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Montella’s psychological management of Carlos Bacca is pure genius

Did you see Carlos Bacca angrily staring at Montella during his warm up?

UC Sampdoria v AC Milan - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Everybody knows that Carlos Bacca doesn’t like to be benched. Even his coach, Vincenzo Montella knows that, but he still decided to start Gianluca Lapadula instead of the Colombian striker for Friday’s match against Sampdoria. Also, Montella told Bacca he wouldn’t start early in the week; making him even angrier.

Actually, AC Milan’s new coach knew what he was doing and his psychological strategy paid off in their win against the blucerchiati. Bacca spent the entire time of his warm up angrily staring at Montella, but when he came on for Lapadula, he started fighting like he never before for the Rossoneri. He didn’t only fight, he also had an active role in keeping the ball possession and building the offense , which is something he’s not so used to do. Also, if Emiliano Viviano had not made an incredible save on his first chance he would have scored way before than minute 86.

Montella’s psychological strategy with Bacca is clear: make him angry to get the best from him. And this is not something that Milan’s coach did only on Friday night against Sampdoria, but he’s been trying to motivate Bacca since he signed with the Rossoneri. Montella has always been doubtful about Bacca’s ability to adapt to his style and actually asked the club to sell him — mostly because he’s the only player with some real market value — but Milan’s coach never really lost faith in his player. This is the pivotal point of his strategy: always show to be doubtful about him, but secretly trust Carlos Bacca and rely on him in clutch situations. If this strategy keeps paying off like it did against Sampdoria, it will be good to see how much Bacca could score this season.

Just trust Montella, this psychological strategy is pure genius.