Maldini: “We chose the coach, we will defend him; he needs time”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini has defended head coach Marco Giampaolo despite an abysmal start to the season.

Having lost back-to-back games against Inter and Torino respectively, the Rossoneri were defeated yet again at San Siro on Sunday night as Fiorentina swept them aside 3-1.

Erick Pulgar’s penalty got things underway for La Viola, who won their first Serie A game since February in the last round against Sampdoria.

Gaetano Castrovilli and Franck Ribery scored in the second half as the Curva Sud virtually emptied, with audible chants protesting at the current state of the club.

TMW claimed after the game claimed that Ukraine national team head coach Andriy Shevchenko ‘could become more of an idea’ for the bench in light of the result.

Then, our correspondent Vito Angele confirmed to us that Giampaolo’s position is under threat, with three possible temporary solutions being considered.

Despite this, Maldini is sticking by Giampaolo, reiterating his belief that the ex-Sampdoria boss can turn it around.

“We chose the coach, we will defend him, it is right to give him some time,” Maldini told Sky Italia (via Football Italia).

“We knew there were some problems that we’d run into, although obviously we didn’t expect to lose four of the first six games, but also the quality of the football is unsatisfactory.

“Right now, it might look like a tunnel with no light, but as our coach said, the way out is with hard work.

“We knew that relying on a young squad, during the period when we are waiting for the coach to really become a leadership figure, there could be a risk of the pressure getting to them.

“Of course, it is the fault of the players, the club, the coach, everyone. Last season, we finished one point off the Champions League places and they always supported us.

“I think the fans were right this evening to protest. The responsibility is to be shared around, otherwise it becomes too much of a burden to bear.

“We are only six rounds in, all is not lost. We know that in football, situations can turn rapidly. The worrying thing is that we saw such a downturn in performance from the Torino game on Thursday.

“It’s strange, because we played very well during pre-season and showed good organisation. There started to be some traffic in the central area of the field, causing some tactical problems and difficulty in moving the ball around.

“Explaining such a big setback in performance over three days is difficult, unless you realise that was played in Turin and this is at San Siro.

“This is a very prestigious jersey with a lot of history behind it and some of the players are very young, not yet able to support the history of it. That can be difficult.”

READ MORE – Vito Angele: Giampaolo’s position under threat; three possible ‘temporary solutions’

Tags AC Milan Marco Giampaolo Paolo Maldini
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