Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has defended his decision to drop Paulo Dybala for the 3-0 win over Bologna and suggested that the Argentine needs to get fitter.
Miralem Pjanic, Mario Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi were all on target as Juve closed the gap to Serie A leaders Napoli to just one point.
Dybala did come on for the final 15 minutes, but Allegri has hinted that until the forward is in better physical condition he might have to get used to a place on the substitutes’ bench.
“Dybala came on today and did well, but there are moments when a player just isn’t at his best and luck isn’t on his side,” he told Mediaset Premium.
“I have important players, it’s motivating to have competition for places. Of course, every player is annoyed when he’s on the bench, the important thing is to react. Football is a team sport, you have to take away the ‘I’ and rely only on the ‘we’.
“Paulo’s talent is beyond doubt, but he also needs to be in good physical and psychological shape.”
— Paulo Dybala (@PauDybala_JR) December 17, 2017
Allegri also criticised the media for comparing Dybala to his compatriot Lionel Messi, believing it has put unnecessary pressure on the 24-year-old.
“I don’t think the media helped by making these comparisons that are frankly damaging,” he added.
“You do it often to young players, they have a couple of good games and are called world-beaters, it’s not healthy.
“When I said it was unlikely Dybala could keep up that early season scoring record, I meant it. The team is in solid form right now, some players are in better shape than others, we could change going forward and use different characteristics.”
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