Parma – Juventus: Promising Early Days From Sarri’s Juve (0-1)

Following in the footsteps of LaLiga and the Bundesliga, Serie A’s new season was inaugurated by the reigning champions, Juventus. A good first half from Juve was followed by a second half during which the visitors were unable to retain control. It was only for Parma’s flawed offensive dynamics that Maurizio Sarri’s men managed to escape with all three points.

Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.

A somewhat unsuccessful season under Massimiliano Allegri was partly masked by a dominant Serie A campaign. At one point Juventus stood twenty points ahead of second-placed Napoli, denoting the individual supremacy over every other contender yet again; amidst collective problems.

Juve’s board was faced with a decision to make: either continuing a cycle that looked very much at its last straw, or making a change that months later, vice president Pavel Nedved addressed as “ a big change, which does not imply a transition”. Nedved hereby suggested that Juve are still expected to compete in every competition and win all domestic trophies. Thus, Allegri departed, and one of his previous competitors, Maurizio Sarri, took his place.

The managerial switch symbolized a radical shift in a footballing direction in many ways antithetic to Allegri’s. Whereas Juventus’ football in previous years had epitomized the influence of the individuals, and the single events in a sport dominated by chaos, Sarri’s philosophy screams the opposite. The obsessive control over every variable as opposed to waiting to seize the moment, up to more stylistic differences as in the defensive approaches. One focused on the opponents, whilst the other exclusively on the ball. Sarri’s methodology was therefore deemed fitting to finally make the most of the . . .

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