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Saturday December 29 2018
Gattuso's last Milan chance

Gennaro Gattuso is about to find out he is just as sackable as any of his Milan predecessors if he doesn't convincingly beat SPAL, writes Daryl Hammond.

One wonders how often both a Coach and youth team boss have been sacked in a week. With Milan Primavera boss Alessandro Lupi shown the door, many think senior boss Gennaro Gattuso may see the same fate should his Milan side secure a less than favourable result against SPAL this evening.

As turmoil returns to Milan for another season, with both present and future sides under-achieving, technical director Leonardo has been staunched in his support of his young manager, insisting there is no one else in the frame. But heading into the winter break, whispers of the potential arrival of Arsene Wenger or Antonio Conte persist.

A draw at Frosinone condemned the Rossoneri to their fifth game in a row without victory and Gattuso will point to the absence of key players like Suso, Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura as key losses. Spaniard Suso in particular is a great loss, who still leads the league in assists.

But no salient argument can be made that he didn’t have the tools at his disposal to see off the relegation-threatened side, still boasting the talents of Gonzalo Higuain, Franck Kessie and Alessio Romagnoli.

Sadly, his side could not find the net against the weakest defence in Serie A this season and never looked likely to. The stalemate was the fourth blank Milan had drawn in as many games, the longest streak in the top flight for the club since 1984. And it is the profligacy that will concern most Milan fans.

Higuain, once a sure-fire goal-getter, is having his most barren spell in Italian football and few around him are stepping up. For all the
rumours of swap deals with Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata, the Spaniard too would have his troubles scoring consistently in this side.

Still, sixth place is far from uncommon for Milan in recent seasons, and just three points off fourth-placed Lazio there is still time for their Serie A campaign to be relatively successful.

Perhaps it was their endeavours (or lack thereof) in Europe that have forced the hierarchy at the club to reconsider Gattuso’s position.

A terrible week in Europe for Italian sides hit a new low when Milan were knocked out of the Europa League in a group containing Real Betis, Olympiacos and F91 Dudelange.

This came just months after the club fought tooth and nail to have their place in European competition restored after it was taken from them due to financial troubles.

When they take a step forward, others take two. When they spend big, others spend bigger or smarter. And when Napoli & Inter fall down into the Europa League, Milan fall even further.

While many misfortunes and misgivings are out of the control of any manager, the things he can control have not been up to par. This impotent brand of football needs to change quickly.

When Gattuso swaggered into a beleaguered Milan back in November 2017, he seemed exactly what they needed. As steadfast and bullish as he was in his playing days, he injected a shot of passion and enthusiasm into a lacklustre squad.

Now he has the players and the motivational skills but lacks the experience and tactical knowledge that comes with it.

Just over a year in charge, one can argue that he has had enough time to effect meaningful change at the club. And at a club as unstable as Milan, time may be what is needed, both for the team and him as a Coach. But other legends of the club like Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi have not been afforded the same luxury, so why should he?

Gattuso is as sackable as many who have gone before him, and without any flash of promise or improvement against SPAL, he will find that out sooner that he hopes.

Have your say...
I think Messi would improve this Milan squad. If we can get him on loan for a season and get a hold of some new supporters to boost morale, Milan would become successful again.
on the 10th January, 2019 at 10:08pm
The truth is that with the exception of Higuain,Donnarumma,and maybe Romagnoli, we don't have a world class team that can compete with the likes of Juventus, Napoli, and other strong sides in Europe. We have some good players like Suso,but when they go down, we lack the depth to compete and create chances for guys like Higuain and Cutrone up top. The manager can't put the ball in the net. It's up to the guys on the field. We simply don't have a roster that lives up to the Milan of past glory.
on the 8th January, 2019 at 8:01pm
Meanwhile Fassone is suing Milan for 30m euros worth of "damages" for "unfair dismissal" at a time when Milan is financially struggling. But of course he 'loves Milan and the fans'. Corporate snake.

Gattuso stays.
on the 30th December, 2018 at 4:21pm
I have just read 'Gattuso's Milan match Inter in 2018' I had to laugh at the ...bigger spending Inter.. part. Now remind me, who are in serious trouble until 2021 with FFP due to their owners spending like a drunken sailor?
on the 30th December, 2018 at 9:29am
"When Gattuso swaggered into a beleaguered Milan back in November 2017, he seemed exactly what they needed. As steadfast and bullish as he was in his playing days, he injected a shot of passion and enthusiasm into a lacklustre squad. Now he has the players and the motivational skills but lacks the experience and tactical knowledge that comes with it." The author must be quoting some of my prior posts. Now he stays thanks to barely beating SPAL. Roma, Napoli, and Atalanta all in February. Yikes!
on the 30th December, 2018 at 6:45am
Gattuso has made many mistakes but let's not forget the squad he has.Milan failed to address their biggest problem which was the absence of a top left winger to take pressure of Suso.They even created a new problem,letting go of Locatelli, that they also failed to address.The past few games have been terrible and Gattuso should take some blame but we're 1 point from 4th despite all the injuries.With Paqueta and a top left winger in January Gattuso would have no excuses.
on the 29th December, 2018 at 10:58pm
Lack or not, what matters is the alternative.
Guidolin? No thank u.
Conte? Wont sign
Wenger? Wont sign (even if i dont think hes a right fit)
Some high profile coach? I'll be intrigued but to change gattuso to another inexperienced or low level coach is just a pure gamble.
on the 29th December, 2018 at 5:29pm
This team can go with some variety formations without using calhanoglu and borini in wings. In the right side of three man midfield is the rightful place for calhanoglu and borini would get some goal if he played as centre forward. Lets say back-line in fair enough. From midfield to forward lines things are not so smooth. Fix two formation to go with. If 442 i prefer bigilia and kessie as cm pairing, in the right calhanoglu and in left bonaventura or suso. Upfront suso with either cutrone or higuain or both of them. In 433 use bigilia as a dm, in right calhanoglu in left kessie or bonaventura. Suso in right wing in left samu. 442 diamond formation should be in milan heart as always..
on the 29th December, 2018 at 5:05pm
Milan has been a sinking ship since Berlusconi's final years. Always brags about their past glories, doesn't want to admit they're a mediocre team now.
Gattuso was a Milan legend but a lousy coach, but he's not to blame 100% coz current Milan side lacks of winning mentality.
on the 29th December, 2018 at 3:31pm
How stupid people are, if Gattuso is sacked then who are they going to bring in, will that person do a better job with the limited resources and knowing full Milan cannot and will not buy any players in the January market. Then this time next year the fans and media will be asking for the sack of the next manager. Unless you have a solution that create magic, leave it alone to prosper. People want Milan to win lo Scudetto and champions leage in 2 months. Success takes time.
on the 29th December, 2018 at 3:30pm
" still time for their Serie A campaign to be relatively successful"

Qualifying for CL would be considered as nothing else than a success.. relatively would be europa league.

CL would mean TONS for the Rossoneri
on the 29th December, 2018 at 2:09pm
"Now he has the players and the motivational skills but lacks the experience and tactical knowledge that comes with it."

Truth.
on the 29th December, 2018 at 11:52am

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