Much Ado About Giampaolo



The decision to hire Giampaolo in June was met with sensational claims that frankly, no one could have lived up to. “Arrigo Sacchi’s heir,” they said. “The next Sarri,” they said. I was not convinced. I pointed out repeatedly that he has never won anything, never coached a club like Milan, and that we needed better. That he was “Not Exactly” the coach we wanted or needed. That was well before he ever lost his first match.

"Suckers!"

The choice to hire Giampaolo was a strange one. He was supposedly good with young players, yet handed a squad full of them, he doesn’t even know what to do. He has constantly messed with lineups and formations. Even he seems to be confused as to what they are supposed to be doing, as we talked about on the last podcast. It freaks me out to no end how he applauds individual and team performances where we literally played horribly. And lost. I am not sure if he has an undiagnosed vision problem, or perhaps early onset dementia. But Milan are suffering.

The problem with scoring is a mentality issue, and it was inherited from Gattuso. Last season, as Gattuso’s tactics got more and more offensively constipated, the goals were fewer and farther between. Literally one more goal in a certain game would have made the difference for us between Champions League and Europa League qualification. And you know we would not have asked for the ban if it had been Champions League.

"Get off my lawn!"

Giampaolo inherited this poor mentality, but he actually managed to make it worse. People are crucifying Piatek and Suso and others. Yet under other coaches, both were more than prolific. The problems started last season with Gattuso, and are now just incapacitating with Giampaolo. He has been a horrible mentor for the young players, leaving them more and more confused and mentally fragile. When they showed our bench on camera on Sunday, it was more than just disappointment. It was complete and utter defeat. I’ve seen people look happier after a death in the family.

Everyone talked about how detail-oriented Giampaolo is, but perhaps he has weighed the players down with too many details? They are trying so hard to please him, but they seem almost constrained by his technical directions. And confused. He’s got them averaging close to 60% possession… and still losing all but two matches, to newly promoted teams. Those teams sit ironically just above us, for their ability to score more goals than us. Newly promoted teams. With wage bills a fraction of what ours is. He has not convinced anyone – the fans, the players, or management. I’m not sure he’s even convinced himself. So the decision to keep him at this point is even more bizarre.

"Damn it, I think they know"

Milan are currently sitting in 16th place on the table. That is one spot above relegation. We have four goals, only two scored from the run of play, and have lost four of our opening six games for the first time since 1938-39. That is unacceptable. Maldini talked about the gambles they took, but time is up for the gambles, we have to jump start this team, we have already lost three whole months with Giampaolo. There is not enough time in the world to give a man who has never coached at this level, and one who sees something that none of us does or wants to.

"That joke isn't funny anymore"

Maldini spoke of the impact that Giampaolo’s changes (read: lack of confidence) and technical errors have had on such a young squad. Their mentality is being damaged more with every defeat. The more time they spend losing with Giampaolo’s “tactics,” the longer it will take another coach to get them back on track. To compare, if you had a child in a preschool, and you found out they were being emotionally abused, would you give the preschool “more time?” NO. You pull your child out immediately and find a competent preschool where they are emotionally safe and can thrive. Yet Maldini is willing to give Giampaolo more time with this young squad.

Enough. The Curva are already boycotting, at an unprecedented early stage. We are just above relegation. Fans are abusing the players, who are fragile enough, because they’ve tried to implement the mindboggling and ever-changing tactics of a midtable coach, and it simply hasn’t worked. The players certainly are not perfect, but stats show overwhelmingly that ALL of them played better under different coaches. That makes this a coaching issue. Stop looking for excuses or waiting while our Champions League hopes drift out of reach from so many dropped points. There has been much ado about Giampaolo, but his time has come.


This post inspired by the music of Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack”


Our next match is
Serie A Week 7
Genoa vs. Milan
Saturday, October 5 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

Much Ado About Giampaolo Much Ado About Giampaolo Reviewed by Elaine on 11:58 PM Rating: 5
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