Marco Fassone thanked Vincenzo Montella but believes Milan can do much better than they’ve done so far – even without moves in January.
Milan announced their decision to sack Montella this morning and appointed Primavera coach and club legend Gennaro Gattuso until the end of the season.
Montella won the Supercoppa Italiana with Milan last season and brought the club back to Europe, and so the new Chinese ownership saw him as the right guy to move forward with, and they gave him a contract extension until 2019.
But Montella simply failed to deliver results this season as the Rossoneri find themselves closer to the relegation zone than to fourth place after 14 rounds.
“Montella’s firing? I don’t know if it was an inevitable choice, we thought it was the move to do in light of what has happened in recent weeks,” Fassone said to journalists at a Gran Galà del Calcio event.
“Gattuso? He’s not a caretaker, he’s the best solution at this time. He knows what his role is, and he has accepted it with humility. He knows that he has the first team of Milan in his hand, which is something great. In May we’ll evaluate everything, the scenario is fluid but there are no caretakers.
“The decision? In the last few weeks it was a solution that I had assessed. The director made his assessments and the final decision was taken this morning. I made some reflections in the night and I spoke this morning with the ownership [the final decision reportedly came from the owners].
“The call to sack [athletic trainer] Emanuele Marra? I appreciated the choice [which was taken by Montella]. The coaches are very close to their staff, Montella showed great maturity because they had different visions. At that time, I didn’t notice any other signal, it was a professional, mature choice.
“The relationship with Montella? We are grateful to Montella on both personal and professional point of views. He did everything possible to improve the squad. He worked and the team were in harmony with him. Something did not work, mistakes were made by all parties. The most important thing was to make a decision at a certain time rather than waiting and hoping that things would improve.
“January? We don’t need to intervene. The squad is good, built with ambitions that were not the Scudetto, but the Champions League. We can have better performances than the current ones. We don’t even have a point and a half on average, we hoped it would be different. We are convinced that with Gattuso the average will rise, and we’ll return to what we had in mind at the start of the season.
The first opponents of Gattuso’s Milan are Benevento, who have lost of all their matches so far in Serie A (14). Rino, the management and the fans will all hope that the season will take a positive turn.