GdS: ‘Derby nightmare’ – ball passes to Cardinale as Pioli era ends bitterly

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan suffered yet another big game defeat last night, and this time it was one that saw Inter celebrate the Scudetto at San Siro.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) reels off a list of rather damning facts: it is a sixth consecutive derby loss for Milan, tying the record streak for either side, opening up a 17-point gap between the teams which means Inter have won the title, getting their 20th and therefore a second star before their rivals.

This alone is enough to encapsulate a nightmare for the Rossoneri, and yet it came a few days after another defeat to a rival, namely Roma in the Europa League which saw another trophy target go up in smoke.

Another debacle

Milan went into the month of April knowing that there was an opportunity to salvage the season or to make sure that it went down as a very forgettable one, and last night confirmed it will be the latter.

The gap of 17 points in the table was evident as well as the tactical and technical limitations of a team who arrived at yesterday’s match frustrated. Pioli tried again to provide some certainties but yesterday’s choices also proved to be wrong.

Just as they did in the two legs against Roma, the Rossoneri suddenly lost all certainties and not even the supposed leaders of the team were able to calm the situation and take charge of things.

After the two late red cards which showed how Milan had emotionally boiled over, they had to attend their cousins’ party in their own home . Now the Rossoneri will have to start again but it will not do so with Stefano Pioli, whose cycle has come to an end.

The coach will be left to work until the end of the season also out of respect and gratitude for what has been done at Milanello in recent years, but he once again postponed questions about his future until the end.

“Cycle over? I honestly don’t know. I’m fine here, I’m working well, I think this team has room for improvement. Now let’s finish the season and then we’ll make all the possible assessments,” he said.

A big call to make

Now the ball passes to Gerry Cardinale. As mentioned, Pioli will remain in the dugout until the end of the season. The coach admitted that a defeat like this hurts a lot but at the same time the club recognises his work in recent years which has brought the club back to being competitive in Italy and in Europe.

In the meantime, while hoping to consolidate second place as soon as possible, the search for the next coach has begun. Several names and profiles have already been put forward in recent days but none are definitive yet and this is because the Cardinale will have the final say .

Yesterday CEO Furlani appeared on DAZN after the match and said: “The way we work on the sporting side, the people who report to Cardinale are Moncada, Ibrahimovic and me. Gerry will always make the final decision.”

And so the owner of Milan – who was present at San Siro yesterday – has already had the opportunity to speak with the management, listening to the first hypotheses of who could come in and lead the new era.

The consultations will also continue in the next few days, in person and remotely, but in the end the final word will be up to him to ensure that a winning cycle can be opened and capable of reducing the gap with this Inter, currently 17 points away.

Tags AC Milan Milan Inter


  1. Well there goes another season… Here’s how I see the “Blame Percentage” for it all going pear-shaped at the end:

    Pioli: awful team selections, goofball tactics, late subs, lack of motivation… 60%

    Players: half-asleep in key games, strikers missing chances, defenders gifting goals… 20%

    Refs: constant unbelievable calls – Chukueze’s microscopic offside just about sum it up… 10%

    Management: didn’t buy a CB, DM or ST…. 5%

    Maldini: behind perhaps the worst mercato in Milan history that affected not only last season but this season as we had to plug so many holes… 5%

    I just hope we get Motta or Emery and move on.

    1. How is Maldini still to blame for this season when he is not even connected to the club anymore.

      Is this not a new project different from Maldini’s own been built. Or is it another excuse to still lay blame on Maldini??

    2. You’re a bit too generous to the management here, failing to properly target a DM and a ST, plus getting us like 3 central midfielders, 3 right wingers and none of them high quality should count for more than 5%. Don’t also forget that “algorithm” or whatever they used to target players.
      Forget about Emery, it will be a dream if it comes true. I’d like to see Motta but he’s either staying in Bologna or going to Juve. I’m afraid we are again to get a mid level coach.

      1. Yeh maybe you’re right. I did just dash this off the top of my head, but my reasoning was they spent 100 mil (despite people continually calling them “cheap”) and overall improved the squad. Thanks to Maldini there was a lot of deadwood that needed shifting and replacing, but you’re right they shouldn’t have bought 3 CMs etc.

      2. “3 right wingers and none of them high quality”

        Eh? Pulisic has been more consistent than Leao this season and has almost the same stats with less minutes. Pulisic not “high quality”??? WTF?! What are you expecting? To win the Ballon d’Or with 40 goals and 40 assists? Would that be good enough?

        1. My bad.
          When I first typed my phrase I just put “3 central midfielders none of them high quality ” I added 3 wingers forgetting to edit the later part of my phrase.
          I maintain 3 CMs none of them high quality, Chukwueze has yet to impress and Romero is loaned.
          Pulisic is definetly top quality, no doubt for me.

          1. @ACM1899: and who did show up in big games ? Aside from few flashy stuff here and there ? Because the general impression I got from our “biggest” games this season is that we were completely shut down because we don’t function as a team but rather as individuals.
            Pulisic has more G+A than any of our right wingers during the last decade including Suso, and has pretty much the same stats as Leao. He also contributed a lot directly or indirectly to goals that were decisive.

      3. You can’t plug that many holes in a single mercato window. This summer will be equally important. After the summer of Maldini/CDK experiment, the first productive mercato was last summer.

    3. Wait a second, how could I forget the worst injury crisis in European football history?? That’s at least 10% – and maybe ups Pioli’s score to 70%, seeing as him and his staff are the ones training and conditioning the players.

      1. Well… If you ask Maldini’s Heir, it’s 60% on the passionless fans here, 20% on the transfermarket that allows loaning players, 10% on too many players bought last summer and the rest for letting Krunic go. 🙂

    4. Of course someone would somehow find Maldini to blame for something. The amount of malicious hate towards one of the legendary figure in our rich history, is perplexing.

      As a sporting director, he was given a shoestring budget, under constraint of FFP and for the better part of his tenure, still managed to have built a decent team. Last season’s mercato was obviously one of the worst, if not the worst. But of course, when the management refused to open up the coffers, it’s Maldini’s fault too, right? Of course hindsight is 20/20. But no one would’ve expected CDK to failed as spectacularly as he did.

      If Maldini is to be blamed for Origis and CDKs, you guys won’t even credit him for the ones that works out like Leao, Theo, etc. Oh wait, nono.. according to you guys, when a good player signed for us, it’s the work of Moncada, Gazidis or Elliott; but when they failed, it’s Maldini’s fault. Amirite?

      I’m not saying he’s infallible, but some of you are ridiculous.

    1. … And the scudetto race would be wide open. If only we had a capable coach all along… Oh well, maybe next season then.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.