Marco Giampaolo was dismissed from his post at the Rossoneri after just 111 days. For those unfamiliar, that cricket score is called a Nelson after Admiral Nelson, who as the legend had it, had ‘one eye, one arm and one leg’ at the end of his existence. This was however, later debunked as false, as the Englishman never lost a leg. The same can't be said for the Swiss-born Giampaolo, as after three wins and four losses in seven games, he was relieved of his duties on Tuesday afternoon.
No sooner had multiple media outlets run with Stefano Pioli being on the verge of taking over the seven times European champions, than the hashtag #PioliOut had begun trending on the peninsula and elsewhere around the world. The former Lazio, Bologna and Inter Coach had seen his recent jobs terminated early due to poor results. What exactly has Il Diavolo's management seen in Pioli?
He has never won a senior team trophy in a 16-year managerial career since retiring as a player after stints with the likes of hometown club Parma, Juventus and Fiorentina among others. His best coaching experience was arguably at Lazio, when he guided them to a third-place finish in 2015 and a Champions League play-off place. It was an opportunity they eventually failed to capitalise on after losing to Bayer Leverkusen 3-1, despite winning the first leg in Rome.
As seems to happen all too often with Milan, the Ultras released a statement, and as expected, it was damning of the management. There were several issues highlighted of course, but what was telling was the use of the word ‘weakness.’ “The thing that leaves us disconcerted is that the club, who had chosen a different Coach for our bench, without even telling the old tactician that he had been fired, then moved on to a second choice. That highlighted the WEAKNESS of this club in failing yet again to achieve the target it really wanted.”
Another trending topic has been the #SaveACMilan hashtag, which was first used to beg an investor to purchase the club from Silvio Berlusconi. They needed Elliott Management to save them from Yonghong Li and, as Ivan Gazidis noted in his Press conference, bankruptcy. Now fans want saving from the saviours of their previous saviour.
That situation is playing out on the bench and also on the pitch, where the clamour for new signings quickly wanes after a few poor performances and more purchases are called for, yet more changes, as if there is The One who can magically transform Milan back to the Champions League winning side of a over decade ago.
No amount of past glories returning to San Siro as Coaches or directors will turn back the clock. Milanisti need to accept this is no longer that club and it doesn’t need saving, it just has to change and grow at a realistic pace.