Gattuso: “I am not dead, I want to see 23 lions against Samp, I want everyone to have Cutrone’s character and desire”

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Gennaro Gattuso during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)
Gennaro Gattuso during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

Gennaro Gattuso has stated ‘I just want to see 23 rabid dogs eager to prove themselves’ as Milan prepare to face Sampdoria after two straight defeats.

Milan lost to Inter 1-0 and to Real Betis 2-1 this week but tomorrow they have a chance to get back on track when they face Marco Giampaolo’s Sampdoria at Stadio San Siro (18:00 CET kickoff).

Gattuso knows that in case of anything but three points tomorrow, the pressure on him will grow even more, and he has asked his players to give everything to win on Sunday.

“Sampdoria have a good defense, if I am not mistaken they conceded only 4 goals, their defense plays well, they work well and we have to be good at putting them under pressure, we know they are well organized and have a great coach and tomorrow we will have to work hard to take home the three points. They play very well and work hard, this will be a tough game,” Gattuso said to journalists.

“Our last two matches [Milan are 6 points behind fourth and 2nd in the EL]? We are coming off two smacks in the face, but we’re not dead. I am not dead and buried, some of you still have to understand that. It hurts when there are defeats, but I know how much I can still give to these club colors. The other day, we didn’t manage any of the things we’d prepared and that’s the regret. I want to see a side with character and the desire to fight back, because it can do so much better.

“A wake-up call? I have to give calmness and serenity now. I have to analyze these performances and figure out why we’re playing with the handbrake on. We need to play freely and find those flashes that go beyond our tactics and formation. We need to find that extra spark at the individual level.

“If Milan will play with two strikers tomorrow? We’ll see… We tried out both a three-man defense and four, line-ups with two strikers, with the 4-3-3, with the 3-5-2. We’ll see tomorrow which direction we go in. What’s missing at the moment in the team? We’re underperforming, we need to enjoy our football, we did it for 2-3 months, we were having fun, but now we don’t do it anymore, we just suffer our opponents. We don’t have to play with a smile, but rather rediscover the will and enthusiasm.

Gonzalo Higuain and Samu Castillejo before Milan-Real Betis at Stadio San Siro on October 25, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Higuain and Samu Castillejo before Milan-Real Betis at Stadio San Siro on October 25, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“The reasons for the defeats? We’re all heading in the same direction. We had two bad performances against Inter and Real Betis. These guys have to understand that the club has given us trust and tranquility and has always supported us right from the first day. Also before the game [against Betis] I had talked to Gordon Singer [the son of Elliott owner Paul Singer] and yesterday Leonardo and Maldini came to Milanello, but they are always present, they come 2-3 times a week and are always with us and with the guys. We only have to work because what we’re doing is not enough, we cannot give up in October, and otherwise it’ll become even more difficult.

“No more alibis, we all have to take responsibility, I’m not defending anyone and we need everyone to do something extra. If we always find excuses, we’ll get nowhere. Making the team grow after these two blows? I don’t want to make comparisons with Inter, but don’t forget where they were on December 27 after the Coppa Italia defeat to us. After that loss, it took them months to get back on their feet, but look at them now [Inter are 3rd in Serie A and are back in the UCL]. You feel the blows and time is needed but we shouldn’t throw everything away. If we win tomorrow and win the rescheduled game with Genoa next Wednesday, then we’ll be in the Champions League places. We must continue to believe in what we’re doing, even if I already hear some jeering at San Siro.

Mateo Musacchio during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)
Mateo Musacchio during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“Betis? For how the defeat was going, at 0-1 thought it could end in a goalfest for them. Betis destroyed us in terms of quality and it was a huge disappointment to me. But I haven’t given up and I strongly believe in these guys. Perhaps I gave the wrong signal, so many times I can’t smile after the game. You comment my expressions the same way you see them reflected on me but in my soul I haven’t given up, instead, I’m fired up and I believe in my team.

“What I expect from tomorrow’s game? I want to see 23 lions with a sense of desire and belonging to this club. I don’t even care about the tactics. Even if I need to put aside everything I believe in tactically, there must be a Milan that is willing to do anything to win. I’m not interested in anything else, I just want to see 23 rabid dogs eager to prove themselves.

“If I feel completely in charge of this group of players? The players don’t have to play for me. I think there is too much talk about this situation, as if I’m the only coach in the world who is on the edge. It is part of the game, I have to get results and have the guys play well. The problem shouldn’t be me being in the spotlight of those who are at risk but instead to find the results again. I know these guys believe in me, we haven’t been brilliant and we’re making a big effort. But if I have to put my hand in the fire, I’d do it, and not just my hand but my whole body, even at the risk of being brunt completely.

“Who are the players with physical problems? If some don’t even go on the bench then it’s because they were already not well in the Europa League. Kessié was already in pain during the derby with his ankle and the collateral knee ligament, so we’ll see tomorrow. Çalhanoğlu got a bruise to his foot against Inter and now can’t even pull his boots on because he has a hematoma.

Mattia Caldara and Andrea Conti during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)
Mattia Caldara and Andrea Conti during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“If Caldara is ready to play? He’s coming back from an injury and when he’ll be fine then he will have minutes and give his contribution. I wanted to put him on the other night against Betis and I’m sorry that I didn’t do it but I would have been throwing him in a blender, it would have ended badly for him physically. When he’s well, he will have an opportunity to show his qualities.

“Higuain’s moment? When the team doesn’t work, as happened to us in the last two games, then it’s normal for the striker to suffer and performances like this come out of Higuain in games in which he receives no balls. He’s not in a very bright period, but the team must put him in a position to express himself to the fullest. I told him that he needs to be less irritable and should applaud his teammates rather than shout at them. He protested too much the penalty not given to Castillejo. There are errors made by the referee or his teammates and he shouldn’t lose energy over it. He’s a leader in the group, he makes everyone feel comfortable and he jokes with everyone. If his performances are not very good then the blame is on the collective, all of us at Milanello.

Patrick Cutrone during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)
Patrick Cutrone during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“If I’d like to have a team of Cutrone’s? Yes, when he comes on, Patrick brings vehemence, desire and also pressure on all opponents. I want to see everyone with that character, with that desire, but then you also need quality, because with desire alone you don’t go anywhere. If Patrick plays then we’ll have a chance to play more long balls, but Gonzalo likes to have the ball on his feet and play.

“Bakayoko against Sampdoria? Let’s see tomorrow. I think that against Betis he won back four or five good balls, but the problem is he then passed them straight back to the opposition. He is going through a lot of difficulties, we need to be patient and work out what his problems are. Against Betis everyone did wrong and not just him, we can hardly find a single player who did well with the exclusions of Patrick and Castillejo. We have to give sharpness and speed, at the moment we are too flat in adrenaline and atmosphere. We need to bring the fans back to our side, we must show desire.

“Playing Laxalt on the side of the midfield? At Genoa he was always the fifth man in midfield, but he can do everything because he has speed, sprint and the ability in one on one. Tomorrow we’ll see, he can play from the first minute or start from the bench. But are you [the journalists] sure that against Sampdoria we’ll play with two strikers? Maybe you have wrong information…

Stadio San Siro before Milan-Real Betis at Stadio San Siro on October 25, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Stadio San Siro before Milan-Real Betis at Stadio San Siro on October 25, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“If it’s frustrating not to know how Milan will approach the game? No, because when the performances like the last two come then there’s something on the mental and team level that broke down. Today we’ll train again, we’ll watch the videos and then we’ll go down to the field. The training can help me and give me a feeling and the overall thermometer of the situation.

“We must play a strong and masculine match. The tactical and mental behavior against Inter and Betis? Against Betis we were disastrous, but we weren’t playing for a draw against Inter. We played well, we gave them few chances but our side-midfielders never cut inside, we never found the third man, we were flat, but the game was interesting tactically, even though we did very little at a technical level. The few opportunities that arrived were random.

Milan fans during Milan-Real Betis at Stadio San Siro on October 25, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Milan fans during Milan-Real Betis at Stadio San Siro on October 25, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

“I said before that, for this reason, I want to see less tactics and techniques, but more one on one’s, something different, just to win this game. We are also struggling because we are looking for too many things and too many schemes that we are not able to support at this moment.”

Gattuso will need his team to produce a performance of a higher quality than in the last two games in order to beat Sampdoria. In addition to three points, the search for a clean sheet will also continue.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Tomorrow we will win again and no one will talk about Gattuso. Especially when we win the next 3 games, which are decisive for Gattuso to stay or not.

     
    • “I want to see 23 lions against Samp.”

      Oh, because it is Sampdoria you want to see lions but against mediocre Inter you: “expect the team to suffer and take their chance,” right?

      What a joke!

       
    • Today we will win and next week no one will talk about rino no more because by then gazidis will have brought in his boy wenger. Shit yeah

       
  2. I know Gattuso takes his job seriously. Taking it seriously is not the same as getting the desired results. My worry is that even if we get Conte this team won’t improve. A lot of the players don’t need to be in the squad list. There’s no competition.

    Juventus bench is as good as it first 11 if not better – now that’s sad. So many players need to leave the team. There are too many dead weight.

    We know them – Borini, Bakayoko, Bertolacci, Hallilovic*, Strinic*, Calabria, Castillejo, Abate, Mauri, Montolivo, Zapata, Mussachio and Biglia (yes Biglia, he is no Pirlo). 12 average players. They can’t preform beyond their best.

    I know the players I * haven’t played but I don’t see the added value they bring.

    Milan needs another overhauling to become better and more competitive. The January window and summer window must be fully exploited. Why would you sell bonucci for caldara and higuain and caldara is not playing? You did not get the value of your acquisition.

    Gattuso has a lot of passion but passion does not win games…

     
  3. All Gattuso does is to copy and past the same information, mentality & rubbish game plan…shame on you!!!….it’s just gonna be another embarrassment tomorrow…pleaaaaaaaaase sack Gattuso now before it’s too late..with Gattuso we can’t, we won’t and we never get to champions league…

     
  4. And u think Borini, Zapata and Bakayoko are Lions? Sorry Rino, you don’t need noone to tell you they are cats hence, stop playing them for the rest of the season.

    Kessie is the soul of this team and when he’s not playing, we lose an engine. In January, get an equal replacement for him and Biglia. We need a player from Serie A and not another gamble from another league. Barella and Veretout are 2 instant guarantees for quality and quantity, let go of Batolacci and every other useless player in your squad.

     
    • “And u think Borini, Zapata and Bakayoko are Lions? Sorry Rino, you don’t need noone to tell you they are cats hence, stop playing them for the rest of the season” lmfao you made my day! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

       
  5. Just sack him. He is now too desperate to the extent that he doesn’t care about the formation. which manager in his right senses doesn’t care about his formation

     
  6. You can only see on the pitch the players you train Rino, not lions. If you train and set them up well, it will show, otherwise don’t expect magic

     
  7. Football and its fans these days… No patience, no gratitude, no respect, no nothing

    Reasons I don’t take time and watch a full match anymore. It does not mean anything to anyone anymore

    But my support lies with Gattuso!

    Forza Rino!

     
    • I watch the full matches mate. And I support my team like that. That’s why I know that my support lies for a club AC MIlan, not Gattuso,

       
    • “Reasons I don’t take time and watch a full match anymore. It does not mean anything to anyone anymore” in short, ur NOT a supporter

       
    • Haha!

      Another “Kumbaya” Grinta lover. You can have a hard on for the ‘grint’ but come next week, you’re gonna be flaccid like a slip

       
      • Calling me names and bash like that is exactly a point to my first comment – no respect from a spoiled, childish bunch who call themselves fans

        Word “fan” lost its meaning and respect attached to it long ago

         
  8. Milans problem isn’t Rino ARE the player we have to cover the middle of the field. We need 2 good midfielders and a fast player on the right wing.
    So I am hoping we get some good players in the January transfer, I see well Ramsey and Barella and as left wing I would get someone yang who has speed and good on one on one and to my mind comes only one player who cuts the bill: Sancho.
    However for the rest of the season I would definitely change formation, I think we can get better results if we play with 3-4-1-2.
    WE HAVE TO KEEP RINO.

     
    • “Milans problem isn’t Rino ARE the player we have to cover the middle of the field. We need 2 good midfielders and a fast player on the right wing.” correctamundo mate. U deserve to be called milan10ian.
      Rino use 4-3-3 when milan dont have playmaking cm and fast wingers thus milan attack suck big time. Also, 4-3-3 demands high defensive line and high pressing game because, LIKE I SAID, with this formation u’ll always get outnumbered in mf, leaving so much space between the defense and mf line if u dont apply high defensive line and high pressing game. Pep knew it, i know it, rino should know it.

       
  9. We’ll see tomorrow. All this talk about lions. Really? Just don’t be a pussycat Gatusso. I’ve really lost patience and faith. Surprise me tomorrow with a solid win. Your approach and game plans so far is sabotaging the team and that’s all on you.

     
  10. “I have to analyze these performances and figure out why we’re playing with the handbrake on” uh, because u told them to park the bus? U dont even know what ur talking about do u?
    “If Milan will play with two strikers tomorrow? We’ll see… We tried out both a three-man defense and four, line-ups with two strikers, with the 4-3-3, with the 3-5-2” in ‘90 theres that gatorade tagline “everybody wants to be like mike” now its “everybody’s milan10” swell.
    “but don’t forget where they were on December 27 after the Coppa Italia defeat to us. After that loss, it took them months to get back on their feet, but look at them now [Inter are 3rd in Serie A and are back in the UCL].” Thats the perks of having good, experienced coach.
    “I just want to see 23 rabid dogs eager to prove themselves.” Then go watch opening cutscene of that classic resident evil game.
    “I want to see 23 lions with a sense of desire and belonging to this club.” Someone’s watched lion king one too many times. I bet all he does as prep talk before the match is scream “hakuna matata”
    “I don’t even care about the tactics.” Yeah fvkk tactics, strategies and formations and fvkk rinus michels, cruyff, helenio herrera and other dead nerds. Lets just wear underwears like characters of 300 movie on the field and if referees make wrong calls we’ll just “this is sparta” their asses right into oblivion.
    “ If Patrick plays then we’ll have a chance to play more long balls” yeah lets play like ancient english team. 4-3-3 baby
    “At Genoa laxalt was always the fifth man in midfield” who put the gun to ur face and say “dont use 3-5-2” bright boy?
    “We must play a strong and masculine match.” like i said, fvvk all those dead nerds like michels. We’ll just scream “this is sparta” and pull a de jong on xabi alonso every 5 minutes

     
  11. sadly… dogs and lions cant play football. having one dog in squad (as we did back then) is a good thing but wee need brain instead of this nonsense. we can’t even pass the ball to each other and we expecting to 23 lions win the game!

     
  12. Allegri after the Empoli game: “I told the boys it’s a game we must win, it doesn’t matter if we play good or bad”
    Juve with their experienced coach and all their quality players… “doesnt matter if they play good or bad” but when Rino says “he just wants to see 23 lions” and “dont care about tactics” he just wants the boys to go out there and get the three points people hate on him… but whatever

     
    • Context mate. You can tell Bethoven before a concert that he doesn’t have to play Symphony number 5 in C minor, or Fur Elise, and still be confident he can still pull off a good show as he’s an experienced/established composer. Unfortunately, a lesser pianist will need his music sheets, or you might be liable to get Ba Ba Black Sheep.

      We aren”t Juve.

       
      • Not agreeing with you mate sorry. A bad performance at a concert is a bad performance no matter what your name is – a bad performance in football can still end up with three points which is all that matters in the end, and that’s my point here.

        @nick, well, honestly, if you look at the derby game, his INTENT from the beginning was probably to stay deep and hit Inter on the break and going for the win in that way, but then he noticed that his tactics were failing, which they were, and then he got scared and THEN he started to play for the draw rather than the win. This was one game out of nine that he went for the safe option – okay eight if you include the Napoli game but we went for the win there no doubt. How can Rino get a lable of not going for the win when he has gone for the win in 8/9 – if we’re saying that he didnt go for the win against Inter- that’s ridiculous, and shows the bias that is towards Gattuso. I’m not saying he’s perfect, he’s far from it, he has his flaws, in game tactics/subs etc, but people are finding new things to blame him for which aren’t warranted.

        And sorry man, I dont see the hype with Mauri and Hallilovic. None of them will probably be here for the long term, although I agree that Mauri should get the nod over Baka.

        We’ll see how we line-up tonight and how the 4-4-2 will look – if we’ll play with two strikers.

         
        • @Milanista121. What I meant by Gattuso not setting up the team to win is more in regards to formation, starting 11 and tactics. Not in regards to his intentions.

          If you look carefully at the 433 formation, Calhanoglu is not effective on the LW.

          A better option would have been Laxalt on the LW with Bonaventura as a mezzala. I’ve mentioned this numerous times on other posts.

          With Suso on the RW and Laxalt on the LW in a 433 we have a more balance setup on the pitch.

          Gattuso has been sticking with the 433 since the season started but still continue to use Calhanoglu or Borini on the LW which gives the team no balance and it has been proven to be ineffective.

           
        • A bad performance is a bad performance. Agreed. But that’s not the debate here.

          It’s about the difference between the impact of Allegri’s and Gattuso’s similar comments. Surely you can appreciate that, for example, a coach telling Bolt to just go do his best in a 100m sprint, is way different/would yield different results to a coach telling me the similar, or some lesser athlete the same.

          Maybe I am not expressing my opinion with a clear enough analogy. in an case, we can agree to disagree.

           
          • I do hear what you’re saying, but my point is how the fans are reacting to this. We’re in a bad shape, we shouldn’t bother about playing champagne football when the focus should be winning – so screw tactics or whatever, if the three points will be gained. Allegri’s got the right mentality, BUT shouldn’t a team with Juve’s quality always provide champagne football? But for them it’s allright because they’re a drilled winning machine.

            Anyways, we can agree to disagree:)

             
    • Allegri sets his team up to win and Gattuso doesn’t. How many games Milan played this season where it is evident that Higuain is too isolated and we don’t create enough chances for him, but still Gattuso persist with the 433 formation?

      It’s shocking to me that it’s only now he is thinking about playing 2 strikers especially seeing week after week the frustration of Higuain because we don’t move the ball well in the attacking 3rd to be a threat to our opponents goal.

      Sorry man, but Gattuso is really sabotaging the team with his tactics, formation, starting 11 and substitutions. Playing Borini and Bakayoko over Halilovic and Mauri is mind boggling.

      TBH, I can’t blame the team’s poor form on bad luck or the players. This all just poor coaching choices here to me. This is why everyone is frustrated with Gattuso.

      Milan problems are easy to see but instead of Gattuso being proactive to fix these problems, he is being reactive and that’s bad coaching.

      I have a weird feeling that Gattuso is not even sure what formation is best suited for his players in squad.

       
  13. I agree with Rino that he now doesn’t know what to do. He’s tried everything with no solutions. Now saying he doesn’t care about tactics anymore and simply asking his players to play like dogs. I think he’s fed up with the job

     
    • Agreed. What’s interesting is that when we play a 433 our main threat comes from the RW with Suso and Calabria. That’s if Suso is in form.

      The LW we have no threat from that side simply because calhanoglu is not a winger. It would make more sense to play Laxalt instead of Calhanoglu if Gattuso has faith in playing Bonaventura as a mezzala.

      That means Calhanoglu and Bonaventura would be competing for the same position. So if we needed to sub one for the other we have quality coming off the bench for that position.

      I’m not convinced that Gattuso really knows how to use his players in the right way and that’s why I think he really doesn’t know what to do.

      That’s probably why he doesn’t care about tactics anymore which is pretty foolish for a coach in Serie A.

       
  14. Well we’re finally set to change formation but I don’t like how he says he doesn’t care about tactics. I hope this isn’t a 4 4 2 in disguise for 4 3 3, meaning cutrone staying in a poacher role rather than drifting out wide. I’ll be upset if we play ugly cause I want a reaction, but the win is more important than anything. The next two games are crucial wins. They’ll get us right back in contention for a champions League spot.

    Either way I support the coach, the players, and above all the team! Let’s get a reaction tonight boys forza milan!!

     
  15. Pls OC or Diego should add me to Milan WhatsApp group. My phone was stolen, this is my new mobile number 08075622487

     

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