Paolo Maldini recognises AC Milan’s situation looks “like a tunnel with no light” but insists the club will make no knee-jerk reactions in regards to head coach Marco Giampaolo.
The Rossoneri shambled their way to a 3-1 defeat against Fiorentina on Sunday, with Franck Ribery rolling back the years in a fine performance for the visitors against a Milan side who played for 35 minutes with 10 men thanks to Mateo Musacchio’s red card.
It was Milan’s fourth defeat in just six Serie A games under Giampaolo, who was brought in to replace Gennaro Gattuso, and there are already murmurings his position is under threat.
Andriy Shevchenko, former boss Massimiliano Allegri, Luciano Spalletti and Claudio Ranieri are all rumoured to be under consideration should Milan opt to make a change in the dugout.
Club legend Maldini, now Milan’s technical director, accepted the performance against Fiorentina was unacceptable but said Giampaolo will have time to turn around their fortunes.
“We chose the coach, we will defend him, it is right to give him some time,” he told Sky Sport Italia in quotes translated by Football Italia.
“We knew there were some problems that we’d run into, although obviously we didn’t expect to lose four of the first six games, but also the quality of the football is unsatisfactory.
“Right now, it might look like a tunnel with no light, but as our coach said, the way out is with hard work. We knew that relying on a young squad, during the period when we are waiting for the coach to really become a leadership figure, there could be a risk of the pressure getting to them.
“Of course, it is the fault of the players, the club, the coach, everyone. Last season, we finished one point off the Champions League places and they always supported us.
“I think the fans were right this evening to protest. The responsibility is to be shared around, otherwise it becomes too much of a burden to bear.”
4 – AC Milan have lost 4 of the first 6 Serie A games for the first time since 1938/39 (and previously it’s happened only in 1930/31). Debacle. #MilanFiorentina
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) September 29, 2019
Maldini pointed to the fact the season is still in its relative infancy, but conceded he was disappointed the performance levels failed to match those they showed in a 2-1 loss to Torino.
“We are only six rounds in, all is not lost. We know that in football, situations can turn rapidly,” he added.
“The worrying thing is that we saw such a downturn in performance from the Torino game on Thursday.
“Explaining such a big setback in performance over three days is difficult, unless you realise that was played in Turin and this is at San Siro.
“This is a very prestigious jersey with a lot of history behind it and some of the players are very young, not yet able to support the history of it. That can be difficult.”
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