Massimiliano Allegri targets future Premier League position
Ask Italian football aficionados their view of current Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri. More often than not, you’ll get words to the effect that he is a divisive figure.
Max to his friends, his Juve side sit top of Serie A with a 100 per cent record and are odds-on 8/13 favourites with Coral to retain the Scudetto for a fourth successive season. Having made the perfect start, confounding his critics that level the charge of AC Milan’s decline squarely at his door, to succeeding Antonio Conte in Turin, Allegri already has on eye on the future.
When out of work following his San Siro sacking in January, Allegri spent time in London watching the Premier League, and he clearly liked what he saw. “I saw some games to try and better understand English football,” he said.
“It’s different from the Italian football, it’s more fascinating. What particularly struck me was how good their infrastructures are and the huge enthusiasm that the crowd has. I hope, in the future, to have the opportunity to coach in England.”
In light of these comments, Coral’s football experts assess where Allegri might be a fine fit in Premier League football one day.
West Ham United
There’s plenty to look forward to for Hammers fans going forward. In a couple of years’ time, they will move into a new ground when they take up residence in the Olympic Stadium used for the London games of 2012.
Sam Allardyce turns 60 after West Ham travel to the northwest and beleaguered Burnley. If he is unable to deliver the European football an ambitious board want to celebrate the change of venue, and supporters crave, then there will be a vacancy in east London.
As the Hammers have a tradition of incorporating Italians into their setup, Paolo Di Canio as a player and Gianfranco Zola as manager being notable examples, Allegri may be tempted to join the capital club as a new challenge.
Hoops boss Harry Redknapp is Coral’s odds-on 1/2 favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave. Although Allegri would not quit Juve until he achieved something, QPR are another club in that aspirational bracket, looking first to establish themselves before pushing on for European places.
Redknapp is reaching the end, even if he turns the Hoops’ current plight around. Contract talks have reportedly been shelved by QPR owner Tony Fernandes, so come the end of the season Loftus Road may be looking for a new gaffer.
Alan Pardew may be under contract at St James’ Park until 2020, but only a very brave man would affirm he will see out that deal. Six years is an era in football and, with owner Mike Ashley having hired and fired before, there could be a job going on Tyneside.
Since taking over as Newcastle’s investor, Ashley has not gone down the foreign manager route, always plumping for bosses from the British Isles. Allegri would be a departure from that, but may fancy his chances of turning the Toon around as they continue to underwhelm a passionate Geordie nation.