AC Milan is making headlines but not exactly for all the right reasons. Another disappointing season has gone by but the chaos surrounding the club is almost the same.
For the last few months there have reports Silvio Berlusconi could be willing to sell his majority stake in the club he helped become one of the best in the world. Recently, reports say that Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol has offered 500 million Euros for 51% of the club. Mr. Bee has travelled to Milan this past week to negotiate with Berlusconi. While the negotiations may have hit a minor speed bump, they will likely have another meeting tomorrow. Milanisti hope this new era will help return the club to European success.
After another disappointing performance on Wednesday night, losing to Udinese 3-1, Pippo Inzaghi’s job was reportedly in jeopardy. There were reports Inzaghi could be replaced by youth team coach Christian Brocchi. In his post game conference Inzaghi said, “Whatever happens, Milan will always be in my heart. I have been here for a long time, I am calm and I always try and give my all… Resign? No resignation, I think it is cowardly. I give my all like I always did as a player.”
Yes, Inzaghi hasn’t done so well this season but he had no professional coaching experience before this season. Pippo only coached Milan’s primavera team for 2 years and so Milan’s management has to take some part of responsibility for this failure. Last year Clarence Seedorf retired from playing to take the coaching job at Milan. After some mediocre results and unfair treatment, Seedorf was relieved of his duties and Inzaghi was hired to replace him. Did Milan management hire 2 consecutive coaches with no professional coaching experience and expect to achieve success as a top club in Europe? Milan management also has to take responsibly for the decline in the squad’s quality. Milan were actually the last team besides Juventus to win the Scudetto in the 2010-2011 season. Andrea Pirlo, Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho, and club legend Alessandro Nesta were just a few world-class players on that team. Andrea Pirlo’s contract was not renewed and he joined Juventus for free and is about to lead them to their 4th consecutive Scudetti. Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic were both sold to PSG for a total of about 65 million Euros but no world-class players were bought to replace them. We could also look at their youth products. The list is really too long to go through it all but many Milan primavera players have found great success at other clubs. Alberto Paloschi is now at Chievo Verona leading the club with 8 goals. Bryan Cristante was sold to Benfica last summer, M’Baye Niang was loaned out to Genoa who has 5 goals and 2 assists this season and Riccardo Saponara is at Empoli on loan with an option to buy and he’s picked up 6 goals and 2 assists. Those are a few of the recent young talents Milan have mishandled. Matteo Darmian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are two notable former Milan youth players who’ve had great success at Torino and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
Adriano Galliani has also signed many players in their later years who’ve seemed to not have much left in their tanks. Signing Alessandro Matri, Fernando Torres, Michael Essien as a free agent and extending Sulley Muntari’s contract are a few decisions Galliani has taken heat for.
So, it has been a culmination of bad decisions at Milan that has led to their current state. Whatever happens off the pitch and during the offseason, Milan will certainly need to improve next season. The sad part in it all is that the image of two club legends in Seedorf and Inzaghi might be tarnished. Hopefully Milanisti will remember them for their great times on the pitch and not their struggles on the sidelines.