GdS: Pioli let down by attacking trio after giving them a chance vs. Monza

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli opted to put faith in his rotation options during last night’s game against Monza, and it would be fair to say that he was let down by them.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) reports, Luka Jovic’s match ended after seven minutes of the second half as he was given a red card for lashing out at Izzo, following a VAR review from the referee Colombo.

The Serbian striker trudged off with his head down, without attempting to argue or justify himself to the referee, which was an admission of guilt and he is now looking at a three-game ban.

After the exploits of the last few weeks, Jovic appeared to be back to the version he was at the beginning of the season, and the fact Olivier Giroud scored off the bench once again showed that the pre-established hierarchies are absolutely correct.

Meanwhile, Samu Chukwueze returned from his commitments with Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations without having trained much in the build-up to the game. He started at the U-Power Stadium without making an impact.

With Nigeria he came off the bench in the semi-finals and was an unused substitute in the other knockout rounds, the round of 16 and the quarter-finals. He got no goals or assists: in addition to the team’s defeat in the final, a personal disappointment.

Yesterday he had a couple of moments, namely the drive to the byline which saw nobody put away the cut-back, and then the left-footed shot after darting in from the left, but darkness followed and he was replaced at the end of the first half.

In his first season at the club Chukwueze has remained on the pitch for the entire match on just one occasion and in Serie A he is still without a goal – not a sufficient return for a player who arrived in a €28m deal.

Meanwhile, Noah Okafor was given the nod to replace Rafael Leao on the left and he did not leave any real mark on the game at all. Stefano Pioli revealed it was a late decision to play him, but more has to be expected.


Tags AC Milan Luka Jovic Noah Okafor Samuel Chukwueze


  1. No Pioli wasn’t “let down” by attacking trio, it’s his team management that let him down.
    Okafor hasn’t started in a single game since early december and only managed to few minutes here and there.
    It was even worse for Chukuweze who was in AFCON since early january.
    Jovic hasn’t started since the coppa game against Atalanta and was rarely if even the sole striker.
    And Pioli decide to start them together.
    How often these 3 players play together ? How often were they put in a situation where the opposition is still fresh ?
    It’s one thing to have one of them start alongside regulars, but when you start 3 attackers who almost never play together in an away game, you don’t get to complain about them underperforming.
    Yes they did play poorly, yes they should be held accountable, but Pioli is a part of that as well.

    1. Okafor needs to play more than the usual 10-15 minutes, or he risks a relapse of the muscle problem. Jovic has earned his start, and Giroud has played the major part of the last 180minutes. More importantly, Leao and Pulisic were unfit/unwell as at yesterday morning.
      This is the whole point of benches.
      If you want to overreact because your team lost 1 match out of the last 10, with a man down, then by all means…

      1. Yes, I do think Okafor needs to play more than 15 minutes per game, hence why I’m mad Pioli only waited till today to start him. He should have been incoporated sooner.
        I’m not overreacting because of the defeat. Juve and Atalanta have drawn so our place is secure.
        I’m annoyed by this “Pioli let down by attackers” while in reality, had they played more often, maybe they won’t have “let him down”.

    2. I wonder what you all want from Pioli, You all keep complaining he dosen’t use our bench players.
      Now he use them and you still blame him for team management.
      Seriously the hatred you now have for Pioli is just over rated.

      1. Yes, because he doesn’t know how to manage the team, that has been shown time and time again, every since he came.
        Rotation is ESSENTIAL, especially when we play 3 games per week. It is also important to allow more players to be part of the team, to accumulate time, to gain confidence, stay fit…
        What you don’t do is wait until an emergency and then throw players who have had no time in. It’s not going to work and it is not good for the players.
        Now look at what Pioli does, he always use the same eleven week in week out, then all of a sudden, decides to replace 6 players including 3 forwards who never played together.
        There have been plenty of chances to start Okafor at LW or RW with the other regulars. He is a good player. The same can be said about Jovic who could have started or came in in many games.
        Rotation is not binary, but with Pioli it’s either too much or too little, he doesn’t know where the middle ground is.

          1. @admin or whoever runs this site:
            You should install a “signal” button, this Boulden always insult members in this forum and this comment is a demonstration.
            He is clearly someone with no decency or respect, who never says anything constructive and has too much time. The sooner you will get rid of him the better.

        1. They’ll remove a constructive or criticizing comment before they remove Boulden’s comment where insults are a norm and I have no clue why! Dude adds virtually nothing to the discussion but always gets a pass. Never seen a comment of his removed. Maybe it’s for reactions I dunno

    3. 100%. There was no need to change the ENTIRE attacking line in the same game. Maybe rest Puli from the start and keep Rafa and Giroud. Then in the 60th, take Rafa and Giroud off for Okafor and Jovic and put Puli on for Chukwueze (unless we were winning). That way there is always some combination of starters and reserves. Pioli has done this before, and never learns a damn thing.

  2. I expect Moncada and Furlani to step down because of this purchase. From 110 millions they spent only two acquisitions impressed – Puli and RLC. These two combined cost what was originally planned for budget and without selling Tonali.

    1. RLC is nothing special either. Had 3 good games and how many bad ones ? The goals arent telling the whole story. You could have played Pobega in that position non stop and he would have scored some goals here and there after so much playing time. They are simmilar type of players, of course Pobega would have been free of cost and without huge salary.

      1. Pobega? LMAO!!! He played, and looked like Wreck-It-Ralph every time, with a touch of Donkey Kong!
        You can’t be serious… hahaha

    2. It’s hard to integrate when you never play (speaking of Okafor and Chukwueze here). Seeing what’s going on with CDK, it’s difficult to dismiss Okafor and Chukwueze. Will they produce if given more game time and one full season under their belts? This loss is mostly on Pioli anyway. Why rotate the ENTIRE forward line at the same time? Doesn’t matter who the subs are, any team would struggle if you changed all three forwards to a trio that never plays together.

  3. Only Man City can afford such a massive rotation. Pioli did a big mistake. Plus Jovic, Okafor and Chukiweze are not high quality players so you can’t play them together when you aim at the second place. A big opportunity was lost. The main difference between Inter and the rest of Serie A is not technical quality but team spirit combined with the coach’s strategies and decion-making.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.