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AC Milan's Coaching Courtship

What happens next?!

Clive Rose

Editorial Note: I wrote this piece Monday, before the Inzaghi news broke.  Truth be told I didn't even consider Inzaghi a viable candidate.  Not for any reason other than I didn't view him as ready.  He was not in my list below, I felt he need a bit more time to establish himself as his lack of real top level experience would hurt him.  Now I am not saying I won't support him, if the Club gets behind him and lays out a plan to make him successful, i.e. letting him work his formation and giving what he asks for then let's do it.  The problem is I have said this before and been burned before as well...

Most team's would go into this sort of summer with a plan.  It's a rebuilding year and while we addressed the need for changes at the Top Level of the Club.  A new Coach is a must as well.  Seedorf proved this half season that he lacked the technical and tactical experience of bringing his vision to life and that all that promised was simply the same sort of lip service we are getting out of the front office.  Talk of better football and changes is all hot air at AC Milan, real change come from action and the first action is pick a CEO while the second is pick a Coach!

Now, before everyone gets all whiny, I don't dislike Clarence but the guy is more of an ambassador than a Coach.  He just doesn't strike me as the back room tactics guy you need in the new era of football.  He is an ideal optimist which is the worst combination for a Coach, he seems to think if I put them out there they will do what I ask, when in reality this isn't true.  They do need to execute, and this is a huge problem at AC Milan, but simply putting midfielders in the wings and hoping for results is a nightmare.  Thanks again for the effort, but adios.

That really only leaves a few viable candidates, and few is an understatement because the money at this Club is tight and frankly few Coaches will want to step into this bureaucratic nightmare...but alas, a few names have surfaced...


A great season in La Liga and Europe League Title to boot for Sevilla.  He is the chic choice, a poor man's Klopp.  The sort of Coach that build's teams from the ground up a bit like Simeone, but without the bravado.  He is a pragmatic rational Coach who could take time to adjust to Serie A.  That is not my biggest concern though, my biggest concern comes with the micro managing from the likes of Babs, Silvio and Fester.  He never played the "prettiest" football and Milan fans and management are fickle bunch...when the team is winning it's isn't pretty enough, when the team is losing they want balance, when they win again they forget what they asked for in the first place.  This level of maddening irrationality will drive any good Coach insane, in fact it would rive any Coach away period. A great candidate, but strikes me as to smart for this mess...


Like his Roma team he will forever be remembered as the nearly man.  He is the Ballack of Coaching, almost always at the big game but never quite succeeding.  His track record in Italy speaks for itself and his 45% winning percentage is the highest among the candidates here.  He also understands what it is like to work for whackos, having been employed by the Sensi family.  He did well on a budget, but one could argue he had the talent to do better, then again that Roma was was mentally fragile as well.  Prone to errors, red cards, and complete embarrassment. This could be a red fag for a collection of players sort of in the same boat.


A crash in burn in Brazil will surely see him fired, then again even a WC Victory would most likely see him vacate his post. Not nearly as strong a track record in Club play, he has been more of a builder nurturing teams to the next level.  Problem is that next level has always been second tier.  His Fiorentina team had a moment in the sun in the CL a few years back but he has not proving he can win at any at level.  His one chance, a Euro Final, he showed that his stubborn ideology was his undoing as he didn't plan for Spain in the least bit and his Italy team was embarrassed.  Many would have walked away after that but this guy has pride, enough pride to stand up after that debacle and enough pride to wear a purple turtleneck under a purple bubble best.


For me the most logical choice, he understands the Milan front office nonsense and has worn these colors before.  The problem is that his brand of football, while effective, will draw questions from the fickle fans mentioned above as well as the front office.  His Parma team was a miracle this season, playing smart efficient football, but at the end couldn't pull through. The last time Milan hired a Coach like this they won a Title, but this current Milan team is farther off than any I have seen.  He can handle the fire, but the real question is would he want to, like Emery he may be happier an arm's length away from this team!