Pioli discusses difficulties in Verona, Maignan’s injury plus use of Origi and Giroud

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has confirmed that Mike Maignan’s 2022 is over, while he suggested that the new signings will play an important role in the coming weeks.

Milan will be looking to build on their excellent league form since the last international break as they have won their last three games in Serie A against Empoli, Juventus and most recently Hellas Verona.

The game at the Stadio Bentegodi was far from easy though and it took a late Sandro Tonali winner to keep the run of victories going, with some fatigue showing despite the rotations, which is why a statement win against Monza would be welcomed.

That will not be straightforward either though as Monza have won four of their last five games across all competitions including a 1-0 home win over Juventus and most recently a 3-2 midweek Coppa Italia victory at Udinese despite mass rotation. It will also be an emotional return for Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani.

Pioli spoke to reported who gathered in the press room at Milanello for his pre-match conference, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

What birthday present do you want from your boys?

“May the team play at its level. From tomorrow we will play many matches in a few days, so we need to start on the right foot.”

What effect does it have on you to meet the team of Berlusconi and Galliani?

“It will be special, there will also be a slightly romantic aspect. Berlusconi and Galliani have made the history of Milan. We must try to think about it too much, we must face a match that has pitfalls in the best possible way.”

It was a peculiar week after what happened to Maignan (new injury) and Theo Hernandez (had his home robbed)…

“What happened to Theo and Zoe isn’t nice. We’re family, so he knows we’re here. He was a little upset, but we’ll help him. Sorry about Mike’s injury, he was doing everything to to come back. He pushed to play earlier, we did things well, but unfortunately he hurt another muscle. Unfortunately I know he will have to stay out until January.”

Will tomorrow’s decisions also be made in view of Tuesday’s match in the Champions League?

“We will play 7 games in 22 days, no one can play all of them. Some have played more than others, but I have a group of strong players and therefore I will do my evaluations. I am not thinking about Tuesday, but only about tomorrow.”

Is there a chance to see Origi and Rebic?

“There is this possibility, but I will decide tomorrow morning.”

Is tomorrow a crucial point?

“We need to score a lot of points regardless of the opponent’s calendar. We come from three victories and we have to keep pushing.”

Why all these injuries?

“These are situations that can happen, but I have a strong group at my disposal with the recoveries of Kjaer and De Ketelaere.”

Could the team be distracted for Tuesday’s match in Zagreb?

“I’m not afraid of this danger. The team is concentrated, we haven’t talked about Tuesday. We are only thinking about tomorrow because we want to continue our path in the league in the best possible way.”

Do you have an easier schedule?

“I don’t think about it because no match should be underestimated. You only make the calendar easier with your performances. We must always think that the next match is always the most difficult and important.”

What went wrong in Verona?

“In Verona we were not a compact team, the physical condition has nothing to do with it: we were 5 behind and 5 ahead and we gave the feeling of being less performing.”

What are you talking about in your calls with Berlusconi?

“He didn’t call me this week (he smiles). In the past he called me, it was called football in general and then also tactical issues such as the start of build-up play from the back.”

From here to the break, will the new summer signings also be important? How are they?

“The more time passes, the more they integrate and will show when their value will be. I am happy with Adli’s performance in Verona: I think this experience has served him a lot and he will be able to do even better.”

How strong is Tatarusanu temperamentally? Are the criticisms affecting him?

“It is not obvious that he will not rest too, 7 games are a lot even for a goalkeeper. He is an experienced, mature and respected player and will give his contribution both in the offensive and in the defensive phase”.

How are Giroud and Origi?

“They are two complete strikers. Divock is physical and technical. Tomorrow’s choice will depend on their conditions and the type of match we want to play.”

Is De Ketelaere back tomorrow?

“He is an attacking player, he can play in the middle of the field, on the centre-right or on the centre-left: he will be used in these positions.”

How do you rate Gabbia ‘s performance ?

“He is a fantastic guy and perfect in everything. He is available, serious and polite. I am satisfied with his performances, he is always ready. He is a player ready to give us an important contribution.”

Can De Ketelaere and Diaz play together?

“Of course it is possible. It always depends on the availability of the players. The more quality players we play, the more we have a chance to win games.”

How is Ibrahimovic?

“He is never trivial in everything he says and does. He is a great help for everyone, he is a very positive presence. His recovery is progressing well, but the path is still long. He is working well”.

What are the differences between last year and this year?

“The calendar was different compared to last year. In these 10 matches for me we deserved a few more points, such as against Napoli. Obviously there are things to improve.”

Are the team worse?

“The determination has never been lacking. We must continue in this direction because the matches are all difficult. We must learn to close games first, if you leave them open opponents can get back into them.”

What do you fear about Monza?

“It’s a team that defends well and aggressively, but also dribbles well with quality players in the middle of the pitch. They have complete characteristics, they are doing well with Palladino, they arrive with great enthusiasm. He will be very motivated.”

How do you see Vranckx?

“He’s more like Tonali than Bennacer. He has great insertion capabilities, so he can also be used later on.”

Tags AC Milan Milan Monza Stefano Pioli


    1. Actually I have a decent understanting, I use english at my job, it’s almost like my first language.
      That being said, this phrase: “It is not obvious that he will not rest too, 7 games are a lot even for a goalkeeper” is obviously mistranslated, doesn’t make much sesne.It seems like he’s suggesting he will have a rest, by saying “7 games are a lot even for a goalkeeper”

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