Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has insisted that the club had no choice but to revolutionise their squad over the summer.
The Diavolo have revamped their playing personnel after a host of veteran players left at the end of their contracts, while they sold Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain.
“We needed a generational change,” Allegri told La Stampa. “It might not be nice, but that is how life goes.
“Carlo Ancelotti was fortunate to boss people like Gennaro Gattuso, Pippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta and Clarence Seedorf at the peak of their careers.
“I too would have liked them in my squad when they were seven years younger…
“It takes courage to make the painful decisions that Milan made, but to keep speaking about these champions is disrespectful to those players who have remained.”
One of the criticism thrown at Allegri is his lack of a working relationship with his highest profile players.
“I worked for two years with players who have won every kind of trophy,” he defended. “You can’t get on with everyone, but when it comes to picking the team you choose the best XI to win.
“You win with the best players – I have never seen a Coach score a goal from the sidelines. There has always been respect.”
One of the big stories from last season was the confrontation between Allegri and Juventus tactician Antonio Conte.
“Is there something that Conte has which I am jealous of? I’d say no,” he added. “Conte did a good job last season, even changing his system.”
Juventus won the Scudetto in 2011-12 with the benefit of no European action, but they’ll be in the Champions League this term.
“That may affect them but even if they lose all of their games, it won’t matter if we don’t manage to win ours. It is better to just look after your own house.”