Pioli: “Milan are starting to play like a team now, Bonaventura is an intelligent player, Piątek worked for the team”

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Stefano Pioli during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

Stefano Pioli saw positives against Napoli and believes Milan could have won, but worries about the standings.

Pioli and Milan were hoping to put the bad spell behind them and finally go back to winning. However, that didn’t happen against Napoli at San Siro either.

Hirving Lozano scored on Napoli’s first real chance (24′) but his goal was cancelled out by a marvelous Giacomo Bonaventura shot in the 29′ minute.

Milan and Napoli played on level terms and draw was the right result. Both sides were equally mediocre and did not do enough to win. In fact, both the Rossoneri and the Partenopei seemed more concerned with not losing than with winning. In the end, both remain in a deep, deep crisis.

“I was sure we’d put in the right performance, the boys worked with attention,” Pioli told Sky Italia after the match. “We fought against a very strong team, even when missing some important players, but those who stepped in did very well. I wish we’d have scored another goal, because we had the chances and were just centimeters away from getting the victory.

The team thanking the fans at the end of Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“The group? Over the last two weeks, the team has been training with a great attitude and focus, well aware of the situation we are currently in. Of course, it takes time to do some work and we’ve been together for 45 days, albeit with two breaks for international duty. I liked the performances recently and we only narrowly missed out on the full result. We’re starting to play like a team now.

“Piątek? He worked hard for the team today and had his chances. The important thing is to keep creating scoring opportunities. We know that with strikers, they go through these periods when it doesn’t go in. He needs to react, believe in himself and fight a bit harder, but I am satisfied with the work he is doing. The goal is important for a striker, also for us. Ultimately, the draw is the right result, but we could’ve won it

Stefano Pioli and Krzysztof Piątek during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“The mistakes made? 45 days are very few. If we consider when I started the season, we’d technically now be in mid-August and in those circumstances, I would be very happy with these performances. Unfortunately, we’re not in mid-August and the fixture list didn’t help, as we faced four or five of the best teams in Serie A. We played on par against Lazio and Juventus, we were only outplayed against Roma, but otherwise we had our say and I hope those performances boost our self-belief. The boys have to understand that we have certain values as long as we work as a team.

“Bonaventura? He is an intelligent player who knows when to wait, when to attack, when to start the run. We need more players with his experience and tactical nous, so now we just hope he can maintain his fitness levels.

Giacomo Bonaventura celebrating during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“The moment? The psychological moment cannot be the best, we cannot have that serenity that would allow us to express ourselves at our best. The fact that we shoot so much is significant for our offensive phase, we can and we must work even better.

“Ibrahimović? Good evening…”

Franck Kessié and Allan during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Pioli said: “If I’m more satisfied with the performance or worried about the standings? We could’ve managed the ball better, but we played the game well, with many absences and many difficulties. The team fought for 95 minutes. Clearly, the league table worries us, but we are aware of it. I see in the boys a great sense of responsibility, I’m confident for the future.

“The drop in concentration after an hour? I don’t think it’s correct [that it happened]… let’s not be fooled by the last 5-6 minutes in which we suffered. I think it may be normal from a mental point of view, because the standings is what it is and we lost so many games in the final minutes.

Lucas Paquetá and Elif Elmas during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“The attack that fails to produce? We must score more, we enter the penalty area a lot. We will find a way to be more effective. If I expect a reinforcement in attack? From now until the mercato there are still four games left. The team and I must remain focused on this. The dialogue is continuous with the club, we’ll see in January.

“If Piątek may need a Matchday of rest? Piątek worked well for the team both this Matchday and last Matchday. He had situations to score and failed. The attackers also go through these negative moments in the scoring phase, unfortunately. We’ll see what choices we can make with a view to next Sunday.

Krzysztof Piątek during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“Napoli? They are changing a lot, they are a very difficult opponent to pick up. We worked a lot on trying to be compact and trying to be aggressive. I think we had a good game, with a few too many mistakes in the second half.

“The positive side? It is a performance that gives us morale and must convince us that the work we are doing is the right one. The team and I have been working for 45 days and if it were August 10 then everyone would say that we’re doing a good job. We all feel the need to win matches and I think the team has a chance to do well and it won’t be easy. The difficult cycle is over, but Parma and Bologna won’t be easy away games. If we want to spend a better Christmas in a better moment than the current one then we have to get a lot of points.

Davide Calabria during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“Bonaventura is one of the few strong players of Milan? I don’t think he’s one of the few strong players available. I think he’s a strong player and he’s intelligent. I love much less to coach the less intelligent players. He’s fine and he’s better. Biglia meanwhile played despite having a fairly serious physical problem in the last days.

“If the Milan of the future will focus more on quality or on balance? I believe that quality is very important, but I believe we cannot ignore the balance either. The more players we have in the offensive half of the pitch, the better.”

Rade Krunić, Alessio Romagnoli and Hirving Lozano during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

In his interview with MilanTV, Pioli said: “We surely dominated the game. We encountered a team which isn’t going through a pleasant phase but they have players with good quality and personality. It was inevitable to concede some chances but we played well. We played in a determined and careful manner today, creating lots of chances which could have led to at least two goals. It’s also true they had their chances but we have to focus on our performance which is gradually improving.

“Also, some important players were unavailable today but the team responded well including those that came on from the bench. I was sure they would perform well and these are good signs. Obviously it’s not enough given we are almost in December, so we can and should do more in order to gain more points in our upcoming games.

Stefano Pioli during Milan-Napoli at Stadio San Siro on November 23, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“Bonaventura? Jack played a quality game, I always say that in order to score two things are needed: quality and determination. If you notice, when Jack took the shot, he used all his strength to score. He has these qualities but then again, playing for Milan entails these characteristics.

“We have to be determined and fight for the end result, work hard during the week to obtain our result because we need our splendid fans deserve it too seeing how they cheered us on, the great crowd and the will to support us no matter the situation even though lately we have not given them great joy. We have great responsibility towards them. I believe the guys reacted well today and in our recent games with great determination, dignity and the will to overcome this difficult moment.”

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Nino
Nino
6 months ago

“We fought against a very strong team, even when missing some important players, but those who stepped in did very well.”

I like Pioli. He is not blind to the fact that there are different quality of players. Hopefully, the management do the needful and ship out those who need to go and bring in some quality reinforcement in January. Hopefully, Milan should collect maximum points in the coming games, even if the are away matches. The absentees should be back by then.

Forza Pioli! Forza Milan!

Agustinar
Agustinar
6 months ago

Milan should switch to 352 or 3421. Piatek can not play as single striker upfront.

Milan
Milan
6 months ago
Reply to  Agustinar

I totally agree that piatek cannot play as a single striker but to be honest I’m still a fan of the system that gave Milan all its trophies and that is 4.4.2

Gman
Gman
6 months ago
Reply to  Milan

No, It was 4312

Milan10
Milan10
6 months ago
Reply to  Gman

no, it was 4-4-2, or 4-4-1-1 to be exact. ance’s milan was great but they aint the immortals

Ted
Ted
6 months ago

They play good and fluid football but scoring remains our problem. Piatek is totally useless in the build up, adds nothing. Even Leao in his 10 minutes or so was more intimate with the ball.

As I said when the whole team plays for the goal but your main man upfront is not, this is the result

Milan10
Milan10
6 months ago

Milan10 axiom #1: a winger should be good dribbler and/or be fast. hakan is neither but bonad10nho is good dribbler, hence he should be lw, like i said years ago. Milan10 axiom #2: like i said years ago, just because someone is classic sharpshooter/targetman doesnt mean he can play as lone st in 4-3-3 formation. piatek IS good st with good shot technique (only football virgins and full on fkin fckwits would think otherwise) but dont blame him for not performing when u use 4-3-3; he scored all that goals at genoa, a club that use 2 st system. so,… Read more »

Agustinar
Agustinar
6 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

Agree accept the strikers. Piatek should play

SinzuSinzu7
6 months ago

Please get Ibra to ginger Piatek and the team ..Period !

dapito
dapito
6 months ago

please dont use biglia anymore… he lke to gave assist to enemy. ..

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
6 months ago

Everybody is giving interviews like we won the CL; we lost 2 points against a broken Napoli with yet again a poor performance defensively and an uninspired performance offensively. Don’t understand all the smiles.

NickJ74
NickJ74
6 months ago
Reply to  Baresis Dream

Harsh.

NickJ74
NickJ74
6 months ago

Good game by the team especially Krunic, Paqueta and Bonaventura. Bonaventura shows Hakan/Suso/Castellejo how it should be done. If you’d missed the game and someone told you it was 0-3 to Napoli no-one would be surprised so we should be happy with the result and the fact they are looking better as a team – except at DM as Biglia cant last longer than an hour before he tires and gets bypassed. No idea whats going on with Piatek but if we’re only going to give our strikers 2 decent chances a game then maybe we should sign the one… Read more »

Nesta1
Nesta1
6 months ago
Reply to  NickJ74

Icardi is a top striker, but doin well for psg and looks like he will replace cavanni with permanent deal. Psg can offer more money and league title every season, plus champions league.

NickJ74
NickJ74
6 months ago
Reply to  Nesta1

true ‘dat but he does love Milan and didn’t want to leave….

Benson Milan
Benson Milan
6 months ago
Reply to  Nesta1

Those League 1 trophies don’t really make PSG a top team in Europe. Playing every weekend with those weak Frensh team in the league 1 is not making them a very challenging team in Europe that’s why they have been stopped every time in the first knockout stage in CL.

Nesta1
Nesta1
6 months ago
Reply to  Benson Milan

I agree French league is weak, that’s why they win it every season. But players want silverware in their careers, he earns alot of money, alot more than milan can offer. And they are in the champions league every season unlike milan. It’s only matter of time till they win it because they will just keep spending.

Milanellofm
Milanellofm
6 months ago

I forgot how much I miss bonaventura when he’s in form. Hopefully he gets many more minutes and remains healthy. All in all with players missing we’re starting to look a lot better in our play. The results need to start coming from next game. This is a good run we can go on.

Pioli has changed this team’s mentality for the better and with each passing game it will get better. Piatek needs to get going and next few games can be the turning point for him.

Giuda Interista
Giuda Interista
6 months ago
Reply to  Milanellofm

What good run? I forgot the last time we won. Against Napoli we only played well in the first half, although I have to say that Pioli really does a good job, but is quite unlucky.

Milanellofm
Milanellofm
6 months ago

I said the next few games can be a good run. Not that we’re on a good run

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
6 months ago

Of all the transfer rumors I’ve heard, the one I’m really hoping for in January is Xhaka. That’s the position we need reinforcements the most – the DM position where we currently only have Biglia. A midfield of Xhaka, Paquetta, and Bennaser wets my lips. And there’s plenty of backup for the mezzela positions in Hakan, Krunic, and even Jack. Next we need to finally get a proper LW, and I don’t see why with some smart dealings (we have Borini, Samu, and Keisse to offload for instance) we can’t try for Delofeou. He wants to play here. Of course… Read more »

Nino
Nino
6 months ago
Reply to  Baresis Dream

With what Samu was doing in the game against Lazio before he picked up the injury, I won’t put him the list of players to ship out. He has a chance and played better than Suso has at right wing this season.

Borini, Kessie, and Suso can ;eave for the right price. Sadly, Biglia can’t get any suitor until his contracts ends at the end of the season.

Ashraf
6 months ago
Reply to  Baresis Dream

Xhaka isn’t dm Xhaka is cm arsenal didn’t ve dm that time and he was failure xhaka is nonsense and weak

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
6 months ago
Reply to  Ashraf

Ashraf, Xhaka is mostly a DM, that’s his main position in swiss nt and also Arsenal. And he was such a failure at Arsenal that they appointed him captain after 1 season. He’s far from perfect, but also way better than what we have (Biglia).

Ashraf
6 months ago
Reply to  Baresis Dream

Biglia is far better than him Biglia can dribble while xhaka can’t Biglia can defend xhaka can’t defend his really name suppose to be ( mistake) or Mr red card

Ashraf
6 months ago
Reply to  Baresis Dream

Milan need someone like Yusuf amrabat from Verona defensive and offensive at the same time and also cheaper 6ml to 10ml

NickJ74
NickJ74
6 months ago
Reply to  Baresis Dream

Xhaka is NOT a DM. No idea where this myth came from. And no he isn’t good enough either – we don’t need more mediocre players.

nick
nick
6 months ago

We are playing better with Pioli but we still have problems scoring goals. Milan need to play a formation with two strikers.

Every season since Carlos Bacca left our strikers are struggling. Piatek is not a lone striker and he was on fire when playing with Christian Kouame.

Milan is still not getting the best out of our players. Hernandez and Conti are good attacking wingers. They are not good defensively. Why not play 352, 343, or 442 and use them as wingers?

Ted
Ted
6 months ago
Reply to  nick

We fans cried for 4312. When it backfired we were again shouting 433. And after some time we again start with “oh Milan is a two striker club we should play 4312. Piatek is not good playing alone” when at the beginning after Giampaolo failed, we complained “Piatek cannot play two striker formation, Rino’s 433 was the best for him”

Reason for failure? Always acquiring players opposite of the system. And system changes every season when they replace a coach. What the hell?!?

nick
nick
6 months ago
Reply to  Ted

I don’t recall any fan wanting 4312. That formation is useless in modern football. I preferred if we had stuck with 433 and buy Memphis Depay or Everton Soares for the left. Dani Olmo or Keita Balde to replace Suso.

However, Milan traditional played 442 with the immortals Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten.

My point is that with the players we have currently to play 343, 3412 or 352. Conti and Hernandez are not good defensively and Piatek needs another striker partner. He was really good with Christian Kouame at Genoa.

Agustinar
Agustinar
6 months ago

Can Kessie play as regista ? He looked comfortable yesterday

Ashraf
6 months ago
Reply to  Agustinar

No he can’t pass proper he likes to keep the ball and dribble which gives the opponent chances

NickJ74
NickJ74
6 months ago
Reply to  Agustinar

Nope. Sitting is not his strength, he’s a runner.

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
6 months ago
Reply to  NickJ74

So Kessie doesn’t know to hold the ball?! That’s practically the only thing he does know how to do in attack (and charge into empty spaces). His passing and technique are the main reasons why we can’t be a natural playmaking regista. But he could still play DM without the playmaking, like Bakayoko and others.

NickJ74
NickJ74
6 months ago
Reply to  Baresis Dream

I disagree. He’s an all-action midfielder not a sitter who can distribute wisely, take up the correct positions and be disciplined. He can play in a 2 but not as the holding player.

Agustinar
Agustinar
6 months ago
Reply to  Agustinar

If Kessie can play as regista, this would be a great advantage. An ideal regista is someone who can distribute the ball to upfront but also strong in defense. Someone like Marc van Bommel…

soheil balini
soheil balini
6 months ago

I see a big conflict & paradox in our plan. We are basically using youngest team in Seria & we expect our 24 years old striker who is in second gear in top leagues, score every game. We expect our young team to be in top four and yet our players are all “future” stars. Even Roma & Donna are not near being number ones. Selling piatek is wrong. As wrong as selling Silva & Cutro. We should keep a coach for few years and let the players grow & maybe two or three years we can reach Atalanta’s level.… Read more »

nick
nick
6 months ago
Reply to  soheil balini

Agreed and this just shows how mindless Milan management are currently. No foresight or vision whatsoever and this is why we keeping failing instead of making progress.