From ‘good job’ to ‘I’m not satisfied’ – Cardinale’s words must alarm Pioli

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan owner Gerry Cardinale appears to have laid down the gauntlet as he hinted at big changes being made this summer.

The general consensus is that Stefano Pioli is entering the final few months of his tenure as Milan’s head coach, even if there are plenty of reports suggesting the a decision has not been made yet. In the meantime, while waiting for updates, you could try free slots.

As it stands, barring the lifting of the Europa League trophy – where the likes of Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen await as fierce opponents – the Rossoneri will end Pioli’s almost half-decade tutelage with one major honour to show.

Cardinale, alongside Ibrahimovic, spoke to the Financial Times and he was asked about whether there could be some changes.

“I think I know what you are asking me. Change is not a bad word. I’m relying on Zlatan for his advice and perspective. Everything around Milan needs to ‘change’, although I would use another word: ‘evolve’,” he said.

“Change is a black and white word, as if we had to throw everything away and start again. There’s no need. Evolving is a better process. We will look at the personnel, we have had a lot of injuries.

“I’m not satisfied, Zlatan is not satisfied, with not being in first place in Serie A. But we’ll get there. We are a young and new team that is currently not doing badly. But not doing bad doesn’t necessarily mean doing well, right? We have work to do.”

It is a contrast to what he said to Corriere della Sera earlier in the month, in which the Milan owner seemed to praise Pioli for the job he is doing.

“We have changed a lot and it takes time to create a cohesive team. However, we are growing, close to second place, and credit for this must be given to the players, staff and coach.

“I will be satisfied when we win the Champions League. But not being happy at a certain stage doesn’t necessarily translate into firing the manager.

“I believe that Pioli is doing a good job in a difficult situation, with a very renewed team, I don’t give in to the temptation to fire someone just to change something.

“I say: the season is still long, anything can happen, we’ll see. We need to improve in many things, with injuries for example. Everyone, starting with me, needs to do a better job. But I’m not quitting, I’ll be here for a long time. Nobody wants to win more than me.”

What should Milan fans expect this summer? Well, Cardinale has set his stall out by saying anything less than winning things cannot be considered positive, and that suggests we could be heading for changes.

It is unlikely that the ‘evolution’ will involve another 10 summer signings being made like last summer, nor are we currently inclined to expect major changes among the directors.

The mention of injuries is something that perhaps shifts the blame more towards the coach and his staff, and as a consequence some have taken it to be a solid indication that the Pioli era is coming to an end.

Cardinale certainly knows better than to throw anyone under the bus at this stage of the season, especially the head coach, but at the same time he has the job of reassuring fans about his ambition.

Having towed the line in previous interviews regarding the direction of the club and Pioli’s fate, it feels more and more like a parting of the ways in June is a concrete possibility.


Tags AC Milan Gerry Cardinale Stefano Pioli
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