Maldini discusses sharp drop in form and Zaniolo rumours after damaging Lazio defeat

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini felt the need to come out and speak after the 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Lazio tonight.

It was yet another disastrous evening for Milan as they conceded two goals in each half to continue an awful start to 2023, with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Mattia Zaccagni netting in the opening 45 minutes plus goals from Luis Alberto and Felipe Anderson adding some gloss to the scoreline.

The result means the Rossoneri are now five games without a win, a stretch which includes a collapse against Roma having been 2-0 up, a Coppa Italia defeat to 10-man Torino and a 3-0 Supercoppa loss against Inter last week.

Maldini fronted up to the media after the game against Lazio to discuss another worrying performance and also the rumours linking Milan with Nicolo Zanioli.

What is the message after a game like this?

“Last year we knew we were fighting for the title, this is a different moment. We are eliminated from the Italian Cup, we lost the Super Cup. We conceded 11 goals in just a few games, it’s a difficult moment,” he said (via MilanLive).

“You spoke of group unity, we must rediscover the team spirit, without thinking of causing disasters. However, we are second in the standings on our own, after winning the Scudetto and returning to the Champions League. The team is within its parameters.”

Should Milan work harder?

“That has never been lacking, we are present at all training sessions and we can testify to it. It happens, it also happened to my Milan, security, trust, distances are lost, it can happen. We know how to go back, but we must not make comparisons with the past. We don’t buy champions, we need to implement a strategy, we have healed the accounts and we will not move from this.”

Was the draw against Roma a turning point?

“Two points lost, a dominated match in which Roma hadn’t been dangerous. That’s where it all started, it’s two lost points. It’s not good but it’s accepted, because Roma are dangerous in those situations. Now we have players returning, a large squad, we know we’re not among the top in Europe, but we qualified for the Champions League round of 16 and it’s a great achievement.”

Is there something missing in terms of numbers?

“We are there in numbers, then Kessie left because he had requests that we could not accommodate. We don’t have the possibility to sign already made players, then the Bennacer-Tonali midfield is of a high level. Romagnoli left but Tomori and Kalulu played in the last 10 games last year. We have lost the distance a little and the game is very clear.”

The defence are making a lot of mistakes…

“At this moment if we don’t score with our first pressure then opposing team becomes dangerous. We find it hard to move together. It’s important to have cover, moving together means never feeling alone, with someone watching your back. They are missing in the last 15-20 days, it can be changed, we did it not too long ago. The psychological aspect determines a lack of quality and choices. You can always concede goals against Lazio.”

The return of Maignan?

“The last exams went well, we expect to have him in February. When, I don’t know.”

Origi, De Ketelaere and Zaniolo ?

“Origi has a four-year contract, De Ketealere five, we don’t judge them after the first few months. Joining a team that works perfectly is easier than a team that isn’t working. Charles is young, he has great skills, it’s a matter of time. Massara has said everything about Zaniolo, we evaluate the opportunities, we don’t hide and we don’t deviate from our plans.”

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini


  1. This is true story: We are under America n ways of handling European soccer. They own; Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. After Ferguson left United, Manchester created biggest brand on the world, but never won anything. Chelsea and Liverpool are without Europe next year. They use special statistics for football, and when we see them selling Ac Milan, we can expect results from new owner.

    1. So was the owner picking and signing the players that are so bad that can’t even get on the field or was that the Italian Paolo Maldini?
      Liverpool might go through a bad season this year because of a lot of injuries but in the last 6,7 years we can say that only RMadrid has been a better team than them.
      ManUtd spends a lot of money on the wrong players and coaches, has nothing to do with statistics and Chelsea owner has been there for only 6 months.
      This has nothing to do with where the owners are from.
      What has PSG and ManCity won besides domestic titles?
      The incompetence is with the football management, not with the owners.

      1. But it’s far easier to blame “those Yanks” for everything. I bet it’s the owners’ fault that Berlusconi & Galliani sold T.Silva and Zlatan over a decade ago and started the downhill.

  2. Within its parameters? How do you go from winning the scudetto and becoming a much worse team? When you win the scudetto, especially after such a long time away from top 4 you expect the following summer to make the team stronger and build on what’s already been accomplished. We made this team way worse!!! Not one signing in the summer has been positive and we lost our best midfielder and a good defender. There should have been 3-4 players brought in that can start. Even two high quality with the earnings of champions League and scudetto. Instead we picked foo the bottom of the barrel and I can guarantee nobody knew who thiaw and vranckx were efore coming to milan. The others have just been poor. We’re in second because we rode the tide of being champions we had confidence. We’re in this situation now because we aren’t the best team in Italy, simple as that.

  3. Maldini-the safe is empty and the summer mercato was a disaster.CDK needs a time and that is a fact.For the moment he suposed to go on loan(serie a)-very sad but true point.He lost confidence and can’t be responsible for so much in the middle of the field in this critic moment.Origi ? What a mistake.Dest ? Vranckxx or Thiaw ? Who are they ? For sure not the guys to win any competiton-lack of quality,not sure that they can be a good substitiutes for a first team players.Top 4 is in a big danger-we don’t need Zaniolo,we need Zaniolo,quality striker and defender right now.Right now.I feel raped tonight-shame on you Mr.Maldini.Keep Pioli, it is not his fault.

  4. What a shameful interview. I am shocked. Boban was right,he didn’t want to cover the owners,they kicked him.I don’t understand why Paolo as our biggest legend is covering american owners.They doesnt gaf about milan,i am sure they didnt even know we played tonight.

  5. They should have signed just two great players to build from last year success. But instead they wanted to ride on luck and gambling on players Pioli can’t use. Now we suffering from that. It is sad.

    1. Everyone here welcomed CdK with optimism and positivity. And he ought to be the expensive gift for Scudetto last season. Who knows he turned out to be the invisible one? If we just simply keep playing like we did last season (and almost 95% of the squad is still here), we don’t have to face this kind of period. Who’s fault is that regarding how we play, our mentality on the field? Management and the owner?

  6. “We don’t have the possibility to sign already made players“ – that says it all right there. And whose fault is that??? Ownership. For all those that screamed no at having Arab ownership and called their money “dirty” and those idiots who still say they didn’t want to be like PSG or Man City” – well this is what you get idiots lol. So don’t complain w when we can’t sign players. Anyone see how Newcastle is doing??? LOL. Lots of ignorant racist donkeys on this forum. But hey who the hell wants money anyways it’s just football.

    1. Get off it man. The current owners have nothing to do with this current squad or the financial mess. They didn’t own the club until September 1st 2022. Besides how can a club spend money it doesn’t generate. UEFA rules only allow ownership to count up to 30 or 40 million euros investment as part of revenue. Last year Milan made 70 million euros in losses. Even with max investment from Eliot that still leaves Milan short 30 million from being in compliance with the rules. Milan is in this financial mess and unable to be aggressive in the market because of Li Yonghong and to a lesser degree Silvio Berlusconi for selling the club to that incompetent man.
      What would these imaginary Arabs have differently without drawing more UEFA sanctions?

  7. Milan won the Scudetto and qualified for champions league which meant we got more money in our purse but we preferred to have loan players of 1m with obligation to buy. We had great players from the South American Leagues who were proposed to us yet we were so blind to buy and they went to Benfica man city and Liverpool respectively
    The truth is that we won the league by fluke last year and we refused to capitalize on it.
    I won’t blame Maldini but pioli has blame too at least not all games required same pattern always he should try and have different patterns for every game because our opponents have studied our games and proffered solutions on how to counter it
    Let go to the drawing board and start some corrections
    The worst player last night was our goalie for not coming out to clear the 3rd goal, this goes to the question how did he come to Milan? Same expired contract from French league and Milan as usual grabbed the opportunity instead of buying better quality
    Am so disappointed but have hope it’s going to be ok
    Kudo to CKD for his display last night he’s getting back

  8. “the Bennacer-Tonali midfield is of a high level.”

    That’s the biggest BS of this year. I’m starting to believe this duo & Tatarusanu are the main reason for the decline. Tata cannot lead and/or make a single save and that duo has been AWFUL for a long time. Both of them are simply incapable of creating and their passing skills are waaaay below average. Tonali needs to be benched. NOW! And someone needs to teach Bennacer how to pass the ball. Horrible to watch his kessie-like inaccurate “passes”.

  9. Boss of Milan… send poli to watch Milan at home for 2 games. He is blind to some of the players that simply isn’t worth the salt. For example Diaz need to benched instead of ADIL or CDK. Why put other potential youths in cold storage and keep using non Milan owned players like DIAZ.

  10. Easy to put blame on maldini.. If your brain still healty you would remember how we operate before maldini recent renewal (Ones that he fight for more decision making power) before all transfer need to be approved by BOD-(final decision by Gazidis) and must follow their requirements (some primary target got rejected).. and for CDK dont y’all remember how they begged BOD & Elliot for extra 10mil plus transfer approval?.. This transfer window is the first for Redbird but already maldini say nothing will happen.. why?.. use ur brain, he cant simply attack Redbird..

  11. What we need is to go back to playing like we did for the first 70min of the game vs AS Roma. The substitution of Bennacer changed the game from that moment onward. The team is not that bad. The coach needs to work on the psychological aspect. We also need to go defensive 4-2-3-1, protect poor Tata so much so a fly would not reach his posts and we are ok.

    Forza Milan.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.