Alberto Zaccheroni has told the Milan fans to have patience, and said he thinks the Rossoneri are missing another striker who can score in double-digits.
The Diavolo play their last pre-season game tomorrow, taking on Cesena away from home (20:30 CEST kickoff).
Serie A starts next week and on August 25th the Rossoneri will face Udinese for the first Matchday and for Marco Giampaolo’s official debut. Alberto Zaccheroni, who arrived to coach Milan in 1998 after three years at Udinese, spoke to Tuttosport this week about the state of the Red and Black club.
“The summer friendly matches are only for the coaches to begin to understand the characteristics of the players, but they don’t give valid indications other than that. Therefore, we have to wait for the first official encounters to give a valid judgment,” the 66-year-old said.
“If I prefer to start the interview talking about Inter rather than Milan since I’m a Nerazzurri fan? I was a fan of Inter for up to 16 years. Then I rooted for the teams where I played and coached. And when I’m not coaching, I’m rooting for the teams that focus on young players.
“If I therefore like this Milan? I like the line of focusing on the quality of the game and looking for young talent. But you must take into account that with this policy, the results cannot be immediate. The coach is new, the management is new, and even the ownership is almost new. The players purchased are in the growth phase and not in the middle of their careers, so it will take some time. But the Milanista fans have more patience than others.
“There’s still patience even after not very good seasons? I remember arriving in after an 11th and 10th-placed finish. And the fans welcomed me very well. And at this moment a patient approach seems to be the most reasonable considering the club can’t buy players who have already won the World Cup or the Champions League.
“If Giampaolo is the Italian coach who plays the best football along with Sarri? It is a very subjective speech. Playing better for who? There are those who prefer vertical football that allows you to get to the goal with two passes. And there are those who, on the contrary, are excited by dribbling football. I think that, beyond schemes and tactics, it’s important that the coach knows how to capture his players. There are those who do it with words, some in training and some with results. All in function of going to score goals. And here there is one aspect on which I think that this Milan are a bit lacking.
“Which one? For me, a great team must have three offensive players who guarantee at least 50 goals per season. I’m talking about the starters and two reserves. At this moment, also considering Ángel Correa’s probable arrival, statistics in hand – only Piątek has the ability to score in double figures. Rafael Leão, Correa and Suso don’t. Then the midfielders have to compensate. That’s why I would never deprive myself of Kessié, a formidable midfielder with unique skills of inserting himself in the box. And looking at the last few weeks of the market, I would invest in a double-digit striker that adds weight to Piątek. I believe that Giampaolo could go and ask for a player with these numbers if he realizes that the lack is serious.
“The experiment of Suso as a trequartista? I like Suso very much when he starts off-center and converges in the middle behind the strikers. It’s different instead to wait for the ball when already in the middle as it will happen with this new position. It will be necessary to understand if he’ll be able to adapt where you need to simultaneously view the ball and the goal. But I bet on Suso’s desire for redemption after a season in which, in my opinion, he received too much criticism. And I have faith in Giamapolo who knows perfectly the characteristics that a ‘fantasista’ must have, because for him that role is fundamental.
“Which new Rossoneri signing intrigues me the most? Bennacer. Because in Giampaolo’s game the ability to keep the ball in the middle of the field is fundamental, otherwise you suffer on the wings because with the three central midfielders and a trequartista you are more grouped in the central area of the pitch. And the regista becomes fundamental there, the interpretation of the game saves you. But I think Milan will still be making some more signings.
“If I realized that I had such a mature dressing room at Milan considering Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban are now directors at Milan; Leonardo, Oliver Bierhoff and Demetrio Albertini have become directors; George Weah and Kakha Kaladze are involved in politics in their country; and Gennaro Gattuso, Roberto Donadoni, Andriy Shevchenko, Maurizio Ganz and Federico Giunti are coaches? Yes, they are people of great personality, and with a lot of respect.
“Maldini, Costacurta and Albertini were exemplary. No one has ever created problems. From day one I talked about respect for roles. In the locker room I was the only one talking on half time during the games. After three years I told Maldini that he too could spur his teammates when we were in trouble and he reminded me of what I had said on the first day about respecting roles. I’m convinced that outside the locker room he made himself heard with his teammates who were wrong in attitude. But inside he let me hear only my voice.”