Bonucci: ‘Pirlo very different to Sarri’

Leonardo Bonucci hailed the ‘big differences’ between Andrea Pirlo and Maurizio Sarri Juventus tactics. ‘We have more quality in possession and attack the game.’

The Bianconeri won their opener 3-0 against Sampdoria, with Dejan Kulusevski, Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo on target.

“We saw some new ideas proposed by the coach and his staff, a new way of interpreting the game, a lot of enthusiasm both in possession and off the ball,” Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia.

“The big difference is the way we are attacking the game and taking the initiative, trying to bring home the result. Seeing the work of the last few weeks and this game, I think it is better.

“There are different movements, as with Sarri we moved far more as a group in defence, whereas with Pirlo we are more one-on-one, giving us more freedom to be aggressive and win back the ball more often.

“We have four central midfielders with the right characteristics to play like this. They are aggressive and also good at passing the ball. That way, we have more quality in possession, which I see as a difference from last season.”

Is there truth in the rumours the Juventus old guard never quite accepted Sarri’s way of doing things?

“We accepted any changes made by the club. This season, the new coach is Pirlo, who changed the way of understanding football that we had last year. It’s early to say if it is right or not, but it is different, with a very precise mentality of being aggressive and not wanting to concede goals.

“We had that same attitude last year, because you don’t win nine Scudetti in a row without it.”

Bonucci was asked if Pirlo was more reminiscent as a coach of Max Allegri or Sarri, and did not hesitate to answer with a laugh.

“Much more similar to Allegri, that is obvious. Pirlo has much the same impact he had as a player, you knew that you could give him the ball and trust he wouldn’t lose it. Now it’s the same as a coach, there is that same trust.”

Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Gigi Buffon were teammates and old friends with Pirlo, so how do they deal with having him as their boss?

“We’re old enough to behave like real professionals. Andrea Pirlo is now our coach and we have the utmost respect for all our coaches, just as we try to help all our coaches from within the locker room.

“Fortunately, this is a squad full of great men who are accustomed to working with great champions. That makes it easier for everyone concerned.”

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