Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri is facing pressure after two defeats in three Serie A games, but he insists he expected the focus.
Maurizio Sarri has vowed the pressure on his work at Juventus is “normal” and said he always fully expected president Andrea Agnelli to scrutinise his results.
The head coach had dinner at the weekend with Agnelli and sporting director Fabio Paratici, in the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Hellas Verona.
Juventus also suffered a rare loss at Napoli in late January.
There have been claims that Juventus could look to bring back Massimiliano Allegri, who has not moved on to a new job since leaving the Turin giants at the end of last season.
Allegri delivered five successive Serie A titles, but the club’s run of eight in a row is coming under threat from Inter, who head Juventus on goal difference after 23 games.
Sarri stressed the dinner meeting had been long planned, and was initially due to take place on February 2 after the Fiorentina game.
In a news conference, he quipped: “If I hadn’t wanted to be under scrutiny I would have applied to work at the post office.”
Sarri added: “I see the president often, and every now and then we go out for dinner. It was something that was already planned. Andrea says he wants to introduce me to the best restaurants in Turin, but we never talk about a single game, rather about everything.
“It is normal that my work is always under scrutiny. We are in February and we are fighting for every competition, which is in line with the initial goals. It is clear that we come from a bad game, but with external rather than internal repercussions.”
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 12, 2020
Juventus are entering a crunch stage of their season, beginning with Thursday’s Coppa Italia semi-final first leg at Milan.
They face Lyon in the Champions League last 16, with the first leg in France on February 26, before a March 1 date with Inter that could be pivotal in the Serie A title race.
Lazio’s Ciro Immobile set to join an exclusive club as the highest-scoring player in Europe this season
In a decade dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the underrated Italian is near assured of winning the European Golden Shoe for the continent’s top scorer.
From Messi, to Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski and Erling Braut Haaland, nobody in Europe has managed to keep pace with the Naples-born player.
Immobile overtook Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski with his 35th goal against Brescia midweek, and will close his campaign against Napoli on Saturday.
Juventus star Ronaldo, on 31 goals, is four behind before the Serie A champions’ final game against Roma in Turin, in which he may not even play with the Champions League looming.
It would not be the first time that 30-year-old Immobile has topped the Serie A goal-scoring charts, having won the ‘Capocannoniere’ twice before in 2014 and 2018.
But he would become just the third Italian winner of the European Golden Shoe after Roma’s Francesco Totti (26) in 2007 and Luca Toni for Fiorentina in 2006 (31).
Another two goals on Saturday would also see him surpass Gonzalo Higuain’s Serie A record of 36 goals, set playing for Napoli in the 2015-16 season.
“I am only sorry that I cannot celebrate these numbers with the fans,” said Immobile, nicknamed ‘King Ciro’ in the capital, but whose career before arriving in Rome had been erratic.
Success has not followed onto the national team, where he has scored ten goals in 39 games, taking the brunt of criticism after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Immobile started his career at Juventus, where he made just three appearances before a breakthrough loan season in 2011-2012 at Pescara where his 28 goals lifted the Serie B side into the top flight.
Juventus ‘Irritated’ By Maurizio Sarri After He Refused To Stop Smoking Even While Struggling With Pneumonia
Jack Kenmare in FootballLast updated 8:37 AM, Thursday August 29 2019 GMT+1Serie A champions Juventus are reportedly ‘irritated’ by manager Maurizio Sarri after he ‘refused to stop smoking’ despite being diagnosed with Pneumonia. The 60-year-old, who averages around four packs of cigarettes a day, missed the club’s first league game of the season against Parma on Saturday…
Serie A champions Juventus are reportedly ‘irritated’ by manager Maurizio Sarri after he ‘refused to stop smoking’ despite being diagnosed with Pneumonia.
The 60-year-old, who averages around four packs of cigarettes a day, missed the club’s first league game of the season against Parma on Saturday after club doctor’s advised him to take a rest.Sarri’s condition has improved ‘sufficiently’ in recent days but Juventus are still concerned about their manager’s smoking habits.
In fact, it is believed that they are ‘irritated’ and would prefer him to stop while being treated for the infection, according to news agency Ansa via Football Italia.Sarri was pictured holding a pack of cigarettes while outside his home this week, which prompted the Italian side to be displeased with the former Chelsea boss. So how many does Sarri really smoke on a daily basis?
According to reports, the Italian gets through 80 cigarettes a day. That means if he’s awake for 16 hours then Sarri will smoke five an hour. That is a cigarette every 12 minutes.The guys over at Dream Team worked out that if a pack costs £11.50, then the Chelsea manager smokes £46 of his salary every day, which works out at a hefty £1,400 every month.
But back in June this year, the Italian confessed to smoking 60 a day and admitted his habit is getting out of control. “I smoke 60 a day, which is probably a few too many,” he revealed to La Nuova Riviera via Football Italia.”I don’t particularly feel the need to smoke during games, but straight afterwards it really is necessary,” he added. “I had back problems tormenting me for weeks, but I feel much better now.”After signing a three-year deal at Juventus, the 60-year-old accepts that he’ll have to win over some fans considering his ties with Napoli.”I arrive with scepticism, just as I did with all my other clubs,” he said at his unveiling.”I understand that, but I know only one way to change that and that is to win and convince while entertaining and getting results.”For three years [at Napoli] I would wake up and think about how to defeat Juventus, because they were a winning team. I gave 110%, but we still couldn’t do it. I will now give everything for this club.
The Championship Can Resume On June 20 – Italian Sport Minister
The green light has been given for Italy’s Serie A football championship to begin on June 20.
The Italian Minsiter of sports on Thursday May 28 said, the government’s Technical and Scientific Committee (CTS) had agreed to the health protocol proposed by Italian football chiefs.
“Italy has started to return to normal life again, it is only right that football should do the same. The federation assured me that it had a Plan B and a Plan C. In light of these considerations, the championship can resume on June 20,” Spadafora said.
He added that, “The CTS agreed with the medical protocol, but confirmed the absolute necessity for a quarantine period if a player were to test positive.”
In a video conference, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) President Gabriele Gravina said, there would be a play-off system if the championship were again interrupted, while the existing standings would be used if it were stopped.
I’m happy and satisfied. The restart of football represents a message of hope for the whole country,” Gravina said.
Being one of the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic with over 33,000 deaths, Italy begun to ease restrictions. No top-flight matches in Italy have been played since Sassuolo beat Brescia 3-0 on March 9. Italian football now faces a scheduling nightmare, for matches, which will take place behind closed doors.
Italians clubs on Friday May 29 meet to examine the possibility of playing the remaining Serie A and Italian Cup matches, amounting to some 127 in total. Most teams have 12 league games left to play, but there were four postponed fixtures.
By Etienne Mainimo
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