Pioli feels ‘pain’ after 5-2 loss: “It would be foolish of me to continue on this path”

By Oliver Fisher -

A dejected looking Stefano Pioli faced the media after AC Milan suffered another heavy defeat, this time against Sassuolo and this time conceding five.

There were four goals in a frantic first half as Sassuolo scored three times in 11 minutes through Gregoire Defrel, Davide Frattesi and Domenico Berardi to go in 3-1 up at the break. Armand Lauriente thumped home a penalty just after the interval to make it 4-1, and Matheus Henrique added a five before Divock Origi’s consolation.

This is a very difficult period for Milan who are now six games without a win, and the fact around 10,000 fans were left at the full-time whistle says an awful lot about the way things have been in 2023.

Pioli was present in the press conference room at San Siro after the game to face the questions of journalist who had just seen his team taken apart, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

Why wasn’t a back-up goalkeeper signed?

“We made this choice because we have faith in who is available and because Maignan is recovering from his injury.”

What will change?

“Things that weren’t working well a few weeks ago haven’t worked, so it’s clear there will be some tweaking.”

What did you think of De Ketelaere?

“We got off to a fairly good start, we had illusions with Giroud’s goal. Then we find it difficult to react and are fragile in the defensive phase.”

What could change?

“It would be foolish of me to continue on this path that isn’t bringing us results, so I’ll do something both tactically and mentally. The players aren’t listless and inattentive, but they’re having a difficult time. It’s a very heavy defeat, approaching that of Bergamo [5-0]: there we compacted and we restarted. We certainly won’t win the league again, but going back to the Champions League is fundamental.”

What do you promise fans in view of the derby?

“I promise we’ll do all week to win the derby.”

What do you feel after Sassuolo’s five goals?



Tags AC Milan Sassuolo-Milan Stefano Pioli


    1. I agree with this. Serie A now its different when maldini & co still on the field. You cant play with almost 40 yolds on the field, moreover on GK post. Tata its not Dida or Kalac or maybe Taibi. Tata its to easy for serie A striker, hes aging.

      When the GK cant play horrible, almost they will lose that game. You can watch how good De Gea on GK, manchester almost play to win.

    2. I’d rather play with an extra defender or midfilder and play with no goalkeeper than have tata between the posts. We are getting goals in almost every shot on goal. This is insane

  1. This man talks about changing tactic and reserve playstyle all the time till the game aproach. At the end we ends up playing same tactic every time.

    1. Yep. Same tactics and same players. Except when his favourites are either suspended or injured (which seems to be quite common also).

  2. The luck was on our side last season, after that Kjaer’s injury blow and we didn’t sign any replacement. The management said the very same thing, faith on the current squad etc. And Kalulu performed wonder. They wanted to do the sama again on GK post this time. But boo freakin hoo, luck won’t come twice.

  3. OUT !!!
    For a team with no budget we need coach who can develop players. 50 mil budget is not budget in modern football especially for 2 mercatos. Normally ther will be holes to cover in Winter mercato, and.with this policy of management the team will decline no way to be more competitive. We lost scudeto before the crisis Napoli is performing, last year all teams were underperforming. Seria A is disaster we won’t be in top 3 even in France league 1

    1. “50 mil budget is not budget in modern football especially for 2 mercatos.”

      It SHOULD BE for the reigning champions. Usually you can get reinforcements and actually improve the squad even more with that money. That hasn’t clearly been the case here though. Napoli didn’t spend that much more and look how much stronger they are. Even without Koulibaly.

  4. No team is spending outside EPL. Like it or not this is the reality. Outside of EPL no team spends 90 Mil on 1 player, not even 30 mil. Look at this transfer window no big team made any deals outside of EPL. Not Bayern, not Real, not Barca, no one in Serie A. The problem is not the budget it’s UEFA who introduced FPP and never enforced it equally. When the likes of Brighton and Bournemouth bid 30-40 mil on a player while making 2 mil in tickets and have losses year after year something is messed up. Unfortunately until all other leagues get together and protest nothing will change. And that won’t happen because the likes of PSG who want to be able to break the rules as they see fit.

    1. Just last summer Tchouameni was signed 80 mil (up to 100 mil with bonus). They bought Endrick with total worth 70 mil, for a player that’ll be eligible 2 years later. Vlahovic costed 70 mil (+10 mil bonus). Teams are still spending. EPL ‘richness’ comes from the TV rights. Up to 50% of their income stream come from TV broadcast. All fair n square (except maybe this current transfer horde by Chelsea). Not to say FFP is perfect and such. Surely it still has plenty of holes to be exploited.

      1. So your example is follow what the team that was penalized with 15 points for faking its financial statements and is being investigated for even more wrong doings when it comes to salaries and player valuation and payments?

        As for Tchouameni he was the only player they purchased and they sold Casimeiro for 70 Mil and a few others and ended up with a 12 Mil profit. Yet they spent nothing this window. Milan spent 48Mil and had -35$ net transfer revenu in the summer yet people want to owner spend another 40Mil this window with 0 income and put us in a 80 Mil hole so our finances get screwed up again. For us to spend we need to have revenu from.player sales or some results in CL. Neither has happened so the owners are correct not to spend.

        1. ‘No team is spending outside EPL. Like it or not this is the reality. Outside of EPL no team spends 90 Mil on 1 player, not even 30 mil.’

          Just clarifying that this statement is hyperbolic and do not have any sense of fact. You didn’t say anything about selling players did you? You just grambling on how EPL club could spend more, and how all the other clubs should do a strike about it? C’mon. They earn more, they can spend more. Not just from selling players obviously.

          And as much as I hate Juventus, Vlahovic’s transfer is not the one being investigated. The one they did with us, the Caldara – Bonucci viasco is.

          1. LOL fuuny how you ignored the next sentence “Look at this transfer window no big team made any deals outside of EPL.” and brought up deals done in the summer and last year as examples.

            As I said Milan spent 48 Mil in the summer its not like we did not spend. The comment is about this winter window with people complaining why we are not spending 10s of Millions again on more players and how its because of our new owners not wanting to spend.

            And I stand by what I said the reality today is that no team outside of EPL spends 30+ Mil on a player. Not a single one. In the summer we will see but my bet is it will be the same with the current economic climate.

  5. Kalulu maybe wonderkid but remember he only 20 yolds. Performance maybe up and down. calabria and tonali only can play right footed, hehehe ( i watch milan games ), its getting worse for the team. Should try Kalulu on RB and thiaw on CB. Sent back Diaz to madrid, he play like a ghost om the field.

    maybe Pioli could give chance to CDK play 90 minutes, i scratch my head when he take off CDK than alexis against Sassuolo.

    Finally pioli should change game play or formation, their rivals already knews how milan play.

  6. I said it the last time put Tata on the bench ooooo,play another keeper even if he concede it’s will help bust is morale n confidence. Play Tata nxt match I sorry for Milan

  7. Last time I said that Pioli is another Ranieri who won PL with Leicester and disappeared in World football because lucky was on their side not tactics. The coach lacks ideas, how do you bench Leao and start Tata who concedes 5 goals out of 6 shots on targets?

    In 21st century you can not compete for anything while playing rejected players who are free and on loan. Sorry for Milan fan around the world because the owner cares about money while the management lacks ideas even when there is opportunity (Ounahi to OM on 8M while we have krunic, bakayoko, …..)

  8. Start Devis.
    Start Thiaw.
    Keep CDK on.
    Change formation to 4-3-1-2 maybe, we do not have right wing, and playing with wing only to accommodate Leao does not make sense.

    I would say it should be :
    Calabria/Kalulu – Thiaw/Gabbia – Tomori/Coubis – Theo/Bozzolan
    Tonali – Bennacer – Vranckx/Pobega
    Giroud/Ibra – Leao/CDK/Lazetic

    And let CDK – Leao shuttle and rotate between CAM and FW and maybe wider positions dynamically during the game while Giroud/Ibra holds the central position if CDK and/or Leao goes wide.

    When Calabria/Kalulu attack forward, Tonali drops to covers the gap for counter.
    When Theo is running, Vranckx/Pobega covers the gap for counter.
    Bennacer positionally occupies the DLP/DM in such cases.

    I am available to coach Milan for lodging and food until Redbird can find some money to pay!

  9. I wrote this a month ago. Doing same thing over and over again expecting different result is definition of insanity.

    1)Cardinale plan is only money. Those dudes needs to leave Italy immediately.
    2) Pioli wanted best results with much more weaker players than last year, but you can’t do that. First of all you can’t not using bench players no matter how good they are. Because first team players are going overhauled.
    3) Tactics. Most important thing after friendlies for Milan.

    When you got weaker team you must use different tactics. So you are losing some games with big difference. S you must stop.

    Leao must go on the bench, and also Calabria. You must play 5 in the back to stop big differences. With Theo and Dest who can sometimes go up. And 3 in the middle. With Krunic and Pobega and Vranckx must get at least 40 minutes per game. In attack 2 players. Giroud Rebic and Origi, Leao from the bench.

    So 5 3 2, to stop this disaster. And when result comes maybe to shuffle a little bit.

    Milan also needs to be prepared on time to play without Leao and change strategy and tactics.

  10. Exactly! Pioli has 1 strategy and it has stopped working. Now he has no idea what to do. Need to get rid of him before we lose our chance to finish in the top 4

  11. Please, where are all the Cardinale supporters? Injuries and fatigue will deplete our squad, while our first team players will get fed-up with playing without reinforcements. Our coach cannot speak his mind as per the needs of the team. I saw the list of players rated for their performances, and I asked myself, ‘are these the players we want to use to run the season’? If Sassuolo could do this to us, what should we expect from Tottenham, Inter Milan? Please, don’t buy. Let’s keep waiting till Ibra and co. come back. Rubbish owners!

  12. For now, I think it is best time to make cash in on Rafael Leao.. Selling Leaoto city for Cancelo plus additional 70-80 million..

    We can easily change our tactic to 3-4-1-2 or 4-3-1-2. Specially i would prefer 3-4-1-2 where we can be more effective and can see real quality of De Ketalaere behind 2 real striker.. Specially, This tactic can take best out of many player, Like Theo, Kajer can be involved again, In midfield most of our player is mostly doing destructive job, so we can use them, we don’t have wingers, we will only need J.Cancelo or player with his characteristics. How this Coach don’t see that his all right and left backs are attack minded players, Theo, Dest, in left, Calabria is another world can’t attack can’t defend, Right side if Cancelo was bought it can be him and Salemaekers, even Florenzi next year can be added to this list none of the are typically RB or lb they are week to defend ..

    Davis Vasquez (GK)

    P.Kalulu(CB) – S.Kajer(CB) – F.Tomori(CB)

    S.TonaliD(CM) – I.Bennacer(CM)
    J.Cancelo(RWD) T.Hernandez(LWD)

    C. De Ketalaere(AM)

    O.Giroud(SF) – A.Rebic(SF)

    I think with 2-3 addition to current squad with money would come from sale if R.Leao we can add 2 quality option to Forward and Central midfield zones..

  13. Why did Milan even sign a goalkeeper in this transfer winter window. and the coach Pioli never played the guy, so what was the point in bringing him in. but yet he continue to use Tata who is just leaking goals, he needs to be replaced, I think the team has no, no trust in Tata, and i don’t think any other goalkeeper can be any worse than Tata.

    There can also be some locker room problems, i cant see Milan going from a good decent team in 2022 to being this awful in 2023, teams just don’t go bad like that.

  14. the best idea is sack the medioker manager n hire world class manager….
    last year was very very lucky for milan to be champione, this year…. this is the true form

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