A night in Turin
Although I had much to think about, the bed was so comfortable that it only took me a couple of moments to get knocked out and have a nice sleep. I gazed into a dream where I was watching from the sidelines Juventus into a Champions League final win, something that had eluded them in recent years. As I walked along Chiellini, Buffon and Tevez to the steps to get our rewards, someone started shaking my shoulder.
'Mr. Bisoli?' said a very old butler. I could feel all my body sweating, even though the air conditioner was on.
The butler continued by saying,"I've been sent by Mr. Agnelli to let you know that you have one hour to get ready. The bathroom is located there, where you will be allowed to take a shower.
He continued,"Mr. Agnelli has also provided you with a Ermenegildo Zegna tailored, classic suit. He's expecting you to use it." I nodded and thank the old man for his piece of information. After a long hot shower, I put on the suit that Agnelli had provided me with, and had 15 minutes remaining before the meeting began. I asked for the butler to take me either way, as I always had a rule to be 5 minutes early before any meetings of sort.
He recognized this, and told me,"It's a very good impression you are giving Mr.Agnelli. He'll enjoy it."
I responded by saying,"It's over the years that you learn these type of things. Much like in management, the little details can get you a win or a loss."
The old man nodded, and he seemed to like my ideas. We continued our long walk towards the room where we would have dinner, and of course, talk about the offer. He told me three things that he learned throughout his life.
One was, never forget where you came from, home. I thought of Cesena when he said that.
The second one was, don't forget those who gave you second chances. Once again, I thought of Cesena as they gave me the job a couple years ago, when it all seemed to go bad for me. The final one, according to him, is the most important one. Don't let life-time offers go away on emotions. I took the hint, he was basically telling me that managing Juve was one in a life-time opportunity.
He led me to the room, where I thanked him and gave him a handshake for his wise words. There, I saw Andrea Agnelli, chatting with Pavel Nedved with a glass of Amaretto Disaronno on the rocks. While I greeted Agnelli, I noticed Nedved had a two glasses of red wine in his hand, to which he proceeded to give me one. We took a sip together, while two other of the board-members arrived.
After a delightful dinner, Agnelli quickly had the table cleared and started talking business.
He cleared his voice, and said,"We know how good this season was for you, and for Cesena of course. But we have our doubts, as we had with Allegri. You've managed only a full season at Serie A, with small stints at two clubs that sacked you." Great, a trip down to memory-lane, I thought. "There are people here who doubt you, thinking that your good season at Cesena was down to luck, really. I'm not of those people, and I think that under a young manager like you, Juventus can achieve greatness once again."
I nodded in agreement. He quickly took a sip to his drink and continued,"All of the board-members think that we must continue operating under a Director of Football, would you be comfortable with that?"
I said,"I've been working with a Director of Football at Cesena for three years now. I'm totally comfortable with it, and at times it is better with one."
Agnelli went on further, with a different question. He said,"We all know that Allegri lost his dressing room at the end of the season, making his job untenable. Do you believe that you got the capacity to keep a dressing room at place, Pierpaolo?"
I answered,"I do. If you see my record at Cesena, several players have asked for a move, and when the fee has not been to the valuation of the club, it has been denied. The player can make a show out of it, but he knows that if he does he will be playing in the reserves. That's my secret to success last season."
A couple of board-members whispered in the back-ground, to which Andrea Agnelli asked them for silence.
Agnelli then continued,"Allegri had a terrible relationship with our fans, and that's why he got sacked, along with the poor results. Are you capable to have a good relationship with our fans, regardless of success?"
I boldly answered,"I think that to win over fans, you must do it with success. Success means titles. Fondness off and on the pitch must be done as well, of course."
I saw a majority of the board-members nodding in agreement. Agnelli then posed me with the question that had been looming ever since I picked up that phone-call..
Will you be the Juventus manager for 2015/2016?