Vincenzo Montella has been sacked by Milan, Gattuso is the replacement.
The 0-0 draw against Torino was the straw that broke the camel’s back as the Milan ownership today gave the order to sack Vincenzo Montella, replacing him with club and Italy legend Rino Gattuso.
“Milan announce to have parted ways with coach Vincenzo Montella,” a statement on the Rossoneri’s website reads. “We are very grateful to Mr. Montella and his staff for all the work done up to today, their commitment and professionalism.
“Management of the first team is entrusted to Gennaro Gattuso, who leaves his position as Primavera coach and to whom Milan wish the best of luck. A presser is scheduled for tomorrow to present the new coach at Milanello training center.” Alessandro Lupi has replaced Gattuso at the Primavera.
Montella was chosen by the Chinese ownership (represented by Marco Fassone and Massimiliano Mirabelli) to lead Milan into the new era and the ex-Roma, Fiorentina and Sampdoria coach, who only signed a contract extension until 2019 in May, was involved in the summer purchase campaign.
But the results – despite the continuous promises of Montella – never arrived. Mirabelli admitted before the Torino game yesterday that they had expected to be in a different position in the table and after drawing Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side, the Rossoneri find themselves closer to the relegation zone (+10) than to a spot that gives the Champions League (-11 from Roma who have a match in hand).
It was initially reported that Montella learned about the decision to fire him from a ‘collaborator’ of the club, but according to Milannews.it, the news was communicated directly from Mirabelli. The decision was taken over the night after a long conference call with President Yonghong Li. Sky also believes that it was the ownership that made the final decision to end ties with Montella.
Montella lasted 517 days as the coach of the Diavolo and has a record of 32 wins, 14 draws and 18 defeats. The highlights of his tenure of course are the Supercoppa Italiana victory against Juventus in December, the win at San Siro against the Bianconeri in October and returning to Europe.
“Coaching Milan was an honor, working with this group even more so,” Montella wrote on his Twitter account. “I thank the fans for their support, Fassone and Mirabelli for this opportunity and my staff for supporting me throughout. I hope Rino takes Milan back where they belong.”
Unless surprises occur, Gattuso will lead Milan at least until the end of the season. His career as a player is undoubtedly legendary but he’s had his struggles as a manager: after retiring from football in 2013, he coached FC Sion but was sacked at the end of the season. He then went on to coach Palermo but was sacked after just six matches in charge. His next experience was in Greece OFI Crete but resigned in December 2014 due to the club’s financial problems. In 2015 he joined Pisa, leading them to Serie B promotion, but a year later his side finished last and was relegated to Lega Pro.
This season with the Primavera, Rino’s team found its form after two initial defeats (5-1 to Sassuolo and 3-0 to Inter). The Milan Primavera is currently sitting in third place with 19 points after 10 games. Gattuso’s Pisa were known for their defensive abilities, conceding just 36 goals in 42 matches in Serie B, but had a serious problem of scoring as they had the worst attack in the league with 23 goals.
Former Italy Prime Minister and Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi congratulated the 39-year-old Gattuso on his new job via a Twitter message: “I had a long, affectionate and friendly phone call with my old warrior Rino Gattuso. Good luck. Forza Rino! And of course, Forza Milan!”
Tomorrow Gattuso will lead his first training session as the head coach. He is the 5th man – and 3rd Primavera coach – to sit on the red and black bench sine Massimiliano Allegri was fired in 2012.