Vincenzo Montella must bring enthusiasm and entertainment back to AC Milan if the club are to recover their standing in Italian football, says Marco Simone.
Milan have finished eighth, 10th and seventh in the past three Serie A seasons and, following 15 campaigns in Europe between 1999 and 2014, this will be their third successive term without featuring on the continent.
Simone, who won two European Cups and four Scudetti with the San Siro club, believes Montella’s immediate target having taken the helm in June should be to qualify for European competition.
However, the former forward believes that restoring an enjoyable style of play is equally important to Milan.
Simone told Omnisport: “AC Milan’s minimum target is the fifth position, and therefore qualifying for European Football. AC Milan must play European football, but must importantly they have to recover enthusiasm.
“They have to be able to transmit passion again, they have to bring back fans to the stadium because these days the San Siro is almost deserted.
“This season AC Milan have to be able to play good football and good games, not necessarily winning, but being able to entertain through good football.
“Montella has already proven he can achieve that at Fiorentina and Sampdoria, and the big aim is to do the same also this season at AC Milan and win back the love of the fans.”
President Silvio Berlusconi approved the preliminary contract concerning the sale of Milan to a group of Chinese investors in August.
Simone believes that financial muscle counts more than prestige in modern football, and such changes are likely to benefit the club.
“In my view there are several reasons leading to the end of Milan’s successful cycle: firstly there are obviously economic reasons. Football clubs nowadays are more appealing to big players more for their economic strength, than for their history and prestige,” he said.
“Milan still today is a very strong brand identity worldwide, but more and more often, big players prefer ventures at clubs with less history and trophies than Milan, just in light of their economic power.
“The feeling I got from the outside is that Milan need to be brave and make changes, the club need a major makeover and an update to keep up with the best.”