Paolo Maldini has stated that Milan can’t wait 10 years to be competitive again, while Frederic Massara claimed ‘we wondered a lot’ about what went wrong under Marco Giampaolo.
Milan sacked Giampaolo on Tuesday and announced the arrival of Stefano Pioli in his place on Wednesday. On the same day, the new coach was presented to the press.
“I’d like to thank Giampaolo for his professionalism, we are very sad about that because three months ago we were here with him, and now we are on a different road and a different journey,” Milan Technical Director Maldini told reporters at Casa Milan today, as he sat alongside Director of Sport Frederic Massara, CEO Ivan Gazidis, Pioli and Chief Football Officer, Zvonimir Boban.
“But honestly, this was a shared and a deep-thought decision and I believe it was a right choice because we have a very young squad. I believe he was the right person but it didn’t work out for us. So maybe we’re a bit brave but it was also a difficult decision to be taken. But this decision makes us understand that we want to be the real protagonists this season, we can’t concede or eat a loss because the results up to now have been a bit disappointment. So we’ve decided, with regret, to change the coach, and Stefano has great, extensive experience, also working with teams in the middle of the season.
“Choosing Pioli and this moment of Milan? This is not a gamble, we don’t want a wasted season. We are quite calm and safe because our decision was a shared decision, we thought over those decisions, they are aligned with our needs.
“Our ambitions? We couldn’t win the Champions League this year, this is clear to everyone, but I think we’re here also as a guarantee towards our past, towards our history and we will not wait 10 years to become competitive again. We’re here to rely on our past experiences and we are giving the guarantee in person. We are taking up our responsibilities. Boban, Massara and I are all the same age, we were born in 1968 and we have been professionals since we were 16-year-olds, so we started working very young. This is just one moment of our life.
“The psychological situation of the Milan players? I believe that such a block to players is not just a result of a scheme, but also the result of a general situation. This is a very young squad. The history of Milan, the blazon of San Siro may have affected some of our players.
“I said after the Fiorentina game that I wanted to defend Giampaolo until the very end and I didn’t do that? I had defended Marco because in that moment it was right to defend him, until we decided to change him. It was quite a fast decision, for reasons we explained before. We have 31 matches, we are still in a position to turn the results upside down. We could’ve waited one month maybe but we know that we have nearly a full league ahead of us, we can change the outcome. We couldn’t risk wasting a season.”
Massara also spoke during the presser, saying: “Marco was very dedicated and he gave all the best. Now we wondered a lot, we wondered what didn’t work besides the results which were not aligned with our expectations of course, I don’t need to say that… we believed that there was room for improvement, we believed that this possibility could be developed by Pioli.
“So this was a very fast decision, also because we could see potential for this team.”