Monday July 6 2015
Mihajlovic means business

A new season dawns for Milan, and with it comes another new coach, but Sam Lewis sees reason to believe things may be different this time.

Sinisia Mihajlovic begins his Rossoneri tenure with training sessions, but there already appears to be evidence to suggest this particular tactician won’t be quite like the previous ones.

After the failed nostalgia moves of Clarence Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi, Silvio Berlusconi this time has opted to go with experience and proven passion in the former Inter and Lazio defender Mihajlovic. Perhaps hoping that Miha’s famous aggression will transform last season’s abject Diavolo squad into a pack of raging dogs, the Serbian Coach appears to be determined to make his presence felt almost immediately.

Almost immediately, Mihajlovic has made his wishes for the team clear. Perhaps coinciding fortunately with Rossoneri management’s willingness to finally do the open heart surgery this ailing team needs, but the desire of their new Coach to create a new team in his image has been matched by the actions of the boardroom.

Unwanted players forced on previous tacticians, such as Sulley Muntari and Valter Birsa have been finally shipped off, while players who fill a real need in the team have brought in – Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano are more than acceptable follow-ups to the Jackson Martinez debacle while Andrea Bertolacci adds infusion of Serie A-proven, Italian talent to a midfield that is crying for assistance. Parma prospect Jose Mauri is expected to fill the ranks in the coming days and the transfer market is not expected to stop there.

Philippe Mexes, a favourite of management for his willingness was seemingly on course for an extension with the club but Mihajlovic’s desire to build the team without the inconsistent Frenchman seems to have spelled the end for the former Roma man, who may tread a path already taken by countryman Adil Rami.

Nigel De Jong’s extension at Milan (among whispers that the Rossoneri board were actually considering letting the Dutchman go and look for a younger replacement) seems to imply Mihajlovic’s involvement too – the Serbian’s arrival seemed to change the tone on De Jong, who may be the modern day version of the former Lazio stopper. Another player whose Milan career has been saved by the grace of the new coach is M’Baye Niang – who has seemingly convinced Sinsia from his time at Genoa. The youngster will be a part of the new Rossoneri rather than be a “what-if” prospect in the mould of Pierre Emerick Aubemayang, now a success at Borussia Dortmund.

Training has begun in earnest, with high intensity sessions already the order of the day despite the earliness of the summer, already telling his players there “must be no mistakes in training” and rather unsurprisingly “you must always be aggressive.” It seems Milan will be more grit than grace in the early stages of Sinsia’s reign.

It will be a far cry from the relaxed atmosphere under previous coaches, and as both of those men reportedly lost the respect of the locker room, it’s perhaps a good thing. Mihajlovic at the very least will be the undisputed leader at Milanello, filling the leadership void that has seen the formerly disciplined and professional Rossoneri slip into the decay it now finds itself in.

“Milan have always been a side to be feared, and I want that back,” Mihajlovic told media. It certainly seems that at the very least, Milan will have a Coach to be feared.

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Have your say...
@ dami I couldn't believe the figures for Schar and Miranda. I got them off transfermarket. They could be wrong. 4m for Schar is ridiculous. And they both went to teams who were not in the Champions League. I agree about Menez. I'll defend Menez (as with most of the players). He was our leading goalscorer last season but I would've pretty much accepted losing any of our forwards over SES.
on the 16th July, 2015 at 12:49am
@Maldini's Heir definitely agree about SES, wouldve rather seen Menez go as SES was at least some sort of icon and represented Milan. We all know Milan shouldve kept Cristante and Saponara because theyre young and Italian. Milan could build on them. Same thing with Romagnoli is that we could build on him defensively for years to come, at least he could be some sort of core which we need. But yes we shouldve gone for Schar and Miranda at 9m wouldve been a steal.
on the 15th July, 2015 at 11:47am
@ Milan 92 but the really stupid thing is that SES can actually play in the 4-3-1-2 system. That's the system he played in when he scored all the goals at the start of 12/13 season. It was only after January we moved to a 4-3-3 to accommodate the SES-Balo-Niang combination and he stopped scoring!

@ dami spending 30m on Romagnoli would be a travesty when Milan could've signed Schar for 4m and Miranda for 9m. Two CBs with Champions League experience and an instant fix for our defence.
on the 15th July, 2015 at 2:35am
I look forward to Milan & Inter returning some pride to their respective clubs. They are both spending money & that can only be a good thing for Serie A. For sure Italy needs them both to eventually get our 4th CL spot back. yours truly, a juventus fan.
on the 14th July, 2015 at 10:59pm
I really feel like we should pay the 30 for Romagnoli. I know its inflated but I just have a feeling he would be so good for us. Yes he could end up a flop but could also be the Nesta we need.
on the 14th July, 2015 at 3:57pm
What they should have been doing is progressing the young Italians like SES, Cristante, Saponara to bring Milan to greatness when they all reach their primes together. I'm severely disappointed to have witnessed the disaster the past five or so seasons have brought to this club. Management set Milan up to fail.
on the 14th July, 2015 at 12:54pm
@Maldini's Heir
That's what fears me. If Milan acquired a different coach who favored the 4-3-3, SES would still be there. Although he has failed to stay healthy, he is the type of player you should focus your team around. It's sad that there really aren't many young players in the first team that Milan can build around. There's MDS and Mastour only really so I'm afraid of the continuation of adding older players to try to obtain immediate success instead of progressing youth...
on the 14th July, 2015 at 12:48pm
@ Milan 92 Who knows. To succeed at Milan a manger needs to have a very strong character. Ancelotti was so diplomatic. I remember he said once he used to play Kaka upfront for 10 minutes just to please the great leader and then pull him back. Allegri, Saachi and Capello all had strong personalities. Others were too weak. Maybe Mihajlovic has a strong enough personality but if he sanctioned the renewal of Mexes and the sale of SES then that's equally worrying.
on the 14th July, 2015 at 10:40am
Tough to see El Shaa go. He was such a liked player and I really liked him aswell. Hope he shines in the principality.
on the 13th July, 2015 at 6:17pm
Saddened to see the little pharoh leave but it's in his own best interest he has been wasted and suffered under milans absurd milan lab injury record and merry go round of coaches. Can honestly say he is the last player in the squad I genuinely liked. His workmates and commitment could never be doubted. Now milan have some cash I await the pointless nostalgia signing. I expect a solid 4-5 place finish which would be a massive improvement.
on the 13th July, 2015 at 5:38pm
@Maldini's Heir
It was great to see Milan play that way. Is Miha another puppet? I would've loved to see Seedorf stay a few years and have his say with the club. The number of Italians is alarming to me. Monto, Abate, and MDS are the only potential locks to play for the Azzurri. Then comes possible players in Bona, Antonelli, and Poli. I want to watch Milan players in the Euro playing for Italy. I guess times have changed and the rebuild has to start somewhere.
on the 13th July, 2015 at 1:47pm
since Baresi's retirement that we had a decent centre back next to Maldini. This formed the basis of all of the success in the next 7 years. Milan desperately need to find the next Nesta/Maldini combination. I just hope between now and September that someone sees sense and puts it right. The end.
on the 13th July, 2015 at 5:37am
them off the park with this Pirlo dude pulling all the strings. I remember thinking how is it that Gattuso is playing for Milan? He can barely play football but man is he scary! It just shows how things can change overnight. However the key things that Milan did to make things right are: we appointed Ancelotti (who lets remember had not had greats spells with Juve and Parma) and signed a few world class players in Nesta and Seedorf. Nesta for me was of the big differences. It was the first time
on the 13th July, 2015 at 5:35am
than spectacular spell. We also saw a lot of wasted talent: Vieira was let go to Arsenal, Desailly to Chelsea, Kluivert to Barcelona and Davids to Juve. At the end of this period we appointed Ancelotti and I remember that summer in 02/03 when we signed Nesta and Seedorf and that season saw Pirlo finally reach his potential (at around the same age as De Sciglio) and explode onto the world. I remember the shock when Milan played Deportivo and Bayern Munich in the Champions League and played
on the 13th July, 2015 at 5:34am
Ok for everyone who thinks I am terribly negative here'a a little story about why there might be hope one day for this Milan. I can't help but remember the last time Milan had a big dip. There was a dip between 96 and 02 (we did win the league in 98/99 but that was more of a blip). During that period Milan went through a number of different managers: Sacchi and Capello's less successful second stints, Zaccheroni's relatively successful stint, Cesare Maldini's return and then Fatih Terim's less
on the 13th July, 2015 at 5:32am
@ St Ambrose Spot on. I agree with everything you've said.

@ sami Yes and Bonera although I would have been less annoyed about Bonera being renewed. He was just incompetent and any indiscipline stemmed from his incompetence. Mexes was incompetent, indisciplined, disgraceful and embarrassing. I would only add Muntari. These were 3 experienced players who failed in any way to lead the side and who made numerous errors and had various cases of indiscipline when the side needed them most.
on the 13th July, 2015 at 12:47am
@Maldini's Heir you forgot to mention another everyone had an issue with - Bonera. Thank god he's gone.
on the 12th July, 2015 at 4:37pm
I will also be very interested to see if Milan suffer from yet another injury crisis this coming season. If they do, then serious questions need to be asked of Milan Lab, as this has happened far too frequently since the 11/12 season. Back then there were apparently grumblings from Berlusconi about Allegri's training methods being to blame for it. We now know from Juventus' recent form that that is completely false.
on the 12th July, 2015 at 3:01pm
Letting go of Stephan is painful but understandable, or at least it would be if they were not looking to replace him with Ibrahimovic. The club still has not learned from the failure of recent nostalgia moves.
on the 12th July, 2015 at 2:57pm
Berlusconi said recently that they want to reduce the squad size to 25 or 26. It remains to be seen whether they will follow through with this, though the club has a poor track record on following through with its promises over the past few years. It is difficult to get enthused ahead of this season with yet more newcomers entering the squad – and mainly non-Italians, contrary to Berlusconi's expressed wish to have more nationals in the lineup.
on the 12th July, 2015 at 2:55pm
Aside from everything else mentioned in these comments, I find it quite alarming that Mihajlovic can say in an interview "I'm just here to coach; transfer strategy doesn't concern me." It should. I had hoped that with a serious replacement finally coming on to the bench, we might see a more purposeful transfer campaign. Now I start to wonder if the Milan hierarchy actually has a policy of telling coaches they court that will not have any say on transfers, but must leave it all to Galliani.
on the 12th July, 2015 at 2:49pm
@ Udochukuwu You may be right and that in itself is a depressing thought.

@ Viktor I find it disgraceful that fans are turning on the likes of Montolivo and Honda. Two complete professionals who have suffered at the hands of the mis-management. The focus of my frustration is only at those in charge. The majority of the players (except for Mexes) I have no issue with. No one could've played in the conditions of the past 3 years
on the 12th July, 2015 at 12:18am
@Maldini's Heir El Sharaawy has to leave for his own good. He'll barely get a kick in Mihaj's 4312/4321. These are Milan's formation, not the 433/4231. I hate us playing those with those formations. It's not Milan's. It's like Guardiola's Barca playing 343 in his last season. No wonder he failed. Barca's formation is the 433 he used in his good seasons at Barca. I hate to see SES go, but he has to. It will disastrous for him to sit on the bench, and we can't keep changing formations to suit him. He's not C. Ronaldo or Messi. But I do believe we could have gotten more money from his sale though.
on the 11th July, 2015 at 11:22am
@ Stop Being Negative Well if you've been reading my posts for about 3 years then that is about the amount of time that Milan have been completely coming off the rails culminating in the latest debacle when we finished 10th. I don't see much change this time. It looks like we might be selling SES so that's another idol gone and where to now? Rather than being super positive Milan fans need to be getting very angry. Galliani needs to leave immediately. Money is no longer an excuse.
on the 11th July, 2015 at 1:44am
Call me crazy but I truly believe NDJ or Diego Lopez should be captain. I even heard if Ibra returns he would be handed the armband which is absurd. It would be tough to get much for Monto after barely playing last season, but selling Menez after his 16 goals would be profitable. Montolivo did have huge shoes to fill from Pirlo's departure but to me he is just a decent midfielder with nothing too brilliant about his play.
on the 10th July, 2015 at 4:46pm
@Milan 92

You want us to sell our captain?
on the 10th July, 2015 at 2:55pm
There's a friendly today and some notables in the expected starting XI are Ely, Nocerino, Suso and Cutrone as strikers. (Bacca and Adriano are still on vacation). I am excited to see how the youngsters do but not the happiest with Nocerino getting the nod. I still believe the club should attempt to sell Menez, Honda, Nocerino, Alex, Paletta, Monto and invest in more young talent. Also, we got Bacca for 30 mil and sevilla replaced him with Immobile for 13 mil. He should do well under Emery
on the 10th July, 2015 at 12:13pm
@Stop being negative: Let's keep the comments about Milan and not about other people. At least Milan's Heir stirs up the pot on this post and others and gives everyone something to talk about whether it's positive or negative. It's normal to feel the way he does after witnessing the crash and burn of the most successful club in the world. Some of us are just more optimistic about the future than others. If you can't add to the discussion about Milan, find somewhere else to comment.
on the 10th July, 2015 at 12:04pm
@Maldini's Heir: I have noted your repetitive comments on pretty much every post about Milan. As a fan, one is expected to take the good and bad. I'll just finish by saying empty vessels make the most noise and you're the epitome of an empty vessel.
on the 10th July, 2015 at 11:25am
Maldini's Heir: It's not like you've invested your money in buying the players. Every season on every blog, you whinge and whine and go on and on about formations, youth policy, PLANS etc. as if you're some sort of expert. If it's not one thing, it's another. Instead of supporting the players we already have, you go on and on about those that left. Of Cristante and Saponara, come back and talk to us when they win the Ballon d'Or.
on the 10th July, 2015 at 9:59am

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