Montella: “It was important to win, Bacca is a top striker and I’m waiting for Niang to score now, Deulofeu…”

Vincenzo Montella during Milan-Cagliari at Stadio San Siro on the 8th of January 2017. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Vincenzo Montella during Milan-Cagliari at Stadio San Siro on the 8th of January 2017. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Vincenzo Montella thought Milan deserved to beat Cagliari, defended Niang (‘I will be a visionary, but I see him growing’) and said transfer target Gerard Deulofeu is ‘different from Suso’.

The Rossoneri started off 2017 on the right foot with a 1-0 win over Cagliari at Stadio San Siro on Sunday evening.

Milan had some moments of great football, but while the build-up was there, the finishing leg was often missing.

Late in the game Montella switched to a 4-2-4 system with M’Baye Niang, Carlos Bacca, Gianluca Lapadula and Suso all the pitch in an attempt to break the deadlock and in the 88′ minute his gamble worked as a Mattia De Sciglio cross found Lapadula who with his characteristic grit managed to set up Bacca for the goal. The Colombian returned to scoring for the first time since October and gave the Rossoneri 3 very important points.

“We’re averaging two points per match? We are pleased with the performance and with this first round although there is still a game to play [against Bologna, which was postponed due to the Supercoppa],” the Diavolo coach Montella told MilanTV at the end of the encounter. “On Sunday, we did some very good things even if we still have some things to improve and made some mistakes.

“It was important to win and we did. The first match after the break is always tricky. Many matches were resolved in the final minutes on this Matchday. The team controlled the game, we are satisfied because at times the team played with intelligence. We did well to move the ball around quickly, although we conceded some chances to Cagliari. The ‘always believe’ attitude? In the final minutes, we gave everything we had to win it and this is our reward. There’s still room for improvement.

Carlos Bacca and Gianluca Lapadula celebrating against Cagliari at Stadio San Siro on the 8th of January 2017 (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Bacca and Lapadula celebrating against Cagliari at Stadio San Siro on the 8th of January 2017 (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“Lapadula and the electricity he transmits? He came on well, and he made the decisive assist for Bacca. I am happy for both. Bacca? There are players who are likeable also when they don’t score and others like him who are only likeable when they score; fortunately, he often scores goals.

“Carlos proved to be a top-class striker, because he managed to be in the right place at the right time in not a great period for him. His numbers speak for themselves. He managed to score a decisive goal and it’s a great satisfaction. Niang? I will be a visionary, but I see Niang growing.

“Niang had a great game especially from a defensive point of view. I would like him to be less criticized because he is very important for us. He has quality and he can grow so much. Romagnoli and Paletta? They are doing well, both starting the play and defensively.

“The entire defense feels more confident with them and this makes the difference. The final free kick and the discussion between Suso and Lapadula on who will take the ball? It won’t happen again, next time there will only be one on the ball [smiles]. Gerard Deulofeu [who Milan are trying to sign from Everton]? He has different characteristics to those of Suso, he can play on either flank.

“Handling the pressure in a team of so many young players? The energy is concentrated only on think about our game, without thinking about those who play before or after us. The next matches? Playing both Thursday and Monday against Torino is not going to be easy. We’ll have to pace ourselves for this double meeting. We want to do well also in the Coppa Italia and this is why we’ll need our fans.”


Speaking to Sky Italia, Montella said: “We started the game well and controlled it with a lot of possession, but couldn’t make many vertical passes because Cagliari were all sat back and wouldn’t allow us the spaces. Then we got stretched out a little and Cagliari were able to test us with a few counter-attacks. In the second half, we lost some intensity, then ran a few risks at the end when we moved to 4-2-4, but I am satisfied with this victory and how we achieved it.

“The foundations are there, we just need to get more shots on target and attack the opposition line a bit more in future. The impact of the success in the Supercoppa? The players trained very well and maintained their belief. I was trying to keep us concentrated on the future and not the past.

“Bacca? He has always been relaxed and I’m happy that he got the goal. I used to be a striker, so I know how important a goal is. Now I am waiting for Niang to get a goal, he is improving mentally.”

Niang during Milan-Cagliari at Stadio San Siro on the 8th of January 2017 (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Niang during Milan-Cagliari at Stadio San Siro on the 8th of January 2017 (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

“What counts is the three points and I think they are well-deserved,” Montella said in the presser. “The goal is important for Bacca and he had the great help of Lapadula. Carlos has demonstrated that he has the clarity and technique to score in the 90th minute which means he’s a player of substance.

“Bacca played a good game, he’s not flashy and he catches the eye only when he scores, not when he makes his movements. He scored a goal of a great striker. Subbing out Bonaventura? It was a choice I made, he’s one of the most used players in my reign and occasionally he’s replaced.

“Ignazio Abate [who was replaced in the 27′ minute]? He took a knock and I don’t know if he’ll recover for Thursday [for the Coppa Italia match against Torino]. He played 30 minutes in a high level. Who will be the goalkeeper in the Coppa? I have decided on that but I’ll keep it to myself.

Vincenzo Montella during Milan-Cagliari at Stadio San Siro on the 8th of January 2017. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Vincenzo Montella during Milan-Cagliari at Stadio San Siro on the 8th of January 2017. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“Objectives? The first one was the Supercoppa, the second is to return to Europe and the third is the Coppa Italia. We have several objectives. We are having important consistency in terms of our performances and points. There is belief we can do a lot as it’s a team with so many young players.

“A regista is missing? We’ll try to do what we can in this mercato. We are attentive to the market with regard to our possibilities. If the conditions are right, then we’ll be pleased [to sign someone].”


  1. Im sorry Montella but i dont agree about Niang he is very limited i dont see that potential you need to sell him and buy a proper LW that would make Milan much more unpredictable and about Bacca we need to sell him too he is not the type of striker we need and he is 30 so better cash in on him soon and buy a complete nr 9 like Belotti

    • Still to this day can’t understand why Milan sold El Sharaawy instead of Niang. Now we are in need of a winger when we had the perfect solution.

      Hope Deluofeu joins as I am tired of seeing Niang on the wing. He is better at playing in the center as a lone striker even though his shooting is horrendous.

      • I will respectfully disagree with you guys. Niang’s major attributes are his pace and his trickery. When a team has all ten men sit backs and defends he will struggle but he still has potential. We saw glimpses of this at Genoa and the first half of last season before he got hurt, oh how quick we forget. I would agree that he does have to mature but let’s not make the same mistake with him as we did Pierre Aubameyang.

        • Maybe but Montella must stop using Niang on the wing he is ineffective there he must play him as a striker to get the best out of him

      • stop living in the passed man… to answer your question is simple (Niang was kept over your boyfriend because of his speed down the wings)

    • A couple goals or assists in the next few games and then suddenly everybody singing songs of praise for Niang.

      I’m in favor of buying another winger (possibly a first choice left winger) but I’d like for us to also keep Niang. A few bad games from any player and everybody is like : sell him sell him …

    • Very simple. If he talks trash about niang, his market value will drop. If milan is smart, they try to get as much as possible for niang in january. So they can be a good winger or midfielder like Keita and Felipe Anderson.

    • Niang is very limited, an average player, he needs to learn to pay attention to the basic, then he can be better in the spectacular. I don’t think he should be in our starting eleven. Even pasalic is a better outfit for dat role

  2. Management really need to use the next 3 weeks wisely, we are in a good league position but have lots of work to do to get ahead of rivals and secure 3rd. We are possibly in our most attractive state since the early Allegri days in terms of trying to sign top-class players with our potential to win and/or quality for major trophies. We need to acquire players, even if its just on loan to secure 3rd. Then we can buy in the summer under new management investment. But if we fail to qualify for CL we will be in the same position as last year and top players won’t want to sign. Now is the time to work in the market, we can’t wait until the summer, it may be too late!

    Sosa and Honda linked with departures. Good news, could maybe generate 15m to buy reinforcements.

    I hope Deulofeu joins on loan, we vitally need another winger.

  3. We have to stop thinking about big players won’t sign for us if we are not in the cl although I want us to qualify for cl….Man United was not in cl when they got progba,zlatan and company….We are AC Milan Remember That people 7times cl winners

    • United pay massive wages to these players, they had the assurance of mourinho being in charge during the summer window (a massive pulling factor) and have been in and out of champions league qualification the past 3 years…while we haven’t been in the champions league in 3 years and look like a club in decline to many outsiders.

  4. Definitely Niang need another loan I will like him to go to loan at Atlanta he can do will there as for me I will like Milan to go for Depay I wish we sign one Holland international I miss glory days forza Milan per siempre

  5. Niang has shown all he’s got, since 3yrs he still doesnt know when to his left or right leg,when to pass the ball or dribble,when to shoot a place. For me ive given up on niang, Galliani should take the cash from man utd asap!

      • The thing is Niang doesnt have the skills Milan need it would be best for both Milan and Niang to part ways Niang needs to go to a club where he is useful and can be important and play in his original position and Milan need a more skillfull player who can dribble pass and shoot better and is a natural winger its not that Niang is not good enough but we dont need him

        • Niang is a very potential young striker so it would be very foolish of milan to let him go without ever playing him in his actual position.

        • Me mate? Im getting married in 3 weeks so football, friends and leisures have to wait. Not baileys and rolled joints though, theyre my fuel

          • Whahahahahahahaha

            Well congratulations my friend. Your life will be over in 3 weeks. You did not listen to Al Bundy, never marry son.

          • luckily we muslims are allowed to have up to 4 wives. Jokes on u atheists around the world haha

  6. All I know is that we are on the right track. We picked up where we left off before the break. We are dominating and controlling the game and that’s the most important thing in Montella’s style. We weren’t able to do that in the first half of the season, even against the likes of Pescara and Palermo, but we gradually improved and from the Roma game onward we are dominating everybody for large periods. Now for the next step, we just need to find the holes in the oppositions defense better and we will do that with time and practice.

    And a lot has been said about Cagliari being an all-out attack team this season but attacking team my ass. They came to sit tight for 90 minutes and that was the most defensive performance I have seen this term. I swear at one point almost all their 11 players were in their own box and in open play not on a set-piece! To be fair, Milan had a lot to do with it because they pushed them back but still …

    At least Torino won’t just defend. That’s what I’ve seen from their other matches even against Juve. These two games against them should be fun.

  7. Fans! Fans!! Fans!!! Always acting like they know!!!!… Funny lads! Anyway, Niang didn’t have a bad match more like an average match. The person that had a bad match was nobody! As a matter of fact, this was a 60 to 63% performance from the lads! If the way you rate players is by how many players you dribble, using both legs I weep in Spanish!!
    Ohh! So you think Milan and Niang had a bad match, maybe you should watch Napoli, Roma or the great Juventus! The only team in Seria A that didn’t have a bad match was Inter because they didn’t play like the place was freezing or something. It’s like they’re on drugs!!

  8. Niang could be kept as a back up and not as a starter because he’s too inconsistent. Imagine a Papu Gomez on left and Suso on the right, would you compare?

    Milan will have much better result with another EFFECTIVE left wing attack.

  9. Really Montella?? You are waiting niang to score? Do you guys know what key factor have DETROYED milan?

    You would never guess, because your are zzzZZZzzzzZZzzzzZZ sleeeepping. what have destroyed milan is PATIENCE!

    That why like iam today, im SICK AND TIRED of being patient. Im not negative for no reason.

    Under ancelotti i loved milan even when we lost, i didnt care if milan lost games, because i know if we lost we lost because the other team was better than us, not us being STUPID with stupid line up or late useless subs.

    Under ancelotti we always played ENTERTAINING football, even when he lost 3-0. That was ok for me. Beause we were playing football, we KNEW our standards, we KNEW who we were, we KNEW our history. Ofcourse ancelotti made misstakes, but he LEARNED from them.

    Did allegeri??? did inzaghi??? did montella??? same misstake after misstake after misstake. And when you lose, you lose due STUPIDTY, not the other team beating us. THATS what bothering me. Do you really think im happy being negative? Im not even see myself as negative. i see myself awake and realstic.

    Ever since 2007 i heard the word.. NEXT YEAR, NEXT YEAR, NEXT TRANSFER WINDOW, NEXT TIME, im sick and tired of.

    almost 10 years now.. we are waiting, 10 years being patient, 10 years being OPTIMSITIC “loving milan no matter what”

    Like i said, patient is somethings needed. Burj khalifa took 6 YEARS to build but look at it now. Imagine if it took them 6 YEARS and burj khalifa turn out to be a cell phone tower, and the engineers said.. please be optimstic, pleast have patient, it will take take time.. would you accept that?

    Look at juventus, why can they? but not we? Bacause they are NOT into bullshit. They dont buy andy caroll and wait 8 years for him to score only for then realise he wasnt any good and then giving hem away for FREE like me do with galliani.

    IF juventus have the same “being patient and being optimistic” mentality, they would only be happy to return to seria not WINNING it year after year. Their fans could EASILY be happy with finishing 8th every season considering they just came back to serie A, But no, their fans KNEW what juventus deserved, and they werent happy with crap signings.

    You guys are over the moon with bonaventura. Thats your mentaltity, thats your standard. You are happy with the way things are, you are TOO PATIENT TOO OPTIMSTIC TOO BLIND . Why should it take milan 25 years to build something? Why are you so optimistic and soo patient?? Are you guys on drugs??? Seriously??

    Either you NEVER knew what milan one were or you are on drugs. No question about it. No real milan fan can be optimistic about milans current situation WITH or WITHOUT our best player for 3 seasons bonaventura. Wake the fuc* up.

    This is AC MILAN, 7 TIMES CL WINNER. We should not ACCEPT our situation, galliani singel handed DESTROYED milan and poor fans still think its due no money for galliani. You have no IDEA how much money galliani have burned, juventus would have 3 scudetto winning squads for that money galliani have burned during the 8 years. Wake the F up people

    • And yet I remember vividly Ancelotti’s later years at Milan. At least 90% of all the fans where unhappy with him and wanted him gone and I would bet my life you were one of them yourself (that is, if you were a Milan fan back then, or now for that matter)

      He always had a team with big names (albeit old in his later years) but he rarely won in Serie A and fans were at his throat for it. Only when he went and won the world over in all the big leagues then the fans realized what a coach he really was. You say we always played entertaining football under Ancelotti yet he was criticized heavily by Milan fans at the time for playing boring matches with too much possession and no end product in Serie A.

      You say Milan never used to lose because of late stupid subs, and yet that was the thing most of the fans were unhappy with Ancelotti. It was understood between the fans that Carletto’s biggest weakness was his substitutions. Critics used to say he made wrong or very late substitutions. Sometimes he wouldn’t even use all his subs.

      And this is yet another proof that you just don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m 100% sure now. You’re just ranting for the sake of it. Nothing else.

    • WTF do you want us to do?? And dont assume everybody is happy with Bonaventura in my opinion he should be a rotational player no more but still he is a useful player… And FFS MILAN IS BROKE FOR THE MOMENT how do you suggest we make big signings?? And Montella is doing wonders with this squad they are overachieving this season all we can do right now is to hope the chinese take over happens soon

    • lmao….. sheva fever.. so what do you really want us to do??? .. the managers of this blog can you please give sheva galiani’s cell or email our anything please….

    • Ancelotti is one of the greatest milan legends but he didnt have balls to play youngsters. Milan becoming house of retired oldies was on him

    • You are on point bro. Our mgmt lost it. No more desire. We can only pray the new investors are burning with winning desire and restoring the glory of our darling club. Forza Milan!

  10. Montella is doing great..even guardiola cant do better than him with his squad…so what do you want? Sell barbara or galliani head so we can get verratti varane aguero isco ?

  11. Guys we all bashed SES for not scoring etc now we have niang in the same shoes. We dont learn. Regardless he needs to start a game or two from the bench. Miha did this to him before and he came back hungry. Hez been very poor lately. He either needs playing time or bench. Montella will decide

  12. Even Ancelotti is one of the people that put milan in d mess we are now if u guys dont know……..Ancelotti’s philosophy of signing late 20s & early 30s stars with no longevity & continuity……with 4 to 5 of them retiring at once and leaving the team to start all over again put Milan in the shambles they are now……what happened to mixing the players up with old & young….there would av been continuity now….or was it not in Ancelotti’s time we had Aubemayang sold…..Every great team EVEN the so-called GALACTICOS that sign already made superstars mix them……and u think if montella had some millions to spend he wont sign at least 2 to 3 stars to blend with the existing young squad? so mr SHEVA… everyone have already asked……what do you propose we do or what can be done? or do you av any mega cash to borrow us to sign gud players? am sure BERLUSCONI will return it back to u in d nearest future with good interest


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