The Importance of Keeping Maldini

Even before Gazidis actually sacked Boban, we all feared that Maldini would follow. Whether he would wait to be sacked also, with the rumors of Rangnick coming in to do his job, or if he would simply leave the club as a man of principle, we feared the worst. However, an interview this past week with Maldini, in which he stated that he never thought about leaving, gave us some cause to relax and possibly consider Milan going forward. Above all else, fans know the importance of keeping Maldini.

Singlehandedly keeping the Milan in AC Milan

Obviously, the name Maldini is synonymous with Milan. With all of the greats who have come in and out of Milan, his name represents a dynasty of Milan players, now three generations of wearing the Milan crest. However, there were a few fans who made it clear they did not approve of his morals at his farewell match in 2009. And Galliani refused to allow him to return to the club from that point until Berlusconi finally sold the club. Maldini then refused to return when the Sino Europe group were planning to purchase the club, the same deal that eventually led Yonghong Li to acquire the club for less than a year.

Ironically, when an American vulture fund took over, they convinced Maldini of their plans, and he came back to the club to the absolute delight of Milan fans.  Then Gazidis was brought in as CEO that December, having helped build the MLS in the United States and then turned Arsenal into a moneymaking venture with subpar football.

Continuing the Milan and Maldini names

When Leonardo left after only one year as Sporting Director, Maldini brought back Milan legend Boban as the Chief Footballing Officer. While uninformed fans complained about the duo’s lack of experience, together, they lowered the age of the squad, lowered the numbers of the squad, lowered the wage bill by €25m per mercato, and improved the squad’s overall quality at the same time. This was largely due to the influence of “Certain types of names,” as goalkeeper Asmir Begovic explained on a recent podcast.

That influence is something that money cannot buy. No one else at the club could build the same team that they have for the money they have, because it was their influence that made it happen. But then Boban was fired. The ultimate sacrilege. All for exposing Gazidis’ deceit and backstabbing plans, Boban was sacked. That leaves Maldini basically alone again, in charge of the sporting side, but with the world now knowing that Elliott and Gazidis will do whatever they want, even if it means going behind his back. We would like to believe that they learned their lesson, and will consult with Maldini on all sporting matters, but this is not just another year zero.

Can't we all just get along?

Elliott came into this club with the plan of returning it to glory in approximately three years before they sold it for profit, or as long as it took to return Milan to where it should be. Gazidis slapped a fresh coat of paint on Milanello, created an app that I don’t think anyone really uses, and changed all of the lettering in the dressing room and tunnel from Italian to English. Meanwhile, he has hired a bunch of friends with expensive salaries, and done virtually nothing to bring in income in the past 18 months. Last summer saw Milan’s biggest loss ever, even worse than the Yonghong Li season. His biggest contribution? Double-crossing Maldini and Boban, and then firing Boban when he disclosed it.

"Certain types of names"

If the 2020-21 season kicks off with Massara as sporting director and Maldini as Technical Director, it will be the first time since 2015-16 that Milan will have the same technical director and sporting director for the second consecutive year. The kind of consistency most clubs have, and that Milan has so desperately needed. Not only that, but if Maldini is allowed to continue on, that means the same plan that is in place will continue, and rebuilding will not have to start over yet again.

Maldini provides the only certainties for the club

More important than any other transfer this summer, or perhaps all of the transfers collectively, would be keeping Maldini at Milan. Should he be allowed to stay, that means the contracts with Ibrahimović, Donnarumma, and Romagnoli are likely to be renewed. Players like Ante Rebić may be purchased, and lots of other players could stay who might otherwise leave if Milan’s former captain should go. If Maldini stays, this could be the first year that is not considered a “parametro zero” in over ten years.

Maldini is the only piece of Milan left at the club. He is more than enough to give it the Milan identity, though, and can bring consistency and the faith of the fans as well. Should he stay at Milan, there is a chance that this project could finally become a real project. But if he leaves, it all goes out the window and we start all over again. Again. Again. Again… (you get the idea.) That is the importance of keeping Maldini.

This post inspired by the music of U2’s “Drowning Man”

The Importance of Keeping Maldini The Importance of Keeping Maldini Reviewed by Elaine on 11:50 PM Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.