Tuesday March 29 2016
Di Francesco could be Milan’s saviour

If Milan, more than the Azzurri, are serious about getting back to winning trophies, they should not doubt appointing Eusebio Di Francesco, writes Vincent Van Genechten.

From coaching Virtus Lanciano to being rumoured the next coach at San Siro and even the Italian national team. It’s been one heck of a ride for Di Francesco. Few could have predicted the 46-year-old would be in this luxurious position so soon in his coaching career.

Let’s remember, he stayed just 20 games at Lanciano, 61 games at Pescara, and 14 games at Lecce, before arriving at Sassuolo. It was there that the rise of EDF began. He guided the Neroverdi to Serie A, saved them from relegation during their first season in Italy’s top flight - having been sacked and then reinstated - and has transformed them into a team that plays attractive and winning football with young Italian talent.

No wonder Milan are seriously thinking about replacing Sinisa Mihajlovic with Di Francesco. The Serbian coaches like he played: emotional and tenacious, but not always with loads of tactical ingenuity. More heart than head, in short. There’s nothing wrong with that style of coaching, but it’s not what the Diavolo need at this point in their rebuilding process.

What Milan need is Di Francesco. One would argue that he could do wonders for a player like Giacomo Bonaventura. The 26-year-old has been Milan’s best player this season, but he needs a system that works in his favour. A 4-3-3 formation, like EDF uses at Sassuolo, would help him greatly. No doubt if he gets a free role as playmaker like Domenico Berardi, or Lorenzo Insigne at Napoli.

But the Rossoneri have other talents to develop as well. Just think about Alessio Romagnoli. Di Francesco turned former Milan flop Francesco Acerbi into an Azzurri again, learning him how to use his vision, feet and physicality to his advantage. Meanwhile, Andrea Consigli has blossomed under EDF, which could lead to the conclusion that Gianluigi Donnarumma will be in save hands.

Furthermore, there’s the case of Mattia De Sciglio. In a best case scenario, the right-back will be able to dig into his full potential and become relevant again. EDF did do a wonderful job with Sime Vrsaljko, which could also help the young Davide Calabria.

And who knows, maybe the Sassuolo coach will be able to reignite the fire in Andrea Bertolacci. “There is only one problem with the 4-3-3, which is you struggle to mark the opposition playmaker,” EDF said recently. Hello Bertolacci, there’s your job!

The Diavolo are in dire need of a clear football vision, which is not present at the moment, and Di Francesco offers one. “My football is about vertical passes, give and go, attacking the space. I always tell the lads: two square passes are already too many.”

The Neroverdi Coach has also been linked with the Italy job, with Antonio Conte to leave after Euro 2016, but that would surely be the wrong move for the young tactician, who would likely have the same complaints as the current CT, relating to time spent with his players.

Of course, Di Francesco will have less room for error at Milan and Silvio Berlusconi is not the most patient man. It’s been five years since the San Siro club won a trophy: the 2011/2012 Supercoppa Italiana. Still, EDF is the right man for the job, as he will be able to put the right players in the right places, while using a system that gets the best out of them.

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Have your say...
It's sad to say, but why would he or any other top level manager want to go to Milan in this environment? It wouldn't be a good choice for him. As for Milan, results have been acceptable from Mihajlovic, the group considered. It's not a tactical problem, even a more adept tactician would struggle to get the current player crop to do better, as half the games they don't have the intensity to overcome smaller teams, and in most games follow the tactics anyway. There, continuity is Milan's best bet
on the 1st April, 2016 at 8:20pm
Okay,,, i'm comparing him to pochetino. pochetino done huge job in england. He discovered 4 cm in one team for england!. And the similarities between england italy national team suggest italy ct would be best for di fransesco as no one will put more faith in someone like berardi than him. Yes, Van genechten made huge statement regarding bertollacci and some others but milan needs someone like conte(Italian mourinho!) to cure the disorder. So di francesco would do better to get his hand on italy where he can inhances further whatever had been done by conte so far....
on the 30th March, 2016 at 12:19pm
Oh my god just get DONADONI already.
on the 30th March, 2016 at 9:55am
Milans savior..... hahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha



NO.... NO..... NO
on the 29th March, 2016 at 10:54pm
Also hasn't Miha done a good job with Bonaventura? It is under him that Bonaventura is now achieving his best form ever. Milan should stick with Miha. Continue the project. If they didn't believe in his football why did they appoint him at all? Could have given it to Gasperini or Montella or Di Francesco last year if they wanted attacking football. They're as badly run as Inter used to be!
on the 29th March, 2016 at 7:51pm
I think Milan should stick with Mihajlovic. The problem is not the coach it is Galliani and Berlusconi. Di Francesco has been given time as Sassuolo, after initially being sacked and reinstated. It takes time to build a team. Milan are looking for instant success, but no longer have the resources to achieve that. I think Di Francesco would be better off elsewhere instead of ruining his reputation at Milan. Inter would be better for him. Not too many attractive jobs in Italy at the moment.
on the 29th March, 2016 at 7:46pm
@Greaseman85 As great as our history is no top draw manager would be idiotic enough to take the Milan job. Not with Berlusconi at the helm thinking he is a football genius. Agree Berlusconi is the problem as EDF could be a real success if Berlusconi didn't butt in with his usual antics.
on the 29th March, 2016 at 6:34pm
Agree with Alexxx, as soon as EDF loses some matches, berlusconi will start teaching him on how the game should be played, telling him to use a certain formation, and if still not working he will bash EDF openly like he did with Allegri, Seedorf, Inzaghi, and Mihajlovic.
on the 29th March, 2016 at 6:15pm
Milan will need a real experienced manager who has managed at the top and has international profile, not some nobody midtable manager. Besides, their real problem is Berlusconi.
on the 29th March, 2016 at 6:14pm
No, he won't. Milan's problem is berlusconi, who has no clear plan how to redevelop. Soon Di Francesco will have similar fate like seedorf and mihajlovic.
on the 29th March, 2016 at 3:30pm
This appointment will require some patience from the hierarchy, which I doubt is in abundance at Milan at this point in time. EDF comes with a very attractive philosophy and a conviction for grooming younger players. What Milan needs a winning mentality and a coach who can instill that as quickly as possible. I am prepared to bet on this guy doing just that, but will Berlusconi give him room and time to put his print on Milan.
on the 29th March, 2016 at 3:16pm
the milan problem is lack consistency and it was caused by the ill mentality. Unfortunately, Mihajlovic couldn't fix this quickly. So replace him with EDF will definitely risky but who knows he will deliver silverwares.
on the 29th March, 2016 at 3:09pm

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