As with players in the transfer market, we know Daniel Levy and ENIC are not interested in paying a huge sum for the coach that they desire. Given the availability and credentials, the idea that Massimiliano Allegri is not front and center for Tottenham seems strange. Here we try to take a look at Allegri and why Tottenham has not pulled the trigger and why someone else may if the Spurs do not.
Who is Massimiliano Allegri?
Arguing that Tottenham should strongly consider Massimiliano Allegri as their next head coach is kind of an easy thing to do, as the man is a winner. After a footballing career that lasted nearly two decades, Max Allegri almost immediately went into coaching upon retirement in 2003. However, it was the 2007-08 season with Sassuolo when his career took off.
During his one year with Sassuolo, he guided the team to the top of Serie C1 earning the club’s first-ever promotion to Serie B. From Sassuolo Allegri moved on to Cagliari in Serie A and helped the team to consecutive midtable finishes. After Cagliari, went to AC MIlan.
It was in his first season at AC Milan in 2010-11 that Allegri leads the Rossoneri to the Serie A title for the first time in nearly a decade. After a triumphant first season, things never again reached the same level during his time at Milan, although the team reached Champions League three consecutive times.
After being relieved of his duties in Milan, Allegri went to Juventus following Antonio Conte’s move to Chelsea. It was in some ways a no-win situation for Allegri with Juventus coming off multiple titles. However, five straight titles later for Allegri at the club and it was obviously a better position than it seemed.
During his five seasons in charge at Juventus, the team won Serie A five times, won the Italian Cup four times, and the Italian Super Cup twice. 11 trophies in five seasons are nothing to take lightly and that alone should have Allegri high on the Tottenham list.
What is Allegri’s approach does it fit Tottenham?
Allegri is a possession-oriented coach who likes to control the ball and the clock in a football match. A coach that likes to build out of the back, Allegri’s teams invite pressure only to slice through them with crisp passing and combination play.
Although not completely tied to it, Allegri’s preference is to play a 4-3-3 approach. However, it is not uncommon to see Allegri use multiple formations during the season. Many fans want to have a team that tries to dominate all of their opponents and we saw the group struggle implementing different game plans.
When Juventus was defending deep, Allegri often used a 5-4-1 line-up but would use more of a 4-2-3-1 when he wanted to attack and even a 4-4-2 on occasion. Max is even known to look to close games with three in the back, which is sometimes a 5 when his teams defend.
Tactically versatile, Allegri coaches with a calm demeanor and approach that would be the polar opposite of the gruff approach of Jose Mourinho. However, the overall approach of matching up to the opponent might remind some a bit too much of Mourinho, which is where the issues with Allegri begin.
How Allegri does not fit Tottenham?
Reflecting on the Tottenham season, the team has struggled mightily to play out of the back and the idea of inviting pressure on a unit that struggles may be too much for some. Further, Allegri is not known to be a real man-manager. His job is to coach a team not be friends.
His approach led to a big fall-out in Milan with Andrea Pirlo, which led to his move to Juventus and ultimately a shift in the balance of power in Serie A. Of course following what many considered a locker room debacle with Jose Mourinho, not hiring a player’s coach or a man-manager may be a mistake.
There are also some question marks around Allegri’s English, which was a sticking point but not a breaking point for Mauricio Pochettino. If we all remember Jesus Perez routinely translated for the gaffer early in his career at Tottenham.
Sure Allegri has not coached in England before but neither had Antonio Conte who seemed to do just fine with Chelsea.
Finally, there is the idea that like Jose, Allegri is a dinosaur stuck in the past, especially given his distaste for things like analytics. As the club looks to find more ways to cut corners and create a profit, it is hard to believe analytics are not going to be used more and more moving forward.
Ultimately, however, the excuses are just that, excuses. Allegri is simply the most qualified, winning coach available right now and he should be choice number one. As names like Graham Potter and Scott Parker are bandied about, it just makes one scratch their head as to what exactly Daniel Levy and ENIC are doing.