Typically when a new manager is announced, I try to do a writeup about them, who they are, their experience, etc. But it is a task that has simply become too emotionally taxing due to the frequency of changes on the Milan bench. This past year, I was able to find what it took to write a little bio on Mihajlovic, but when Brocchi came, particularly due to the short length of his contract alone, he got the “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” treatment. So my dilemma now is that Montella was given the requisite “Maybe you’ll last a season, we’ll see” contract length of two years. I should probably write more than I did for Brocchi, but I find it hard to put the same amount of energy into this one as I did for Mihajlovic and his predecessors. So please forgive the result, it’s the best I can do with a heart that has been broken so many times by the new guy.
|Not sure if runway or technical area, but welcome, Mister!|
Let me start by saying that I loved Montella as a player at Roma. L’aeroplanino (the little airplane) was so named because he was short and his signature celebration was the airplane. Given he is the same height as me and that I also love the airplane celebration, perhaps this appointment will work out after all.
Also, his preferred number as a player was number 9. Not sure if that means he’ll help us solve our number 9 problem, or if he’ll end up going the same road as our recent best number 9, Inzaghi. I mean they both coached youth teams for their clubs for two years, then were thrown into the fire and burned by said clubs. And they played together on the national team, too. Hmmm… maybe not such a good omen.
|Inzaghi: "If Milan calls you, DON'T take the call! I repeat, DON'T TAKE THE CALL!"|
He has a bizarre penchant for following Mihajlovic around, coaching Catania, Fiorentina, and Sampdoria before now coming to Milan. Ironically, where Mihajlovic succeeded, Montella did not. And vice versa. Wait, that’s not a good omen, either. But he is gradually stepping it up with the crazy owners, so maybe he’s prepared for this megalomaniac driven two-CEO circus. Oh, and Fiorentina changed a lot of players with him at the helm, too. Perhaps he is prepared for this train wreck after all. Or not. Who knows?
|The Catania look: complete with red & blue striped sneakers|
People are quick to cite his success at Fiorentina, and that is obviously the strength of his credentials. Even more so if you’ve watched a long line of Fiorentina coaches come through, most with much less success. Fiorentina are a bit dysfunctional in their own way, with an owner who dances in the stands devoid of antiperspirant and an uncanny ability to avoid success at all costs. Montella will know that well, as Milan took Fiorentina’s Champions League spot from them on the last day of the season in 2013 via a questionable penalty call against Fiorentina’s regional rivals. So the fact that Montella still signed with Milan means a) he really did grow up a Milanista, b) he wants revenge on the club that stole his glory by taking them down from the inside, or c) he’s forgiven Milan and primarily wanted to be involved with Milan’s charity projects through Fondazione Milan. Or maybe he just needed to get the hell away from Ferrero, who knows?
|Maybe Ferrero thought he was signing Montella the player to make a comeback at Sampdoria?|
Montella is quite the dandy (dandy is an actual term referring to a man who puts extra time and effort into his appearance) so will be the best dressed of the recent Milan coaches. If he’s unable to pull any results on the pitch, at least we’ll have that. If he pays as close attention to detail as a manager as he sometimes does to his outfits, with shoes, socks, shoelaces, etc. all coordinated in the club’s colors, then maybe we have a chance of winning something, I don’t know.
I’ve heard people gushing with ideas of what he’ll bring to Milan, who he’ll bring to Milan, and more, but honestly, I can’t offer any opinions with such conviction. He is not as strong of a personality as I’d like (as mentioned on the last podcast,) and he does seem to have a bit of yes-man to him, which is disturbing. Tactically he seems good, but not overwhelming. How he balances the players and management, particularly in the midst of a potential club sale, will likely be the most important key to his success (or failure.) There are so many forces working against him, it’s almost hard to say “Welcome, Montella.” He seems like such a decent guy, and was a hero to me on the pitch, so the prospect of burning another coach is not in the least bit appealing.
|I guess being burned by Milan is still better than being burned by Roma... as their 5th highest scoring player|
Still, here we are. We needed a coach, he took the job, I wish him the best. His contract starts July 1st, and from that point forward, his days are numbered. Maybe he can speak in Roman dialect and put a fire under that expensive Bertolacci thing we bought last year, who knows? At Milan these days, anything can happen. The only sure thing is that it pretty much sucks to be the new guy.
This post inspired by the music of Liam Lynch’s “United States of Whatever”