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Comment: Brocchi Deserves a Fair Chance

Despite the circumstances surrounding his appointment, Cristian Brocchi deserves an opportunity to show that he is the right man for the job.

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Almost immediately after the news of Cristian Brocchi's appointment as Milan's new manager was made official, the bashing commenced.  "Provinical manager", "A yes man", and "Berlusconi's puppet" were all terms used to describe Brocchi before he had made one appearance behind the bench for the Rossoneri's senior side.  While Brocchi was far from the sexiest or most credentialed coach Milan could have opted for, and the firing of Sinisa Mihajlovic was in itself an odd decision, Brocchi deserves a fair chance to show that he is capable of doing the job.

From the jump, Brocchi was put at a disadvantage because of the perceived unjust sacking of Mihajlovic.  The Serbian coach launched the Milan careers of Alessio Romagnoli and Gianluigi Donnarumma, instituted a renewed attention to defence (despite the fact that Milan hasn't been able to defend a set piece for 3 years and counting), and was behind the bench for Milan's longest unbeaten run in three seasons.  Despite all of this, Berlusconi had seen enough, and demanded the Serb's firing despite lobbying from longtime advisor and Milan CEO Adriano Galliani to keep Mihajlovic until the end of the season.  Not satisfied with upsetting his fan base with a managerial firing, Berlusconi managed to hire Brocchi, the one man that all fans were begging would not be tapped to replace the Serbian manager.  From the very beginning, Brocchi was faced with vitriol and cynicism, all because he accepted a promotion.

The doom and gloom from fans and media surrounding Brocchi made a lot of sense.  He's certainly not the most ambitious manager Milan could have hired, and his appointment seemed like Berlusconi and company were making the easy hire rather than the right hire.  Despite all of the valid criticism surrounding Brocchi's appointment, it's important to give the man a chance and see what he can do in Milan's remaining games.

The natural comparison for Brocchi is Filippo Inzaghi.  Like Brocchi, Inzaghi was a former Milan player turned primavera manager who was a favourite of President Berlusconi.  While Brocchi certainly checks many of the same boxes as "Super Pippo" it's unfair to classify him as a poor manager just because Inzaghi happened to be one.  Brocchi may be as poor as Inzaghi, or he may be exponentially better, but it's important to keep in mind that we don't know and won't know until Brocchi is given some time to show kind of manager he really is.  Around 20 years ago there was another former Milan player and primavera manager who was called to take over the first team after a fiery coach who feuded with Berlusconi was dismissed.  This manager was also labelled a "yes man" and a "puppet" upon his appointment.  That man was Fabio Capello and he went on to win 4 Scudetti and 1 Champion's League title in 5 years as Milan's manager.

It's important to note that it's incredibly unlikely that Brocchi accomplishes anything close to what Capello was able to accomplish as Milan's coach, in fact it's extremely unlikely that Brocchi ends up being half the coach as "Don Fabio", but the fact of the matter is nobody knows what Brocchi is or will be.  Brocchi could be another Filippo Inzaghi and fail miserably, or he may be the second coming of Fabio Capello.  The important point to consider is that we do not know one way or the other what kind of coach Brocchi will be, and because of this fans and media should give Brocchi a fair chance to showcase his abilities.