Friday May 17 2019
Milan must make a statement

Milan’s thirst for stability is evident and the club’s top brass must make a statement with their next hire, writes Matthew Santangelo.

Since the days of the eyebrow-raising Carlo Ancelotti parading the touchline for Milan, only Massimiliano Allegri has been able to provide some semblance of balance and stability, with the current Juventus boss having coached nearly 180 official matches for the Rossoneri spanning nearly four seasons before his sacking in January 2014. From that point forward, it has been a revolving door at the post for the seven-time European champions.

The failure to solidify the bench, among many other factors over the years, has prevented the Milanese outfit from reclaiming past glories and becoming both the domestic and European powerhouse we had come to know throughout calcio’s history.

With the current season winding down, and the Rossoneri clinging to dwindling hopes of a top four finish with two matches to play, the search for a proper replacement for Gennaro Gattuso has surely begun. 

Under the assumption Elliott, CEO Ivan Gazidis and management give a resounding ‘yes’ to sacking Gattuso, Milan must pull no punches and make a statement appointment for the bench – from a shortlist of names that includes, but is not limited to, Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri and Gian Piero Gasperini.

Upon Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich ushering Conte to the exit, the fiery Italian was portrayed as the ideal option for the vast majority of Milan supporters. Experienced, a proven track record in Italy, and perhaps the most important element, the ability to build a squad into winners, Conte has always been the preferred option.

The 49-year old turned Juventus into serial winners at the beginning of the decade, and is largely credited with hotwiring this current eight-consecutive league title defence off the floor by leaving his imprint on the Old Lady.

But of course, when you have won three Scudetti, a Premier League title and inspired the entire nation of Italy at Euro 2016, there are certain prerequisites required to obtain his services that go beyond wages; market flexibility, freedom to establish an identity and Champions League competition.

Milan would surely back up the truck to secure Conte’s services, but with the fight for fourth hanging in the balance and Inter already hinting at upgrading from Luciano Spalletti, all signs point to the Lecce native opting for black and blue.

As for Sarri, it remains unclear whether or not he will remain at Stamford Bridge beyond this season - this despite meeting the top four objective and brining home a Europa League crown.

Hypothetically speaking however, should the chain-smoking tactician endure the same fate as many before him, it is hard to ignore the idea of seeing a progressive, offensive-minded manager like Sarri instilling a bit of ‘Sarrismo’ into a Milan side who often play slow and with caution in conceding rather than attacking with vigor.

Perhaps the same can be said about Atalanta’s Gian Piero Gasperini, who has completely transformed the Bergamo-based club from mid-table obscurity to European dreamers by virtue of a youth-centric philosophy and offensive approach.

Despite the 61-year old leader having endured a rather rough spell in a pressurized, big club environment at Inter in 2011, Gasperini is the exact profile the current management value, due in large part to his ability to mould younger talent.

Before anything major can be done on the transfer market this summer, it is imperative Milan sort out their managerial situation early so the new hire may have the luxury of time to properly assess who on the active roster fits into his tactics, and who does not. From there, those up top and in the technical area can work to acquire players who fit this system as oppose to blindly spending just for the sake of it.

Although Conte’s more defensive 3-5-2 has been met with mixed views, it has yielded positive results, supported by his CV. Then, there is Sarri’s system with an emphasis on playing from the back, relying on movement, retaining possession and incisive quick passing as aesthetically pleasing, and when clicking, highly effective.

However, as we saw with his Napoli, the project requires multiple windows, very specific personnel like dynamic wingers and time to construct – a key element Milan may not have at this present time.

Meanwhile, anyone would be remiss to discredit Gasperini’s ability and acumen to forge an identity.

Regardless of who is next in line to take up the job, Milan must make a statement with this hire – and avoid falling behind the top clubs in Italy.

Have your say...
Now the term “good” can be interpreted in many different contexts and I’m not certain Milan belongs there yet – by my measure - but I like the fact they can, sometimes, “grind out” results. Then again, it annoys me when they throw away leads foolishly.
on the 24th May, 2019 at 4:27pm
Two things I keep seeing being brought up often.

1) “Gattuso is inexperienced.”
- every great coach was at some point in their careers. That’s just how it goes.

2) “Even when Milan wins, it’s not in an attractive way or convincing.”
- I like this actually because a good team finds a way to win even when they play bad (all those not-so-attractive 1-0 Juve wins anyone ?), a not so good one can’t win when they play good football.
on the 24th May, 2019 at 4:26pm
1. First time Milan have completed a season with one coach it feels like in forever. Please give him time, nobody is proven til they are.
2. Atalanta deserve it over Milan. Will be a better representative of italy. Hopefully Milan and Atalanta get CL.
3. Milan realistically should be, and preform in EL before stepping up to CL.
4. Milans best defensive record in like 8 years. And scoring (almost) which is crazy, bad, but crazy. So sticking to coach = profit. Something to build upon.
on the 24th May, 2019 at 3:48pm
I'm upset...there is an impostor on the most recent comment that says my name. Please delete.
on the 21st May, 2019 at 7:15pm
Milan should invest in a new coach. The current coach of WHS is looking to leave his position. Jonny Siciliano is a great coach with a winning record. 
on the 21st May, 2019 at 5:04pm
In order for Italian soccer to be great again it needs Milan & Inter to be successful. It is no coincidence that since they began to struggle Serie A has lost its way. They still draw top attendances & can attract talent with their history & culture as long as they are playing at top levels.

As far as Gattuso goes, he is a solid coach, however his offensive tactics leave much to be desired. Even in games they have won, they do not look convincing. They need a coach with more attacking prowess.
on the 21st May, 2019 at 3:18pm
All talk about LEO sacking is just so annoying, he only just less than a year ago and I don't there any DS that can do more than he has done already, I read Gazidis want a scouting skilled DS ? I guess to scout them, build them and sell them? Well I'm not suprised they did that in Arsenal, make all the profit but win almost nothing. And Gattuso? Milan has been in a hole for 5-6years and I don't know how people think inexperienced Coach like Gattuso can take Milan anywhere.
on the 21st May, 2019 at 11:43am
I know you all want Gattuso to stay. But please remember the disgraceful Europa Leage exit, the bad Copa semi final performance, the fact that we should already be qualified to Champions League but we dropped very important points since christmas.

I believe, if we qualify to the champions league, it is due to a great run of form spearheaded by the arrival of Piatek and Paqueta.

Conte on the other hand Made Italy and Juve killers. Won the PL with a chelsea team who were not favourties.
on the 20th May, 2019 at 10:43pm
Believe me it pains me more than you too know we support the same team.
Difference is I'm real and watch Milan with open eyes. You come on here and get slated weekly because you THINK you know everything and actually see things that 99% of other people/fans don't see; I guess the 99% are blind and deluded and you are correct.
at least you are not on here telling these poor people about your 'ink' and all that other rubbish you used to come out with!
on the 20th May, 2019 at 3:30pm

Roma/ Napoli DESEREVED every CL attendance we got.
You didn't.

We WERE a better team.
Sometimes, far better than Inter/ Milan.

But this year,
Monchi, injuries & no January mercato shot us in the foot.
Inter got better this year, Milan as well, & you caught up.

We fell to "your level" where we can't beat Porto & lose to SPAL...
Now, we are as bad as Inter & Milan.

Next year, Inter with CL will be even better
--Gap with Roma will increase.
& if Milan gets into CL you'll surpass us as well.
on the 19th May, 2019 at 2:02am


I'm not new to FI
I just don't usually write posts, especially not nowdays as FERBAN writes EXACTLY what I would've say.

C'mon man, you ALWAYS whine Milan should be in CL (Like some other Milan/Inter fans here do/ did these past years.)
It irritates me.

If you're so cool, go & make a result in EL!

What did Inter accomplish this year in CL & then in EL?
What did Milan?
What about last year?
Year before that?
on the 19th May, 2019 at 1:20am
please please PLEASE give us Sarri. Look what he did with Napoli, on a fifth of the budget Milan could offer him. Tired of the years of awful, cautious, defensive past player managers.
on the 18th May, 2019 at 3:38pm
@abidzaroma Your team is clearly a joke. Disrespecting your most loyal players? Lol and we have won more trophies than your team, I recall you haven't won any major European trophies at all. NOT EVEN ONE !!! @viktor Let's be honest. Milan has been in a mess since the last years of Berlusconi & Galliani. If you can't face the fact then you sure you're Milanista?????
on the 18th May, 2019 at 10:50am

Says a lot of a person who is a fellow ACM fan who wants another ACM fan to be banned. Could you consider changing your team, it would make me feel better.
on the 18th May, 2019 at 10:06am
Conte isn't going to resolve Milans problems.
We should stick this Gattuso. End of the day Milan need some world class talent on the pitch without it it doesn't matter who we put on the bench. I'd stick with Gattuso he is cheaper than Conte and at least he uses some young talent.
So we should keep Gattuso, ban Viktor from this sight, allow Madini heir 1 write up per page and we will soon see Milan rise.
on the 18th May, 2019 at 8:08am

"Milan & Roma have become clubs of jokes. No clues or plans whatsoever from the beginning"

Well in the context it mattered bringing up that a Lazio fan, who wins a cup all of a sudden becomes cocky and telling actual legendary teams that they are jokes and more. So yeah, I doubt same person would have talked smack if it wasn't for the fact Lazio won the cup hence, bringing that fact up to the topic mattered.
on the 18th May, 2019 at 7:28am
@United States of Totti I literally never done any of the stuff you brought up. You seem new here on Fi, maybe this is something you make up in your head? I do believe Milan in general would do better than Atalanta in CL yes, never said it before, but I believe so, as for deserve, I don't know. To be honest, with a experienced coach, I don't see why we wouldn't do well as we always have done before with few exceptions. Brining up Olympiakos is just weak, every team has off games.
on the 18th May, 2019 at 6:59am
A new coach won't change much if we continue with this squad.It's unbalanced & lacking quality.The worst part is Leo is at risk despite taking steps in the right direction with Piatek,Paqueta,& Caldara.The scary part is that ever since the Leo rumors,we have been linked with defenders instead of wingers and midfielders.DEFENDERS!The one area where we are covered.And not left-backs where we could actually use an upgrade.I'm worried that without Leo we will make unnecessary transfers yet again.
on the 17th May, 2019 at 11:44pm
1.If Gattuso qualifies for the CL,he deserves a chance with a better squad.2.Without CL and CL money,I doubt Conte,Sarri,Gasperini(who would qualify on our behalf) will join Milan.This leaves us with options like Giampaolo(stylistically my favorite),EDF,or sticking with Gattuso.3.Leonardo made some smart signings with Piatek,Paqueta,Caldara and he needs to stay and be allowed to do more of the same and improve the squad.The rumors surrounding his exit are very worrying.
on the 17th May, 2019 at 11:30pm

Arne't u and AC MILAN fan one and the same? lol
on the 17th May, 2019 at 11:01pm

No, Viktor, read it again.

Obviously he supports Lazio. But that wasn't what I talked about, was it?

I asked you what his comment had to do with Lazio. He never mentioned Lazio - you did!

He was talking about Milan, so stick to that - the subject in question.

You bringing up Lazio was just your attempt to change the subject from a truth you didn't want to hear.
on the 17th May, 2019 at 10:52pm
As for you...

Read any post of yours here on FI
--You're always offensive & you use carefully chosen facts to cover your false POV & lies.

You constantly ramble how Milan deserves CL before Napoli, Roma... & now, Atalanta.

--Your reasoning? Copenhagen beat Atalanta...

Yet, THIS SAME YEAR, Milan couldn't get out of a group with Olympiakos and Real Betis!!!

How would you fare in a group with PSG & Liverpool?
Or Atletico & Chelsea??

You're an incredible hypocrite (>Proven with facts!)
on the 17th May, 2019 at 10:32pm

He has huge faults (simulations.., last year slapping Genoa player when there's VAR)...

But he should have never been forced to leave the club
--Not after everything he gave to this team & especially not at 35/6 when he still has value!
(He can mentor youngsters, play against weaker opponents, play as defender, ooze Roma passion.)

This is not my Roma...
They're not on Juve's quality level to think older DDR will hamper them.
on the 17th May, 2019 at 9:58pm
@Laziale you're such a joke, the article's clearly talking about Milan, why you dragged Roma into this? You all laziali are the same, can't live a second without talking about Roma lol.
Obviously 11 years in Serie B hasn't changed your pathetic behavior.
on the 17th May, 2019 at 9:53pm
Part 2 - If i could i may or not kept gattuso. He is certainly proved himself atleast that he can do this job. Problem is not lying there it is in the squad. Their multi millions signings are the most problematic to me - ricardo rodriguez, musacchio, bigilia, calhanoglu all been a huge dessapointment. They needs to work hard with further more marque signings. Like buying some ajax stars to start with to become fearless lion ihm hm not now young tigers for now. Patience is needed at hogwarts...
on the 17th May, 2019 at 9:02pm
Even though milans progress would hurt me most still out of love for this sport i am cracking some ideas about milans problem. Milan currently having identity crisis i mean unable to return to its old cool milan ways. If sacchi, ancelotti its predecessors then certainly sarri is milans heir. When your squad became some kind of jumble then some plus minus do needed to refurbish. Cohesion make things most workable. But you have to inject power into this to be successfull. Right now
on the 17th May, 2019 at 8:48pm
Even though milans progress would hurt me most still out of love for this sport i am cracking some ideas about milans problem. Milan currently having identity crisis i mean unable to return to its old cool milan ways. If sacchi, ancelotti its predecessors then certainly sarri is milans heir. When your squad became some kind of jumble then some plus minus do needed to refurbish. Cohesion make things most workable. But you have to inject power into this to be successfull. Right now
on the 17th May, 2019 at 8:47pm
@Ferban: The article didn't mention Roma either. Meanwhile someone called "Laziale" makes a comment calling Milan and Roma joke clubs with no plans, but Roma was an inch away from a CL final last year (which Lazio have never been to), and this is Milan's first year under new ownership. I think a little backlash should be expected. Meanwhile KPB sums it up nicely about their fans, who BTW are always protesting Lotito for his "lack of ambition". As Viktor said: bye bye SMS and Louis Alberto.
on the 17th May, 2019 at 8:28pm

Sorry, my point is... there will be no world class coach would come to Milan as long as Elliott is in charge because they know nothing about this sport. Peace YO YO YO YO! LOL
on the 17th May, 2019 at 8:18pm
And I just saw the post about Sarri talking to Juve. Oh well. Sarri to Juve, Conte to Inter, Gasp to Roma and Milan with...

On another note: Everyone's talking about Milan catching Atalanta. What about Inter? If they lose against Napoli and if Empoli is still playing for survival on the last day a draw there will be enough for Milan if we win our last two games. Wouldn't that be something. Lol, maybe then Conte would come to Milan...
on the 17th May, 2019 at 8:15pm

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