Following a series of mixed results which saw him win only two of last five games, AC Milan have decided to serve a thank you note to their manager Vincenzo Montella.
The former Italy striker made way for former club favourite Gennaro Gattuso who moves up from the AC Milan youth side to take charge of the first team with club officials insisting that Rino – as he is endearingly referred to – is not an interim solution.
Was Montella entirely to blame for poor results?
Following a season in which Vincenzo Montella guided AC Milan to the seventh-place finish amidst the takeover talks and turbulent times in upper echelons of the Serie A fallen giants, the general consensus prevailed that young Italian tactician did best with what he got at his disposal.
His pragmatic approach was praised and the fans were excited to see what the 43-year-old could do with a reinforced squad after a summer of promised investments.
AC Milan went on to spend more than €200 million on new players during the preseason, packing the squad with an entirely new team comprised of the players such as Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Andrea Conti, Lucas Biglia, Nikola Kalinic and Franck Kessie.
A revamped squad failed to produce inspiring results in the new Serie A season with only six wins in 14 matches and the seventh place in the standings is not where AC Milan hierarchy saw the team at this stage in the season.
It’s a universally accepted notion that fault lies only with the coach but it is fair to say that Vincenzo Montella ended up paying the price for the heightened expectations.
Is Gennaro Gattuso the man to lead AC Milan forward?
Never a technically gifted midfielder, former Italy international Gennaro Gattuso compensated for the lack of creativity with his imperial pace, strength, work rate and overall grit.
Often dancing on the thin line with his aggressive approach and hard-tackle style, Gattuso made a name for himself as one of the most passionate footballers in the world.
The 39-year-old is a surprise choice to replace Vincenzo Montella and a name you would never think ambitious club owners could go for with all of the more illustrious names that were being thrown in the mix over the past couple of weeks.
Nevertheless, the club claim Gatusso is not brought as the interim solution. It’s their way of releasing the pressure off of Gatusso’s back and to appease the restless supporters who are demanding instant improvement.
Serie A is not an easy place to work and Gatusso will be well-aware of the pressure.
But knowing that AC Milan are in the middle of a war against high expectations, Rino Gatusso could go on to surprise us all. Gatusso will compensate for the lack of managerial experience with his direct approach. If there’s anything we can learn from his playing days it’s that players will listen to him and follow him blindly. Out of respect or out of fear, it doesn’t matter.
Things can’t get any worse, right?
Despite their claims that Gennaro Gatusso has been given full backing to lead the club forward, the former Italy international is just here to put the fire out.
And he just may be the perfect man to do it. The club management trusts him to work well under pressure despite the familiar fears that his hands could end up wrapped around someone’s neck or that he could try to kill someone with a fork. On several occasions too.
This is exactly what Gatusso’s great friend and Italy teammate Andrea Pirlo revealed in his book – ‘I Think Therefore I Play’ – where Pirlo reveals that Gattuso would not tolerate nonsense and would often resolve to physical violence to sort things out.
Renowned for his no-nonsense approach, Gattuso is sure to lighten things up at San Siro which is the main thing AC Milan need.
But can he beat the 15/1 betting odds to lead Rossoneri to a top-four finish from the current seventh place? Does he possess enough managerial knowledge to do so?
I don’t think so.
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