Journalist Franco Ordine has spoken once again about the injury crisis that AC Milan are continuing to endure, while also commenting on the returns of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ismael Bennacer.
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Ordine spoke in his weekly column for MilanNews about a number of different topics, with his comments translated below.
“The number of injuries at Milan has become such (29, of which 21 muscular) as to decree an uncomfortable truth for many: it was the original sin of this season with a clear negative influence on the results from a certain day onwards (in the first 8 rounds Milan collected 7 wins and 1 defeat in the derby),” he said.
“At this point Pioli and the club continue to repeat that they are studying some solutions to try to remedy this impressive ‘pandemic’ not in the short term but in the coming months. None of us reporters – not having access to training every day – are able to establish what the responsibilities are and above all whose responsibilities they are.
“However, what I know precisely is that the little game of shifting the blame now onto this sector, now onto the other, is a practice that leads only to one side: to creating tensions and causing clashes! Stop. Stefano Pioli took political responsibility for the serious deficit but this does not completely absolve him.
“May he meditate, also for the future of his career, on the validity of the methods of some of his historical collaborators and I hope he doesn’t decide, at the end of the season, to go down with his entire staff so as not to change one, two, three, four of them.
“There is another problem and it concerns communication. I understand that having to list the casualties every time after every blessed match becomes a very uncomfortable practice.
“But we can’t talk about a ‘cramp’ for Okafor when we can tell from the television that it’s a muscle injury (he was touching his back thigh). Thus he does double damage to Milan and to his own image. Think about it dear Stefano.
“Having recovered from the flu, Ibra showed up at Milanello and began his second adventure. It is clear that he will be able to be useful to Pioli himself, to the team group and to the management that deals with the Rossoneri market with the knowledge learned on the pitch.
“According to Giorgio Furlani, Ibra ‘is keen to make it known that his presence must not be seen as a tutor to the coach’. This is the same impression I got in recent days when I repeated on the topic that someone like Ibra would never have dreamed of making his debut in the new role by chopping off Pioli’s head, thus taking on an enormous responsibility, among other things, for future results.
“Bennacer has been included in the list of Algeria’s preliminary squad ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations. Yesterday he spoke for the first time on the topic of his participation with a sentence that opens a debate.
“He dictated: ‘If the national team called me I would say yes. And naturally I didn’t decide that the African Cup should be played in the month of January’. True: it is not the players who decide the dates of the tournaments.
“But a player who is on the salary of a club for over six months during which he is out of action due to injury and has just been put back on the pitch, is preparing to reach match rhythm with stints at Milan as Bennacer is doing and then flies from the club in January his national team, certainly cannot be noted for his generosity towards his employer.
“This episode must induce Italian football managers, as suggested by ADL president of Napoli, to shy away from purchasing players from that continent.”