Friday July 10 2020
Milan regretting Gattuso mistake

Seeing the progress that Gennaro Gattuso has made with Napoli, Lee Bushe feels Milan will regret letting Rino go so easily.

On Sunday evening, Gennaro Gattuso will face Milan as an opponent for the first time in his coaching career. It’s not just any game, as his Napoli are direct competitors for fifth place and a reminder of how little his old club has genuinely progressed since he left.

Going into the final game of last season, Milan stood their best chance of the qualifying for the Champions League since the Max Allegri era ended four-and-half-years earlier. All they needed was to beat SPAL and hope that one of Inter or Atalanta dropped points.

It wasn’t to be. In spite of securing that victory over SPAL, Inter and Atalanta won both of their games, meaning I Rossoneri missed out on a top-four finish by a mere point. Nevertheless, Milan had achieved their best league finish since 2013.

It was a testament to the progress this team had made under Gennaro Gattuso. He initially endured a difficult start after succeeding Vincenzo Montella in November 2017, with just one victory in his five opening games, but improved with time, winning 11 out of his 19 remaining fixtures to secure a sixth-place finish in his debut season.   

For his efforts, he was rewarded with a contract extension to 2021 - a clear sign that the Milan hierarchy had faith in his abilities. With a sense of stability and signs of progress on the pitch, I Rossoneri would further improve in Gattuso’s first full season in charge, competing for a Champions League spot for most of the campaign. They would eventually miss out on it, of course, but his Milan side were - at that point - performing better than the one he had when he first arrived. 

Despite this, Gattuso left the club by mutual consent just two days after the SPAL victory. He stated that it was a “difficult, but thoughtful” decision and waived compensation for the final two years of his contract - a symbol of his love for the club and his humble nature.

Milan replaced Gattuso with a more reserved figure in the form of Marco Giampaolo. Even at the time, they seemed like an odd match. Giampaolo was a journeyman Serie A manager and his previous job - managing Sampdoria for three seasons - was by far his biggest. His Blucerchiati side were performing well and did employ an exciting brand of football. However, his overall managerial record perhaps indicated that he wouldn’t be suited to managing an elite club such as Milan.

This quickly became evident. Giampaolo’s Milan were lifeless and bereft of ideas, losing four of his seven games in charge. The Rossoneri hierarchy were quick to realise their mistake and dismissed Giampaolo after just five months. He left them in 13th place, already four points away from the Champions League places.

In the space of just seven games, Milan’s progress under Gattuso was undone. The 18 months of hard work and gradual improvement, all for nothing. They replaced Giampaolo with Stefano Pioli, who was more experienced in managing elite clubs than his predecessor. He was initially unpopular with the supporters, but has whipped Milan back into shape, with the club now likely to achieve Europa League qualification.

Pioli was never going to be a long-term option for Milan, however. He has done the job with dignity, laying solid foundations for the man who will probably succeed him - Ralf Rangnick. The Rossoneri’s pursuit of the German tactician is an indication that the club - at least on a boardroom level - is now thinking strategically. One can’t help but wonder what Gattuso could’ve achieved if he was afforded the same opportunity, however.

Gattuso’s achievements at Napoli - completely reversing the fortunes of a crisis-stricken club - is clear evidence of his managerial abilities. It proves that Milan didn’t have to go back to square one with Giampaolo and Rangnick - they could’ve built on the progress Gattuso had made.    

It’s an easy thing to say in hindsight, but Milan should’ve fought tooth and nail to keep Gattuso. Adored by the supporters and evidently a highly-talented, hungry, young manager, he could’ve been the perfect coach to restore Milan to their former glories. His immediate future seems to be with Napoli, however, and Rossoneri fans can now only wonder what might’ve been.

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Have your say...
on the 15th July, 2020 at 1:58pm
@milan fan, we all agree Donnarumma is good. But he is not that good. Period. He is just a decent GK, that's all. You all Milan fans should stop treat him like the next Buffon, which is wrong in every direction. Only Milan fans rate him so high and that is entirely funny for other fans to watch. Not to mention his agent Raiola loves to degrade Milan and his fans in every chance he got.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 6:05pm
I love Buffon and I don't know if Donnarumma will ever be as legendary a goalkeeper as he is, but i'd say he's on the right path. I don't think even Buffon had the same stats as Donnarumma at the same age.

The fact that he was so good he took over as the first choice at 16 and over Diego Lopez no less should speak volumes. Last year he made some errors after the fiasco regarding his contract affected him. That's all. He saves incredible shots and one on ones, he's good at saving PKs, everything
on the 12th July, 2020 at 4:41pm
Again, if y'all are unable to comprehend how good Donnarumma is, just look at stats. Bring me goalkeeper who at 21 managed to keep the most clean sheets in one of the major leagues of Europe.

They say he's not that good with his feet, which is funny, since most outfield players are not that good with their feet at that age. You want a 16 year old GK to be good with his feet? He has improved hugely since then and by the time he's 24-25 he'll use his legs like Ter-Stegen, don't worry.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 4:34pm
On Donnarumma:

You just look at the guy, his stance, body physique... & can see his "talent" as goalkeeper.

Thank God he makes these kind of errors, otherwise he'd take every Footballer of the year/ Ballon d'Or awards... a goalkeeper!
on the 12th July, 2020 at 3:28pm
@Anonymous, LOL oh yes Youtube. Even Moscardelli looks better than Lionel Messi on Youtube. You remind me when I was so happy when Eljero Elia signed for Juve. I watched his video . I think he's going to be a new Robben but I was wrong... of course... Youtube... LOL
on the 12th July, 2020 at 3:17pm
Viktor, Seriously?
Romagnoli over Manolas & Koulibaly?
Top 3???

At Roma he was nothing special. I laughed when Milan purchased him for 30mil.
Since then, whenever I watch Milan games, I only see average performances from him --not bad, not great.
Not once did I regret Roma selling him. If he'd be with us now, I'd gladly see him leave for 30 mil again.
Kjaer at Roma impressed me way more, he was just unlucky. Even now at Milan, Simon is overshadowing Alessio --it's plain to see.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 2:35pm if you want to see why donnarumma is so highly rated

buffon on donnarumma

"A goalkeeper to follow me? At the moment the most interesting is Donnarumma," the Juventus keeper told Copa90.

"At a European level he's the youngest and it's normal that there's curiosity surrounding him.

"He's a lad with extraordinary skills."
on the 12th July, 2020 at 1:58pm watch please to see Donnarumma in action and how good he is!!
on the 12th July, 2020 at 9:41am
They must sell Kessie right away.
on the 12th July, 2020 at 12:49am
Actually, what was wrong with Carletto in Napoli?
I cannot understand that being non-Italian :-o
on the 11th July, 2020 at 8:13pm
@ Milan fan

He's not a bad keeper at all, he's just not as good as people like to say. When he first came on the scene at 16 people were saying he's the new Buffon and will go on to be one of the best keepers of all time. Since then he's shown to be error prone and like I said, awful with his feet which is a huge part of the modern game.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 6:36pm
tskk.. Donnarumma is easily on top ten overrated goalkeeper list.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 4:55pm
Well I guess this IS the end of the world, as I never imagined I'd hear the words "Donnarumma are over-rated"

If he's over-rated, then name one goalkeeper around his age who's even close to his technical level and don't make a clown of yourself in the process.

Again, you're talking about undisputed Azzuri GK since a few years ago who has the most clean sheets in the league this season despite his team being seventh.

And by the way, stop drooling all over him if he's not good enough.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 4:12pm
Donnaruma is overrated because he was so young when he made his debut. He's awful with the ball at his feet but tries to fool people that he can play by making stupid passing decisions to players who are already under pressure before they receive the ball. He's a good shot stopper but he makes big errors and for a man of his size should dominate his box on crosses more than he does. He'd still start ahead of Meret though, as would Bennacer and Theo who are both class
on the 11th July, 2020 at 1:21pm

AHHAHAHAH had to post again.. you are so utterly clueless...

Donnarumma is the best keeper in Italy BY MILES, and theo would INSTANTLY take place, Bennacer just as well..

Romangoli is top 3 in italy. WHat are you talking about?
on the 11th July, 2020 at 1:05pm

AHHAHAHAH had to post again.. you are so utterly clueless...

Donnarumma is the best keeper in Italy BY MILES, and theo would INSTANTLY take place, Bennacer just as well..

Romangoli is top 3 in italy. WHat are you talking about?
on the 11th July, 2020 at 1:05pm
@ Anonymous

"@Viktor Not one Milan player would get in the starting line up at Napoli."

You are COMPLETELY clueless.

100000% Romangoli, Theo and bennacer, Rumma would start at Napoli... stop denying.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 12:57pm
@ Marco Branca

Can't disagree with you there. Fassone and Mirabelli really are crap along with anything else that comes from Inter. So you're right, Fassone, Mirabelli, Branca they are all the same, pure crap.

Maldini and Boban are fine though, don't you worry your little head about them.
on the 11th July, 2020 at 2:48am

Dude, Meret can't even bench Ospina, he's the second choice and you're comparing him to the genius, Azzuri GK Donnarumma who has the most clean sheets this season? LMAO what are you tripping on?!

By the way Theo is the best LB in the league. Don't tell me he can't start ahead of that clown Mario Rui. LoL
on the 10th July, 2020 at 11:43pm
@Milan Fan

I MISS MARCO BRANCA is clearly not an Inter fan. Did you not understand that?
on the 10th July, 2020 at 11:08pm
@Milan Fan: this coming from a fan of a team that has spent 500 million in acquisitions the last 5 years yet cannot assemble a top 4 finish......compared to Fassone and Mirabelli, Marco Branca is a genius - doesn't mean he's great but that is how poor says Fassone and Mirabelli and Maldini and Boban are
on the 10th July, 2020 at 9:41pm
@Viktor Not one Milan player would get in the starting line up at Napoli. To even think Romangoli in front of Manolas, KK or even Maksimovic is laughable. In midfield with Fabian, Zielinski, Demme, Lobotka or even that Xdonkey Allan, none of them would start either. They are donkeys. Only Donnarumma might get into the team but still wouldn't be a regular because Meret is in my opinion better as he makes less errors.
on the 10th July, 2020 at 7:49pm
2/1 comparisons were made these days, most of them, put in a correlation Sachi's Immortals! Exactly because ever since, one of Milan trades were not just playing best football & being champions in Itay & Europe, but doing it in style which everyone admired! That's what separated Milan as a big Italian club, from Jubentus, Inter, Roma, Napoli...AND THAT'S WHAT FANS WANT TO SEE! Milan wining titles in style, the way Liverpool with Klopp!
Thus, stop crying about Rino & look at da future!
on the 10th July, 2020 at 7:05pm
1/1 This is an utterly defeatist approach by the author of the text! Crying about Gattuso, isn't only a cry 4 the spilled mill, but also crying for a type of football no Milan fan wants to see.
Thus, we shouldn't cry for Rino, as if he was Guardiola! YES, WE ALL LOVE HIM, but regardless of his energy & managerial capabilities u've mentioned, it's the very reason why he was replaced!
Pioli NOW forces x10 better football & we all expect Ragnick to build on it even better! That's why L'Pool & Klopp
on the 10th July, 2020 at 7:01pm
Says the man who misses Marco Branca aka Mr. Blunder LMAO
on the 10th July, 2020 at 6:48pm
I just want to discuss the fact that Napoli supposably have a much stronger squad than milan according to many.

They do, but i would say that much better.

Let´s compare Milans top 5ish with Napolis shall we?

Donnarumma, Romangoli, Theo, Bennacer, Rebic and possible ibra. (4 of them hasnt even peaked) 4 of them would start in Napoli.

What im saying is Milans squad is better than people say. I wish we had superstars but we have pretty interesting prospects.
on the 10th July, 2020 at 6:43pm
@ACM1899: The argument betweek Gattuso and Maldini is the fact that they were friends and Maldini was dumb enough to give Gattuso's job to Marco Giampaolo and Gattuso made it clear that he will never return if Maldini works at the club. Clearly Gattuso was right to terminate his contract, who hires a coach that never finished 9th place before ? and Milan fans defend Maldini ? what a blunder of all blunders !
on the 10th July, 2020 at 6:27pm
Nothing against Rino, but I would keep Pioli before I kept Rino. I love his contributions for the club as a player but the team under his management was difficult out to watch often. Pioli’s management has yielded an exciting team to watch. Besides, Gattuso’s Napoli are only a few points above our team so it’s not like he is leaps and bounds better than Pioli. Furthermore, I read that Rino left because of disputes with Maldini. It was either Paolo or Rino, that’s the sense that I got...
on the 10th July, 2020 at 4:16pm
This author realises that the Napoli squad is like much stronger than either Romas or Milans? They are a top 4 capable side and them doing so badly just proves why Gattuso was let go Author has the "Ex-girlfriend" syndrome. When Gattuso was manager he wasnt that beloved, there were many calls for his head. During his tenure he made several novice mistakes, don't just brush all of that under the rug just because Milan hasnt been able to find a suitable replacement yet.
on the 10th July, 2020 at 3:54pm

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