(Reuters) – Maurizio Sarri, who was employed as Juventus coach to assert his distinctive football style, was frustrated when he resorted to his predecessor Massimiliano Allegri's more careful stance while playing at AS Roma.
Juventus & # 39; Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his second goal with his teammates. REUTERS / Alberto Lingria
Sarri, whose team took a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes, was satisfied with their performance in the opening hour of the 2-1 victory that enabled them to return to Serie A towards the end of the season.
However, the team spent much of the last 30 minutes keeping the ball in their own half and avoiding risks – something Allegri commonly referred to as "game director" and which became the hallmark of his five-year tenure.
"I didn't like how we adjusted to the result," said Sarri, who took over this season. “We had several 3v1 counterattacks and we could have done more. I want us to play the whole 90 minutes as we did the first 60 minutes.
"If we just want to pass the ball around, we should at least do it in the opposing half."
Juventus, who clinched a ninth consecutive championship title, has traditionally been a team that wins without worrying about how it does it.
Allegri seemed to fit perfectly and his teams were pragmatic, versatile and resilient and keen to get the job done quickly.
After a relentless five years of Allegri, Juventus decided they needed more extravagance and turned to Sarri, who likes his teams to weave intricate, passing patterns at high speed through enemy defenses.
Juventus have an impressive 48 points from 19 games – 15 wins, three draws and one defeat – and a two point lead over Inter Milan, but their style of play suggests they changed Sarri more than the other way around.
"I don't know if Juventus has changed me, my wife tells me that I'm just as persistent as before," said Sarri, who had previously made Napoli the most entertaining Serie A team.
"With Napoli, we led the championship twice at half-time, but it didn't go well," he recalls.
"Do I feel totally sarrish in this Juventus? Look, there are some Juventus numbers that have changed so much since last year that I can say yes, ”he added.
“On the other hand, you always have to respect the players. I have to take into account the characteristics of the players. "
For example, he said that his Napoli team could not have played like Juventus in the last half hour at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
“If my Napoli team had defended behind like today, we would have lost, so there are other qualities. Now I'm training another team, ”said Sarri.
Written by Brian Homewood; Edited by Christian Radnedge