If Arsenal are looking for a man to take them into a new era, a man with a sense of direction and a mentality of perfectionism, they need look no further than the Italian champions.
In truth, Tuesday night’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Barcelona was a perfect chance for Max Allegri to show the footballing world just what he can create.
Juventus have been so dominant domestically, with little signs of that dominance slowing up, but a criticism of them has been that they have not won that elusive Champions League title under Allegri’s tenure.
Some would say that drawing Barcelona in the knockout round pretty much ends those hopes, and those people would more than likely be Arsenal fans. However, Juve showed up and played them off the park with a tactical masterclass that was a testament to their form at J Stadium.
Allegri is a proven winner: he has amassed five trophies since taking over at Juventus in 2014. His Scudetto win at Milan in 2010/11 proved he could do it under pressure, even if they did have a star-studded squad.
Do his achievements this decade prove that he can handle the mantle of a club like Arsenal?
Well, I suppose it would be reasonable to look at Antonio Conte. Seeing Juventus’ dominance in Serie A was nothing new, and perhaps managers get docked credibility – especially in recent times – for managing a team which has by far and away the best squad in the league.
Some Chelsea fans were concerned about Conte coming to the club. After all, this wasn’t a man who was going to change one or two small things; it was clear he was going to radically overhaul the style of play and get the team fighting again, having seemingly lost the ability to do so under the conservative style of Jose Mourinho.
That is exactly what Arsenal need: trying to hire another Wenger-style would be suicide from their point of view. Left-field names such as Julian Nagelsmann have barely been talked about, and perhaps it would be a bit much to expect such a young coach to come in and make radical changes so fast.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 11, 2017
The open nature of the Bundesliga allows for 3-4-2-1 formations and extreme pressing, whereas the Premier League has the quality to render such systems ineffective, as Jurgen Klopp is perhaps beginning to find out.
Yes Allegri inherited a squad that is very strong, but the football he has them playing is a joy to watch. Arsenal fans were heard calling for Wenger to just change something after their dismal 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace, like switching to three at the back as one fan suggested.
This would in many ways be a move trying to emulate what Conte has created with Chelsea; a solid back three, wing backs that cover immense ground, central midfielders that control and create, and a front three which has the production for everything to slot together.
It is something which Allegri would likely bring to a team like Arsenal as he also prefers three at the back, tending to favour a 3-5-2 formation. Still a new style and a new system, but with a man behind it who could more than match what Conte has done.
A new direction for Arsenal would also make them a more attractive club to potential transfer target. Allegri could swoop for old colleagues, of which there are some big names. Miralem Pjanic has been linked with a move to the Premier League, as has Leonardo Bonucci, among others whereby the link could be exploited.
It’s time for a new project for the Gunners, and Allegri is the perfectionist they need to move into the new era. Tuesday night was a perfect audition.