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Is the era of Juventus finally over?

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A 4 -3 defeat to Benfica in the Champions League meant that Juventus cannot qualify for the knock-out stages of this year’s competition.

 

Although manager Max Allegri downplayed the significance of the loss, the club’s fans are now questioning the future of the manager, and, whilst the club has not yet given him the dreaded vote of confidence, they have been making the right noises in support of him.

 

He is likely to stay in charge until the start of the World Cup, but there can be no guarantees after that.

 

Across Europe, it is widely expected that the axe will be wielded at a number of clubs whilst attention is focused on events in Qatar, and Allegri could be part of the mass cull.

 

At the outset it should be stated that Juventus would not have been expected to win the Champions League – for all their storied history, they have only won it twice before, with the last of this victories back in 1996 (although they have beaten finalists three times since the turn of the Millennium).

 

However, it is perhaps their league form that is the most concerning.

They are the most successful team in the history of Serie A, and between 2011 and 2020 won the Scudetto ten years in a row, the last five of those occasions when Allegri was in charge in the dug-out.

 

When he decided to take a year out of the game, club legend Andrea Pirlo was appointed in his stead, despite the fact that he had little or no coaching experience. But he could only steer them to a fourth placed finish, for which he paid with his job.

 

Allegri was reappointed with hopes that he could rediscover the old magic, but, so far, it has not worked.

 

Last season they finished fourth again, and only finished in the Champions League places because Napoli contrived to throw away their advantage on the last day of the season.

And, with 11 games of this season played, they are currently eighth in the table, trailing the leaders Napoli by ten points.

The team is in transition, with the legendary defence that included Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chellini and Leonardo Bonucci now broken up. New players have been brought in, but they will take time to adapt, and meanwhile rivals like AC and Inter Milan are getting stronger.

 

The club also has financial problems, having recently announced a big loss, and the lack of Champions League revenue will do nothing to alleviate things.

 

Doubtless at some stage in the future they will assume the mantle again of one of Europe’s top clubs, but, for the moment at least, their era of dominance in Italian football appears to be over.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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