Saturday September 30 2017
Montella's moment of truth

Vincenzo Montella faces up to his past and Roma could well decide his future at Milan too, writes Matthew Santangelo.

In the first true test of the season, Milan were battered by a fine Lazio side 4-1 at the Stadio Olimpico, with white-hot Italian striker Ciro Immobile bagging an impressive 10-minute hat-trick, getting the better of Leonardo Bonucci and ultimately proving the Milanese side’s quest for a top four finish will not come without its share of tribulations.

Now, after having their short-lived two-match win streak snapped by Sampdoria at Marassi last Sunday, Milan are again facing a club from the Capital and a very familiar one to Vincenzo Montella. He represented Roma as first player, then Coach, and encounters his former roommate Eusebio Di Francesco on the other bench.

Tactically speaking, the former Fiorentina boss has recently shown committal to a three-man defence, overloaded with midfielders and two strikers tasked with aiding in the build-up. Yet, despite victories over Udinese and SPAL mixed in between two defeats under this framework, it has still left much to be desired. Aesthetically, the performances haven’t looked easy on the eye.

But what’s concerning most amongst Milan supporters is not only do they lack a fighter’s mentality at the moment, the squad also looks to have an identity crisis - and we witnessed that first-hand in the near-debacle 3-2 victory over Rijeka in the Europa League.

Theoretically, Milan’s €200m spending spree should allow them to play a persuasive style of football, but that just hasn’t been the case, even versus mid-table or provincial sides. Early in the season, when holding a lead, the approach is a complacent one, playing safe into passing lanes and with the possession advantage.

Considering sporting director and CEO Marco Fassone moved swiftly about the summer mercato to provide Montella with the luxury of time to forge an identity, and avoid this very situation, it’s no surprise talk has begun to spread of his potential dismissal.

Over six league matches this season, the Rossoneri have earned 12 points from a possible 18, a sum good for sixth place in the table. This is no ordinary campaign, though. The heavy investments have to be rewarded by a Champions League place and there’s no time to lose. Realistically, if Milan emerge with zero points from their next two games against Roma and Inter, there might be no turning back for this Coach.

The results alone, however, aren’t the only fuel for speculating on Montella’s time at the club. His questionable tactics, complacency when ahead and lax approach to killing off games have placed him in this difficult position as well.

If Montella does not iron out these issues and confront the problems head on, it could mean a repeat Roman wake-up call on Sunday, and maybe even close the curtains on his Milan stint. 

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
I agree 100% with you!
on the 4th October, 2017 at 5:59pm

LOLOL... money they didnt have and world class player noone didnt want.

I wouldn NEVER trade team with Inter.

Go away, focus on your team instead, see you in two weeks.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 6:59am
Viktor is a sore loser troll.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 4:19am
Milan has became the team to play if you're looking to patch things up with fans .. All coaches on the verge of being fired hope to play Milan .. Donnaruma is below average, we should have sold him when we had the chance .. Definitely not worth what he earns ..
on the 1st October, 2017 at 10:56pm
Since Ancelotti's tenure in the late 2000s, Berlusconi's increasing incompetence has run the club into the ground – to the point where he couldn't even sell the club without making more of a mess. Made in China indeed.
on the 1st October, 2017 at 8:19pm
@viktor Montella can't be blamed entirely. You see, this is what happens when you spend a ton of money that you don't really have, on ''world class players'' that no one else wanted. And if you think all this is bad, then wait until you have to deal with FFP and your ''owners'' get taken to the cleaners by the fraud squad. But hey, at least Milan are GUARENTEED to win the scudetto, right?
on the 1st October, 2017 at 8:07pm

Made in China??? How stupid are you??? You litterally thougt it was a good idea on a sunday evening, to go online, post something about a team you clearly dont like, at 10pm. You are one sad, coward.
on the 1st October, 2017 at 7:52pm
on the 1st October, 2017 at 7:39pm
Not sure what to say. I've spent 30 years watching Milan, I have missed at max, 20 games, IN 30 YEARS. I'm not just disapointed, I'm frankly really angry. I thought Montella played interesting fotboll, but he is clealry not up for the task. I cant spend another 10 years of agony, anger, frustration, because of this utter, extreme incompentence. They have potential to become great again, but I have ZERO faith in Montella. Wake me up when Lippi arrives or Carlito. Damn you Montella.
on the 1st October, 2017 at 6:54pm
Just watched Milan lose at home to Roma with Borini playing as a right wing back but Montella fans will say it is too early to replace him.Valencia were leading Bilbao 3-1. This is Marcelino's 1st season at Valencia with more new players than Milan and were in a far worse shape but with a good manager they have not lost this season and drew at Madrid, a game they could have won. They play on the break with fast forwards but not great strikers like Zaza & Rodrigo. Milan have no identity at all.
on the 1st October, 2017 at 6:02pm

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