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Shake It Up

Montella’s time was limited, we’ve known that for a while. But ever since reports came out that Gattuso would be their go-to guy if Montella was sacked, fans became much less excited about losing the frustrating, mediocre tactician.  Ambrosini, Gattuso’s former teammate, has suggested that sometimes chemistry can overcome experience in a team. That was really kind of him to say that about his friend. But it’s about as realistic as finding a pot of gold on the way to work tomorrow. Even Fassone and Mirabelli aren’t promising results, they simply  claim that this is the change needed to shake it up.

At least he's got balls

I’m not fully in love with stats, but here’s the most frightening one about this change: Montella had a win rate of 50% at Milan, and a managing career average of 45.48%. And this was at clubs like Roma, Catania, Fiorentina, and Sampdoria before he came to Milan. Gattuso’s average win percentage for his coaching endeavors is only 31.4%. That’s at clubs like Swiss side Sion, Serie  B side Palermo, Greek side OFI Crete, and Serie B side Pisa. From a 45% winning coach to a 31% winning coach. And Gattuso doesn’t even have any Serie A experience, much less experience in Europe, whereas all of Montella’s experience was in Serie A and his Milan Europa League campaign was his third European campaign.

If personality, charisma, and some fantasized nirvana of chemistry comes along with the man who has backhanded Ibra across the face, strangled Joe Johnson, and many, many, many other violent acts in his playing career, then maybe that could triumph over experience… in a land of unicorn and rainbows. Even as a coach, he has been somewhat of a liability, slapping his own assistant and giving angry press conferences. And he’s lost the female Milan fans, too, by saying things like women have no place in football. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also a famous boss of a ball-stealing gang… wait, that was just a movie. But it’s kind of like firing your sweet, homemade pasta-making Nonna and replacing her with some kind of football terrorist. So if the purpose was to shake it up, this should certainly do that.

He lets it all hang out

Another massive red flag is Silvio Berlusconi’s Bunga Bunga-sealed stamp of approval on the former midfield destroyer being appointed to the Milan bench. Getting his approval is like the kiss of death, especially considering that Silvio fired Mihajlovic six weeks before the end of the season last year, who also had a higher win rate and more Serie A experience than Gattuso. Also, that Silvio supported Christian Brocchi and still thinks he was successful, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure I saw him with a cardboard sign on the side of the road the other day. The former Milan owner is the one who ran the club into the ground, too, then sold it to Mr. No-one-knows-who-he-is-or-how-he-got-his-money, Yonghong Li. So his approval of Gattuso is really more death sentence than blessing.

And Gattuso’s first  press conference makes this all the more frightening, saying he’ll stick with the three man backline, go with a four man midfield, and that he’ll look at the attack on a game-by-game basis. He claims that he has different concepts of football than Montella. I believe that on some level, because Montella would worry more about whether his hair looked good, whereas Gattuso is going to have to remember everything he learned in his potential state-mandated anger management classes. I’m sure that betting companies have already set odds on things like how many matches before Gattuso gets sent off, how many times he’ll smack players per game, how many laps in his technical area he’ll make as he paces like a caged tiger, etc.

The good old days, when both of them were employed

No one wants Gattuso to fail, not even Montella. But everyone sees the train wreck as imminent and rapidly approaching. It’s clear that management are out of money, better prospects, or both. But as fans, we want to see a step up, not a step down. And we certainly don’t want to see the club burn yet another club hero, World Cup Winner, and Primavera coach just because their guy failed to make the grade. It’s incredibly optimistic to think this is going to go well, even in our wildest dreams. But if the goal is simply change, then this move will certainly shake it up.

This post inspired by the music of the Beatles

Our next match is
Serie A Week 15
Benevento vs. Milan
Sunday, December 3 • 12:30 CET (6:30am EST)