Pioli reveals what the fans said after Spezia defeat and analyses poor performance

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has admitted that the mission to get a top four spot has become complicated after a dreadful defeat against Spezia.

Milan put in potentially their worst performance of the season to follow up a very disappointing outing in midweek against Inter as they were beaten 2-0 by Spezia at the Stadio Alberto Picco against a side in 18th place in the table.

The first goal of the game came in the second half when Przemysław Wiśniewski reacted to a header against the post to fire in from close range, then Simone Esposito’s wonderful free-kick doubled the advantage and sealed the victory.

Pioli spoke to DAZN after the game to try and assess what was a difficult night for his side, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

Is this a match we’ve already seen from Milan?

“We lacked consistency during the match, we needed more pace and speed. It was a balanced game, decent first half, then in the second after the goal we disunited. A performance not up to our par.”

Is a comeback against Inter possible?

“We’re playing a match with which we can make history, we have to believe we can beat Inter if, clearly, we play our football in terms of attention, energy and quality. In the last two games we haven’t been up to par: we can play much better.”

Did the Champions League have an impact?

“It’s normal that we have the Champions League in mind and it’s normal to be disappointed with the first leg, but we knew how important it was today.

“This match today complicates our future in the league, so it means that we’ll have to play a great game on Tuesday. We still have many possibilities to make this season positive. We have to believe we have the chance to beat Inter.”

What did the fans tell you?

“They spurred and stimulated us to give our all.”

Is there regret for where you find yourselves this late in the season?

“Four days before the first leg we played one of the best matches against Lazio, then the first 20 minutes of the derby changed things for us. We know we will have to play a similar match in the second half.”

How are Leao and the injured players?

“Today those who weren’t able to play today stayed at home, but they could be there on Tuesday and we’re doing everything to get them back. Even today’s changes were in that direction. If I call Leao up, will he play in the starting line-up? Yes, I think so.”

Tags AC Milan Spezia Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. “They spurred and stimulated us to give our all.”
    I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time 🤣
    We weren’t consistent? Yes we were, loss after loss after loss. I bet we can lose to already relegated Sampdoria too!

    1. Lots of football legend is praising Maldini for what he achieved with this Milan. But this little pony right here who probably don’t have a job, or even if he/she does, it might just be an average employee. Harshly critisize Maldini and labeled him incompetence, and think that his opinion is right compared to another football legend. You twat.
      Yes you can call me Maldini fan boy, and yes I am a big fan of him. And I’m not shy to admit it. This inexperience and incompatence Maldini did more than Mirabelli and Fassone. Even the experienced Leonardo add nothing to this club as director.
      You call it luck due to inter slipped, yeah probably. But without signing Maignan, buy tonali, and bringing the “unwanted” Giroud. We will never win that scudetto

  2. Maldini and massara are actually inexperienced and it’s telling on them..someone may say that’s not true with massara but I will ask what has been his achievement except for the fluke scudetto won because inter fumbled which made pioli look like a genius! He is no genius but relies on his players with no tactical nous whatsoever! Track records isn’t fluke and pioli track records speaks for him as a looser! I wish cardinale prepares himself to sack the trio…then they will know Milan is nobody’s family business or heritage.

    1. We can debate Maldini, but I’m not sure what counts as “experience” for someone in Massara’s position. He’s been at it for years. How many title winning DS’s are there supposed to be? Giuntoli just won his first league title, is he now a “good” DS?

    2. Lots of football legend is praising Maldini for what he achieved with this Milan. But this little pony right here who probably don’t have a job, or even if he/she does, it might just be an average employee. Harshly critisize Maldini and labeled him incompetence, and think that his opinion is right compared to another football legend. You twat.
      Yes you can call me Maldini fan boy, and yes I am a big fan of him. And I’m not shy to admit it. This inexperience and incompatence Maldini did more than Mirabelli and Fassone. Even the experienced Leonardo add nothing to this club as director.
      You call it luck due to inter slipped, yeah probably. But without signing Maignan, buy tonali, and bringing the “unwanted” Giroud. We will never win that scudetto

  3. Pioli, remember when you were annoyed by the critics and said: “I know what I’m doing”? Did you also tell that to the fans? Where is your arrogance now?

  4. The Curva Sud stimulated us. Wish I had their faith…Tuesday is around the corner and if a team get used to losing it takes a miracle to turn things around…we need a decent overhaul, and without champions league football we will probably get 2nd string players again this window.

  5. As much as we all would like to blame Pioli, for today’s loss… I think, he did what he could do! With Bennacer, Krunic and Leao, out what did you expect? Even Zidane, Guardiola or Klopp can’t help, when you have Origi, Messias, Ballo Toure etc on the bench! With that being, said he has done wonders by winning the Scudetto with an inexperienced squad, and reaching the Champions League Semi Finals, he can’t pull rabbit out of his hat, everytime.. It’s not that he has Messi, Mbapppe, Neymar in his disposal yet he has failed! We can sack Pioli, and bring a new coach, nothing will change as long as we don’t have a strong bench!

    1. Oh, so Nikolaou, Reca, Ampadu, Amian etc are much better players than what we have? Players like Theo, Tomori, Tonali, Origi, Giroud? Is that what you’re saying?
      Hmm, did I miss when Amian played at the World Cup for France? I didn’t see him. Why didn’t Deschamps call him up if he’s better than our players?

      1. I was talking about our subs, when you need a win.. You need quality, on the bench that can, make a difference! Whom do we have on the bench? How many times, have our subs made the difference? Compare, that to Manchester City, Real Madrid and all top sides!

          1. You are still not getting, my point.. You see: Inzaghi has, also rotated his squad today for Champions League second leg.. Even then, he has Lautaro, Dzeko, Calhanoglu, Barella, Onana, Bastoni, Dumfries, Gosens etc on the bench! Those who can, make a difference, when called into.. Compare that to, our bench.. When we rotate heavily, only two players that can make the difference, for us are Leao and Giroud! They were 1-0 down, against Lazio few weeks ago, Lautaro and Gosens made the difference from bench when subbed on..

          2. Yes we lost to Spezia, because to win you have to score goals.. Whom did you expect? To score today? Rebic and Origi? Who don’t even, know how to pass the ball, let alone scoring..

          1. Perhaps they were injured, so they didn’t play for them today? We could’ve beaten, them especially given that they, didn’t have Messi and Ronaldo playing for them today.. To win you, need to create chances, and convert them.. I didn’t see, that happening, especially with Origi and Rebic! The moment he, subbed off Theo, I knew he has given up!

          2. He’s right that our squad depth is close to 0 but even with our starters we often drop points against relegation teams and get spanked by Inter every time. It’s obvious to everyone, except this guy, that Pioli has no clue how to attack, especially against small defensive teams. He got lucky with the Scudetto because all the big teams were terrible last season. He also got lucky with the CL draw. But neither will happen again. The real Pioli is a mediocre coach only fit for Fiorentina. That’s the sad truth.

          3. @Milan Fan what we are simply saying is Pioli has better players at his disposal compare to Spezia Coach yet he couldn’t win. Yes he doesn’t have world class players but the players Pioli has are decent enough to beat Spezia only if he knew how to get the best out of them.

          4. People like you blame Pioli but will also cry during transfer market when there’s no investments

            so what is it?

            You think our players are world class enough to beat everyone and Pioli is holding them back? So you will stfu about transfers now? Pick one and quit switching sides to suit the narrative.

        1. @Gary, So? Other clubs were, so bad last season? That we needed, final matchday to win the Scudetto? You may not like Pioli, that’s other thing.. But, atleast don’t undermine team success!

        2. @Dhik, if players are average then Pioli can’t make them Messi or Ronaldo.. To win you, have to score! Whom did you expect to score today? Rebic or Origi who combined has only, five goals?

          1. Why you doubt rebic and origi ability?, Rebic before this season is good player, origi as a supersub for liverpool and score many goal to many big club in ucl including milan remember? So thats should be enough to play againt spezia, but THE QUESTION IS WHY THEIRE ABILITY GONE? are they lazy in practice? are they have too many injuries so their foot become like a robot ? are the coach not enough to motivated them? The answer is WE HAD NO CLUE, and what make fans frustrated that pioli had no clue either, he just bringing what he have to the field without know the consequences. As a coach we excpect he analyze all that the problems and try to find the solutions, because this is milan, we are big team, we expect more from you even in the sluggish financial economy like now.

          2. @Remyp Rebic has been, on a decline since 2021.. In fact, in past two seasons he has only scored six goals! Whereas Origi, has been nothing but just a sub in Liverpool, he can’t be a protagonist in a big club..

    2. Yeah sure spezia manager definitely has better squad at his disposal than pioli..and not only spezia but also cremonse, udinese, empoli ,salernitana and the rest of bottom half teams

    3. When will get over this?

      Inter 3-5-2 we got bamboozled.
      Spezia 3-5-2 we got schooled.

      Football 101, 4-2-3-1 doesn’t cancel out 3-5-2.

      If Spezia players are now better than ours, then we have no business expecting anything from them.

      This problem didn’t start today, they were there last season when we won the league, but as usual because individuals gave us results, we couldn’t see that we weren’t playing as a team.

      Just watch how Theo has declined massively, these guys have reached the bar and can’t grow further under Pioli, is this too hidden to see?

      Even though we need quality additions, I can tell you for sure that this squad is a talented one and we can play a more defined pattern of football under a proper coach and not just a motivator.

      The earlier you see that Pioli can’t take us further, the better for you my friend.

      1. JtB. Agree. Inter and minor clubs play both with 352 and counterattack with quick transitions starting from the 5 midfielders. Pioli leaves 2 midfielders against 5. They lose the battle, especially if the 5 are Barella Dumfries Brozovic Mikitarian and Dimarco but even when they are lesser players. That is why our forwards receive few, low quality balls. Only Rafa sometime is able to overcome that . Certainly not AR and DO.

      2. Where will you get better couch who will accept 30-40ml budget/year, better couches accept this job if the budget up to 100-200ml /year, our problem is the management are inexperienced and our owners are stingy the only thing they want is profit you can blame pioli how you want but nothing is gonna change until we invest quality players

    4. Dude, we’re talking about beating clubs like Spezia, not Madrid or Man City. We have the players for this. I’m not sure where the notion that we suddenly can’t beat clubs like Spezia, Salernitana, Empoli, and Cremonese is coming from. Meanwhile, we can beat Napoli and Lazio with relative ease. We beat Juventus once this season already. How can you beat big clubs and then drop so many points against the small ones? IT’S THE COACH.

      1. How can you beat big clubs and then drop so many points against the small ones? It’s because, we don’t rotate against, big clubs taking three points for granted.. Whereas against small clubs, we rotate heavily, taking three points for granted! If you see, most of our dropped points against small sides, are because of Pioli’s rotation.. Even when we need, goal he would wait, till 70th minute to bring on Leao and Giroud..

      2. Agreed!!

        Pioli has a 37% winning record outside of coaching Milan. 12 different teams in 16 seasons. His teams average only +5 GD per season as well. He did not win a single award sans Milan’s scudetto season. Those are pretty poor statistics considering he is now coaching one of the greatest football teams of all time.
        There is no creativity in the team. Huge amounts of possession, but no real chances. He cannot think outside of 4-2-3-1.
        People are complaining about Origi, CDK, Adli, Vranckx, Dest, and others not performing. Practices are important, but a player cannot be expected to play well if they are not in game shape.
        The common factor of all this including ACM’s poor performances is him. He needs to go.
        I believe we have the talent, just no leader to put it all together.

      3. Then when Milan spends no money again you better not complain because you are happy with the level of our players right? lmao

  6. All Milan has been doing this season is long balls forward and depending on individual brilliance.
    Pioli had 10 months to shape them into a team and he failed..

    1. 10 months??? He has been there for 3,5 years and Milan stil dont have a style of play. Easy to blame substitutes but if the team had a way of playing and everyone knew there role it would not look like this. Lazio dont have better players yet they have a style of play. Even Fiorentina and Atalanta have a eay to create chances.

      1. im just talking about this season.
        Milan played good last season, very good. I liked watching them. Not this season tho.. theyre clueless and look like a b team

        1. You must be kidding. We have never played well under Pioli. Last season we had a good start because individuals over performed but our strength were or defense.We barely conceded in most matches. To many matches looked like the ones against Cremonese and Empoli. But we never dominated our opponent and had to fight for narrow wins. He has to go

          1. Ole gyn your arguments are gone. Never played well under Pioli? That’s not even a bad joke. We’ve just beaten Napoli 2 times in a row and we’ve outplayed Inter zt the beginning of this season. Only to mention these 2. Ask Lazio and Juve fans how bad we played against them in recent years. You just don’t know what your talking about so cancel your opinion plz.

          2. No Boulden, I am a Spezia fan!!!
            You really think just because you win it is all great. We won and no one expected it but the performances especially in the offense of end left lot to ask for. The hope was that Milan would build on last season but it is just the same and if you look at the stats last season we had a much lower expexted goals and points last season yet overachieved and because our performance has not improved such thing cashes you upp in time. Therefore a fluke and Pioli has to go.

  7. Cardinale gave the money. But, the “money”.

    Maldini and Massara bought ingredients.

    And Pioli is in the kitchen.

    We all saw this year what did they cooked in the oven.

  8. So true. Pioli’s “strategies”:
    Let’s hope Leao dribbles past a few defenders and scores.
    Let’s hope Theo gets tired of the team passing sideways and backwards and he goes on an 80 yard run and scores.
    Let’s hope one of our mids shoots from 30 yards and a deflection takes it into the goal.
    Let’s hope we get a penalty.
    Let’s hope the other team doesn’t have any tall or fast players.

      1. Look, Rebic, Origi, CDK aren’t bad players, the coaching style at Milan has brought them a step lower.

        If we were serious as a club and wanted to plan ahead to hire a coach that gives identity to Milan style of play, with beautiful attacking football, we shouldn’t have let let Seedorf and maybe Gattuso leave so early.
        But, we are Milan, all we are interested in is the result and not the process, we don’t mind being dominated by relegation threatened teams, as long as Leao gets the winning goal, the headline will be “Pioli outcoaches…”
        For how long man, this is really exhausting.

        Napoli didn’t pressure their coaches to win the Scudetto, they settled for Champions League football for so many years, they understood the importance of a football identity and they prioritised it. I could remember when Napoli knocked out Liverpool from the CL I think in 2012 or 2013 (can’t remember) I told a friend, to watch out for what this club is building, today they appear miles above other teams in Serie A. It’s no magic, it is work and planning. It is wholesome footballing project.

        Do you want to tell me that Zielinski, Lobotka and Anguissa are miles ahead of our midfielders, hell no. It is team cohesion, proper drills. And these are qualities of real coaches and not motivators.

  9. Maybe the right question is: why we do not have good subs? Who’s fault is that? Good organization must think about that. You can not play 40-50 games in season with only 12-13 players.

  10. We need to change coach if we play europa league next season . Elliot give budget 50m euro this season but our legend maldini bring trash like origi that can only score 2 goal , more disaster 35m euro for CDK that have impact on team with 0 goal , give new contract to junior & florenzi that often injury because scudetto last season , did he coordinate with coach before buying adili ? He choose that coach but bring random player like adili that cannot help bordeaux relegated without coordination with coach ? I think personally better sign julian nagelsmann as coach with rangnick as DS to support him finding good player, but that will cost lot of money and i dont think RedBird want to do that due to they need invest on build stadium so the best option only sarri or de zerbi as coach since both dont need expensive player

  11. You cannot expect to win a single game with players like Origi, Rebic, Ibra, Florenzi, Bakayoko, CDK, Tomori, etc. I wonder whether some of them can play in Serie B. Players like Thiaw, Vranck, Adli, Krunic and Mesias should have been given a chance to play instead of those who have been consistent with their negative performance. The choice of the players lies with the coach, hence he is to blame for such poor performances!!!!!

  12. One can only do a great job if the money is no problem. With the limited money AC Milan had I think the club done wonders. Where are Chelsea, PSG, Barcelona, etc in the Champions League. Easy to critise than fact reality. Forza Milan.

  13. Milan rarely play looking to score, we try to just pass backwards and hope for that 1 lucky goal. On the other hand Inter is averaging 3 goals per game. 24 goal in their last 8 games across all competitions. Are we really expecting a turnaround in 2nd leg after this?

  14. @Boulden

    “so you think Scudetto win was just luck? are you even a Milan fan?”

    Well, we tried not to discredit the club, the team and everyone involved at Milan for the Serie A title win, we celebrated our bragging right.

    We will not outrightly say we were lucky, comon, we are Milan, and we dare not say we are lucky to earn earn our bragging right.
    It was you who mentioned “luck”, we earned whatever you call it on the pitch and as such we celebrated it.

    But I put it this way, every true milanisti understands how we won the league, deep down in our hearts we know these things, but we can’t say it because it should not be said. If you didn’t feel it last season because we somehow won the league, I absolutely don’t expect you to see it now.

    It take a great sense of maturity to criticise even in victory because victory can be very palatable and misleading at times, because I see no reason why we didn’t address the RW issue this season.

    The management thought other teams will continue dropping points while magician Leao continues to rake up the points for us.
    They expected other coaches to slack on their mojo while our motivational coach continues to psyche our players.

    Look, from players recruitment to coach recruitment, we missed it, largely because we won the league. Inter didn’t win the league for two seasons now, and they have their own issues too, but even when they lose matches, they don’t sleep on the pitch, they make the fans still have that belief.

    Gasperini thought us that you don’t need a humongous budget to play good football.

    1. Gasperini has won nothing and Atalanta in fact recruit better than us and spends the same as us,

      we havent brought in the proper players needed for our system and players like Tomori degraded. You can blame Pioli sure but you think Tomori will magically become Nesta under Sarri or whoever you want?

      Getting a manager won’t solve anything if our philosophy and strategy doesnt change.

      FYI for Sarri fans, Lazio won like 1 game in 6 games lmao, why would you want him?

      1. If I were to ask you, what system do we play?
        By system, do you mean pattern or formation?

        Don’t even get me started on that, you name whatever you are referring to and I will list at least 12 teams in Serie A who play it better than we do.

  15. You see the problem, you went straight to what Gasperini has won, that win win win mentality instead of how we win is what has put milan where we are today.
    If milan is gonna be great again, we first have to go to the basics, on how to play good football, we should first get that right instead of just thinking results.
    Gasperini has won nothing, Pioli has won the Scudetto, does that mean Pioli is better?

    Mind you, read properly, I’m talking philosophy and strategy as well, when I talk coach issues, it’s not just a Pioli problem, like I said earlier we missed it both in players and coach recruitment, obviously Pioli didn’t recruit himself.

    We need to hire a coach with a clear footballing identity, Pioli doesn’t fit in that category by any means.

    It took us 11 years to win the last Scudetto, analyse milan’s recruitment escapades on players and coaches during those 11 year wait.
    Have we made progress in our coach recruitment policy? NO
    Have we made progress in our players recruitment policy? Considerably yes.

    If we can agree as a club that we need a new coach recruitment strategy, with a view to play beautiful attacking football, and start from point zero, the profile of coaches we recruit will have that style of attacking play in comon.

    Now, PSG have all the money and best players in the world, but their coach recruitment policy is poor, it’s not consistent to reflect a club patient enough to build, they chase after results not mindful of the process. Even though I think so many big clubs are guilty of this, I can see the consistency and pattern deployed by Bayern in their coach recruitment.

    It was because we wanted results rather than appreciate the process, that was why Seedorf and Gattuso didn’t stay long enough. What we need right now is a coach with a defined style of play, don’t mount pressure on him to win the Scudetto, simply qualify for CL, allow him drill the team to the point where even when a similar attacking coach arrives, the foundation has been laid for future success, and with injection of more quality players, we will dominate once again.

    Sarri I picked because he has his defined football, funny how you pointed out 1 win in 6 matches but didn’t look at Lazio’s position on the table, you would want that wouldn’t you?
    But I’m not even talking table now, I just want milan to play good football, it’s been embarrassing for years now.

      1. Your guess is as good as mine.

        First, the question, will milan be patient enough and support him with the tools to work even if he dares to come?

        If milan can say a yes, then he will definitely come, milan is more than a football club.

  16. Ole gyn your arguments are gone. Never played well under Pioli? That’s not even a bad joke. We’ve just beaten Napoli 2 times in a row and we’ve outplayed Inter zt the beginning of this season. Only to mention these 2. Ask Lazio and Juve fans how bad we played against them in recent years. You just don’t know what your talking about so cancel your opinion plz.

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