Nocerino optimistic about Milan despite struggles and names signings to make ‘significant leap in quality’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan slipped up again in their quest to win a 19th Scudetto as they were held to a second consecutive 0-0 draw on Sunday night, this time against Torino, but Antonio Nocerino does not believe all is lost.

It was another worrying performance for the Rossoneri in Turin as they failed to score and after the slip-up against Bologna last Monday night, the feeling is that Stefano Pioli’s side have squandered their title advantage. You can bet on the eventual winner using OddsIndex.

Nocerino was a member of the 2010-11 title winning side so he knows what it takes to emerge victorious in the Scudetto pursuit, and he spoke to PianetaMilan to give his thoughts.

Does the draw against Torino represent a setback for Milan in terms of the Scudetto?

“I wonder if, with such a statement, you are trying to joke…”

Against Bologna and Torino, the Rossoneri could potentially have aspired to take six points…

“I do not agree. The league means the risk of losing points against lower teams like Bologna and Torino. I didn’t think at all that they were going to be two simple games. Rather the contrary.”

Meanwhile the others have made up ground, especially Inter…

“It’s normal. When you take a half misstep, those behind recover. But if I read the table I keep seeing Milan first.”

Who do you fear most from a title point of view?

“Inter have a more ‘ready’ squad than Milan and Napoli, but – if I have to indicate an opponent – I mean Milan itself.”

For what reasons?

“The Scudetto is in the hands of Milan at the moment. It will all depend on the Rossoneri’s approach in the last remaining matches.”

And your friend Ibra? Can you keep playing at high levels for much longer?

“Ibra is a phenomenon, you just need to watch the AC Milan matches to be aware of it. He does things that only he can do. He has only one great opponent: injuries.”

Are you in favour of his contract renewal?

“Even today, I would never be able to deprive myself of Ibra in one of my teams.”

What elements would the Rossoneri need to make the definitive leap in quality, even in Europe?

“Currently, Milan need a defender, a midfielder and a striker.”

With what characteristics?

“Mind you: Milan, as it is, is a great team. Whoever arrives must really make a difference.”

Does Dybala represent a potential level entry?

“And how! Dybala is a player, but not only him…”

Who else convinces?

“I’m talking about names that I read, Milan would make a significant leap in quality if they also signed Berardi and Botman. In short: the bar would rise quite a bit!”

Had he been in Kessie’s shoes, would he have ever left the current AC Milan?

“They are always personal choices. I just say that Barcelona seems to me a lot like the Milan of two years ago: new project, new coach, many unknowns… The charm of the club’s recent history may have influenced. If you ask me what I did, of course I would have replied that I would have stayed with the Rossoneri.”

What kind of match do you expect on Friday, between the Rossoneri and Genoa?

“It will be very hard. Genoa reminds me a lot of Torino by type of game. Blessin brought the identity of him. It will not be easy for Milan at all. Pioli has to prepare it as if it were a final.”

Tags AC Milan Antonio Nocerino
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