The Right Choice

With some decisions, only time will tell. We must wait for the outcome to know whether or not we have made the right choice. With other decisions, we know right away. When Milan made the choice to stick with Pioli, Maldini, and Massara for our sporting sector instead of hiring Ralf Rangnick in any or all of his rumored positions, we knew right away that we had made the right choice.

The right choice

Only time will tell if Milan reach their objective of returning to Champions League glory. That has been the plan with each owner and management since we fell from glory. We got much closer to that goal last year, however our technical director and coach left at the end of the season, starting the project over yet again, and our CEO blocked important players that January that singlehandedly could have changed our fortunes.

We cannot forget, however, that we still had FFP issues to deal with. We forfeited our Europa League spot to be able to clear the books and start over this year. Even if we had made Champions League last year, we may not have been able to participate.

This pic sums up his tenure at Milan

This year turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. First, we tried the CEO’s concept of all young players. Maldini and Boban hired Giampaolo, and none of that worked out at all. After righting the ship with Pioli, providing the most stable environment at Milan in a long time, Ibrahimovic, Kjaer, and Begovic were all brought in as January transfers, all experienced, over-30 players.

We saw how there was perhaps the opposite of mentality with Giampaolo, certainly there was a lot of confusion. Then Pioli gave them a quiet confidence that grew, and despite the Christmas massacre at the hands of Atalanta, the squad were already so much different, results otherwise improving. With the experienced players coming in, we saw the team jump yet another level in mentality, and the results followed.

The perfect team? 

Then came COVID-19. Just ahead of the shutdown, Gazidis fired Boban the day before the last match in March. That result hurt, because it was clearly about all of the external factors, after so much growth as a team. However, coming back from the break, with Pioli given three or four weeks to really train the team and solidify his tactics, Milan became the only Serie A team to be undefeated after the break. While a sixth place finish and Europa League qualifications was the best finish we could grab, after such a nightmare year, it was still impressive.

This is where the fork in the road came up: Gazidis had fired Boban because he spoke out about the rumors of Ralf Rangnick coming to Milan. Turns out, that was the CEO’s plan all along. Gazidis made those plans well before the strong finish, and now a decision had to be made: keep the coach who surprised everyone, the technical sector responsible for by far the best Milan performances in years? Or scratch it all and start yet another Year Zero by hiring an overhyped coach who has never coached in Serie A, and who wanted total control over the technical sector?

Finally Ibrahimovic

On the one hand, Milan would lose its very identity in Maldini, as well as his overwhelming influence to be able to just pick up the phone and call any player in the world and convince them to come to Milan and play for low wages. Also, a coach with so much mental strength and heart, two things this team has been missing for a long time.

Or, we could roll the dice and hope that Rangnick would actually stay long enough to see a project through for once, long enough for Elliott to get the stadium built and then sell the club. Then, we would once again face another Year Zero with an all new management and ownership.

The now unemployed guy with the savior complex. No thank you.

We know the choice they made. And, as we talked about on a recent podcast, we already know it was the right one. Because Rangnick answered this decision by quitting his job at Red Bull. Again. That alone tells us everything we needed to know about him and his commitment to his jobs. Unfortunately, Boban was fired in vain, which is truly criminal.

We don’t need to “wait and see” if this was the right choice. We know it was. There is already plenty of evidence between Rangnick quitting and the project we have in place. There may need to be other coaches brought in eventually before we lift the CL trophy again. There may need to be tweaks to the project along the way. But by keeping the same technical sector two years in a row for the first time in years, we chose the road less travelled.

Finally, everyone is on the same page

This project is strong, promising, and has Milan DNA written all over it. And finally, Gazidis seems to be on board with it. If allowed to continue, we will definitely return to the Champions League, sooner rather than later. But we don’t have to wait to know that we made the right choice. The tranquility and stability of the club, the success the team had on the pitch, and the way that every player is playing the best version of themselves already tells us that this was absolutely the right choice.

This post inspired by the music of Pat Benatar’s “Treat Me Right”

The Right Choice The Right Choice Reviewed by Elaine on 1:55 AM Rating: 5
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