ADRIANO GALLIANI has shown an unwavering faith in under-fire manager Massimilliano Allegri.
He has done so in the light of three consecutive defeats, with this weekend’s clash with Genoa representing a winnable fixture that the Rossoneri would normally would be heavy favorites in. However, after a 3-game losing streak, the Rossoneri come out with 2 points less than Genoa. If Milan are unable to triumph against Genoa, then Adriano Galliani will be faced with a real issue, what to do with the manager who would have lost 4 matches in a row for the first time since 2001-02 when Carletto Ancelotti did it.
Allegri is not without support. Arrigo Sacchi’s Gazzetta editorial in which he said that Allegri deserves the chances that Sacchi was given. Sacchi is not Allegri’s only supporter, as Adriano Galliani has reportedly shielded him against the reported desires of Silvio Berlusconi.
Depending on the sources of the information, it may even be believed that Galliani is personally backing Allegri to get out of the crisis against the wishes of Silvio, who has given Allegri more time at his old friend’s request. The protection of Allegri is certainly a real thing, and there are several reasons why he is still managing Milan.
1. Severance Pay – Allegri is under contract until the end of the 2014 season. To fire him means to pay him several million euros to not to his job, and additionally to spend more money on a replacement manager.
2. Adjustments Made – It has taken Allegri a few matches, but this season he has adjusted his tactics and become more flexible. He’s addressed the issues of his previous formations (and in turn discovered new issues), however he did not do this very often with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his side.
3. It’s Not Entirely His Fault – Allegri had his best and only creative three players sold from out under him. His favorite selections in midfield and defense were no longer available (Seedorf and Nesta/Silva), and he is yet to cement a defense that is his favorite.
4. To Fire Him Now is to Blame Him – Yes Allegri has been making small mistakes in almost every single match so far, and is still exhibiting some of his old managerial missteps that have had people on his case for years (using two subs when needed a goal against Malaga). However, by and large, he has started to make the right sorts of adjustments. He saw the defense didn’t have enough support, so he added an extra DMF to his formation. This, didn’t work (in his opinion) and thus his next move was to move that man from midfield into defense and to push the wing backs further up the pitch. He’s still trying to work out how to use this team that is completely different than he had last season. It can’t be understated how important Zlatan Ibrahimovic was to this squad as he filled the striker, second striker, and trequartista roles all at the same time. As it soaks in that Zlatan is no more, Allegri has been forced to scramble in attack, trying a false 9, wingers, a trequartista, and now back to wingers. He’s trying new things this season, which is more than he’s done in previous years. It may be desperation why he’s doing it, but he still is making the necessary analysis and hopefully the right adjustments.
5. No Quality Replacement Available – Who will replace Max Allegri that can do a better job than he’s doing? Is there a candidate who can do better? I’m sure there is, but is he available? Frank Rijkaard is under contract, and any supposed discussions with him are most likely fabricated or off the record. Mauro Tassotti is available, but does he even want to take this squad? This current squad is of much lower quality than that of the last interim manager duo of Cesere Maldini and Fatih Terim. At least after Zaccheroni there was the basis for a new squad to be built, Ancelotti’s Milan. There is not enough quality on the base of this Milan, and more wages and players need to be cut before they are even back to the true “year zero” that Galliani refers to.
To say that Max Allegri is the cause of this Milan squad is erroneous. His attempts at doing his best with the squad are coming up empty, and should his results continue like this, Berlusconi and Galliani will be in a real bind, as releasing Allegri mid-season is not going to solve the problem surrounding Milan.
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