Demetrio Albertini has given an interview about the situation of Milan, saying maintaining a ‘sense of belonging’ is key to being successful.
The international break will soon end and next Sunday will be the debut of Stefano Pioli as the coach of Milan, after he replaced the sacked Marco Giampaolo.
This season has been a nightmare for the Rossoneri so far, and Demetrio Albertini – who played at the club from 1988 to 2002, spoke to Tuttosport about the club.
“Ivan Gazidis said that Milan risked relegation to Serie D? It seemed to be like a stretch that I didn’t understand. Probably at a time of sporting difficulty, he wanted to move the spotlight on an economic consideration,” Albertini, who currently acts the FIGC Vice President, told the Turin-based newspaper.
“Why did Giampaolo failed to impose his belief? From the outside, it’s always difficult to judge. The moment you take Giampaolo and you think you have a certain type of coach, then you have to give him time. And seven games are not enough to think about imposing a certain working method. But perhaps they found themselves facing a situation different than what they expected and decided to change.
“If this can be compared to what happened with Óscar Tabárez in 1996? No, because the problems must be put in content. What is certain is that when a coach leaves, in addition to displeasure, it’s also a defeat for everyone. Because when planning a route, you must do everything possible to follow it. Evidently, with Giampaolo, problems arose which were not expected, of which I am unaware, which forced Milan to change. The same can be said for the choice not to keep Gattuso at the end of the last season… to give answers we must be inside the situations, otherwise the topics are dealt with superficiality.
“If Milan shouldn’t have focused also on experience in the summer mercato? You either have talent or you don’t, you can teach the culture of work, while the thing that you can’t buy is experience. If you only build a team of young players, the difficulty is in knowing how to manage moments of difficulty and only those who have already passed certain moments in their careers can help you.
“What can Pioli bring more than Giampaolo? Precisely this: the experience of knowing how to handle negative moments. Rather, I hope that the team will be able to quickly understand what the new coach can give, because the real problem today is the distance of points Milan have from the important areas of the standings.
“If Maldini and Boban are guarantees to get out of this situation? I know them as players and as people, but a bit less as directors because they’re young too. But I know how much they work and what they care about Milan, then it’s up to them to find the right path to reach certain objectives. In sport, you are challenged every time, and the judgment is about the work you are doing and how to transmit it to the outside… we are talking about two people who everyone knows well that they love Milan, then we’ll see in the results how things will go.
“What objective can Milan actually reach this year? The problem with Milan is that every year they start from scratch and completely scrap everything they built the year before. A club like Milan cannot think of taking it one day at a time. They must always have an objective and aim for the top. Targeting a Champions League place is the bare minimum of what Milan ought to be doing. Winning it would be a dream, but I cannot think of a target other than a top four finish, at the cost of having to manage a moment of difficulty because you didn’t reach it.
“Demolishing San Siro? From an emotional point of view, there’s sadness, but as a director I have a conviction that one’s own history shouldn’t be a perspective. San Siro is history, but today the fan needs something different. I’m neither an architect nor an engineer, but the stadium, as it is, cannot be a modern home for Milan and Inter. If you could, I’d have liked San Siro to be renovated.
“This is because the sense of belonging must be defended until death. I was lucky to have grown up at Milan and I also participated in the beginning of the Barcelona cycle, and I believe that every director has a duty to enhance the sense of belonging of his team. This has been the winning key to what Juventus have done in recent times: a club that has become modern while maintaining an incredible sense of belonging. It’s no coincidence that the project with many Italians. Milan should do the same and this goes beyond the directors who are there today: this is a peculiarity of the Latin countries – look at Real Madrid for example, where the fans grumble if Spanish players are not bought by the club.”