Saturday October 12 2019
Boban: 'Pioli Milan's best option'

Milan director Zvonimir Boban doesn’t have “a magic wand” to fix the club, but insists Stefano Pioli “was the best option on the market and not a second choice.”

The Rossoneri sacked Marco Giampaolo after just 111 days at the helm, resulting in three wins and four defeats.

“I am working to make Milan great again, but I haven’t been here long and there is a lot of work to be done in every area,” Boban told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Boban and fellow chief Maldini have come under fire for their tenure along with CEO Ivan Gazidis and President Paolo Scaroni.

“We’ve got to work together, but we don’t have a magic wand. Paolo and I are trying to help the club get back to the top with our football knowledge. It hasn’t gone well so far, there we’re only at the start and still have time to make up for it.”

The Rossoneri sacked Marco Giampaolo after just seven Serie A games and brought in Pioli, although their first choice was reported to be Luciano Spalletti.

“Pioli was the best option on the market and is not a second choice. We evaluated two situations, it’s true that Spalletti is a great Coach, but that doesn’t mean Pioli is second to him. And he’s not.

“Pioli is a strong man, has good football ideas and has often come in mid-season to help turn situations around. He is pragmatic and that is why he can take on teams during a campaign and achieve good results. He is studying the players right now and we’ll get back on track with an experienced Coach who will make his evaluations.

“Giampaolo’s dismissal was a defeat for everyone, but if it’s not working, what can you do? It didn’t work and that’s disappointing. We parted on normal terms and he is a lovely person, but these things happen in football.

“Giampaolo is a good Coach, but we decided all together to change for the good of Milan. We had to look at the end product on the pitch and that made the decision for us. Football is too much about business now, with talk only of results, but how can you achieve those without good football?

“I want to point out the stories that we tried to force Giampaolo to use a certain line-up is rubbish. It’s normal to discuss ideas and opinions, but Maldini and I would never dare impose our choices on the Coach. Respect for the role of the Coach is sacred.

“Football can be tough, but Paolo and I never shied away from our responsibility and we won’t do that now either. We’ll try to do a good job, and if we don’t, then someone who is better will perhaps come in.”

Some fans are still harking back to the Grande Milan of Arrigo Sacchi and hoping to recapture those glory days.

“That was a phenomenal team that cannot be replicated. I can’t even imagine achieving those successes as a director, but I can hope to see a more competitive and important Milan than the side we have today.”

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