It seems that everybody who has worn the red and black on Milan over the last 20 years has a strong opinion on the current situation. Some like Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi and now Cristian Brocchi have tried to stop the rot from the bench whilst others like Gennaro Gattuso and Zvonimir Boban have weighed in with their opinions this week.
Irrespective of the differing views of how to solve the problem, the underlying factor is that there is one and this was evident as the Rossoneri drew 3-3 with relegation threatened Frosinone.
Gattuso has always had strong opinions and he laid the blame at the feet of the players. He was behind the ownership of Silvio Berlusconi and the direction given by Adriano Galliani, claiming that the team had lacked identity and whilst the aforementioned hierarchy know what this is, the current players do not. Rino advised a ‘victory at all costs’ approach, signalling a return to the typical Italian defensive style and targeting the Coppa Italia.
This was certainly one stance, pragmatic, loyal and ruthless. Boban’s approach, not surprisingly, was more creative and flamboyant. He claimed that Brocchi, through no fault of his own, was out of his depth. He insisted that the club should be sold as soon as possible and that Paolo Maldini should be the figurehead of this ‘New Milan’ as Coach. After watching his old team go 3-1 down in a turgid display against a very weak Frosinone, the Croatian certainly had reason to advocate a revolution.
Whilst the Rossoneri were recovering from another poor display under Brocchi, they have to take in numerous opinions and be subjected to the news that Galliani has praised the maturity of an out of sorts Balotelli and reportedly signed Riccardo Montolivo up to a new three-year deal. In the midst of all this, it was reported that Berlusconi had agreed to sell 51% of his shares to a Chinese investment group led by the owner of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma.
Tough times indeed at San Siro as this once great name of Italian football struggles on and off the pitch for stability. A look over their shoulders at Sassuolo would have hurt even more, as they would have watched a well organised and well run team leapfrog them in the fight for European football. Sassuolo beat relegated Verona 1-0, going a point above the Milanese.
Many thought this would leave only three teams fighting for survival, but when an Andrea Belotti-inspired Torino smashed Udinese away from home 5-1, the battle at the bottom looked more interesting.
Frosinone had, as mentioned secured a point, whilst Juventus beat Carpi 2-0 early on Sunday. It was Palermo with their second successive win over Sampdoria that allowed them to catch Carpi. This leaves Frosinone on 31 points, Carpi and Palermo on 35 and Udinese dragged back into the mire on 38.
Finally, Lazio beat Inter convincingly 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, leaving Roberto Mancini with some choice words for his team. Chievo v Fiorentina and Empoli v Bologna both ended 0-0 (Gattuso would have loved that). In the Monday night games, Roma won 3-2 away to Genoa when Francesco Totti scored in a dramatic comeback enhancing the fairy tale and the legend, whilst Napoli saw off Atalanta with Gonzalo Higuain’s brace to keep them two points clear in second place.