A Look Ahead To The Serie A Season
Because even though the former Chelsea manager clinched his first ever Scudetto and the club’s ninth in a row, success of this nature is considered as nothing more than the minimum standard these days.
Sarri’s failure to lead the club to the finals phase in Lisbon was deemed as unacceptable and although the chain of domestic dominance was strengthened, his ties with the “Old Lady of Turin” were soon severed.
With Juventus looking for a new manager and a new trend emerging across the continent, they, just as the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea have done before them, decided to call on the services of a club legend.
A legend who had only been in his previous job for just nine days (albeit with the same employers) and the man who has been trusted with the Serie A baton this time, is none other than the majestic Andrea Pirlo.
Arguably one of the games greatest deep-lying playmakers, Pirlo was actually preparing to take charge of the club’s Under-23 side – who themselves operate within the confines of Serie C, and not masterminding a title tilt with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala.
With such an acceleration in his career trajectory, Pirlo will be viewed as the man who may have the easiest job in world football and if he can keep Juventus at the top of the Italian league ladder, he will only reinforce his legendary status.
However, there is a sense of burden that comes with the appointment and with nine league titles earned beforehand, he will not want to be the man who oversaw the club when the rule of iron fist was finally replaced.
Is there a sense of the circumstance around him has now provided him with too much too soon? Ultimately that is an answer will only know at the end of the season, but if Pirlo fails to make it a perfect ten, it is a weight he will have to carry for quite a while.
If it is not to be Juventus and a tenth successive title, then there will be a handful of challengers looking to take the top step for themselves and with Inter Milan finishing a point behind the champions last season, they will want to go one better.
It was a season of double disappointment for the blue and black half of Milan and after having to make do with second best at home, that was also the case when meeting Sevilla in the recent Europa League final.
That defeat to the almost perennial winners of the competition, raised questions regarding the employment status of manager Antonio Conte – arguably because he was asking them himself, and although there were sizeable rumours of his departure, they have proved to be unfounded.
While we should not forget events in the Italian capital and with them changing ownership once again, the scale of potential player expenditure has grown by an incredible magnitude and with the purse strings ready to opened at AS Roma, could a first league title since 2001 be on the agenda?
This season will play out behind the backdrop of investment talks for the competition as a whole and with venture capitalists looking to pump a sizeable amount of money into Italian football, they will hope to return Serie A to the biggest stage of all.
Written by Dan Tracey
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