Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was happy with his side’s 2-0 win against Cagliari on Tuesday but admitted he needs to work hard to improve midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
The win moved the Old Lady to within four points off fourth-placed Atalanta. Juve finished off 2021 with four wins and a draw in their final five Serie A matches. A smart tactical change to move Moise Kean centrally and Alvaro Morata wide paid dividends.
Allegri told DAZN: “Morata was getting irritable, he wasn’t attacking the space or moving, so I preferred to move Kean into a centre-forward role.
“Morata then relaxed, had a bit more space when starting from wide and it worked well.
“I think Adrien [Rabiot] can really do damage with his shot from distance, but perhaps it’s because he plays internationally for France in a two-man midfield, he just doesn’t make the right movements or has the right timing to get the shot away.
“He didn’t read the game well at all today and we have to do a great deal of work with him. I asked the lads to try shooting from distance today and Bernardeschi had a couple before finding the net.”
Allegri wants to cut gap
Allegri also spoke about the race for the top four and a place in next season’s Champions League.
He said: “I would be happy to reach the end of February with this gap so we can challenge for the top four. I would be very pleased with that situation.
“We have a lot of head-to-head clashes in January and February, so after that our fixture list could become simpler, while the others all face each other. We had 11 points in head-to-head clashes, but where we’re missing points is in the other fixtures.”
Juventus CEO hits out at Raiola
Juventus director Maurizio Arrivabene commented on the futures of star players Paulo Dybala and Matthijs de Ligt before the Bianconeri’s 2-0 win against Cagliari.
The CEO aimed a subtle dig at super-agent Mino Raiola in the process.
“I am accustomed to being a plain-speaker”, Arrivabene said. “Nowadays, many players have more loyalty to their agents than they do to the club shirt.
“Dybala is the Juventus number 10 and De Ligt is a great defender. They have to do their jobs, we do ours. But there is a good rapport.
“It’s very easy to talk about how much you care for the club colours, but you need to prove it on the pitch. And we want them to prove it.
“Dybala had a lot of problems lately, but when he did play, he did well. He is an important player for Juventus. De Ligt’s performances are there for all to see. We have a good rapport, when the moment comes, we will speak to them, just as we do to other players.”
Juventus’ next match is on the 6th of January as they host high-flying Napoli. A trip to José Mourinho’s Roma follows three days later.