Gattuso: “We’re on the right track, this performance can help raise the bar, Donnarumma was excellent, Reina…”

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Gennaro Gattuso at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Gennaro Gattuso at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

Gennaro Gattuso was very happy after the Napoli match despite only finishing it with a draw, explained why he didn’t end the match with two strikers, and couldn’t understand why people believe Pepe Reina’s summer arrival would mean the end for Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Milan have still not won a match since the last international break as after losing to Juventus and drawing Inter and Sassuolo, they played another goalless draw against Napoli at San Siro on Sunday afternoon.

The Rossoneri were without Leonardo Bonucci (suspended) and Alessio Romagnoli (injured), but still put a strong defensive performance against Maurizio Sarri’s side. The problems, as always, were in attack, as the Diavolo again missed the spark up front and struggled in front of goal.

Despite playing relatively well, Milan nearly lost the match as Arkadiusz Milik found himself in front of Gigio Donnarumma in the 92′ minute, but the goalkeeper, on his 100th Serie A match, produced a world-class save to rescue Milan and keep the Rossoneri two points above 7th-placed Fiorentina.

Davide Calabria, Cristian Zapata, Suso, André Silva, Ricardo Rodriguez, Franck Kessié and Antonio Donnarumma thanking the fans at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Davide Calabria, Cristian Zapata, Suso, André Silva, Ricardo Rodriguez, Franck Kessié and Antonio Donnarumma thanking the fans at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

“We are happy,” coach Gattuso told Premium Sport. “We knew that Napoli would have chances and keep the ball, but we did well. The attitude was positive. We are on the right track, we have to improve in many aspects, but this performance can help raise the bar. I am very, very happy with the way we interpreted the game, we could’ve won or lost against an excellent opponent, but I’m happy.

“Donnarumma [the goalkeeper was perhaps the MOTM]? I like the way he played with great calm, playing out from the back and not just his late save. I thought his overall performance was excellent and he showed no fear under pressure. He played a great game on a technical level.

Gianluigi Donnarumma during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Gianluigi Donnarumma during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

“The offensive phase? We have to improve. When you ask the striker to do the dirty work for his team, as we did Kalinić today, it’s going to take something away from our finishing. We made Napoli run a lot and I’m happy with this. I liked the defense, Zapata and Musacchio did very well even though thy had only played twice together this year. I really liked the performance of the boys.

“We played a good game and I’m happy. Europe? We’ll keep hoping as long as it’s mathematically possible, but to be honest, it’s very, very difficult at this stage. There are only six rounds to go, we’re quite far away and it’d be extremely tricky to achieve that. We’ll push hard, we are still a behind Juventus and Napoli, but we have shown that we can play with everyone. The road is the right one.

Lucas Biglia and Dries Mertens during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Lucas Biglia and Dries Mertens during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“The yellow given to Biglia? Milik had entered and we had to change some of our markings. The tension between Biglia and Sarri after the whistle? I was with the guys. I got into enough trouble as a player… I don’t want to get involved as a coach. I have to set a good example [smiles].

“Reina and Callejon are future Milan players? I talk only about the players in my squad. If and when new faces arrive, I’ll talk about them, but right now I consider my players the best in the world.”

Nikola Kalinić and Pepe Reina during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Nikola Kalinić and Pepe Reina during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

Speaking to the microphones of Sky Italia after the final whistle of referee Luca Banti, Gattuso said: “We have to be satisfied with the interpretation of the game, what I liked the most is the personality. It’s a match that we need to raise the bar. We can do a lot better at the offensive level, but the players gave little to Napoli. There’s something to be proud about and it’s the merit of the guys.

“The save of Donnarumma? To become a great goalkeeper, he doesn’t have to think about the save, but about how he plays the role of the keeper. Today he had a great match with his feet, the save is one thing that he had. He gave great serenity to the defensive department, he didn’t do anything wrong, I’m happy because he played a great match also with his feet.

“I thought of playing with two strikers in the last few minutes, but they had two lines of four. When you play against big teams you have to understand what you can give them and sometimes you have to wait. With two attackers, too many passing lines would have opened up.

Cristian Zapata, Giacomo Bonaventura, Dries Mertens, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raúl Albiol, Mateo Musacchio and Nikola Kalinić during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Cristian Zapata, Giacomo Bonaventura, Dries Mertens, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raúl Albiol, Mateo Musacchio and Nikola Kalinić during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

“The objectives? We have to continue our journey. We have young players, we started badly, we lost points on the road, but in the last four games apart from Sassuolo we played against Juventus, Inter and Napoli. We have wide margins for improvement. Getting to the Champions League is very difficult [Milan are 7 points away from fourth place], we think about fighting for the Europa League and then there’s the Coppa Italia final. We have to get there in the best possible way.

“Reina? When he arrives, and if he arrives, we will welcome it with open arms. Donnarumma has everything to become the strongest in the world, he has to interpret the role in a perfect, modern way. He has all the potential to do it. The future? We must have a basis of aerobics and physics to do well. Some players will come but the team will change a little [Marco Fassone said Milan will buy 2-3 players]. To play a certain kind of football you have to prepare and do things well.

Gianluigi Donnarumma during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Gianluigi Donnarumma during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

In his interview with MilanTV, Gattuso said: “There is great satisfaction, we must congratulate the boys because we faced a great team with personality. We played the ball, we came out dribbling and Donnarumma had a great performance and with the save he put the icing on the cake.

“We almost never suffered against them, by playing with personality, we have to continue like this, we need everyone to move up the rankings and not lose. With extra organization, we can also increase the weight up front. When you face stronger teams, they must be respected and addressed.

“Musacchio and Zapata [who used to play together during their Villarreal days]? I had no doubts about them. I see them every day and I know how they work and how they train. Sometimes I see them with a sad face because nobody likes being outside, but I knew that I could count on them.

Arkadiusz Milik and Mateo Musacchio during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Arkadiusz Milik and Mateo Musacchio during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“The reason for Donnarumma’s great performance? There is no precise motivation. Gigio always had a phenomenal save in him and he will always have it, but he played like a modern keeper. Even when we were pressed he played the ball with serenity. He doesn’t miss anything to be the strongest.

“The physical level of Napoli? They ran a lot, we made them move a lot. They were doing an ultra-offensive pressing. The fans had fun, even those who thought we would take a 4-0 thrashing.”

Ricardo Rodriguez and Jose Maria Callejon during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Ricardo Rodriguez and Jose Maria Callejon during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Gattuso also had a post-match press conference: “The match? In the last four matches, we have faced Juventus and Napoli and we are still far from them. However, we stood up, played offensive football and took our risks against them, which is positive. Suso and Çalhanoğlu worked hard to close their spaces making it difficult for them to pass forward. So many times, we are asking the team to stay compact and coming up to the midfield line causes Suso to arrive exhausted to the last 20 meters.

“The save of Donnarumma? I don’t even remember the save of Dida in 2003/04. It was certainly an important save, but Gigio played the role well. The role of the goalkeeper has changed, he gave security to the department, he interpreted the role of the modern keeper in an exceptional way.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Gennaro Gattuso and Pepe Reina at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Gennaro Gattuso and Pepe Reina at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

“Dribbling? We did well but we can develop in a better way. It’s my fault because I ask too much of my attackers in the transitions. The choice to wait for Napoli? At this moment if you play them and you face them openly you are a fool. We prepared to send them on the wings. The position of Callejon put is in difficulty around the 20′ minute as Çalhanoğlu didn’t close down the passing line.

“If other teams have respect for Milan? I lived in a different Milan. I think that we are on the right path, but the road is still long, we can still develop better and hurt our opponents. For the amount of work we do in developing lately, we still don’t hurt our opponents as we could. This was the 50th match Milan played this season, we changed the way we work 3-4 months ago.

Milan and Napoli players at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Milan and Napoli players at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

“The draw against Sassuolo? I reviewed it, the performance was there, we dominated but the ball didn’t go in. But we can’t do anything about it. It’s not enough to do a good performance, but we must be able to put our opponents in difficulty. Napoli [who most likely lost their chances to win the Scudetto]? There is a bit of exhaustion but it’s an alive team and they know how they can hurt you.

“Zapata and Musacchio? They train with great professionalism, occasionally with a bit of a sad face, but it’s normal when you don’t play a lot. They have given me great availability, and this testifies to their way of dealing with work. If Donnarumma’s statements worry me? Only death worries me. I can’t understand where it is written that if Reina arrives than Donnarumma will go away [Pepe allegedly already had a medical with Milan]. Gigio has a contract with Milan, we want a good Gigio.

Gennaro Gattuso at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Gennaro Gattuso at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on April 15, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

“How I’m doing compared to Filippo Inzaghi, Clarence Seedorf and Cristian Brocchi? Ever since I became a player, I’ve lived with skepticism, there’s no problem. I know what I’m worth and what I do during the week, no one can say that someone has given me something.”

The next Milan match is this Wednesday against Torino away from home. The Rossoneri will have to get back to winning ways as they look to secure the Europa League for the 2018/19 season.

29 COMMENTS

  1. I bleive for this year qualipying champion is two per for milan only qualipying uefa for this average players No resuls no mater no morney no resuls

     
  2. As Donna’s biggest cheerleader on this blog I can’t miss this chance to point out a few things to the naysayers.
    1. Last season he pulled off the save of the season against Maccarone and he did it again today against Milik. What more evidence do you want?
    2. The critics will say, “ahh but he’s too error prone”.
    Well I will tell you why he makes some of those errors. He tries to catch the hard shots which most keepers would rather push out for an opposition corner.
    If you don’t believe me I suggest you watch again the blunder he made against Arsenal, and the ball he spilled against Sassuolo in the last match, which almost led to a goal. Another way of putting it: Busquets has a higher pass success rate than Xabi Alonso because he mostly makes short 10 m passes compared to Alonso who makes 40 m passes.
    Lastly, Raiola’s big mouth also puts too much pressure on the young man’s shoulders.
    Btw, is our resident genius Milan10 still alive?

     
    • Regarding Donna, his errors seem to coexist with the rumours of him leaving, whenever they pop up, he tends to make errors. And sometimes it feels like his heart just isnt there, His highs are extremely high though, and top class. His talent isnt really in question, it’s mostly if his heart is in the right place or not, because some errors he has made are pretty silly tbh, you’d expect any of our keepers to make those saves in which he blundered.
      I also miss Milan10!

       
      • @Milanista121
        Well he has been called “overated” and “garbage” on this forum.
        But you are right about him not having peace of mind due to his cancerous agent and obviously it affects his performance at times.

         
        • 6 mil a year should give you sufficient peaceof mind – and that’s thanks to his “cancerous agent”

           
    • I don’t thing anybody would say that he is not talented (talented but miles away from world class). As I said before based on Reina’s arrival, Donna’s agent, He not knowing what he wants and us needing money I would say he will leave.

      If you don’t think about his age I believe Reina is a better & more stable keeper. Yes I agree that one day Donna would be a amazing goalkeeper but he and his agent are a distraction to the whole project. If he keeps his agent then maybe it’s good that he is leaving.

       
    • People complain about Donna’s mistakes should take a look at last round CL to see that his peers (der stegan, navas) also make errors. I feel this year he’s ability has decreased in certain areas, but still he’s ability is world class – not potentially world class but already world class.

      He could improve in his feet work in in stopping certain type of shots (in particular knee-high shots to his closest corner), but his instincts are top notch.

       
  3. Forget about qualifying for CL this year. We have a very slow moving attack. Last night you could see Suso being outrun by Hysaj.
    This team is right where it should be on the points table.
    Bonaventura is shit.
    Kessie is too defensive and not good at all when attacking.
    Kalinic is shit!
    Calhanoglou does too much but lacks that speed and finishing quality.
    Biglia is slow and doesn’t create passing options for our the defenders. Our back 4 just keep the ball floating between themselves from left to right and then a loose inaccurate long ball gives away the posession.
    And now we hear rumors of Milan trying to snatch Callejon (another average player).

    God help us!

     
    • Although to be fair to Hysaj, he is one of the fastest full backs in the league. We all know Suso is slow so it wasnt really something shocking. And that’s probably why Hysaj was put on the left, to neutralize Suso because he could recover against Suso’s trickery with his pace. Good move by Sarri.

       
      • Good you spotted that and also Hysaj hardly move up the pitch, almost always right next to Suso. I think Sarri knew that Suso alone is half of Milan’s attacking threat so he sacrificed the little Hysej would contribute in attack to limit half of Milans danger. Although altogether Suso didn’t play to standard yesterday.

         
      • Then I am even more disappointed because since you know how fast Hysaj is, Gattuso and Suso must have also known that.
        This kind of trickery and ball control is required in our midfield. I wonder how the team would perform if we played Suso from the start in a 4 man midfield with 2 strikers up front (not taking into account the Arsenal game since it was totally unprepared at that time).

         
    • Milan’s defensive play is top class now. We just need to get our attackers to click. Kalinic is not world class, Cutrone is still a baby, and Silva does well in a 2 man strike force. We should have gotten deulofeu. He is fast, and he would have been a good replacement for Bona who has been shit for the past 5 games.

      We should spend our money buying a killer in attack, and we’ll be fine.

       
  4. After 32 games it’s fair enough to say this teams lacks pace and creativity that changes the context of the game in split second….has any one noticed the goals we scored, by taking that into the account do we really need to qualify for champions league….we need upgrade in every department except for our cb’s…..our strikers can’t put ball into the net and our midfielders generally can’t create anything if we have likes of James Rodriguez than you see the difference…..our wingers they lack pace they are one dimensional…..too bad we lost conti otherwise we would have better judged milan….milan seriously need enforcements in order to challenge for top four…..I hope management goes for few quality additions instead of filling up team with average players just to fill in the numbers…..

     
  5. Rest Bona in next 2 games please or swap him to the front and Cala to D midfield, am sure they would be more productive.

    Good job Rino!

     
  6. Offensively we struggle yes but we’re finally defensively sound. Biglia was a monster against napoli and he played just like he did in his Lazio days. The way he guides his midfield and how calm he is. That for me was his best game to date for milan. Some might call me crazy but I’d prefer a rw instead of a lw next year. Suso has been so inconsistent and his shots are crazy wide. calhanoglu works his ass off offensively and defensively and at least his shots and passes are accurate. That’s not to say I don’t want both a lw and rw cause I do but not callejon. And Ofcourse we need a cavani type striker that with the limited chances we get he will score from them bacca would have even been good for this year but what can you do.

     
  7. There are so many things we don’t see here!! Both kessie and bona affected suso and calanoglu,coz once kessie and bona aren’t giving necessary passes,den both calanoglu and suso will only keep running around the pitch and turnout to be a defender while dey were meant to be attacking the opponent every second!!! Have u all noticed that once both kessie and bona played a good game on the pitch both suso and calanoglu becomes unstoppable!!!we need replacement for kessie and bona!!!good game though but dey are d players pulling the team back!!!and about Donna,good and decent save though,but he only does that once a match after conceding two stupid goals in two matches!!!good defense combination(musachio and Zapata) but bona and kessie should be coming from the beach next season,den we will see d best of suso and calanoglu!!! Forza Gattuso, Forza Milan

     
  8. Suso needs competition and we need a new winger for the LW position , if we had the money then there are many good players for that position that want to leave theire current club , martial he wants to leave man utd in the summer but he will proberly join juve or bayern he can play in LW and in striker . There is also julian draxler he to can play LW and CAM he will leave psg this summer because of the ffp psg must sell a couple of players and he will leave if we had the money we could scatch him or martial . Another player for the LW position is Dephay from lyon he’s had a very good season he was in form . The will ask around 40 m for him so he will be cheaper than draxler or martial . But the cheap option would be deulofeu . It is also rumourd that suso and donnaruma will leave us in the summer because no CL . That’s not good because that’s a bad sighn to other players that our best player want leave , that could damage our clubs reputation even further . And if they leave what kinda replacement will we have ? It rumourd that milan allready signd pepe reina . Oke he’s not bad but he’s 35 years old so thats not great . And if suso leaves who will we get back to replace him ? .

     
  9. lot’s of fan’s complaining and none of them are helping in ANY WAY!

    We call for better players and NONE of us probably bought a single ticket the whole season. Millions of fans can solve Milan problems by just buying one ticket each season but we instead are complaining why the owner is not spending 500M on transfer windows.

    where I live Milan has a 300,000 fan base.

     
  10. How about we try Carlo ancelloti diamond formation with one tip on top of two strikers…..I guess Hakan can take that role of false 9…..with biglia, Kessié and bona/Loca covering midfield….with 2 cbs along with full backs…..just my thought though…..

     
  11. I believe we can already say goodbye to two of our players since reports of their departure are increasing day by day – Donnarumma and Suso

    Combined they would fill Milan cashier for around 90 millions

    They would also increase our position on FFP since they’ve both came in for free and would be sold for a high profit

    Hopefully if this has to happen they will at least bring in worthy replacement, specifically for Suso

     
    • Hmm suso’s clause is 40m€ and milan can get around 70/80M€ for donna, so if they both decide to leave milan should get atleast 100million€ for them .

       
      • Are you serious???!! Is that your naive and blind hope??? We sell our best players (AGAIN) for an amount of money that will NOT REPLACE the players quality… this is exactly what i mean..

        GUYS!! For how long have you been milan fans?? SERIOUSLY??? 2 weeks? 4 weeks? You are talking like you are TOTALY CLUELESS.

        We spent 200 million and we signed CRAP players.. not a single quailty player.. im against our number 19 as well.. i think signing him was a huge waste..when he had musa!!

        So Barney… you are happy and have optimism abour selling our 2 BEST players..and collecting 100 million for signing WHO?? Havent you learned that when milan sell players..they replace them with a player with 10 times less quality.. thats why im saying u must be a milan fans since 4 weeks ago.

        With 100 million (which makes you sooo optimistic) with that money we sign the likes of beradi.. politiano, and 2 overpriced crap players from atalanta or sampdoria.

        Sorry Barney, your post just makes milan situation even more sad. Common sense tells me that sell the DEADWOOD and keep the promising players…but your common sence tells you… sell your best players…get 100 million.. keep the deadwood and add more deadwood with that 100 million .. milan is doomed from any angle..especially with fans like u

         
        • Well Sheva here’s where your wise character and comments come to scrunity – they are contradictory.

          You talk about Milan selling their prized assets and replace them with worse players, yet you say Bonucci was waste since they brought Musa. Bonucci in my books and probably in most football fans books is still a level higher in terms of quality than Musa. No offence to Musa who is still a good defender, but not world class neither in terms of quality or as a marketing figure

           
          • I guess he meant instead of wasting money on bonucci we would have gone for some other player because we already bought musa and bonucci signing was all of a sudden as admitted by Mirabelli…..so I guess some other player instead of him would have been perfect (I meant quality one) but well no doubt bonucci is proven match winner

             

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