GdS: Pioli relishing additional responsibility despite departure of closest collaborators

By Oliver Fisher -

The media continue to speak of a ‘year zero’ for Stefano Pioli and his staff ahead of 2023-24, which is a reflection of the fact his role at the club has changed.

La Gazzetta dello Sport talk about how Pioli has lost a couple of his main and most trusted collaborators in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paolo Maldini, with the Swedish striker retiring and RedBird Capital choosing to sack the Italian director.

The former was a leader in the dressing room and had charisma, raising the levels of the entire squad, while the latter remained close to the team and did his part in constructing the young core Pioli now has to work with.

However, the report mentions that Pioli had struggled to find a point of understanding in recent months with Maldini, describing it as ‘a relationship that had broken down’, perhaps because the pair became worn out or simply had diverging ideas.

Pioli is starting a different year compared to the previous ones spent at Milanello. While Gerry Cardinale wielded his axe and chose to sack Maldini regardless of the backlash that followed, he put Pioli’s name at the top of the sporting area to build around.

Pioli spent the last season sheltered from potential storms even when his players were lost in the deepest darkness such as the months of January and March. He found some solutions, but the overall feeling is that his side struggled domestically as a result of a European run that was fun but ended with a dire defeat to Inter.

The almost total elimination of the old management automatically gives Pioli a wider role. Now he will work with the CEO Giorgio Furlani, who has never made a secret of his esteem for the coach, as well as chief scout Geoffrey Moncada.

Regardless of the players that come in – something Pioli will have more say in – tactical solutions are needed too to ensure that the Rossoneri are not left in the same position as last season, looking vulnerable and devoid of back-up plans.

The first friendly against Real Madrid in California is later this month and then in less than a month and a half the Serie A season will start.

Roma, Inter, Lazio, Juve and Napoli await in the first ten games, with three away games (including the derby) in the first four. However, Pioli hopes that he has learned from the storms that he has weathered, and is taking on his new role head on.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli


    1. As he should be. Seems like Cardinale had to choose either Maldini or Pioli. Let’s hope he made the right choice. I have my doubts, but now it’s all on Pioli if they fail. And I don’t want to even start to speculate who’d be the next candidate. Let’s wait and see…

  1. CDK & adili not suit for 4231 pioli system. After big failure wasting all budget 56m euro last season, redbird need one scapegoat

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