WE WROTE in a recent post that AC Milan boss Silvio Berlusconi is less than thrilled at the state of his club, and his recent comments seem to be just the latest indication that coach Clarence Seedorf is likely on his way out of Italy, or at least Milan.
Seedorf has remained resolutely confident in his future with the club this spring, but the facts are clear: the club underachieved, and this is one of a handful of clubs in Europe that simply refuses to remain inactive in the face of failure. All of this should make the summer months all the more interesting, as it appears that we’ll not only be eyeing potential player transfers, but also a potential coaching change.
So who could replace Seedorf if he is indeed given the axe? Here are a few candidates that could be available, interesting, and appropriate, other than the likelier options that are reported in the Italian press: Filippo Inzaghi, Roberto Donadoni, Luciano Spalletti and even Vincenzo Montella.
Okay, so I may have just broken away from the concept of a coach being “available,” but in European football the right price often snags the prize and Simeone would be quite the prize. The young coach and former Argentine star was mentioned by Bleacher Report a year ago as a potential replacement for Massimiliano Allegri (and boy would that have been nice!). All he’s done since is lead Atletico Madrid to one of its strongest seasons in history, with the club currently preparing for a Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 24 in Lisbon. Simeone is an exciting coach who inspires a high energy style that could work beautifully for AC Milan, though realistically he’s not a very likely replacement should Seedorf be fired.
He may not be the hottest name on the coaching circuit, but Tim Sherwood could be a far more realistic option than Diego Simeone, and may actually be somewhat intriguing. The Betfair football news section recently wrote that Sherwood is all but gone at Tottenham Hotspur, and as a curious side note, there are even rumours already that ex-AC Milan coach Allegri could be in the running for that job. But would AC Milan really have any interest in bringing Sherwood in? There’s no strong rumour to that effect just yet, but Sherwood is relatively young (at just 45), wasn’t exactly given a fair chance at Tottenham, and is known to favour an attacking style. It’s one that could play well for a Milan team with talent up top that still managed only a +7 goal differential through 37 matches played in Serie A. Plus, he’d be more affordable than some bigger options.
Another Premier League candidate with, perhaps, not the impact name AC Milan supporters might be hoping for, Pochettino is an intriguing candidate. Tribal Football wrote a brief blurb in late April claiming that AC Milan’s disgruntled ownership has already made contact with and expressed interest in Pochettino, which could be the beginning of something exciting for Milan. Pochettino, once a standout Argentine defenseman, is thought to have a meticulous and brainy approach to coaching. In particular, he seems to be adept at establishing a stout defence. Only five Premier League teams allowed fewer goals on the season than Pochettino’s Southampton team, and that sort of defensive success on a club with the natural scoring talent of AC Milan (assuming Mario Balotelli sticks around) could make for a very well rounded club moving forward.
All things considered, it may be a little early for speculation on a replacement for Clarence Seedorf, seeing as he’s not formally been dismissed just yet. But the language coming from the ownership certainly bodes ill for Seedorf. If the seemingly inevitable sacking occurs, these will be some names to watch (or at least hope) for.