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...
Maldinis Heir is right, we have a lot of players we can offload to try and balance the books. Donnarumma is a player we can try to keep but i do think hes wages is just too much of an off balance in the books. If were gonna sign players for cheaper you cant have one player earning the same as 8 others in a starting 11. Gattuso leaving starts the same revolving door of managers unfortunately. All players gets a chance bla bla. Its not good.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 2:13pm
Rebuild?Give him a minimum of 250m or don't bother.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 8:10am
We don't necessarily need to sell Suso, although I don't like how predictable he is, unless a good replacement is found with a positive impact on the balance sheet. He may still be needed even with a different formation or if a change of formation is needed mid-game. Selling Donna should relief some financial pressure. Our priorities should be LB, LW and deep lying playmaker. Biglia should go or be used as sub going forward.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 4:30am
Im not a milan fan because I think rationally and am realistic about our future? Its fans like you that got milan into this mess, yes it would be nice to be fighting it out for glory like juve or inter but milan are years away from this. Honestly we are closer to relegation! I don't want to sell donnarumma or romagnoli but with over 100m to make up, we don't have many other valuable options. Get the finances right, a few years of mid table, then we can push back up the table. Glory days are over
on the 6th June, 2019 at 4:17am
We should focus on getting our finances right by selling donna. We could look at a few low cost signings, surely there won't be room for bench players like ranocchia, valero, candreva at inter, they would slot straight into milan's starting line up.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 4:14am
We should focus on getting our finances right by selling donna. We could look at a few low cost signings, surely there won't be room for bench players like ranocchia, valero, candreva at inter, they would slot straight into milan's starting line up.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 4:13am
last a season for once.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:07am
that would leave us with the following Donnarumma, Reina, Plizzari, Laxalt, Rodríguez
Gabbia, Romagnoli, Caldara, Musacchio, Conti, Calabria, Biglia, Mauri, Kessié, Paquetá, Çalhanoğlu, Bonaventura, Castillejo, Suso, Cutrone and Piątek. All we need is a LW. We should try and bring back Deulofeu or sign Iñaki Williams or anyone with a bit of pace. Leave the rest. If we're really struggling for money then sell Çalhanoğlu because we never needed both him and Bonaventura. Hopefully Bonaventura can
on the 6th June, 2019 at 1:07am
Some people seem to be obsessing over Milan's finances. I just love the constant reminders of the "business" of football. By my estimation (since it's almost impossible to work out with all of the wheeling and dealing) Milan have at least 30 first team players on their books. So that leaves at least 7 to 10 that they could sell/let go to reduce the wage bill. My picks would be A Donnarumma, Zapata, Abate, Bakayoko, Gomez. Strinic, Montolivo, Hallovic (he was worthwhile) and Silva and then we
on the 6th June, 2019 at 12:48am
manager has lost to Sassuolo. So the stakes are high. I'll support Giampaolo because, well I have absolutely no say over who Milan appoints as manager, but I want to hear a lot less talk about "building" a team. He's got a team. He needs to make the most of it.
on the 6th June, 2019 at 12:40am
Unfortunately the answer is again an unknown. Giampaolo has never managed a big team so we simply don't know if he has what it takes to help Milan beat Verona and Brescia. Such a challenge has stumped Milan's previous managers. Gattuso's Milan side was the first in Serie A to drop points to Benevento in 15 rounds and Benevento went on to beat Milan in the return leg. Montella came unstuck to Genoa losing 3:0 3 days after beating Juve. Mihajlović's Milan lost to Verona and nearly every Milan
on the 6th June, 2019 at 12:38am
if Piątek plays like he did for Genoa we have the most lethal striker in Serie A, if Milan play like they did against Roma, Lazio and Atalanta when they play Brescia, Lecce and Verona they'll get 18 or about a quarter of the points they need to qualify for the Champions League next season....This is not some "work in progress". This is the work. Enough excuses. Enough of trying to keep up withe Jones'. This is the team. The question therefore is can Giampaolo get the most out of this team?
on the 6th June, 2019 at 12:33am
for Atalanta then we have a very good right back and a very CM, if Rodriguez plays like he did for Wolfsburg that season when he was the hottest property in Europe then we have a very good left back, if Biglia plays like he did for Argentina that time they made the World Cup final we have a very good midfielder, if Çalhanoğlu plays like he did for Leverkusen we have a very good creative midfielder, if Suso plays like he did for most of his Milan career we have the top assist provider in Serie A
on the 6th June, 2019 at 12:29am
I cannot work out people's expectations for this Milan team. Everyone seems to be working on the basis that a team that finished 1 point of the Champions League is somehow this "work in progress" that no manager, even a world class manager, could do much with. The underlying assumption being that this team is just average. The fact is nobody has a clue what this team is capable of because they have not yet played anywhere near their potential - for Milan. If Conti and Kessie play like they did
on the 6th June, 2019 at 12:27am
@PrimoCalcio: I think Bennacer would be a good replacement for Baka. Yes, not the same characteristics but we don't necessarily need a copy. Look at the AS statistics below. He's near the top of a lot of midfield catagories. As to a LW, I think Rodrigo de Paul would be a great affordable option assuming Giampa will play with wingers. Maybe Alberto Moreno from Liverpool on a free as a LB?
on the 5th June, 2019 at 10:55pm
@PrimoCalcio it seems if we do take on Giampaolo that Andersen & Praet would be good additions, but seeing how Samp just turned down a $42 M offer for the pair I think we will be priced out. Maybe try to get Praet and look for an older CB to sub in for Romagnoli and Caldara as I would hope they are our centre pair for years to come.
Sensi or Praet are both young promising players. I am not sure we have to replace Bakayoko due to tactical changes if we get Giampaolo, or use Kessie
on the 5th June, 2019 at 9:49pm
Suso should be sacrificed if needed. He is not wanted by any of the teams who can afford his buyout though, reason being that he is simply not good enough. Getting rid of him will be important if we move to 4-3-1-2 and allow Calhanoglu a more natural central position behind Paqueta. In a front 2 Cutrone and Piatek cannot play together so the Schick/Silva swap makes sense. Bakayoko will need replacing. Sensi for Biglia, wait for Caldara until January. Donnarumma can leave, Plizzari taking over.
on the 5th June, 2019 at 8:02pm
In these tough circumstances, Giampaolo is a good choice. He well develop our young players by giving them familiar organization every match, pressing and attacking. We should be entertained.
The board have to get the mercato right though. We need pace in the attack, maybe a secondo punta, a replacement for Zapata (Andersen) and for Bakayoko. That's probably it unless players leave.
What do people think of names like Sensi or Praet? I like them but they don't have the characteristics of Bakayoko
on the 5th June, 2019 at 7:00pm
I think Giampaolo is a great choice for a young new Milan. It will take a bit of time but I think Milan will play a more attractive and confident style of football compared to Gattuso's. Too many games, Milan looked lost and suffered so much... even though Gattuso did improve the side considerably compared to previous years.

We need to remember Sacchi, Capello, Ancelotti and Allegri were not well known before coming to Milan... they established themselves as great tacticians at Milan.
on the 5th June, 2019 at 6:48pm
With all the players they are letting go, we need a new CB, midfield, and LW (depending on the new coaches tactical setup). I think we are good for strikers, as we need to give what we have a chance. The suggestion of trading Schick for Silva is not a bad one, but I think that Silva can be a good player if he can just settle in the team for a while. Anyhow, looking at our finances I think we need to just be calm and let the players we have develop.
on the 5th June, 2019 at 5:48pm
I agree that we need to find a coach that can provide us a better attacking plan. I feel that Gattuso never got a good chance to really show us what he could do, due to all the injuries that we have had over the past year. Just hope a new coach will be given the time to actually try to bring this team together. As for transfers, I am in the same camp as Maldini's Heir, we do not need 15 signing this year, if someone need to be sacrificed I would suggest Donnarumma but not Romagnoli.
on the 5th June, 2019 at 5:43pm
I think it's a great pick, was hoping he will become Napoli coach after Ancelotti tenure.
on the 5th June, 2019 at 4:45pm
I am for Giampaolo's appointment. Gattuso did get grit out of the players but we were lacking tactically compared to other teams. We were scoring goals based on individual performances rather than play buildup.

We have to play with 2 strikers, and if the Schick/Silva swap is true and not just a rumor, we can play Piatek/Schick up front rotating with Cutrone.

If Bonaventura and Conti get past their injuries we will have a decent squad. We definitely need a replacement for Bakayoko though!
on the 5th June, 2019 at 3:57pm
Ok why do all you writers think Suso is a must to the team? He disappeared for almost 5 months playing his natural position last season and you want to 'trial' him in a position where he was an utter failure before?

No, he needs to be sold, and a proper second striker needs to be brought it. Cutrone and Piatek have almost the same characteristics, thats not how a good front-2 will work.
on the 5th June, 2019 at 3:05pm
Milanista hey dude. speak for yourself. btw, you're not a Milanista. probabaly a juve or inter fan trying to throw some mud. Great article btw. Grazie
on the 5th June, 2019 at 2:31pm
@Milanista...sell Romagnoli? Jesus wept! He is what we build on.
Donnarumma can go, Reina is a better keeper anyway.
on the 5th June, 2019 at 2:24pm
We never expected to sign a world class coach. Gazidis said it all, we were saved from bankruptcy by elliott and the aim is to slowly build the finances back up so Elliott can sell us at a profit. Giampaolo is a great choice to develop the youngsters we sign, if we sell Donnarumma and romagnoli to even the books we only need to sign a few kids and slowly work on building the brand up. This is the realistic aim for us, not dreaming of top 4 that’s not gonna happen for years and years
on the 5th June, 2019 at 10:50am

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Your data may be made public and you accept our Privacy Policy. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.