Montella: “Juventus-Milan a key game, a renewal? It depends on the club, I haven’t spoken to Berlusconi in weeks, Gigio is more mature than Locatelli, Niang perhaps more suited for the EPL”

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Vincenzo Montella during Torino-Milan at Stadio Olimpico di Turin on the 16th of January 2017. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Vincenzo Montella during Torino-Milan at Stadio Olimpico di Turin on the 16th of January 2017. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Vincenzo Montella spoke at length to La Gazzetta dello Sport, insisting that tomorrow’s match against Juventus is crucial, and claiming that ‘if you gave me €150m I would still back my players, to whom I owe everything’, while also discussing many other topics.

Milan face the Bianconeri at the Juventus Stadium on Friday evening (20:45 CET kickoff) and it’s an extremely difficult clash, even though the Diavolo have already beaten Massimiliano Allegri’s side twice this season, as the Italian champs are unbeaten at home this term.

The Rossoneri boss Vincenzo Montella gave a long interview to this morning’s La Gazzetta dello Sport; he discussed various topics regarding his time at Milan, from his differences with Berlusconi, to comparisons with his old Fiorentina side and also talked about what the future holds for him.

“We are facing Juventus for the fourth time this season after two wins and a defeat? Of course, we’re not undervalued anymore. But they’re almost unbeatable, as the league shows,” Montella said. “It will be a key game, decided on approach, interpretation and competitive spirit which, in our case, will have to be above average. We’ve had our two best moments of the season against Juve, in Doha and in the first game of the season. This time the result will be even more crucial for the table.

Vincenzo Montella during Juventus-Milan at the Juventus Stadium on the 25th of January 2017. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Vincenzo Montella during Juventus-Milan at the Juventus Stadium on the 25th of January 2017. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

“The fact that Cuadrado is suspended [due to yellow cards] and Juve ‘only’ have Dybala, Higuain, Mandzukic and Pjanic up front? When you have attacking players who also sacrifice themselves in defense it’s even more complicated for the opponent. They’ve put in more attackers and maintained the same balance. Allegri has surprised me with his bravery and courage: if you consider that there aren’t many replacements – aside from Pjaca – their new system might seem like a stretch. Without Cuadrado maybe we could expect one less attacker and doubling-up on one side.

“If I see myself in the future as the coach of Juve? A professional doesn’t rule out anything at the start of their career, so why not? Maybe Coaching Lazio would be more complicated, since in Roma I have a house in the other part of the city… When I was 17 there was talk of interest from Juventus, I was young and promising. Then I got injured and the interest was never firmed-up.

Vincenzo Montella lifting the Supercoppa Italiana trophy after beating Juventus 5-4 after pealties at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on the 23rd of December 2016. (Photo by AK BijuRaj/Getty Images)
Vincenzo Montella lifting the Supercoppa Italiana trophy after beating Juventus 5-4 after pealties at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on the 23rd of December 2016. (Photo by AK BijuRaj/Getty Images)

“A long cycle with Milan? I’d like to. The important thing is to have the opportunity to grow together, I want to help the team improve and keep winning, everything depends on sharing objectives and being able to renew. It’s not a question of staying for a year, three, ten or even of opening or closing a cycle. That’s all theory, if you have a common purpose you can start from the same place. At Fiorentina, I had a contract, my family and I were happy, but I felt it was time to stop.

“If Milan finish in Europe, then it would be a successful season and otherwise we’d have to start over? No, no… that’s too simplistic. A lot comes down to the result, but not everything. I think it’s more about an overall evaluation, which can be made regardless of coming sixth or seventh. My judgement is already positive, I’m happy with the growth and the attitude of the team. If the Champions League is no longer a target? Making up the places is difficult, but we must always have ambition.

“My contract renewal? It depends on the club, each has his own work. I’m yet to have been asked this question [if he wants to renew] and in the case that it happens, I would answer trying to understand the objectives [of the Chinese], the assessment given on the squad and what they expect and want.

AC Milan's chairman Silvio Berlusconi attends the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan Vs Inter Milan on November 20, 2016 at the 'San Siro Stadium' in Milan. / AFP / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
Berlusconi before Milan-Inter at Stadio San Siro on the 20th of November 2016 (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

“If I feel challenged, seeing as Berlusconi remains intransigent in his position regarding certain ideas? I sincerely believe that the President has esteem for me. And I’ve told him that I will always thank him for allowing me to coach the team I support. He knows football, talking to him is pleasant.

“I listen to his suggestions, even if sometimes they don’t match up with my own. He might want Suso as a second striker or Mattia De Sciglio in the center of the defense, but in general our thinking is close. I know my place, and I’m not going to try to seek out Berlusconi. I talk daily with Galliani, a great director who no coach has ever complained about, which can’t be a coincidence.

“The last phone call with Silvio? Before he’d call me often, now less. But my respect for him is the same, even if we haven’t spoken in recent weeks.

Galliani and Montella during training at Milanello (@acmilan.com)
Galliani and Montella during training at Milanello (@acmilan.com)

“If I dream of Fabregas as a signing with the Chinese in charge [the Chelsea man has been linked with Milan since the summer]? He’s technically very strong. But if you gave me €150m I’d still back my players, to whom I owe everything. Everyone has been so helpful and that satisfies me. Sometimes, because of injury, we’ve had to play without five Italian internationals and everyone who has come in has done well. For me, we’ve the best in the world and then… we’ve to finish the season.

“Berlusconi would have gone ahead with the project of Italian youth? The important thing is to understand the expectations and then, together, see what the transfer market has to offer. You can do good things even without big budgets, taking appropriate and functional players.

Silvio Berlusconi with Han Li (left) and Yonghong Li (right)
Silvio Berlusconi with Han Li (left) and Yonghong Li (right)

“A title for the delays in the ‘closing’ [it’s unclear when the acquisition will finally be completed]? I’d call it an ‘opening’. But in all seriousness, everything works here, so no excuses. Every facet works with seriousness for the team: the management, the secretaries, the Press office, the shop workers, the gardeners, the kitchen. There’s nothing I don’t like or which doesn’t work.

“If this is how I expected it? There’s the great organization which I’ve always imagined, it transmits the mentality of having a great history and always thinking big, beyond the more recent results. I’ve found a family with many souls ready to support you, I tried to take a step back to understand the structure and everyone’s thoughts. The greatest difficulty was in rebuilding the players’ belief, even if Mihajlovic did a great job. If he’d stayed, maybe he’d have coached the team in Europe.

“Inter? Finishing even one point above them, given they’ve made big investments, would be great [the Nerazzurri are current one point above Milan in 6th place]. But I don’t judge against others, I just look at what I do with my team. I rather hope that the derby would be played for the higher spots in the standings. There are other competitors for Europe, Atalanta will also fight to the end.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Manuel Locatelli, Mattia De Sciglio and M'Baye Niang celebrating Locatelli's goal during Milan-Sassuolo on October 2, 2016 at Stadio San Siro (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Manuel Locatelli, Mattia De Sciglio and M’Baye Niang celebrating Locatelli’s goal during Milan-Sassuolo on October 2, 2016 at Stadio San Siro (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

“Who surprised me more between Donnarumma and Locatelli? Gigio is the more mature. Locatelli has so far performed really well, especially when you consider the relationship between his role and the age he is. A slight decline is normal [he’s expected to start from the bench tomorrow], the important thing is not to undermine his inner certainty, in certain phases it’s better if you’re exalted for everything you do. He’s great balance, he could possibly play in the middle of a 3-man defense.

“Calabria will also make his contribution. All winning teams have relied on a group of players from the youth system. Maybe that’s a reason the fans have always been behind us. Among the other youngsters, I see Romagnoli who has grown on the job, Pasalic is the prototype modern midfielder. Deulofeu impressed me with the speed with which he’s integrated, without forgetting Suso.

“I forgot Niang [on loan at Watford]? Like Balotelli he has enormous potential, with his characteristics he’s perhaps more suited to English football. He’s worked a lot, though sometimes not in the right way. Maybe he’ll come back stronger. If I would field Montella up front in attack if I could? I don’t know if I would’ve always played… I wish I could choose a #9… it would be Van Basten.

Vincenzo Montella and Luciano Spalletti before Roma-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on the 12th of December 2016. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images )
Vincenzo Montella and Luciano Spalletti before Roma-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on the 12th of December 2016. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

“My training system includes things like yoga and diet? I no longer believe in the methods with which I was coached. To clarity, no ‘gradoni’ [going up and down steps]. I didn’t invent anything when it comes to technique and tactics, and then there are different aspects to take care of, such as the physical and psychological recoveries. Yoga, nutrition and sleep are fundamental aspects.

“I spend 7-8 hours at Milanello, I discovered the importance of disconnect and not living with a football obsession and maybe I now work less than I used to before. At Fiorentina I was the coach of a side that played beautiful football while at Milan it’s a side that knows how to win with heart? I’d like to think that in some way, I evolved and adapted to the characteristics of the group.

“If there is no urgency for results, then my desire is to play the ball more. At Fiorentina, the objective was to bring people to the stadiums and we could only do that playing entertaining football; we also managed to achieve great results. My most difficult year? It was at Sampdoria, we almost always lost.

Vincenzo Montella during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on the 21st of January 2017. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Vincenzo Montella during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on the 21st of January 2017. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

“Taking my methods abroad? I’d have no difficulty doing that, I think it enriches you. Certain leagues and certain cities I like more than others: London for example… The best coach I had? Spalletti, he could have played me more but he opened my mind. Totti? If I were his confidant, I’d have ‘forced’ him to quit last year. It’d have been perfect. But I understand his desire to keep giving emotions.

“What are my emotions? My children. I’m first and foremost a proud father. My son Alessio has just turned 18, he quit football in order to study; he just passed the exam at Bocconi University.”

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12 COMMENTS

  1. “If he’d stayed, maybe he’d have coached the team in Europe.” Is he implying that both broccoli and berlu are dumbasses?
    “If i could pick #9, it would be van basten.” Is he implying that hes not satisfied with strikers at his disposal? Why wouldnt he pick ibra though? Isnt ibra better than #4 in golden jubilee list of uefa according to some certain genius here?

    All in all, another nice and sensible interview with montella. “The greatest difficulty is rebuilding players’ belief”

     
  2. Comment: Comment:The question I have is why he is giving ocampos priority over Honda?
    Why doesn’t he want to pair lapadula and bacca?

     
    • Ocampos is the priority cuz he might be a future priority. Honda’s contract is soon due and will be shipped of in the summer.
      He does not want to pair Bacca and Lapa cuz they are two strikers with similar characteristics.
      I know Lapa has a wider aspect of abilities on the ball. But overall both of them likes to exploits the box and poach the ball. Both of them are the same just one with slightly more attacking attributes then the other. Probably easy for Montella to see in training that it simply don’t work. (My guess he have tried it more then once.)

       
    • The bigger question is why have not lapa been given more chances yet as his characteristics fits more with the lone striker role. None of them really fits it but if any it would be him in my opinion.

      there are only two options when it comes to the lone striker role for it to be successful.
      1. Be able to hold of your opponent with strength.(Giving wingers and midfielders time to develop play and move in to space.)
      2. Be able to hold the ball by dribbling and moving with the ball at your feet(Again it will open space for the midfielders to move around and exploit the space ahead of the striker.)

      I wonder why we are playing a system with incapable strikers and medirocy midfielders when it require it to be successful.. (Even if its my favorite tactic)

       
  3. So you guys know.. bocconi is top uni in Italy.. consistently among tob b-schools in europe.. I think it’s the only italian uni that made the lists like financial times and wall street journal..

    By seeing his son.. now you understand how fukin smart Montella is..

     
  4. Hey, you stupid Milan haters just leave everything under the charge of the coach.We win games and we will continue wining.

     

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