CM: Condition, tactics and man management – Pioli on trial after latest embarrassment

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan seem to be in free fall at the moment as they suffered a 5-2 defeat against Sassuolo at San Siro this afternoon to continue the horrendous start to 2023. have published a piece which takes aim at head coach Stefano Pioli for his role in the current crisis, starting with a look at the athletic condition of the team which at its lowest in the last two years.

The many muscle problems sustained by the squad – with Tomori and Dest the latest to miss a game – deserve some introspection. The decision at the beginning of the year to turn to the Serbian guru Andreja Milutinovic – the personal trainer of Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic – has so far seen no changes.

Milan are out of shape and the World Cup mid-season didn’t help, and a certain number of players have been working overtime, but there is of course a tactical element to such a bad run of form after the 18 goals conceded in the last seven games.

The 4-2-3-1 seems predictable now and no longer seems to offer the right security in the non-possession phase, but Pioli will not change and insert an extra midfielder to make a 4-3-3 and give coverage to the rearguard that needs help.

Milan’s summer transfer window didn’t offer any big signings except Charles De Ketelaere, but Pioli has done very little or nothing to try to insert and enhance the new players who arrived. The exclusion of Malick Thiaw is a mystery given the defensive issues, while Aster Vranckx and Yacine Adli are also not seeing the field.

However, it is the situation surrounding the Belgian that generates the most confusion. He cost over €30m and is already being talked about as a flop. He seems to be struggling to adapt but he is not being helped by Pioli’s use of him, as he throws him on in the second half often in complicated situations such as the last half hour against Lazio and Inter at 3-0 down.

The most recent questionable move was the one concerning Leao, who was surprisingly excluded from the starting eleven against Sassuolo with a simple reason: “He has lost his brilliance.” He came on at half-time with the team 3-1 down and was asked to try and drag the team out of a hole, yet could not be entrusted from the start.

Tags AC Milan


  1. Milan need to make some big changes, fast. They will be humiliated by Spurs if they’re playing like this. The ownership has absolutely ruined a good chance for the team to get back into the top rank of European teams through their short-sighted stinginess.

  2. Vlasnici su odradili svoje kupili Milan i dali 5o mil za transfer ljeti !!! Pioli i uprava vukli su krive poteze , promašene kupovine i sad imamo katastrofu !!

  3. 4231 doesn’t work. Why not make it 4321 to be defensive or 4312 twin attack.

    Sell Leao to get the cash for new transfers. This greedy boy will not sign a renewal for sure.

  4. 1. Pioli out
    2. Rest in peace Tata
    3. Give more technical training for calabria and tonali. they both can only play ball with the right foot only. Haha… Thats how Mancini protest how disaster italian clubs to manage young player.
    4. Try to play milan primavera star, maybe they have more eager and spirit how to play for milan shirt.
    5. No more Diaz, alexis and messias. They cant build the game. They talent has run out ( maybe )

  5. I actually thought Milans game without Leao was promising. They had to try something new. I thought Rebic had a good game. He always gives his best and that’s a bit lacking in many other players right now. We are cm from getting 1-0. After that the game changes into Sassuolos favour. The first goal is horrible defending as always. Nr 2 is not much better and so on. But we can’t keep conceding the first goal over and over. It ruins the game plan totally. I think CDK had a good match today. He looked more confindent and stronger when he got the ball. I hope he starts against Inter.

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