Tuesday May 27 2014
Inzaghi inspired or not?

Milan’s expected move to hire Pippo Inzaghi as Coach indicates a club without clear direction, argues Sam Lewis.

Four-and-a-half months ago, Clarence Seedorf was announced as the new Coach of Milan, signing a three-year-contract that indicated the Rossoneri were prepared to back their charismatic Dutch rookie for the long haul, as they prepared to rebuild from the ashes of the Massimiliano Allegri era at San Siro.

However, it appears that ideology has shifted, with Seedorf expected to be moved out to allow former teammate Filippo Inzaghi to take the reins and lead Milan forward.

For the Diavolo, a club that historically doesn’t sack managers, having a third Coach in six months is something approaching a crisis.

Inzaghi, a long-time fan favourite much more beloved than the man he is set to replace, is a classic Milan move similar to the re-signing of former hero Riccardo Kaka. A friendly face masks the ugliness beneath, but the view from outside Via Turati is that Milan just don’t have a long-term plan.

The impending removal of Seedorf to begin with is a baffling decision. For all the talk of inexperience surrounding the former midfielder, his work for the Rossoneri was largely positive, especially when the quality of the squad was taken into account.

In the 19 Serie A games under Seedorf, Milan won 11, lost six and drew two. For perspective, if the Dutchman had coached the side for an entire season with the same win percentage, Milan would sit fourth on 70 points, five ahead of Fiorentina, the team currently occupying that position.

Aside from murmured reports of locker room tension and boardroom disagreements, Seedorf largely left a good impression on his former side’s bench, even providing Milan’s first Serie A win over Inter since 2011.

Meanwhile, his expected replacement also prepares to come into the role having never coached at senior level. Inzaghi has been a success at youth level, but his appointment does not shed any more light on the direction Milan are going than when Seedorf was hired. Replacing a rookie with a rookie, albeit a slightly more popular one, is nothing more than a sideways move.

Additionally, if reports are to be believed, Inzaghi wasn’t even the first choice replacement for Seedorf. Despite the former striker being in the running with Seedorf to replace Allegri before Silvio Berlusconi chose the latter in January, Milan considered Sevilla Coach Unai Emery and former Zenit and Roma tactician Luciano Spalletti for the job. Revealingly, reports are that both turned the club down.

If Milan are being turned down by a Coach, whose lifting of the Europa League earlier this month was arguably the glass ceiling of his occupation, it is an indicator of the club’s appeal.

Inzaghi then, the second choice rookie for Milan and reportedly their third choice to replace Seedorf in the last month, will be the next man up to try and deliver some joy to their weary fans. Whether the former striker will too be hearing his coaching obituary read out in a few months is anyone’s guess. It appears that no-one – Milan included – have any idea what the future holds.

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Have your say...
I am no Milan fan but it is unfortunate that we see AC in a mess. This has to be a classic example of bad management from the very top. Long gone are the days of total domination.
on the 29th May, 2014 at 10:01pm
... I currently have a vision of Galliani removed from the picture, Barbara given more influence on the sporting side, fresh investment found for the club, Maldini returned as a sporting director, a 23-man squad giving playing time to Petagna, Cristante, Saponara and El Shaarawy, and leading the line a coach of established merit, possibly Spalletti (although at this time almost anyone would feel like an improvement).
on the 29th May, 2014 at 9:21pm
A final bit from me for now – I instead think the only way to enjoy being a Milan fan again is to reflect nostalgically on the club's rich history and past successes, and/or to daydream about what could be done about how to fix the club's problems...
on the 29th May, 2014 at 9:18pm
Hiring Seedorf in the first place was indeed a deluded thing to do, though I also wondered at his willingness to accept. Did he have no suspicion he was being handed a poisoned chalice? The club continue sending out mixed messages. The recent opening of Casa Milan and Barbara looking for investment in Asia suggests the club want to grow stronger again, but on the transfer market and on the pitch that same ambition doesn't seem to be there, or is otherwise woefully misguided.
on the 29th May, 2014 at 9:07pm
@Maldini's Heir – Robinho, Emanuelson, Essien and Bonera have to be the next ones to go. As for Galliani being a nuisance to Berlusconi, as I said I'm not sure how motivated (or lucid) Berlusconi is to make the necessary changes in the club. It feels to me like the pair of them are just a couple of elderly cronies enjoying their positions and not caring about incompetence. Berlusconi doesn't seem set to get rid of his old friend and so things seem set to continue.
on the 29th May, 2014 at 9:05pm
@Viktor – too true. Ambrosini was shunted out unceremoniously too.
@Maldini's Heir – Certainly, a 30-man squad just drains resources the club complains of having too little of already. I indeed hope Mexes leaves. There have been reports he will go, and the red card against Sassuolo should be the final nail in the coffin. Milan have already been linked again with promising players (including Santon) so I hope something good comes of that.
on the 29th May, 2014 at 9:01pm
Pippo used to get a bad press here in the UK for goal hanging and diving. I always thought that was unfair. He was a goal scorer, it was his job and he did it very well. He was a winner on the big stages - put two past Liverpool in the CL final and scored a great counter attack goal for Italy in knock out stages of the WC in 2006
However I don't think this job is for him just yet. I would keep Seedorf. Seedorf has done well all things considered. And continuity does count for much.
on the 29th May, 2014 at 1:35pm
@St Ambrose

Don't forget ambrosini as well..
on the 29th May, 2014 at 3:45am
@ St Ambrose The incompetent decisions by Galliani and to a lesser degree Berlusconi have cost Milan a fortune. Compensation for Seedorf, the wages for players like Mexes and Robinho and our bloated squad of 30 players and the general lack of direction which cost Milan European football and which in reality has seen them in decline since around the 2007 season. I'd hate to think of the amount of money Galliani has cost Berlusconi. He must have some pretty interesting photos locked in a safe!
on the 29th May, 2014 at 1:32am
@ St Ambrose I agree with nearly all your comments. On Seedorf he did a little better than expected but I'm not against getting rid of him. The mistake was hiring him in the first place. I agree replacing him with Inzaghi is just repeating the same mistake. I'm bored complaining. I suppose we wait for the inevitable implosion and celebrate the day that Galliani finally leaves.
on the 29th May, 2014 at 1:25am
Meanwhile those responsible for the state of the current squad (mainly Galiani) remain in place. I suppose the only way to start enjoying being a Milan fan again is to start taking bets. How long do we give Inzaghi? I reckon November. Anyone else got any predictions?
on the 29th May, 2014 at 1:19am
This decision shows that in all likelihood we're in for another season like the last two seasons. What Milan desperately need now is experience. What we are getting is a roll of the dice. Inzaghi did not set the world on fire with the Primavera. They finished third in the league and got hammered in the Youth Champions League. He has no experience coaching a senior side. I also fully expect to see more incompetent signings adding ever more attackers to the squad while ignoring our defence.
on the 29th May, 2014 at 1:17am
Another very disappointing thing about this is the money it will cost the club to get rid of Seedorf early (€10m) is money they could otherwise have put towards buying a very good defender. I am doubtful that Inzaghi will be such a exceptional coach that it will have been worth the sacrifice to finances.
on the 28th May, 2014 at 6:50pm
Another thing that bothers me about this is the lack of respect for Seedorf. A man that helped your side win 2 Champions Leagues. A man that stopped his playing career to come in and improve things at his former team. He did an amazing job, and Berlusconi needs to go. Sell your team if you're not going to put the money out to better them.
on the 28th May, 2014 at 5:22pm
Berlusconi claims that he is far from happy with the way Milan are performing at the moment. If that is the case, he ought to change something for the better, but one must question the lucidity of a man who hired a rookie coach to try and change Milan's dire fortunes and who believes San Siro should be named after him. If Barbara was given more authority on the sporting side of things, I would actually greet the news with optimism. What she says at least sounds sensible.
on the 28th May, 2014 at 12:36pm
Im going with inzaghi to be fired shortly after xmas.
on the 28th May, 2014 at 12:34pm
has it ever occured to anybody that the reason milan don't appoint a big manager and keep recruiting rookies is because they CAN'T get a big manager. Big managers are big because they have control and money. Milan have none of that. They cant afford players. They cant pay a decent manager.

So maybe they have to put up with crappy milan ex players. Once inzaghi is fired it will then be gattuso, then costacurta then shevchenko.

The club is a broke joke. And Madrid just widened the gap.
on the 28th May, 2014 at 12:33pm
@Mustafaaa, Numero10 and Anonymous,
I am relieved (in some ways) to see that other people see things this way too. Inzaghi being a recently-retired player promoted to senior-team manager from the youth side will surely put him in a position where he feels indebted to the club and is therefore easy to control. I don't doubt an established coach would have some things to say to about the lack of direction or a clearly defined project if they were on the Milan bench.
on the 28th May, 2014 at 12:04pm
Pippo will be exactly the same as seedorf. Promote a player into a manager gives the owners a loyal puppet. Seedorf was brought in to play things berlusconi' way! Inzaghi will be exactly the same- wed never see ancelotti or an established manager offered the job at milan bcoz an established manager demands investment, clear vision and total managing of the team- everything they wouldnt get at milan! With seedorf and soon inzaghi berlusconi gets a cheap puppets that continue to run milan down
on the 28th May, 2014 at 6:54am
As a Juve supporter I'm very sad too see Milan in this mess. Why waste the talent of Seedorf, he came in to manage a team already in a shambolic state. He should of had more time to stamp his style on the team. The only prob is that Milan is buying old or out of contract players, with no idea of the future. If your going to get a new manager after such a hard time get an experienced one, not one that you may burn out so early. Milan have needed to buy a whole new defensive line for ages.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 11:18pm
Another puppet.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 9:54pm
Seedorf had a philosophy, a set formation and a style of play that could have really been embedded during the summer. On the pitch he has done nothing wrong, some bad results but with the lack of talent at his disposal- even bringing back Ancelotti wouldn't solve this mess.

Id just like to have seen Seedorf get another 6 months to make the team truly his. Despite being humiliated publicly, he has remained proud and dignified, and im sure he will get a decent job elsewhere.

Good Luck Clarence.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 8:38pm
Inzaghi being it's coach is yet another reason to detest this club,a club going nowhere fast.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 8:14pm
I could have seen a positive in keeping Seedorf. I could have seen a positive in letting him go (albeit with a little more gratitude) and bringing in a 'serious' coach like Spalletti. But as it is, I see no positive in Milan taking on Inzaghi – someone they can probably hire at relatively little cost and influence a lot because of his lack of experience. Instead the club seems to be extending it's bargain-bin transfer policy to its coaches as well.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 7:31pm
From the outside at least, Galliani looks increasingly like a corrupt politician, growing bloated and complacent in the comfortable position he holds while the people he's supposed to be serving suffer from his complacency. Never mind X years serving the club – apparently that doesn't matter at Milan, or Pirlo, Maldini, Seedorf and even Allegri would have been treated with more respect. If they can be let go so unceremoniously, I think Galliani should be too.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 7:26pm
This article is funny I am 24/7 reporter on milan and I know everything inside the club. Unai Emery did not reject milan in fact he was waiting for approval this is why yesterday he announced on wednesday he will renew his contract with sevilla. Spalleti may have had few wage issues with milan which ended up in him not coming but enai emery and inzaghi were two options with their wages and styles and attributes in front of berlusconi.Italian papers reported berlusconi wanted italian manager.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 7:25pm
Better yet, why doesn't the coach get to decide who stays and who goes? Why is it that at Milan the coach just has to work with whatever scraps Galliani drops him? At other clubs, the manager often has a more active hand in who is recruited. I suspect that is why no one like Donadoni or Emery is going to replace Seedorf – I think a serious coach like them would too readily complain about the lack of direction on the transfer market. Inzaghi will be expected to be grateful for what he's given.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 7:21pm
I also find it vexing when people say Berlusconi and/or Galliani are not the problem and should be trusted because they have brought so much success to the club in the past. This argument holds no water with coaches. Allegri was sacked for poor results – he wasn't kept on the grounds that in the past he'd won the title for Milan. Past success isn't a guarantee of present reliability. Galliani needs to pull his finger out this summer and make some sensible moves for a change.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 7:15pm
It makes me doubt that Galliani and Barbara have the same long-term plan in mind (Galliani doesn't seem to have one). At the moment Galliani looks like a serious problem. Seedorf and Maldini's estrangement is apparently due to a bad relationship with the man. Verona's sporting director tellingly didn't want a job at Milan only to be 'Galliani's waiter'. He continues to make awful decisions in the transfer windows... Right now, I would be pleased to see him go.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 7:11pm
When Seedorf was brought in, it was supposed to be part of a long-term plan to rebuild Milan, not focusing on a quick, miraculous turnaround but being patient and seeing an improvement over time. Six months later and the hierarchy are already scrapping this plan. Barbara has talked a lot to the media about the need to rebuild slowly, focusing on the club's own young talent, but she seems to have little authority on the sporting side of things.
on the 27th May, 2014 at 7:05pm

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