CLARENCE SEEDORF has refused to comment on Berlusconi’s criticism and to reveal who will be in the XI tomorrow.
It’s clear that there is a tear between Seedorf and club President Silvio Berlusconi and Vice President Adriano Galliani and tomorrow’s game with Atalanta is expected to be Seedorf’s last away game as the coach of Milan, despite the good results.
Seedorf has won six of the last seven games with the only defeat coming against 2nd place Roma but Silvio criticized his work, claiming that people with dementia from a retirement home could do a good job controlling Milan’s locker room.
“I have nothing to say about what Berlusconi has been reported saying. I didn’t understand what he meant,” Seedorf told the curious journalist at Milanello on Saturday afternoon. “My focus is just on the team and the players. I could joke that it’s easy to control this group because they’re all good guys, but aside from that I didn’t understand what he was trying to say.
“Berlusconi praised Montella? You shouldn’t ask me, as he’s the one who said those things. You’ll find a brick wall asking me. Ask the club what they think. I cannot speak for others. Berlusconi saying Milan haven’t found the right position for Balotelli yet? Don’t ask me these questions. I know I’ve been working as a Coach for three months, but I’ve been in the football world for 22 years and I am not stupid. I have always been respectful to you and I want you to be respectful to me.
“I’m calm and I think that Balotelli’s performances have shown his growth. My focus is on the match. It’s gratifying when the players support you in public and I’ve always spoken well of this group. We’re all pulling in the same direction.”
Seedorf was also asked questions about the match: “Balance has been the key word this week. These are the key words, to do well, to be objective and to be clear after a loss. The why, the how, to adjust things but at the same time to continue with your own ideas and work. At the same time after the derby win, there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the win, a single win against an adversary of high value but the work done the week after continues the same way, with objectivity and understanding where we are in the league and what our objectives are, to go into the last 2 matches in the best way we can.
“Atalanta have never been an easy team from anyone to face. It’s never been easy for Milan to get points from Bergamo. The focus since Wednesday has been on Atalanta. The focus has been there and that’s what our daily discussions have been about. We’re quick to move our focus to the next game, we’ll be using the extra-push that the derby win has given us.
“I don’t think there’ll be problems at the stadium tomorrow. We should be talking about what we want to see and that’s both sets of fans getting behind their team. We can only focus on our own game and not Torino-Parma and I won’t talk about President Berlusconi. Tomorrow’s formation? We won’t be changing our philosophy. I won’t talk about the line-up as I don’t want to give anything away. I have clear ideas about how we’ll be playing against Atalanta. They played well against Juventus and they’ll be eager to do well in their last home game. We’ll need the right level of aggression,” Seedorf added.
“Myself and the players know each other better now. The derby with Inter is always a special match and it was great to see their joy and the applause from the fans. These are all things that will increase the affinity between me and the players. I don’t know if we’ll have the same formation tomorrow. We’ve shown a lot of balance as a group. El Shaarawy is in fine form like the rest of the 23 players. Kaka and Robinho? There’s a bit of disappointment from Kaka & Robinho not being called up for Brazil but that country always has an embarrassment of riches. They’re 2 great guys and have shown determination since the news. Brazil haven’t changed much since the Confederations Cup and the coach wanted to give continuity.
“My job at BBC? Working with the BBC for the World Cup will give me a chance to live the tournament up close. I can choose which games I work on, so it’ll only be a few matches. I have been collaborating with them since 2009, all Coaches and directors will be in Brazil this summer, for one reason or another. Javier Zanetti’s retirement? I’m friends with Zanetti and I thanked him for all he has done and given in the game. Let’s hope there’ll be more players like him in the future.”
Seedorf also spoke to the Milan Channel today: “When I talk about Zanetti, I’m talking about a friend. I have a great relationship with him. I also exchanged messages with Yepes, he said he’s doing fine but he won’t be playing tomorrow. We’re looking for an identity for the team and once you have that it’s easier to change things around tactically. Honda is one of the most important players we have and he works hard. Technically and tactically he’s very good and he’ll be able to give even more in the future. Everyone is back and in good form. Abate and Andrea Poli should both be with us tomorrow.
“We’re focused on these last two matches and we had a good week’s work. After the derby win we need a big game again tomorrow. There are many Milan fans in Indonesia and great respect for that the club does,” the 38-year-old said.