BARCELONA

Sarri didn't trust Juventus players, says Barcelona's Pjanic

Miralem Pjanic has offered an insight into the level of discord within the Juventus squad last season, before Maurizio Sarri left.

Pjanic: Sarri didn't trust Juventus players

Miralem Pjanic has claimed Maurizio Sarri did not trust the Juventus players during his fractious time in charge last season. 

Former Napoli and Chelsea boss Sarri steered Juve to the Serie A title but was sacked in the aftermath of the shock Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Lyon. 

That European disappointment, combined with defeats in the finals of the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, meant Juve's ninth consecutive Scudetto was not enough for 2019-20 to be considered a success. 

It was Sarri's relationship with his stars that appeared to be the biggest concern at the club, with president Andrea Agnelli suggesting there was a lack of "alchemy" between players and coach. 

Pjanic, who made 30 Serie A appearances under Sarri last season, has now indicated the squad never felt they had the full backing of the man in charge. 

"Sarri had no trust in his men, and that disturbed me," Pjanic, who then joined Barcelona in a swap deal involving Arthur, told Tuttosport.

"Every player in that dressing room has always given their all for the club. You may not get on with one or two, but I'm sorry that sometimes people's evaluation was wrong. 

"However, this never affected our performance. All the players are professionals and want to win. But if a coach questions this, that's what triggers what the president spoke about. 

"Nobody doubts Sarri's qualities as a coach, but there was this problem. At the end of the day, we still brought home another Scudetto, which you can never take for granted." 

Juve won the title by just one point from Inter, winning just two of their final eight games of the league season, but many fans had long since become disillusioned by their style of play. 

They scored 76 goals, up six from 2018-19, but conceded 13 more than they did in Massimiliano Allegri's final campaign in charge. 

Sarri's commitment to possession-based play meant Juve played nearly 1,700 more passes in their 38 league games than they had managed in 2018-19, yet their number of passes played into the box dropped from 1,257 to just 1,090.