Stefano Pioli has spoken about the images of Ante Rebić, Franck Kessié and Lucas Biglia on their phones in the dressing room before the Napoli game.
Milan drew Napoli 1-1 on Saturday with goals from Chucky Lozano and Jack Bonaventura. However, in the days after the match, images from before the game made rounds in social media and got three Rossoneri players more criticism.
Lucas Biglia, Ante Rebić and Franck Kessié were ‘caught’ by the camera of Sky on their phones, about an hour before kick off. Many online saw these images as proof for the lack of respect, commitment and professionalism of the three. However, Stefano Pioli spoke to il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport today to defend his players.
“I would like to clarify that with regard to the use of mobile phones, I have introduced a strict regulation that states that players cannot use it for lunch and dinner, so to speak,” Pioli is quoted on CorSera.
“What were the three Milanisti at San Siro looking at with such concentration while they were filed by Sky cameras? Look, I accept without questions the criticism for the results that we would be the first to like to be different. But I would like to make it clear that before the game, the use of phones is allowed to players for two reasons. On one hand, each of them relaxes listening to their own playlist, a thing that’s happened in all teams in Italy since there’ve been smartphones. On the other hand, each player is required to use the app that the technical staff has delivered. Each player has videos to memorize to study the characteristics of the opponents who gravitate in their areas of competence. In practice, they were doing some sort of homework!
“If anything, they were doing their duty. Biglia was watching the videos of the app related to Napoli players. We take criticism for the results that I hope will soon come. And I understand that at first glance certain images may provoke the reactions of the last few hours. But if I had been sure that the players were intent on making calls or sending messages before a major challenge, I would’ve been the first to be angry. Now, I don’t want the case to get bigger than it is. However, when it happened, I wasn’t there: when the TV goes into the dressing room I prefer to go out.”
Speaking to La Gazzetta, Pioli added: “The generations are not all the same. I myself never thought, when they gave it to me, that I would’ve used the tablet as much as I have been. But there are rules and the players respect them.”
The Milan coach was also asked about Krzysztof Piątek, who once again disappointed greatly against Napoli: “I don’t put Kris in discussion. After a game, I make the evaluations on all.”