Is this what an actual "BLAZING ROW" looks like?
In the closing minutes of a relatively comfortable 4-1 win by Juventus over Palermo, defender Leonardo Bonucci and manager Maximiliano Allegri — the latter rumoured to be in line to replace Arsène Wenger at Arsenal — started a heated discussion on the pitch due to changes the coach had made during the course of the match.
According to the Italian press (via Goal.com), their exchange was filled with curse words not fit for this very blog, but the video evidence above shows that the scuffle was beyond a minor rift between manager and player.
It was not the first time that a Juve player has reacted badly to Allegri's adjustments apparently, as Paulo Dybala and Stephen Lichtsteiner had also shown dissent in previous situations. But it was surely the first time such an argument happened in full view of everybody watching. Allegri tried his best to play down the incident after the match.
"These things happen. I had three players who needed to be substituted because they had cramp. There was a misunderstanding, but it’s no issue, these things happen."
-Maximiliano Allegri; Source: Goal.com
But Allegri's best attempt at defusing the situation turns out to also include the decision to send Bonucci to the stands for today’s Champions League knockout round match between Juventus and FC Porto. (At least Conte had the “cover” of Costa’s back injury to use, depending on whom we believe in that situation!)
“[Today] Bonucci will be in the stands. That doesn’t mean it has to be made into a big deal. Out of respect for the club, the team and the fans, this was the right decision.”
“The case is closed. Leo understood the situation, as an intelligent lad and important player for Juventus. It’s a moment that will be useful for the future. I also had a reaction that was not right and not suited to the way I see football, above all with fans and children watching, so tomorrow I will give a charity donation.”
“Things happened and that’s it. If Bonucci was the first to react like that, he might not have paid such a heavy price. It’s the rule of life – someone has to pay.”
“There are tensions and a bit of chaos during a season, that’s part of the sport, but we don’t need to make things worse than they are. It is all sorted out, we move forward.”
“Nothing else happened. I spoke to Leo, he understood and we move forward.”
-Maximiliano Allegri; source: Football Italia
Certainly can’t accuse Allegri of mincing words. “Someone has to pay.” This is the real deal.
Allegri’s response has had the entirely unsurprising effect of launching a few new transfer rumors, chief among which has been the return of the Bonucci-to-Premier League hotness.
According to Calcio Mercato — dubious source alert! — Bonucci feels “betrayed” by the decision and feels that “the club didn’t support him” after he chose to stay loyal despite major offers to leave last summer. CM have put Chelsea and Manchester City back in the picture already.
Grab the popcorn, boys and girls!