Wednesday June 5 2019
Giampaolo can rebuild Milan

Marco Giampaolo may not be a household name, but Anthony Barbagallo believes the tactician’s compelling brand of Calcio could help rebuild Milan. 

Milanisti must understand that their club is a work in progress. If AC Milan were to appoint the best manager in world football right now, the Rossoneri wouldn’t rapidly return to their 1990s glory days overnight or in the span of a single season. We all saw what happened when they splashed €200m in the transfer market ahead of the 2017-18 campaign – thinking they were instantly going to be a Scudetto challenger.

It has been tragic to see a Calcio titan such as Milan in disarray for the last six years. But ever since Gattuso took the helm, the Rossoneri have slightly improved. From finishing 10th in the 2014-15 Serie A season to obtaining fifth four years later, the Diavolo is slowly rising from the ruins underneath the San Siro. But with Gattuso’s grinta taking this current Milan side as far as possible, now is the ideal time for owners Elliott Management Corporation and CEO Ivan Gazidis to appoint an exceptional tactician for a long-term project. 

With Gattuso’s recent departure, Marco Giampaolo has been tipped to replace the Calabrese as the new Milan manager. Some Rossoneri fans are questioning this move – raising awareness that their rivals Napoli have Carlo Ancelotti, Inter now boast Antonio Conte and Juve are linked with Maurizio Sarri. Having a seasoned and successful manager is an expectation for Milan. Yet, other certain Milanisti think Giampaolo is the right move going forward, particularly in establishing a clear identity on the pitch.

Giampaolo may not boast the most decorated CV, but the Italian tactician has been capable of getting mid-table sides to play an entertaining and effective brand of football. Before the 51-year-old’s coaching career took off at Empoli, the journeyman technician couldn’t even establish himself at Cagliari and in Sicily with Catania.

But it was in Tuscany where some of Giampaolo’s attacking brand of football had gained recognition throughout the 2015-16 Serie A season. The Swiss-born Coach guided that Empoli side to a 10th-place finish, including being responsible for rejuvenating striker Massimo Maccarone. 

Giampaolo’s Ligurian three-season journey at Sampdoria has been fascinating to watch. And while the former Brescia boss has only managed to achieve two 10th-place finishes and one ninth with the Blucerchiati, the attractive style of football has struck a chord with the neutrals.

Giampaolo’s 4-3-1-2 formation could prove to be fruitful at Milan. With Gattuso having used the 4-3-3 formation for the majority of the 2018-19 season, the 4-3-1-2 model would finally allow Krzysztof Piatek and Patrick Cutrone to play together up front. Behind the two strikers, the Rossoneri could deploy Brazilian youngster Lucas Paqueta as a central attacking midfielder. This would mean Suso could also be trialled as a Mezzala (half-winger) – a role that Sampdoria’s midfielder Dennis Praet has played under Giampaolo.

The Doria manager could also implement high pressing and a one-touch passing system – tactics that share some parallels with Sarri’s beautiful football. However, playing an attacking brand of football does require time for players to gel in terms of passing combination and building up attacks. The reality for Milan fans is that Giampaolo’s style of football might take one season to come into full effect.

With Sampdoria trying to challenge for a Europa League spot for the last three seasons, some Rossoneri supporters are turned off due to Giampaolo’s inconsistent results. But with more talented players at his disposal, the tactician’s brand of Calcio could thrive even more. Remember, Sarri’s Empoli avoided relegation in the 2014-15 Serie A season, but were still playing a crisp style of football. The following season Sarri guided Napoli – with more talented players at his disposal – to a runners-up place in his maiden campaign with the Partenopei.  

So it’s time Milan stops hiring former players, as this has become too much of an emotional ride recently with the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Pippo Inzaghi, Cristian Brocchi and Rino Gattuso all failing to meet the club’s demands. Appointing Marco Giampaolo would be a suitable step for the Lombardy side’s top-four ambitions, and get them playing attractive football once again.  

Have your say...
By the looks of things we look to be signing a left back, and two new central defenders.

Does this mean Rodri, Romagnoli, Musacchio and Caldara all are going? why are we looking at covered positions. Romagnolis new deal is basically to drive hes prize up or what?

Maybe their all just rumors, but we look to be dragging in 3 different directions all over again.. already.
on the 19th June, 2019 at 10:51pm
I think the logic is that Giampaolo achieved that 10th place with limited resources. And with his style of play, he would get more out of this Milan team than Gattuso. Just hope they're right. Sick of hoping to qualify for the Champions League. I miss the days of hoping we WIN the Champions League.
on the 11th June, 2019 at 10:36am
So we sack a Gattuso (finished 5th) to bring Giampaolo(finished 10th)? wisdom indeed.
on the 10th June, 2019 at 9:59am
Gattuso did a good job and i love him to pieces but he had to go. I like the idea of Giampaolo, his 4312 suits the profile of squad we have right now. If we have to 'balance the books' I would regrettably sacrifice Suso as im not convinced he can function centrally and it would kill me to see Gigio or Romagnoli, the 2 pillars of the team, leave now. I like the ideas of Tonali, Sensi, Praet, Andersen and think all would flourish under Giampaolo, just give me a quiet window with stability.
on the 9th June, 2019 at 5:27pm
Well you're right about Biglia (6), Cahlaonglu (19) and Rodriguez (9). But if even if we include UCL playoffs they combine for only 34 apps.
But Zapata, Abate, Montolivo, and Bakayoko no longer play for AC Milan.
Borini I don't think ever appeared in the UCL for Chelsea, Roma, or Liverpool.
on the 9th June, 2019 at 3:24pm
@Primo Calcio

Off the top of my head, current Milan players who have played in the CL besides Reina:

1. Biglia
2. Zapata
3. Abate
4. Montolivo
5. Çalhanoğlu
6. Bakayoko
7. Rodriguez
8. Borini
on the 9th June, 2019 at 5:54am
interesting article but the bottom line is that giampaolo is a gamble & we been in the casino 6yrs too long. the underlying factor is that we are a top class club (just) who need top class owners (like city) with a top class sporting director (campos of lille) & a top class coach (bielsa). until then, i fear at least 5 more years or more of mediocrity :(
on the 9th June, 2019 at 5:27am
Secondly we must act fast by giving locatelli and lo million offer to sassolou for Stefano sensi. For LW we have options such Quincy promes as he might be available at loan with option to buy and he is damn fast and easily feasible dont look at his form but his talent. Januzaj is another option available for 20 million and the last option who i personally like is Rodrigo de paul available for 25 million slightly expensive but his work rate is good.
on the 8th June, 2019 at 3:20pm
Donnarumma must be sold if tempting offer of 80 million comes inorder to make club financially stable as Plizzari is now mature enough to replace him.We must appoint Giampaolo our manager as quickly as possible and Tare as our sporting director as we are quite sloe in market uptill now . As Arsenal is trying to steal Sampdoria duo Praet and Andersen from our hands we must present Sampdoria with a offer of 45 million plus Fabio borini and Ivan strinic that might be enough to sign duo.
on the 8th June, 2019 at 3:12pm
I supported Gattuso a 100% earlier in the season, but at times it just don't look as if he knew what he was doing. I saw Calahanoglu under performing for several games in a row and Gattuso still stuck with him, Suso was another example. Not saying we should sell them, but when the team is underperforming I feel some changes are required. We have better players now than the last 6 years. About time we start moving forward
on the 7th June, 2019 at 8:40pm
@Maldini's Heir
I agree a 100% with you brother about the mental aspect of the team. The coach is the one responsible for creating a certain mentality within his team and to be honest, the players have to take a little bit of responsibility for that as well. Both games against Torino, the game against Frosinone, the 0-0 draw against Bologna..those are the games that made it clear that Gattuso has been struggling to motivate our players.
on the 7th June, 2019 at 8:25pm
I understand and even agree with your general point about players under-performing for Milan, that they shouldn't be written off without proper conditions to succeed, but you're taking it to the extreme.
There's no winners in this squad. Conte or Guardiola couldn't win with them, nor would they even agree to try without access to the market.
This team can reach 4th place but to compete for titles we eventually need proven winners in the team to compliment and lead our young talent.
on the 7th June, 2019 at 2:47pm
Milan won with average players sandwiched between CHAMPIONs, like Baresi, Van Basten, Gullit, Rijkaard, who had all won before.
Juve went from 7th to 1st with Pirlo, Buffon, Del Piero, Barzagli, Chiellini.
Chelsea went from 10th to 1st with Hazard and a whole squad that were champs the year prior.
Milan has not 1 player who has won the Scudetto, or UCL, or an international trophy. Reina is the only one who has even played in the CL.
This squad will never compete with Juve.
on the 7th June, 2019 at 2:41pm
I do see your point in milan players underperforming while at milan, this can be due to a majority of things. Personally i think its the chopping of managers, and new directions from season to season never getting an identity other than mediocrity and "building a new". Is hurting the team as everyone is brought in by different visions and we lack true leaders. But yes, it is as you say, a riddle.
on the 7th June, 2019 at 12:22am
Now ofcourse i do not know any of this as facts, but neither do you. All we get to see is the end result. And lets not kid ourselves, Milan have had this problem for a decade. Players riding their contracts out rahter than going elsewhere to play. We overpay everyone. And dont glorify juve for something they probably woudldnt have done, what happened to Marchisio, Del Piero. This is modern football, look no further than DDR this year. Lets not kid ourselves down that path Maldini's Heir.
on the 7th June, 2019 at 12:19am
Now ofcourse its easy to say this from an outside perspective. But everything Gattuso has portrayed so far, for better or worse, is honesty. And what could easily be seen as bad treatment towards Monty, could also be seen as a player whos lost all respect of Gattuso, who'd give up the money owed to him in hes contract, for hes staff to get paid. Monty 100% had offers to go on but chose to sit and collect hes paycheck. Maybe family reasons, but always a solution if willing to cut pay to play.
on the 7th June, 2019 at 12:15am
@ PrimoCalcio There is no pedestal. I just get sick and tired of all of these articles and comments dismissing this player as mediocre or calling that player super world class. That mentality is what drives the chopping and changing. People on here want Milan to sell our and one Serie A's leading assist provider. For what? So we're seen to be doing something...We're broadly on the same page so there's probably more we agree about.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 11:58pm
basis of a novice driver. The reasons I gave require no speculation. Milan did, in fact, beat Atalanta, Roma and Lazio (with a novice coach) and did, in fact, draw with Frosinone and Empoli. Are we saying that Empoli and Frosninone are at the same level as Milan? Clearly not. The players clearly did not play to their capacity against these lesser sides. Hopefully a more experienced coach can get more out of these players.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 11:53pm
constant player rating. This isn't a computer game. This is real life. Milan won titles with totally average players in the 90s. Players like Rossi, Tassotti, Galli, Evani, Eranio, Massaro and Simone. These would be in playing in Serie B today not because they weren't good enough but because they'd be so mis-managed. The constant chopping and changing is killing players' careers. Gattuso had barely managed any team before he became Milan manager so it's a bit like judging a Formula 1 car on the
on the 6th June, 2019 at 11:51pm
@ mario milanista How did Chelsea go from 1st to 10th to 1st to 5th in 4 seasons?

We see time and time again that the exact same players can play at a completely different level in the right conditions. In fact we have seen this with Milan players. How did Bonucci go from being one of the top CBs in Serie A with Juve to "mediocre" at Milan and back to a top CB at Juve? How did the same happen to Higuain? And the rest. Is there something different in the water over in Turin? I'm so sick of this
on the 6th June, 2019 at 11:48pm
I defended Gattuso last season but his treatment of Montolivo was a disgrace. The guy did not deserve to be frozen out and not even given a chance to say goodbye. In fact Milan can probably learn a lot from another player who they managed to break. Had Montolivo signed for Juve he’d probably have had a far better career. Players do well at Juve and struggle at Milan. That’s the riddle that needs to be solved.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 8:42pm
Man, why do you always talk at everyone, as if you are the only sane one standing atop a pedestal? We're all in the same boat.
We all agree on almost everything: Sad to see Rino go, don't want another rebuild, continuity is key, offload the deadwood, concerned by player sales of core members, etc..
And expectations?: 4th place. We're behind Juve, Inter, and Napoli in terms of coach, squad, finances, management, and continuity.
Let's discuss the way forward with the hand we're dealt
on the 6th June, 2019 at 3:28pm
Whoever mentioned by Maldini with the help of Boban and Costacurta and/or Igli Tare, I'd trust him. How can you people doubt someone supported by Maldini and Boban?
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:46pm
Don't forget we can always do loan deals to mitigate some problems.

The wage bill should be slightly lower than last season. Already these players are leaving:
Bakayoko (3.5M), Abate (2.3M), Montolivo (2.5M), Bertolacci (2M), Zapata (1.7M), Halilovic (1.5M), Mauri (1.4M).
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:45pm
I would sell Calhanoglu, Castillejo, André Silva to balance the budget.

I would also toy with the idea of selling Donnarumma if I can get 60M-70M and I would invest them in 3 decent players depending on Giampaolo's formation.

We definitely need a defensive midfielder regardless of the formation. We would also need a third striker.

The only problem is that the next season Juve, Napoli, and Inter will be untouchable. We will have to fight for 1 CL spot with Lazio, Roma, Atalanta...
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:36pm
People also need to recognize this all too true and sad fact. Milans wage bill is about as high as it gets. Only losing out to Juve i believe. And this is every season regardless. Milan have not had the star studded power players to earn the amounts of money we give out. Why do people think we can never offload any of our reservers. THEY NEVER WANT TO LEAVE before contracts up. They all earn SOO MUCH MONEY. We overpay. Simple. But we overpay EVERYONE. Its a vicious cycle of terrible management.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:34pm
I agree that there is no need to rebuild. We already have the building blocks. A couple more pieces to complete the puzzle. If you were to rebuild a team surely you would be happy to have these players for a foundation: Donnarumma, Romagnoli, Conti, Kessie, Piatek, Paqueta, Bonaventura, Suso.
I am also happy with Musacchio and Rodriguez who are not liked for some reason.
Add to that decent and potential players like Caldara, Calabria, Reina, Cutrone. You have a solid squad.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:31pm
The interest and money for stars ran out. We are a chop shop of managers and teams and visions. There always seem to be 3 people at the helm pulling the club in different directions, Barbara, Galliani and Berlu. Then Mirabelli and Fassone. Then Leo, Gaz and Maldini. I think that this is the first time we have gotten a complete, and realistic vision from the club. Buy young and low, sell at profit make ourselves sustainable. Hopefully with 1 driving force in the market we can stop the chopshop
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:28pm
We are an EL team. It is our level, people expect CL and glory. However milan have been soo porly run, ppl say the last 6 years but i disagree, i think its been 12-13 years. Since before Ancelotti departed. We never starting rebuilding anything, we went star shopping and since then there has never been a true plan. I argue, milan was very poorly run under Allergris era (businesswise) it was always season to season building and never long term, we started with freebies. And thats how we operate.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:23pm
I also get your point in the fact that we are 1 point off CL. But i do actually think its for the exact opposite reason as you. You think all players underperformed. When none of them ever have shown other than glimpses. Fact is the majority of players we have are all 2-4 year veterans, and the mediocrity is ever constant, despite the change of all these managers. The one constant this year is that we managed to keep a manager for an entire season. And imo thats the reason we were so close to CL
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:17pm

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