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Should He Stay or Should He Go?

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I am about to do the unthinkable, I am going to do my best to step up to the plate and defend Carletto. I know it won’t be easy, and I cant even sit here and tell you I agree with everything I am about to say, but I am going to throw some facts out there, make some comparisons and in the end leave you with my simple questions in the title.

Our dearest Carletto has been with us since 2001, giving him eight years at the helm. In those eight years he was won two CL titles, appeared in three finals, and led Milan to a scudetto, Club World Cup, Uefa SuperCup, Italian Cup, and Italian Supercup. Not to mention for those of us who cite his player development flaws, he coached two eventual golden ball winners and one runner up in his reign. So know that you have a digested a massive roster of achievements you can begin to compare him to the likes of SAF and Arsene Wenger. Sure SAF has been at ManU for twenty plus years and his legacy is glorious, but at Carletto’s current clip he would need a bus to haul away all the trophies if he was at Milan for that long. Yes Wenger has put Arsenal in the CL every year he has been on their bench, and had arguably one of the greatest season in EPL history, but after that his achievements fall off the table. So if Carletto does go, the likelihood of replacing him with someone of this caliber is slim, so like many Arsenal fans who call for Wenger’s head it is important to ask yourself could we do better than our current guy? You could always do worse…

Back to Carletto for a moment, a few weeks ago his supposed “summer wish list” went public. It was nothing extravagant, it had some big name strikers on their with Eto being prominent, but also some youngish Italian type players like Nocerino, a big surprise, and Palombo, who Carletto still seems to have an eye for. Now I don’t know how much I believe the list, especially consider that it is after the fact and burn on Uncle Fester, you can’t help but feel for a guy who is proverbially “playing someone else’s cards.” On a smaller scale, I pick and coach my own players for my team, I fit them into a nice neat little puzzle of eleven and then I chose my ten subs accordingly, if I fail it rests on me. If Carletto fails, he needs to shoulder some blame, but we also have to consider his selections he is working with, not even beginning to consider the injuries he has had to endure. As a whole the Milan roster contains very specialized players for specific inclusions and situation, Pirlo plays deep that’s it, Gattuso plays towards the right, Janks on the left, Ronaldinho stands still on the left half way between the end line and half line, Kaka roams free towards the box, and Becks plays the right period. So what happens when injuries strike, or poor form hits, and you are left with tasks/roles that go unfulfilled and players not versatile enough to fill those roles, it causes big problems, and Carletto, Milan, and the tifosi are knee deep in these problems right now. Case in point, we have dropped points late, and oddly enough Carletto has made moves that make you scratch your head why Dinho and not Flamini, why Favalli and not Pippo. These are blames that rest solely on his shoulders, but as a fan we don’t know what the mood, feel, or even discourse of a certain players at the time of the sub so we make assumptions. The big issue I find though is that these are professional footballers, and they are “old” enough (I guess meant the pun there) to know that the situation calls for a specific function be it possession, dragging the ball to the corner, lateral and backward passes, and so on. If we are up one goal, and Pippo is brought on board, he should know he has to bring the ball to corner and possess, he shouldn’t attempt ten step overs and be disposed for a counter, correct? Go ahead and apply that logic to others, I don’t mind, I just wanted to show that it could be spread around…

So yes we can lambast Carletto, call for his head, but in the end are we that much better off. Maybe we need to clamor for Fester to listen to his coach or to spend money the right way. Maybe we need Berlu to step in and say enough is enough, but neither is looking all that likely. Rijkaard is not the answer, and his soap opera with Dinho will only cause us more problems. Leonardo, Baresi, and Costacurta are not even close to the level needed at Milan, and the last you want is a coach with growing pains in charge. Coaching the Rossoneri is a pressure cooker, and no average Joe can take on that job, you have to succeed, and I would much rather a man that can, that a man that never has…at this point and time I am frustrated with Carletto, the players, and more importantly Uncle Fester. But in the end I am a Rossonero Tifosi and I am not going to quit on them now, and I am not going to quit on Carletto either. We can’t go through a coaching carousel like we did from 96-2001 before Carletto again. I mean we can, I just prefer not to, let’s ride this out, focus on top three, and get behind this guy he has given us far too much to give up that quickly.

FYI, I am doing my best to crank out posts, and do so close to the theme of the comments, but lately there has been so much to digest. Your discussions are excellent, and if I miss points or you want to take something further please shoot me an email acmilan[at}theoffside.com and I will wrap a post around it. Also the next two months I am completing my coaching certification classes and have to attend and run many training sessions to gain my certificate, if I fall off the face of the earth here or there I apologize, but I promise to always have a match post, Maldini Monday and recap post. The inbetween may be up to you, and you guys are already stellar at it. Thanks again.