GdS: Defensive record and a €65m duo wasted – the pros and cons of Pioli’s time at Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

Stefano Pioli’s time as AC Milan head coach may have only started back in October but it could already be coming to an end once the season is over.

The former Lazio and Fiorentina boss took over a side in crisis which had lost four of their first seven games under Marco Giampaolo, and his reign began with a 2-2 home draw against Lecce.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanLive) have taken a look at the positives and negatives of his tenure thus far, starting with the former as Pioli was able to make almost all of Milan’s summer signings useful.

Under his leadership players like Theo Hernandez, Ismael Bennacer and Ante Rebic literally exploded, while even Duarte and Krunic have been given chances to show what they can do.

Also noteworthy is the feeling with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as there were those who – at the time of the Swede’s arrival – thought that a coach like Pioli was unable to stand up to the character of Zlatan, but there is instead a feeling of mutual respect.

Finally there is the defence. Pioli, compared to his predecessor Giampaolo, took more care of the non-possession phase. It is no coincidence that his Milan is the Serie A team that boasts the most clean sheets (as many as 7) from October to today.

However, there are also some negatives to discuss. Milan often rely on individual efforts (like Rebic’s seven goals) and not well-worked team moves.

In addition, the gap between Milan and the other big clubs has increased. Pioli has lost to Juventus, Lazio, Roma, Inter and Atalanta – the latter being a 5-0 drubbing.

Then there is the Lucas Paquetà and Rafael Leao situations. The Emilian coach was unable to get the same revival out of those two as he was the other players, and it is imperative that the club see a turnaround on a duo they spent over €65m on.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli