• Dan Tracey



They say that the more things change, the more things stay the same and although that statement has largely rung true in Serie A during the past decade, it seems as something seismic could take place at the end of the season.

Because with Juventus gunning for an incredible 10th straight Italian championship, a look at the current league table suggests that this may end up being one too many and if that is the case, it will only serve to be a disaster for manager Andrea Pirlo.

When the former Italian midfielder received a swift promotion to the job last summer (after only overseeing the Under-23’s for nine days), many felt that the 41-year-old was granted one of the easiest jobs in world football.

Because all Pirlo had to do, was continue the incredible streak of success which had taken place before he took the managerial reins and with this being a team that all but selects itself at time, it should have been a rather easy remit to fulfil.

At the same time though, it could also be construed to be one of the toughest jobs in the game today and when you consider that all legacies must come to an end at some point, you do not want to be the man who oversees such a failure.

Which is where we almost find ourselves at the time of writing and if Juventus do fail to make it 10 in a row come May, then the former Juventus legend may find that status being somewhat diminished.

Especially when you consider that the Juventus board have sacked previous managers for far less and even when winning on a domestic front, that is not necessarily enough to keep you in gainful employment.

Which gives the club’s hierarchy something of a difficult decision, should the worst happen and that is whether to stick or twist with the current incumbent in charge, especially if it looks like a painful rebuild may need to happen.

With Juventus 10 points behind league leader’s AC Milan at the time of writing (albeit with a game in hand), there is a sense that things are already slipping away and if Pirlo is given his P45 this summer, then someone else will need to press the rather large reset button.

However, there might be some benefit in maintaining the managerial status quo and keeping the current incumbent in charge, if only because he may be able to start his own streak of dominance further down the line.

The appointment with Pirlo was always going to raise questions and it is fair to say, that his tactical selections at times this season have done exactly at the same. However, the recent 3-1 win over AC Milan does suggest that there is method to the madness.

At the same time, this is a club that has league titles in its DNA and to not get into double figures in terms of championship succession, is something that will ultimately be a rather bitter pill for the board to swallow.

However, those same people will have to decide whether the taste is so bad, that Pirlo is not kept on for a second season in charge. It’s a difficult decision to make, but then again these are difficult times for Juventus.

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