Pioli explains selection choices and comments on Curva Sud protest: “It is sad”

By Oliver Fisher -

Stefano Pioli has explained his rather bold selection decisions for AC Milan’s game against Cagliari tonight at San Siro by suggesting some players are simply not in great shape physically.

The rumours of the last 24 hours were confirmed as the official eleven was announced this evening, with Pioli benching the likes of Davide Calabria, Fikayo Tomori, Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao, as he suggested he would do in his pre-match press conference.

It seems as though the boss wants to send a jolt to the squad after a difficult month. First the Rossoneri were knocked out against Roma in the Europa League and then they lost the derby against Inter. The 3-3 draw against Genoa was far a positive result too, so a response is needed.

Pioli spoke to Sky a few moments before kick-off and he admitted that some of the excluded players would rather be starting. His comments were relayed by MilanNews.

How do you explain your selection choices?

“There’s a bit of everything. We haven’t won in six games, those who have played the most have given a lot and are not in the best moment, those who have played the least are physically and mentally freer. It’s all there, those are the reasons to have energy. We approached the last match badly, we need to approach better, have more energy.”

How did the excluded players react to this choice?

“I think they would have been happier playing from the start but will be ready to come on if needed.”

What do you feel like saying to the fans, who are protesting again?

“What we have created in recent years has been something fantastic and it is sad to see these situations. All together we have been much stronger, we have all been part of an important component and we have always put this energy on the pitch. We will try to do well , because coming second or third makes a big difference.”

The Supercoppa can be secured tonight…

“Right now the goal is to win again, it’s been too long since we won.”

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. Stand tall Pioli. You deserve it. You will always have a place in our history, and hopefully you don’t do well in Napoli or wherever you’re going.

  2. I think it’s not a good look from the fans. I understand if players don’t want to stay if the fans treat them this way. I don’t think the players deserve to be treated like this.

  3. Maybe his time is over and his limitations are showing this season (and last season tbh) but he doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.

    Under him Milan achieved stability and back to top teams after 8, 9? years of banter era. He bring one Scudetto and 5 top four finish for us. A cult hero in its finest.

    Hopefully the next coach can achieve, at least, the same result as him.

  4. Pioli is simply great. To win the league with this type of team is bravo, because, I think even Guadiola can not achieve that with a team like this.

    Walk with your head up Mr Pioli.

  5. It is sad and shows how fking ungrateful and childlish Milan fans are. Makes me don’t want to call myself a Milan fans.

    Sure Pioli isn’t a perfect manager but he doesn’t deserve this treatment after what he has done for the club.

  6. I am split, but I think he needs to stay. Still “overperforming” against salary spend. He and the club needs to be much better at managing physical pressure on the players in peak season to reduce injuries, and he beeds a few more and better players. I think he can get us there.
    New starting right back, a leader in the central defence (which we dont have when Kjaer leaves, and no, Fik is not a leader/organizer). A stable ball playing, but most importantly ball winning DM and a dynamic striker. And oh yes, we need a real captain. Not Calabria, Theo or whoever they have. No, a real leader.

  7. If you all get a chance, head over to http://www.calciomercato.com and read the article about the message the Curva Sud put out before today’s match. You talk about some powerful words of what we should be expecting as Milan fans and I think it is a shame that while we deserve answers, some of us are also satisfied with the level of play we have seen. It was very poetic on how Milanista want more and we forget of how far we had fallen to demand so much of a team that just doesn’t have it right now. Whether the coaching staff, ownership, players, or all there has to be more and we have to be better.

    While I have always stood by Pioli and what he as done this season has been nothing short of a miracle. To survive UCL against two semi-finalists and one playing in the championship, belissima! The first half of the season, being down to 1 true CB and moving Theo to CB or having to bring up Camarda, Zeroli, and Simic? We survived! But after the period of unrest, we were knocked out of Coppa Italia, to weeks later being knocked out by Roma in a horrible display. And then???? The crescendo of misery, we watched Inter claim the second star in what could only be described as the realization of how far behind Inter we were.

    Mr. Paoli, our gratitude of what you have brought us can only best be by thanking you for allowing us to believe again in our team. However, it is time to move on and think about our next chapter. We cannot thank you, but we need the next chapter in our history books and we need that 2nd star and we need that 8th European Championship.

    We have qualified for the Super Coppa and potential for a Derby Della Madonnina for the finals. Oh what a way to usher in a new Era. I hope, we as fans, all get what it is we want to make this team Champions again.

    Sempre Milan

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