 18 matches played, Juventus are 10 points behind the league leaders in the table.
Antonio Conte has recruited well and will be fiercely focused on the Scudetto, given their European exploits have come to an end. For instance, Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus crawled their way to the ninth consecutive league title last term, but repeating the feat and winning the 10th league title in a row is a challenge too steep for Andrea Pirlo to climb.
1. Lack of experience as a coach
One of the most obvious and most glaring reasons why the Italian is incapable of leading a champion side like Juventus is the lack of experience. The 41-year-old has no prior experience of coaching any club on the senior or youth level. Which is why, the decision to appoint him as the head coach had always seemed rushed.
The current situation and the obstacles are clearly too daunting for him to overcome yet in his career. Juventus needs an experienced tactician to guide them, someone like Thomas Tuchel or Jules Nagelsmann could bring a breath of new identity to the club that desperately needs an uplift.