Juventus’ 1-0 victory at Parma pleased head coach Maurizio Sarri, who is recovering from pneumonia.
Juventus assistant Giovanni Martusciello said Maurizio Sarri was “very happy” with Saturday’s win over Parma after speaking to the absent head coach before, during and after the Serie A opener.
Sarri was not in the dugout as eight-time reigning Serie A champions Juventus kicked off their title defence with a 1-0 victory at Parma thanks to Giorgio Chiellini.
Martusciello took charge of the match as Sarri recovers from pneumonia – the former Chelsea boss also set to miss the clash against Napoli.
After the match, Martusciello told reporters: “We spoke to Sarri many times in the morning.
“Clearly for him it’s quite difficult to stay away from the team and therefore he wanted to know whatever was happening, the conditions of the lads, how they were living the beginning of the league.
“And we also spoke to him before the game, during the break and at the end of the game. He was very happy for the result, but a bit angry as well because he is a perfectionist.
“When something doesn’t go in the direction he wants, clearly he gets a bit angry. He was happy of what the lads did in the first half and above all he was super happy of how the team dealt with the moment of suffering in the game.
“I mean that when Parma played more aggressively, and we were struggling physically, the team resisted among the difficulties and that’s not a trait of many teams.”
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Higuain – whose Juve future looked bleak following unsuccessful loan spells at AC Milan and Chelsea in 2018-19 – played 83 minutes, while Dybala was an unused substitute.
“Let’s say that we made a clear consideration: to avoid putting players – in this context, first game against a very well organised team like Parma – to put players where they were used to play, in their usual roles,” Martusciello said. “The choice about Higuain and Dybala goes in that direction.
“This aspect, a player that is born as a central striker, and so we went in that direction. That doesn’t mean that in the future Dybala won’t be the central striker. Here we have to deal with many top players, we have to make choices and those choices are part of the coach’s job and we have to put 11 on the pitch. But today’s choice was only inspired by a ‘solidity of habits’.”