Capello says that Hernandez is ‘below his standards’ right now but praises Leao

By Euan Burns -

Former AC Milan manager Fabio Capello has said that Theo Hernandez is operating below his usual standards right now but the same cannot be said for Rafael Leao.

Speaking during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport (via, the former England National Team coach explained that he saw a spirited Milan side in action against Genoa in the final Serie A game before the international break.

Against Genoa I saw a Milan with more spirit, more will, more sacrifice. In this way the team has grown. Then it’s true that quality makes the difference, but desire counts,” he said.

He also then singled out the performances of Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao, two of Milan’s most important players who both play down the left flank.

On the first aspect, that of quality, Leao is the first, perhaps the only one, capable of deciding with one play: he must be taken as he is, he seems apathetic and then becomes inflamed. I’ve seen Theo Hernandez push less, he seems slowed down or in any case below his standards,” Capello said.

Hernandez is in the bad books right now as he has picked up five bookings in just eight games, meaning he is suspended for the next Serie A game which is against Juventus.

Capello was not finished with the praise for Leao, as he pointed out how much of the creative load he takes in this team.

Rafa, on the other hand, created almost all the team’s scoring opportunities. He scores, assists, gives assistance to his teammates, scares opponents, there are moments when he is uncontainable. Furthermore, Pioli also has an expanded squad, with added starters. The surprising thing is how quickly they integrated, they were part of the team straight away, good at being able to offer their contribution right from the start,” he said.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao theo hernandez


  1. I think some folks incl me had said the formation change would limit him depending on how narrow the midfield would be (which it isn’t) and on tactics. This limits his usefulness on the wings. With inversion this gets remedied in some sense and depending on the opposition formation, he could run through the middle of the field. Also, Pioli could tuck Reinjders in as another “solution” in attack allowing Leao and Theo to attack.
    On the bright side, it seems this year Leao in is not as dependent on Theo to execute his offense. I think that also.has to do with Puli who is pulling away that extra defender from Leao.
    Theo just needs to adapt. I think him running less might be a blessing in disguise. Only usemitnwhen we really need it

  2. Exactly what I have been saying….

    IMO Theo hasn’t been world class since the WC. We need him back to be the player he has shown in the past to be – one of the best, if not the best, LB in the world. Discipline and focus are needed.

    1. The big problem with Theo IMO is his behavior. He is too hot headed at times, tends to fall for provocations and not always mature enough. If he can calm down and collects himself I’m sure he will improve a lot.

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