Pioli: “My slogan is ‘to win’, at my Milan I want to see willingness to take risks and intensity, we must fight for the CL, Suso is a quality player, Leão has great potential, Paquetá is a complete player”

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Stefano Pioli during his presentation at Casa Milan on October 9, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

Stefano Pioli was presented to the press today and he spoke about what he wants from his Milan, about the protest of the fans, and about some individuals.

Milan decided to sack Marco Giampaolo after just 7 Serie A games, and they chose to appoint former Inter and Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli in his place.

Fans, especially online, were fuming at the decision of the club to sign Pioli, who they believe is no better than Giampaolo. Twitter was trending with the hashtag #PioliOut before the 53-year-old even signed his contract with the Rossoneri until June 2021.

Today at Casa Milan, the headquarters of the Rossoneri, Pioli was presented to the press as he sat alongside Zvonimir Boban, Paolo Maldini, Frederic Massara and Ivan Gazidis.

“Good morning everyone, I am facing this new adventure with great enthusiasm,” Pioli said. “I know that this is a great club, it is one of the most prestigious in the world. I have a lot of enthusiasm and patience. I am very confident that I can do a great job because I believe that this is a team that has a lot of potential, the players have a lot of potential and I think that I can do a great job with them.

Stefano Pioli signing the contract at Casa Milan on October 9, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“The protests of the fans against my appointment? First of all, I respect of supporters and supporters have the right to criticize, but this is for me an additional incentive to give all my best, to push even more. Of course, I will work on players’ heads, on schemes, on principles and concepts I want to convey to this club. These 10 days before the first match with Lecce are very important and I will make the most of it to prepare the team.

“If there’s something to retain from Giampaolo’s work or if I have to start from scratch? Well it’s difficult to say that. I believe that he’s an excellent coach but we have different ideas, different approach from mine, in the way he approaches the match and interprets the match. I want to convey my ideas to the players and to the squad in a very short time and I am sure that the level from which we start is very high because I know that the players are very professional, I know they are very high-value players. Also, from a morale point of view, I’m sure that Marco worked very well so I believe that this is a strong basis and foundations. And of course I’d like to play football which the players will feel as a positive football, which will be interpreted in a playful and in a positive way. If they are in this squad then it’s because they have the quality and character to play at Milan and at San Siro, and what I need to do is give them all the courage and all the strength they need.

Stefano Pioli during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“Three principles I’d like to see at my Milan? Ideas, willingness to take risks and intensity. Very simple and concrete.

“My relationship with the fans on social media and the fact that I’m an Inter fan? As for the social networks, I don’t have any kind of social network accounts, if you find any profiles then it’s not mine. But again, supporters are free to express their own opinion, I like people expressing their opinion looking into my eyes rather than through indirect means. As for the other thing, the past is the past. Supporting Inter was in the past, it’s like misleading a teenager with a mature adult. Now I’m a professional with the best intentions to give my best and a desire to do well. This is the most important thing and I believe that an assessment should be done on what I’ll do and not on what I did when I was a teenager or a child.

Stefano Pioli during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“If this is the riskiest mission of my life? Well, I’m always very positive, especially when I start a new adventure. We are Milan, we will fight for Milan, we will fight together to reach the best possible results, and the players need to be convinced of that. We have a glorious past and our present needs to be inline and raise up to our expectations. Of course there are difficulties, as difficulties are always there and they need to be overcome. We need to work hard with dedication and with quality to overcome difficulties and to become a truly-united team as soon as possible.

“If I’m an enhancer? I will adapt to the players, I will adapt to their qualities. I feel like a teacher, actually. My objective is to improve the players, it’s to improve each of them. By improving each of them, I have to improve the whole team. Of course, there are a lot of excellent qualities in this squad that we need to be able to boost and enhance. We need to do a great job, because we have the conditions, we have the facilities, we have the support of the clubs. We need to be able to reconquer our supporters again, they are there and they are waiting for our performance, they are demanding, they are passionate and this is a right thing, they witnessed excellent games and excellent players in the past.

“If there are any urgent aspects where I’d like to intervene from a technical and mental point of view? Of course I watched all the matches, although I was contacted only last Monday. But I watched nearly all the games and I will make the most to study them more deeply. But despite that, what interests me is understanding players, having a ‘feeling’ with them and enable them to give their best. I am very demanding with my staff as I am with my players. I don’t bare superficiality, I don’t like when there’s a lack of ambition, and so I believe that everyone has to give their own best to achieve the best possible result, because the Champions League is still there. This is quite a special occasion, because there are still 31 matches before the end so there is much room for improvement. Of course, we know that time can be an enemy but it is also an ally because we have to make the most of every moment to grow and do our best.

“If this squad can reach fourth place? We must fight for the Champions League. What characteristics about this squad make me optimistic we can reach fourth? I believe that our technical qualities, technical features, players that can resolve the games, I believe that there is a mix of technical and physical qualities that makes me optimistic to undertake a very effective football. Of course we’ll have to fight against very strong squads, we have to compete with very well-trained squads, very-organized squads and with very strong players. We need to be brave, we need to be aware of our possibilities and also be aware of the difficulties that there are there to overcome, and we know that everyone has to give something more in order to compete at such a high level.

Stefano Pioli during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“If the players were stopped by some kind of complicated football concept? I don’t know, it’s very difficult from the outside to judge a situation. I know which kind of approach I want to have and I believe that the characteristics of our players can suit my approach. And I’d like to think that my approach, my way of play, from what I could witness from my own experience, is that the players, when they have the enthusiasm, they are really able to give their best. When a player goes and feel well with the way he’s playing, I believe that he can really give the best and we need players that can give the best.

“Comparisons with my experience at Inter? I believe that comparing different experiences is wrong, because the players are different, the setting is different, also because my life and my experience have always looked towards the future and not back, so I’ll make the most of my players, I want to understand them and do a great job.

Stefano Pioli during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“Working with Piątek and where would I play Paquetá? Piątek is a very effective player in the penalty area, I believe that often the forward is influenced by the work of the whole team, so the more we are effective the better it is. And I believe that more occasions will be given to the forwards and Piątek has the skills and the capabilities to score goals. But also there are other players that can be very good offensively. Paquetá, I believe, is a very good midfielder and he has good qualities. I believe he’s a complete player. I like to move the players around through the match, so sometimes they will be more in the central park, sometimes more on the sides, sometimes he may score as well. We have a lot of midfielders and I like a lot when they are quality midfielders, I like midfielders that can conclude an action, when they are dynamic, and so with the right characteristics to interpret the game that I have in mind.

“If Leão will be a crucial part of my Milan and how would I like to revive Suso? Leão has great potential, a very high potential and I believe we have to make the most of him. But at this very moment I’m unable to say that he’ll be the only pillar, everyone needs to feel important and everyone needs to give their best, and I will make my decision on each different occasion, so everyone needs to play well and he has a lot of qualities. Suso is an unquestionable quality player, of course, he needs to be put in the condition to go one-against-one, and he also can be a very dangerous player and do very well.

Stefano Pioli during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“I said I want to create a ‘feeling’ with the player and get into their heads? I believe that the right mix is playing with quality and intensity, this is the perfect mix in modern football, having very intense matches. There is a lot of talk about playing well, but this depends a lot on our ability to defend. I want to interpret this in a very brave way, we way to be aggressive and recuperate the ball as soon as possible.

“If I’ve decided on the formation and if I’ve already identified leaders for this squad? Numbers are more important for you than for me. What counts for me is principles and concepts of games. There are characteristics of which I want to make the most, but the important thing is to have a team identity, which means to be clear on how we want to interpret and make the most of the game.

“What will I have to work on? There are many things that can be done. I think I’ll focus more on Lecce, because I want to prepare for the match at best. Some players are not with us but these 10 days are very important for me, for my staff, for this squad, to know each other. I believe we need to be aware that we are Milan and that we have a home match at San Siro, so we don’t need to be anxious, we just need to be determined of what it requires. We need to channel our emotions positively, in order to play this match at our best and win.

Stefano Pioli during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“What is my slogan, considering Giampaolo’s was ‘head up and play well’? To win, this is my slogan. No matter where your head is, up or down, we have to win. What kind of coach I am? I am a demanding coach, but I am very careful about human relationships.

“What choices of the past would I no longer make? Well, all of my experiences were useful, we can always learn something. We have to demand, I want them to give their best, we have the potential to improve and I want them to be very focused, because quality work, efforts, dedication and sacrifice, is what is required to achieve results. Maybe in the past sometimes I lost focus but I will not commit that mistake again.”

After his press conference, Pioli also spoke to Sky Italia: “I’m excited and I really want to start. I want to start an important path, we can do well. My concepts? Ideas and intensity, in this modern football you can’t do without these things, you need a cohesive team. The fans? I have great respect for the Milan fans. My past as a kid doesn’t count, but rather the present of a professional who will try to get the best results with Milan.

“What the directors told me? They were very direct and clear. I found some very strong people, I’m sure that I will have great support from them. The club is important, we have many good players. We just have to work and have a very specific team identity. There is no winning formation, the important thing is the attitude and approach to the games. We must always try to win.

Stefano Pioli during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“My slogan? Playing well gives you more chances to win. We need to improve our standings, we have the quality to play good football too. The Champions League? It’s our objective, even though I know it will not be easy. There is a lot of time, there are still 31 Matchdays left, so there is room to get a lot of points.

“Piątek? We need to understand the reasons for his difficulties. I want to play purposeful football, I want a lot of players in the box. He’s a great striker and we must try to make the best out of him.”

Pioli also talked to MilanTV: “Priorities and objectives? A new coach always brings new ideas, meaning that we need to build our new identity. There are many games left, but time is limited in football. We have to make the most of all the time we have to work together, to get to know each other and become a team, as soon as possible. I know what needs to be done, it’s important that I have the whole squad available. What’s important is that we focus on ourselves, on our work and think about our next game, without looking at the past, which probably wouldn’t help anyone. I’ll immediately work on explaining my idea of football, as well as explaining to my players what I expect from them, in terms of their role on the pitch, their attitude and behavior. I know this is a solid group, but I have to urge them to put in an extra effort because we have to do better.

“The fact that it’s a young team? Having a young squad has its perks, such as enthusiasm, audacity, the will to work hard, of enjoying what they do and this needs to be an asset for the club. Since not only are they young, but they are quality players too.

“I managed Fiorentina through Davide Astori’s death? I’m sure Davide would be happy to know I’m here at Milan. I had the pleasure of knowing Davide, he will always be in my thoughts because he was a special guy.”

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Rosoleo
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Rosoleo

“SUSO IS A QUALITY PLAYER”! You will also go down the drain very quick. SMH

Soheil
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Soheil

Suso is not a bad player. He is one dimensional so you should only put him in one by one situation near penalty area. He is slow so passing the ball to him while counter attacking is wrong.

One dimensional players can also be useful. We had Rino in the past. Serginho, Inzaghi. All of them were terrible in most aspects of the game and good in doing one thing.

We used Suso wrong. We used Hakan wrong. We are using Piatek wrong. You can see that by the players who left us.

Raven
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Raven

Soheil always exploiting cliches as you are ignorant about the subject.

Suso developed his right foot, he cabn lead counter attacks even though he is not the fast considering his role. Comparing him to Milan Glorie is a weak argument.

Suso Bonaventura and Donnarumma are the leader in the dressing room.

Suso is effective to lead an attack when we are struggling because he can hold the ball, and if he is used a LA Montella 1vs 1 he surely will score.

Suso’s only weakness is crossing he is pathetic. But stop the silly clichés.

Soheil
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Soheil

I wanna argue with you but what’s the point!

Coach Seedorf
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Coach Seedorf

@Raven, Soheil is right, don’t just argue unnecessarily please. And @ many other fans here, selling Kessie, Hakan, Suso etx is not the solution to our problems. These players are very useful to us. They just need to be used right, to their strength. Any coach that comes to Milan will praise Suso’s quality, even Pep will do same and then find out how best to use each player. One dimensional players have always been in the game, people like Serginho, Inzaghi, Gattuso, Raul, Van Nistelrooy etc. They excelled cos he they were used right. Also, let’s get behind Pioli… Read more »

Milan10
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Milan10

lol at “raul a one dimensional player”.
do people even watch football anymore?

dapito
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dapito

agree… he is disaster for milan…

musaanku22
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musaanku22

we dont need any this mad players in any formation 1suso 2biglia 3musaccio 4hakan 5kessie if will play with tham orady will dis qualifying

Agustinar
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Agustinar

Why not using 442 ? Paqueta and Kessie will give guarantee in the center midfielder. Paqueta takes more attacking role and Kessie takes more defensive role. Theo as LM. Suso/Samu as RW when against weaker opponents and Conti/Borini as RM when against stronger opponents. Leao and Piatek upfront. Piatek is a poacher. He can not play alone upfront in 433. Striker in 433 need a type of strker like Firmino or Suarez who can dribble and link up play.

Ted
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Ted

If anything then I would use Paqueta as LM in 442 not CM. The central role should be occupied by two who can win the balls back and create from deep position – Bennacer and Kessie. Same goes for 4231 but then Paqueta should occupy the no 10 role as he is also capable of tracking back from the middle and start an offensive action

Raven
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Raven

Disagree Ted, I can’t see Paqueta as a 10 or as a wide mid IMO we have a great midfielder, someone who was on the same leave as Bonaventura as Mezzala. Paqueta, Bennacer Suso those need to play where they’re comfortable. 433 is the way to go.

Off topic its stupid who badly we miss El92, he left a void in that role. I hope Leao, H10 and Bona can somewhat fill that role.

Martin Bernhard
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Martin Bernhard

People allways complained about how one dimensional el92 was and even though playing on the left wing compared to the right id take him any day over suso WHO slows our game Down on a constant basis. At this point if we get an offer for suso for lets say 28 mil euros id take it and run with the Cash. When that is said suso has his good days but in general he doesnt do the team much good and if staying certainly should accept a lesser role as a substitute in the team and forget anything abouht a… Read more »

Martin Bernhard
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Martin Bernhard

Bit badly written.. that is if he offcourse was still in our team.

Cuongminhtran
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Cuongminhtran

I choose to say nothing and look forward to see what will happen with Pioli and our team.
I’m feeling sad and betrayed, goodbye everyone!

Raven
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Raven

I’m not pessimistic, although 2021? Wtf was that? A message to the team? Anyway Forza Milan Forza Pioli what you’ve said makes sense. Everyone plays where they should, enjoy football and 3 points is all that matters!

T-Mash
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T-Mash

In my opinion something must be done in this January transfer window. First of all suso, Hakan and Kissie must be sold, those guys are with milan for more than 2 years yet they are inconsistent, terrible and don’t play from their heart for the team… they were given countless chances to impress yet they fail. Kissie’s price is around 30M same as Sandro Tonali who is way way way better then Kissie so sell Kissie and get Tonalli. Susu price is also around 30M so sell him and get orsolini from Bolognia. He is an italian young man with… Read more »

Martin Bernhard
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Martin Bernhard

Valuation and Price is not the same thing so if you think we will sell kessie for 30 doesnt really mean that we can get tonali even though currently pretty much valued the same, tonali will most likely cost 50+ mil as he has many suitors. I dont mind kessie as such but if selling him would mean us getting tonali i wouldnt mind it either as he has more qualities as a football player evn though less strong than kessie. Wouldnt mind us if we sold suso (28mil) and Hakan (15-20) and even fairly cheap. Biglia has an expirring… Read more »

Cess
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Cess

Why sell Kessie for Toneli.. they dont play same position.. Toneli is just Pirlo version.. a registered a dictator playing in front defenders.. we all saw him against us. his movement and passes just that he’s more aggressive and faster than Pirlo… Biglia should just leave no one can cover Kessie role and do his work rate among present midfielders we have Krunic has refuse to play in a single match even thou it was Giampaolo who request for him .. Kessie might be poor with passes but he run into the box and create scoring chances and even score… Read more »

Martin Bernhard
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Martin Bernhard

Hey there Cess its not that i totallay disagree as in an ideal World we would keep kessie as he is Young and strong and with a bit of time he can maybe develope a bit further. Im merely talking about if that would be the only way for us to aquirre Tonali i would then accept selling kessie to facilitate such deal. On the other hand i know a lot of people has described him as the “new pirlo” but tonali has said several times that he sees himself in the mold of gattuso WHO is his favourite player.… Read more »

Mavac
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Mavac

if you want to last longer than 7 games don’t build the team around Suso. That lazy bastard would test you. He will not follow your football ideas of intensity because he hates to run. Suso said so himself 4 years ago. And when you see that he is not running as he should, take him off the puzzle and keep him on the bench. Don’t think its because he doesn’t get your ideas. trust me that manipulative bastard is intelligent and know full well. His problem is just laziness. Suso knows he is no good to Milan but he… Read more »

nick
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nick

Totally agree and I’m disturbed by Pioli complementing Suso already. Suso is part of the problem. Pioli needs to realize that he Suso is no Chiesa or Robben. He is ineffective. It would be better to play Leao on the right and Rebic or Bonaventura on the left of Piatek. Leao and Rebic are physically imposing players that can dribble pass defenders instead of cutting back and slowing down our attack. If Pioli is going to successful then he must drop Suso, Calhanoglu, Biglia, Musacchio and Kessie. Our team should be built around Donnarumma, Hernandez, Bennacer, Paquetá, Duarte/Caldara, Romagnoli, Leao,… Read more »

dapito
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dapito

agree, he is disaster for coach and milan…. why dont let him when roma want him?

Milanellofm
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Milanellofm

Well literally the giampaolo era took my desire out of me, for the first time I didn’t even want to watch a milan game. So the spark is reignited with a new coach. Let’s see what you can do! Honestly, It probably won’t come for the next month or two but I want to hear giampaolos reasoning. What happened what went wrong. A guy who was deemed to take us back to the top failed miserably more than ever before. So if Maldini and boban failed with thag which they certainly did, at least they got him out at the… Read more »

Soheil
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Soheil

Watching footages of recent training sessions under Pioli I can confirm that players love him. The connection that was missing with Giampaolo. Our team is full of babies and maybe we need a babysitter!

The big positive outcome is that we will never hear Giampaolo talk again!

Nino
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Nino

First things first: Milan has a new coach. Whether we like him or not, it’s time to support Milan – and that means support the coach. A lot of people are already building teams for Pioli. Newsflash: Pioli is not Giampaolo. Now, I don’t know if he will do well or not, but he certainly has his own ideas. I don’t have a problem with him complementing Suso or anyone for that matter. He is taking everyone on, on a clean slate. Let’s examine this scenario: Most of the guys we as fans had a problem with under Giampaolo, can… Read more »

O'Johnson
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O'Johnson

One thing I enjoyed the most in his speech was ‘I want more players in the box’ which was missed completely under Giampaolo management. Even on a bad day a good team must dig out positive result.