Four-and-a-half months ago, Clarence Seedorf was announced as the new Coach of Milan, signing a three-year-contract that indicated the Rossoneri were prepared to back their charismatic Dutch rookie for the long haul, as they prepared to rebuild from the ashes of the Massimiliano Allegri era at San Siro.
However, it appears that ideology has shifted, with Seedorf expected to be moved out to allow former teammate Filippo Inzaghi to take the reins and lead Milan forward.
For the Diavolo, a club that historically doesn’t sack managers, having a third Coach in six months is something approaching a crisis.
Inzaghi, a long-time fan favourite much more beloved than the man he is set to replace, is a classic Milan move similar to the re-signing of former hero Riccardo Kaka. A friendly face masks the ugliness beneath, but the view from outside Via Turati is that Milan just don’t have a long-term plan.
The impending removal of Seedorf to begin with is a baffling decision. For all the talk of inexperience surrounding the former midfielder, his work for the Rossoneri was largely positive, especially when the quality of the squad was taken into account.
In the 19 Serie A games under Seedorf, Milan won 11, lost six and drew two. For perspective, if the Dutchman had coached the side for an entire season with the same win percentage, Milan would sit fourth on 70 points, five ahead of Fiorentina, the team currently occupying that position.
Aside from murmured reports of locker room tension and boardroom disagreements, Seedorf largely left a good impression on his former side’s bench, even providing Milan’s first Serie A win over Inter since 2011.
Meanwhile, his expected replacement also prepares to come into the role having never coached at senior level. Inzaghi has been a success at youth level, but his appointment does not shed any more light on the direction Milan are going than when Seedorf was hired. Replacing a rookie with a rookie, albeit a slightly more popular one, is nothing more than a sideways move.
Additionally, if reports are to be believed, Inzaghi wasn’t even the first choice replacement for Seedorf. Despite the former striker being in the running with Seedorf to replace Allegri before Silvio Berlusconi chose the latter in January, Milan considered Sevilla Coach Unai Emery and former Zenit and Roma tactician Luciano Spalletti for the job. Revealingly, reports are that both turned the club down.
If Milan are being turned down by a Coach, whose lifting of the Europa League earlier this month was arguably the glass ceiling of his occupation, it is an indicator of the club’s appeal.
Inzaghi then, the second choice rookie for Milan and reportedly their third choice to replace Seedorf in the last month, will be the next man up to try and deliver some joy to their weary fans. Whether the former striker will too be hearing his coaching obituary read out in a few months is anyone’s guess. It appears that no-one – Milan included – have any idea what the future holds.