Capello names the ‘danger’ Milan face this season and predicts five-horse Scudetto race

By Oliver Fisher -

Former head coach Fabio Capello believes AC Milan could win a second straight Scudetto but ‘the picture has changed’ with rivals having strengthened.

Milan face a challenging campaign heading into 2022-23 with a two-fold objective. The first is to try and finish top of the pile in Italy again thus earning a 20th Scudetto and a second star, but this must be balanced with going further in the Champions League after a disappointing return.

One man who knows about how to achieve this is Capello, who was the head coach at Milan for their 1993-94 league title and Champions League double, something which might just be a bit of a stretch for the team this season.

Capello spoke during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport and spoke about a number of topics from the possibility of winning another league title to going further in the Champions League, with PianetaMilan relaying his comments.

Can Milan win Serie A again?

“A repeat is possible, but the picture has changed. Milan is working to strengthen itself but the others have done so too, it will be an open fight with Inter, Juventus, Napoli and Rome. Five sisters equipped to get to the end, with coaches who have won. What a show.”

What is the biggest obstacle that Pioli will have to avoid in managing the group as a champion of Italy?

“The danger is in your head, especially if you coach players who are not used to winning continuously. When you win, you tend to think you have done everything, but in a club like Milan, winning means having done your duty and start from scratch, with your mind in the present. Memories will come in handy later.”

Milan seem to have picked up where they left off…

“But one game is still too little, we have to wait. When you go out on the pitch with the Scudetto on your shirt, the perception for the opponents changes: if they thought they could beat you before, now they want to do it. That’s why you have to reset everything.

“Do you know what was the aspect that worried me most during the second season at Milan? Sometimes I would go home and I was not happy with what I had seen in training, maybe someone had lowered the intensity or was distracted: the next day my mission was to bring the tension back to the right levels.

“Here, Pioli will have to be good at perceiving every detail, every little alarm signal and correcting. My Milan was the top in the world also from this point of view, because everyone always had victory in mind: sacrifice to get to the top. It is a concept that Pioli has transmitted to his followers in the past season, woe to lose him on the street.”

What are the best cards that Pioli can play?

“He has shown that he knows how to get the best out of the players available, and this already counts for a lot. He is above all a coach who transmits calm: the boys follow him, they are convinced of the game ideas they play on the pitch, he has the team in hand. For a coach to work like this is beautiful. And then there are the individualities: Milan have men capable of overturning a game at any time, from Leao to Theo Hernandez.”

Pogba and Di Maria at Juve, Lukaku at Inter, Dybala at Roma and De Ketelaere at Milan. Is there something missing from the Rossoneri’s mercato?

“I think Maldini and Massara have moved with well-defined objectives and above all priorities. They signed Origi, then they concentrated on the attacking midfielder, they wanted De Ketelaere at all costs because obviously they consider him functional to the project. It was a long, exhausting negotiation. but they reached the finish line without resorting to plans B: I see linear choices.”

Will it be enough to go further in the Champions League?

“Milan are a structured, tested team. They have strengthened and are the reigning Italian champion. With a more ‘human’ group than last year’s, I think they can make a good impression in the cup as well. There are five teams to avoid at the draws: City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern. With the exception of Liverpool, Milan are in the same range as the others this time.”

Tags AC Milan Fabio Capello
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