Milan has begun training in earnest and a few days back the introduction of Filippo Inzaghi was met with tremendous fanfare. This is more telling of the state of Milan, happy for any news as mundane as it may be, to block the reality of what is going on. Now not to say I am not excited about Inzaghi, I am, in fact anything but Seedorf is an upgrade. The problem I have is we continue to progress with Coaches that lack top level experience and if the experiment with Leonardo and then Seedorf has taught us anything, it is that experience matters. I have a different thought on Pippo however...
Inzaghi was never a player who had things handed to him. Yes it can be said he worked harder off the pitch then on it, but to be an opportunistic forward such as Pippo you have to be a position to clean up messes and this Milan is a mess. His idea cleaning has already started. He announced a training regimen and strict diet for the players. More importantly he has banned phones in the locker room and at dinner, as odd as this sounds, I did the same with all the team's I coached. Structure off the pitch leads to structure on it and while many will miss the nonsense photos on Twitter, I for one can care less. Providing a routine, setting rules, and holding players accountable with things like fines is the first step to take this bunch of prima donnas and remind them what it means to be a footballer. If I were Pippo I would have them watch old Champion's League matches of AC Milan to show them what work is success is.
One player who may find the new rule of Pippo is Mario Balotelli. Following his stinker at the World Cup the transfer rumors have quelled but the new laws may expedite his move away from the Club. Mario has never been one for rules and when he broke them at Manchester City it was almost as though he was rewarded with more press. This week's gun toting photo was not only childish but embarrassing. Milan's brass seemed to agree and one would hope that some rules will prevent this sort of nonsense but at the end of the day it is not the phone but the person using it.
Only time will tell if Pippo's talk and rules will yield results but for a team that needs structure and direction, oddly both of those things are free!, these are steps in the right direction. Some players won't like it and those that don't should be shown the door!