'We mistakenly followed Guardiola for 20 years': Massimiliano Allegri

‘We mistakenly followed Guardiola for 20 years… his football was not for everyone’: Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri claims the sport has now moved on from Pep’s tiki-taka philosophy at Barcelona

  • Pep Guardiola was hailed as a visionary at Barcelona during the years of 2008-12
  • He moulded one of the greatest teams ever playing delightful attacking football 
  • He has produced the same approach at Bayern Munich and Manchester City 
  • But Massimiliano Allegri claims teams have ‘mistakenly followed’ his approach 

Massimiliano Allegri claims Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka philosophy is not for everyone, insisting teams ‘mistakenly followed it for 20 years’.

Guardiola put together one of the greatest teams in history while in charge at Barcelona between 2008-2012, with the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi leading the way.

The Spanish giants amassed a staggering 14 major trophies during that spell, including three La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns. 

Manager Massimiliano Allegri says football ‘mistakenly followed Pep Guardiola for 20 years’

Guardiola was hailed as a visionary at Barcelona, where he amassed a staggering 14 titles

Guardiola has been hailed as one of the greatest managers in the world for his visionary football, which he produced at Bayern Munich and now at Manchester City.

But former Juventus boss Allegri insists football has taken a different approach now – claiming the art of counter-attacking is coming back.

Allegri, currently looking for a new job after stepping down as Juventus manager in the summer, told Corriere della Sera: ‘I’m seeing a great return for the counter-attack.

‘We mistakenly followed Guardiola for 20 years. Guardiola’s football was not for everyone. You have to have Iniesta, Xavi and Messi. We took a subject that related only to them as a lesson for everyone.

Guardiola’s free-flowing City have found it difficult in the Premier League so far this season 

‘When I hear [Arrigo] Sacchi talking about keeping the ball and having pro-active attitudes, I don’t understand what he’s saying and it annoys me. Why should playing vertically not be pro-active football?

‘I saw the games of Sacchi 20 times. I remember the one at San Siro in which Milan scored five goals against Real. They played direct. It was a vertical Milan, counter-attacking, which is not easy to do but when you manage it, it’s a great spectacle.’

After guiding Manchester City to two consecutive Premier League titles while playing superb free-flowing football that has left their opponents speechless, Guardiola’s side have found it difficult so far this term.

Liverpool sit 11 points above City this season after just 15 matches, with the Reds making significant strikes forward after winning the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have received huge praise for their direct style of play, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino finishing off lightning counter-attacks. 

Jurgen Klopp’s side, who have adopted a more direct approach, already sit 11 points above City

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