Sunday December 10 2017
Gattuso best option for Milan

Limited coaching options capable of elevating the current Milan side means Gennaro Gattuso is the best fit moving forward, writes Matthew Santangelo.

Since talk of Vincenzo Montella’s sacking came about just a few months into the current campaign, there was plenty of discussion about a “what if” scenario the Milan ownership were likely to face should change be necessary.

Upon being sent to the exit by Bayern Munich in late September after a poor run, Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti became the most coveted candidate for the Rossoneri bench - for obvious reasons linked to his successful history with the red and black. Yet, a reuniting of both club and Coach seemed improbable, for Ancelotti would likely wish to take time off for himself, and avoid stepping into a situation mid-season without the luxury of time to work with his hand-picked personnel.

Then there was talk of a possible pursuit of Antonio Conte, who also appeared to be on the hot-seat just months after winning the Premier League title in his first season in England. After those two high-profile managers were pipe dream appointments, there was a massive drop off in quality, which is what perhaps halted Milan owners from pulling the plug on Montella earlier in the season.

When Montella was sent packing after a scoreless draw with Torino, in stepped Gennaro Gattuso to bring new life, ideas and the passion to salvage something from this season which promised so much early on.

Gattuso had previously coached at Sion, Crete, Palermo and Pisa before taking up the Milan Primavera position, a seat once occupied by two former members of the 2006-07 Champions League winning side - Pippo Inzaghi and Cristian Brocchi. Rino is the latest to Coach the club, except, unlike the two before him, faces a lot more pressure to make something of this very expensive squad.

Last Sunday, Gattuso managed his first ever match with the senior side away to bottom of the table Benevento who, entering the tie, had not a single point to their name. Of course, with Milan clinging to a narrow 2-1 lead, goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli broke the internet when he headed home in the 94th minute against a 10-man Rossoneri to steal a point. Certainly, Gattuso shouldn’t be taking on the blame for the collapse, simply due to the fact the men just did not show enough quality and killer instinct to kill off the ‘Witches.’

This past Thursday, Gattuso made wholesale changes to his starting XI in his first European match in charge versus Rijeka. For all intents and purposes, it was a meaningless fixture for the club, since they’d already won their Europa League group. However, an abysmal performance in a 2-0 loss away, on the surface, does not give the team, or Gattuso, a good look heading into this weekend’s Serie A match with an underrated Bologna side level with the Milanese giants on 21 points.

Unlike Montella, who always seemed to avoid being heavily critical of his results in the post-match Press conferences, Gattuso has already shown that he will not accept such mediocrity and expects more from his men - an attitude which supporters have taken to since his appointment.

Because Milan were under pressure to replace Montella and bring something different to the bench in the form of ‘grinta’ and motivation, Gattuso does seem to have the backing of all with a stake in this project. This looms large going forward if they are to climb out of the hole they are in and crawl back into the hunt for Europe.

Barring an utter disaster from Gattuso over the next month or two, it’s likely Milan will ride with the tenacious Calabrese manager until the very end of the season. The Bologna match should see Gattuso take the necessary tactical steps to unlock this current squad’s true potential, with the ultimate goal of administering a respectable playing style to bring about positive results consistently.

It looks as if he is already taking the first step and that’s scrapping the three-man defence in favour of a 4-3-3 formation. 

Have your say...
Milan just need someone to fill the gap for the rest of the season with Conte coming in next year as he is definitely leaving Chelsea if not fired after their CL exit in the next round and EPL title being out of grasp. There is no point putting too much thought into the new manager appointment, just someone who doesn't get them relegated and isn't good enough to get a CL spot and make fans question his sacking at the end of the season. Gattuso is perfectly mediocre for this task.
on the 12th December, 2017 at 1:14pm
PS Both Hiddink and Di Matteo have specific tried and tested experience of coming in midday through a season and turning things round.
on the 12th December, 2017 at 5:00am
@ PrimoCalcio Why would we sacrifice Musacchio when he's been probably the strongest defender? And will our captain and star signing Bonucci be sacrificed? No. So you back 4 advocates are basically calling for Romagnoli to be dropped.
on the 12th December, 2017 at 4:58am
And it's not like Ventura is the only option. He's an option if we're desperate (which we must be if we've got Gattuso). There's Prandelli with 325 Serie A games under his belt, Mazzarri with 384 and even foreign managers with top level experience such as Koeman with 663 games in Holland, Portugal, Spain and England. Experience counts. It has to. This isn't a bar job. These are people managing elite athletes. It's ridiculous to be even having this conversation.
on the 12th December, 2017 at 4:54am
at Chelsea so Suso should be able to do the same. Same with Boanventura. In fact it'll make the two of them less predictable. But all of this is dependent on having a proper manager. What people need to accept in life is that we have choices. When I suggest someone like Ventura I am suggesting him as an alternative to Gattuso not Guardiola. Ventura has 276 Serie A games under his belt, Gattuso has 2. Gattuso's previous management stints were failures (less than a 30% win rate in lower leagues)
on the 12th December, 2017 at 4:46am
@ paolo It's insane that Milan are the only football team in history who cannot play 3 at the back. Atalanta and Lazio can but not Milan! The reason I'm so opposed to 4 at the back is because it will result either in a) Romagnoli's career stalling because he'll clearly be the one frozen out or b) rotating our CBs which will be a disaster for a team that is already lacking in consistency. And 3 at the back does not actually negatively impact any player. Hazard has moved from wing to a free role
on the 12th December, 2017 at 4:42am
Maldini heir is a sausage. Ignore him. For your own sanity, he is his biggest fan and knows everything about nothing. I told him years back to change his name he is tarnishing the great Maldini!
on the 12th December, 2017 at 12:18am
this is just ridiculous what do you really expect to gain by suggesting the manager should be sacked every months or so. If the intention to attract a quality manager it seems counterproductive because no one with any quality would be prepared to take on a job when they aren't being backed up. Montella probably deserved the sack still seem utterly foolish to get rid of him without a clear replacement who has better qualities than him. this is zamparini levels of self destruction.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 7:23pm

that is insane stick with a back 3 until it works please this is nuts. Considering milan best players last season were bonnaventura and suso sacrificing them to play wing backs is questionable. It not like milan have had a full strength team available either to sacrifice suso so that zapata or borini cane play is straight up comical.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 7:18pm
@MaldiniHeir Give it rest bud. Everyone sees the problem with 3 at the back but you. But no, we have to sacrifice the good of the team so we can accommodate Musacchio in the starting Xl? meanwhile we can't build play or score goals at the other end. Sorry to tell you but Ventura isn't coming either. None of us chose this but Gattuso is what we have now so how about support the team even a little instead of pretending you know everything.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 5:22pm
Haha!Milan fans think they can get a top coach with their situation on&off the pitch with no preseason&transfer campaign.In reality,it was a choice between Gattuso&Montella?I would've sacked Montella no question.Too early to judge Gattuso.He messed up vs Benevento but made a tactical change&good subs to beat Bologna.Whether he can be good enough to keep the job remains to be seen.
on the 11th December, 2017 at 3:16pm
Yes lets rotate our CBs. Wonderful. Or maybe player Romagnoli at LB because apparently a left footed ball playing CB is not suited to playing in a back 3. And how exactly will we get Cutrone and Silva onto the pitch at the same time if we only play a single striker? Particularly when they have to compete with our star striker Kalinic? And I ask again why Milan are the only team in modern football who can’t play 3 at the back. Is it the coach per chance?
on the 11th December, 2017 at 2:30am
character from The Big Lebowski. Yes that’s right, we just need an angry war veteran talking about how he saw his men die face down in the mud. That’ll tell the players what they need to do on match day. On the formation, I’m sure certain people will get dead excited about the switch to 433 to accommodate the legend that is Borini. Nevermind we scored our second goal playing with 3 at the back, we still have the small problem of finding a system that suits our 3 CBs. Rotate them shall we?
on the 11th December, 2017 at 2:29am
winning. They needed to control the game. And good to see that the writer is impressed by Gattuso being unimpressed with “mediocrity”. Yes, because these players got to where they did by accepting mediocrity. Bonucci loves a bit of mediocrity. A manager shouldn’t need to shout and scream. Shouting and screaming won’t tell the players where they need to be and when. If the only job of a manager is to shout and scream then we may as well save ourselves a few million and bring in John Goodman’s
on the 11th December, 2017 at 2:29am
of kids under a qualified coach than a team of world beaters under a novice. Why should Gattuso not take the blame for the collapse against Benevento? He’s the manager. Where was the instruction from the side to slow down the game and hold possession when we were 2:1 up? Why was Kessie allowed, not once, but twice to waste vital energy and possession to make pointless runs down the wing? Why was Bonucci half way up the pitch when Romangoli was sent off? These things happened when Milan were
on the 11th December, 2017 at 2:28am
The Bologna game changes nothing. Gattuso does not have the experience. Lasse has provided a list. I would add Prandelli, (yes) Ventura, Koeman and Luis Enrique. What all of these coaches have in common (apart from far superior records) is that they are actually qualified to coach a Serie A side. Gattuso is not. Whether or not he might one day, maybe, be a top coach is unknown. As I’ve said before why would we take a punt with the most important position at the club? I’d prefer to put out a team
on the 11th December, 2017 at 2:27am

In your opinion in mine silva is a 22 year old players who got a goal roughly every 2 games last season for porto and done exactly the same for milan this season getting a goal roughly every 2 games. Maybe the price was a bit high so was every player last summer walker cost 50 million.

As for calhanoglu he cost 24 million hardly excessive, in any case it is still early on he needs time to adapt to a new culture language league and position. HAVE SOME PATIENCE
on the 10th December, 2017 at 9:42pm
They are failures. We were certainly ripped off with calhanoglu and silva. I'd sell quickly before their value drops further. Every youngster who can kick a ball from Portugal is billed the next 'Ronaldo'. The kids average.
Gattuso is a great idea and i hope he pulls it off.
on the 10th December, 2017 at 8:23pm
It is insane to write off every single transfer as a failure players after such a short time the likes of kessie calhanoglu silva rr conti mussacchio are investments in the future they will come good given time.

as for Fassone and Mirabelli criticism of them is harsh 1st year into a project they need time. What is their crime sticking with montella a man who achieved his objectives last season. Could it be signing kalinic bonucci and biglia who weren't even the primary targets come on.
on the 10th December, 2017 at 7:16pm
it only really pays off if his 433 formation works and is effective for milan. It would have been better to stick with montella until the end of the season so little was gained by sacking him. Honestly they should have gotten rid of montella if a better alternative was a available. It wasn't fair to expect big things the first year into a new project.

I am far more concerned with the ownership situation at the moment I hope it can be resolved so the club can start planing for a postive future
on the 10th December, 2017 at 7:08pm
No. The best option was to continue with Montella until a better option would become available. Montella could have picked up a lot of points from this easier run of fixtures.
on the 10th December, 2017 at 12:44pm
He's the best option because he's cheap, and Milan may well have monumental money problems coming down the track. No other reason.
on the 10th December, 2017 at 10:20am
There are options ´besiden Gattuso ancelotti and conte that are free at the moment

De Canio

None Italien
De Boer
Van Gaal
Rijkaard (my dream)
Bielsa (soon to leave Lille)
V Fernandes
L Fernandez
on the 10th December, 2017 at 9:45am
No, he is not. Fassone and Mirabelli also look very questionable in theirs posts at this stage. I would contend that the best option for Milan is to sell the club to the interested Arab investors. They are more likely to take the proper running of the club seriously than a very dubious Chinese consortium that may not even exist. It is a marvel how Berlusconi managed to mess up everything in the last ten years, right down to the actual selling of the club.
on the 10th December, 2017 at 7:14am

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