Maurizio Sarri says he wants his Juventus reign to be characterised by mixing the old with the new.
Sarri gave his first interview to Juventus TV on Thursday, where he touched on several of the issues he raised during his unveiling.
“My first feeling is the awareness that I’ve arrived at a very important club. I’m lucky enough to arrive from Chelsea, who over the last few years have become a very important club but with a different history,” began the new boss.
“Here there is a longer history, while Chelsea’s is a more recent one. Then, beyond the clubs, the feelings are created by people, and last night I saw a group of people with a great mentality and determination, which was great.
“My impressions are that they’re a club with great harmony and compactness.”
The 60-year-old arrives in Turin after one season at Chelsea, where he delivered Champions League football and a Europa League.
“Going abroad was a decision that I’d thought about for a while, and after doing it I realised that it was an extraordinary experience.
“It’s clear that right now, the Premier League is the best League in the world in terms of visibility, and the technical level is very high, with great facilities.
“The atmosphere in the stadiums is fantastic, the fans all go together to the stadiums, showing their support in their numbers, with children and families all around the benches.
“The League is very strong and we have to catch up with them. Hopefully we can close the gap and get back to where we were 20 years ago, when our League was the reference point for football around the world.
“There were professional and personal factors that made me think after this incredible experience abroad, it was time for me to come back.
“So, I was starting to go along with this idea of coming back. Juventus were the club who were most determined to get me.
“It’s something that really impacts on you and something that made me make a quick decision to come here to a great club, who until a year ago were a great rival and a team who I fought against fiercely because you can’t think about beating Juve if you don’t give 120 percent. This determination shown by the directors helped convince me quickly.”
The former Napoli boss has made quite the turnaround in his career, from a journeyman in the lower Leagues to the Old Lady, who have won eight straight Scudetti.
“My experiences will count. There is a temporal progression but also one in terms of quality of the clubs and players I’ve coached.
“It’s clear that with experience you realise that in certain clubs with certain players, some things wouldn’t work as they do at others.
“You need to convey your football philosophy, but the more you make the step-up in football, the more you have to respect the characteristics of your players.
“If you have three sons, when they grow up they’ll have three different characteristics, and it’s like this with managing different squads, and it’s also great that they’re all different.
“It’s easier for a great player to make a manager great than vice versa. When, as a manager, you start at 35 years of age, you think you can have a certain type of impact, then with experience you realise you have an impact until a certain point, but to go beyond that the quality of your players is decisive.
“The players are more important to me than I am to them, unless I come across a young player who I can still mould and improve.”
Five of those titles were won by predecessor Max Allegri, so what does Sarri want to keep from the previous regime?
“Wins are always the result of your work. I have a tough legacy to follow as this is a club who have won a lot.
“It’s going to be hard in the next five years to repeat the results of the last five, as well as the numbers reached.
“Therefore, we have to try to forget about all these responsibilities, have fun and entertain while prolonging these sequences of victories and experience playing in Europe for what it is.
“In that, I mean such a winning and overwhelming Juve in Italy makes you think it should be the same in Europe, but unfortunately Serie A isn’t like that.
“Juventus, on a European level, represent one of the top 10 sides, however the fact there are five English teams in the top 10 helps you realise the difference between the levels right now.
“It’s clear that we’re talking about the differences in Leagues, but when you wake up in the morning there’s only one objective: to win.
“This is a compact and welcoming stadium, which leaves me with the sensation of feeling as if it’s my own.
“With this closeness, based on an English style, I like it a lot and I think I’ll feel at ease here. This is a squad where I’ll have to respect the characteristics of the players, who can be match-winners, and the objective is to have a lot of the bal.
“However, this is just a playing style and I want to see the team keep characteristics from the one Max had because his teams gave you the impression that you could overcome them at certain points of the game and then suddenly gave you the opposite impression, that you’re about to lose.
“To have this ability to stay compact at times of difficulty and then destroy your opponents in 10 minutes of supremacy is a very important quality when you need to win.
“It’s clear that the playing philosophy can be different, but we don’t have to lose that 99 percent of positive things that the previous Juve had.”
The Coach was then asked about his approach to set-pieces, before giving his verdict on the new season.
“I don’t want to disappoint you, but this is something that started from my time coaching in the lower Leagues, when a journalist asked me, ‘how many tactics do you have for set-pieces?’
“I replied with ‘many’, he said ’30?’ and I, as a joke, said ‘more, 33 maybe!’ And then this ‘Mr 33’ started with my attempt to joke with a journalist!
“I show all my players different tactics for set pieces, like all teams do, and of course we keep them for 2-3 games or sometimes we change them every game.
“From a coaching aspect, it’ll be a season that very much sparkles. That’s because Antonio Conte is back at a big club, Giampaolo finally has his chance at a big club, which he’s deserved for many years.
“There’s Ancelotti at Napoli and the arrival of Fonseca, who in my opinion is a young guy that deserves a lot of attention
“At Sassuolo there’s De Zerbi, whose one of the young emerging Coaches. I don’t how all the other negotiations will end and I don’t want to leave anyone out, but the movement of all the Coaches has made us feel like we can start something new and make some changes.
“Previously I was talking about my important experience in England, where there is a high level of football, which right now can’t be matched in Europe.
“However, we still have a small advantage, which is the organisation of the clubs and organisation from a tactical and technical point of view, where we can still do more.
“However, if the gap becomes bigger from an economical point of view, it’s clear that it’ll be impossible to reach them.”