Wednesday September 4 2019
Piatek: 'Giampaolo is demanding'

Krzysztof Piatek admits it is a big change getting to grips with Marco Giampaolo’s tactics, but “my life changed with the move to Milan.”

The forward spoke to Polish YouTube channel FootTruck about his debut Serie A season with Genoa and Milan.

“I wasn’t physically in good shape after pre-season training and it’s not easy to learn Giampaolo’s tactical system, so it could take some time.

“We want to keep the ball for long periods, but I think at times we ought to try something a bit more route one with a long ball. Giampaolo is very demanding and always has 15 options open for every move. It was tough in pre-season when most of the players weren’t there, but we are now getting better day by day. I am trying to move the way the Coach wants, as I know that’ll make me a better striker.

“In Italy they say I am a typical Polish centre-forward, as I’m always in the box. The statistics don’t show that, but people tell me I need to work to play outside of the penalty area more.”

There is also the small matter of Piatek taking on the Number 9 jersey, which Rossoneri have struggled with ever since Pippo Inzaghi’s retirement.

“The Coach said it to me as a joke, but there are people who take this seriously. In the dressing room after the game with Brescia, when the ball almost crossed the line, my teammates told me the Number 9 was to blame, but I’ve always wanted to play with that shirt.

“There are some situations, like against Cesena, where defenders really do just hold on to me with both arms, like in a battle. It’s strange than in Italy the referees protect defenders more than strikers.”

Piatek had an extraordinary start to his Serie A career at Genoa, earning a transfer to Milan within six months.

“I didn’t expect such a strong season. If you score 30 goals in 48 games, that’s not luck. If you get eight goals in six games, then maybe you can call that a blip, but not over a whole campaign.

“My life changed with the move to Milan. More people recognise me, it opened many doors, not just on a football level. I am happy, but also aware that football and my family are the most important things.

“Fortunately, I live in a quiet area, so I can take the dog for a walk, but once I walked near the Duomo with my wife and there were 20-30 people chasing us. We got into a taxi and people were banging on the windows asking for a selfie.”

Piatek revealed the biggest joker in the dressing room is Franck Kessie, while he gets along with Lucas Paqueta despite not really speaking the same language.

“Paqueta has incredibly potential, not just technique and skills, but really strong legs and physicality. He likes a risk, so at times Giampaolo gets cross, but he’s a player you can trust.”

Giampaolo said after the win over Brescia that Paqueta ought to be “less Brazilian.”

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