MN: Pioli’s selections deserve scrutiny as tense climate develops at Milan due to results crisis

By Oliver Fisher -

Some of Stefano Pioli’s decisions during last night’s loss against Napoli have come under criticism in the latest column on MilanNews.

Pietro Mazzara writes that it is virtually impossible to find anything positive from the result and the performance last night. There are question marks too about why in the 4-2-3-1 he continues to play a player like Krunic at the expense of a pure winger like Saelemaekers, and why the Bosnian did not play as the central attacking midfielder in place of Brahim Diaz, who has been poor recently.

There is ‘a tense climate that is evident’ as per Mazzara, because the dropping of so many points in recent weeks, the rise of Inter in the standings and the injury problem are all contributing to quite a difficult atmosphere.

The end product is a ‘crisis of results’ which coincided with the loss of many players, almost all of which were decisive, and now the reset button must be hit on Wednesday night against Empoli.

READ MORE: Milan player ratings from Napoli defeat – Kessie and Brahim Diaz chastised

Tags AC Milan Milan Napoli


  1. a team need a good tactician coach to solve this kind of problem. a coach who only rely on his players will faill in injury problem of the players

    1. Agreed 100% , we need to check the work of our coach, you can’t withdraw Tonali and expect Giroud and Zlatan to perform well. These two guys cannot create, they need through balls and square passes for tgem to score. Brahim is not that bad , with to employ anew system ie 4 1 2 1 2. This system will allow more space for our wing backs to move forward. At this moment we need a coach who will motivate n instil confidence eg Marcelo Lippi

  2. Ibra is too old, he should only be playing last 20 or 30 minutes of the game. Giroud is too old, he should only be playing chess on a bench in the park. Pellegri should look for a career change, maybe something in glass production. We need not one but 2 young, hungry competent strikers.

    Brahim should be worming the bench and maybe like Ibra coming on in the last 20 minutes when the game is already decided so there is no pressure. Krunic tries god bless him, but he is almost never playing in his natural position which is almost always the bench. We need at least on pure, proper 10. A trequartista that is confident with the ball, can pass, cross, dribble and score.

    Kessie is a distant memory, Yoko is a joke (still don’t understand why we took him over Pobega).

    We don’t need to strengthen our defense, our defense is fine. if we score more goals than our opponents we will win, always. It’s as simple as that.

    1. Well said, I totally agree with you. If the owners doesn’t want to invest in proper players and only rely on average players we will not win the league anytime soon. They always look for the cheapest way out which is often a gamble

  3. Pioli tactics selection deserve scrutiny.
    Our players do not fit his system anymore.
    In Serie A we had a lot of luck and can win most games because even injured the squad is still one of the best.
    In CL we only played good against Atletico who let us play whatever we wanted.

    Saele is a good young player but as a winger he is lost. Theo is lost in defence Brahim is isolated. Zlatan cannot do much alone up front

    One improvement I saw yesterday is that Pioli sees his style is not working as much and switched to 442.

    There was excellent article about the switch to 352 here. Since reading that and looking at the market im sold. We would get better results using excellent Theo and Kalulu more offensively than getting average Faivre. Belotti, Kamara, Sanches if possible and we could be really good, safely 1/16 team.

    1. The way Belotti gets injured in Torino is a clear indication that Milan coaching staff and Milan labs would literally kill him in a matter of days. He needs to stay away from Milan as far as possible if he knows what’s good for him.

  4. Faivre is “average” LOL. Ya ok. Lol. Kamara yes is a must and would love Sanches but don’t see us buying both and certainly not in January. Need a striker. Belotti is not the answer. Talk about average indeed – that is all he is. You can switch systems all you want but if you don’t have the players to fit that system the results will not change. I don’t mind trying a 3-5-2 occasionally but we don’t necessarily have the players for that system either. Do we have two starting caliber strikers that can play 90min every game? No. Do we have 3 defenders capable of playing in back 3? Perhaps w Kajer we could have – but now? No. You want to play a back 3 w Romagnolli (who is slow as molasses) and Tomori and am uproven Gabbia (who has never played in a back 3)??? Not sure how that would work. Perhaps Kalulu but he doesn’t have that experience either…Theo is a wing back yes – but that is how we play now. Typically a back 3 (Kajer/Tomori/Calabria) and we allow Theo to play advanced role w Kessie dropping back to CB. So I’m not sure we can do that mid season w the team we have.

    1. You are as bad as pioli is & others. Experience is sequendary when you are hungry to play & making a name for your self. The ref made a mistake but we lost because of pioli decisions. Pioli doesn’t have the ball to win it all or loose it all. Petagna faster them Romagnioli that is sad……. Maldini gave him the 1-0 vs SPZ bench as punish, gave him the tide last game bench again. Kalulu made an impact as soon as hi was in.

  5. I was sad when Milan decided to renew with Pioli. He is the reason we won’t progress above 2 place in serie A.
    He has two weaknesses: 1: poor player management – he gave up on paqueta, piatek, hauge, silva but he insists with krunic? Wtf?
    2. His obsolete tactics. 4-2-3-1 work well if you have a solid DM and quick LW/RW(Leao for ex). If you play salemekers and krunic as LW and RW you won’t be able to put any presure and create superiority.
    Above all, Maldini and Massara are to blame because they focus their market transfer on defensive departament when they should reinforce the attack. Have faith in gabbia.. he could become better than kjaer and romagnolli

    1. Marius I greed with you. It isn’t Gabbias fault it is the coach. We will not win serieA with this group. So we need to clean the house out lazy leao, & theo for good money jan or summer good buy.
      Kessie, Romagnioli, Diaz, Florenzi, krunic, Castillejo, Bakayoko, Conti & Pioli out there is no future with most of them. Buy Nunez, Cho, Luis Henrique , JJulian Alvarez, Snow, Tiago Dgialo, Obemerig, Jean Onana, Mauni plus Pobega, Adli & Hauge & move Gabbia back to DM to cover his pace or loan out. Play with balls cause we will have a very athletic defense with sides also to play one on one, no fear caution only or been wiser. Wingers priorities cross cross well cut inside an shoot. To win trophies & make history again but pioli isn’t the coach for the next level…..

  6. Pioli loves guys that run hard but have no offensive skill or attacking capabilities like Krunic and Saelemakers. How do you expect a 40 year old Ibra to create offense out of nothing? No help from anyone. Ibra won almost every aerial duel in that game flicking it on to teammates who could do nothing with it. Diaz is bad , Krunic is useless. Change the formation .put Theo on left wing when Leao is not there. Don’t even play attacking midfielder if you don’t have one. You need to change something up. And Pioli believes they played a great game! That’s the scariest part. 2 shots on goal. 1 shot on goal against Udinese. This is pathetic.

  7. Ibra’s age make him quiet easily targeted if u see the other article of players’ average positions u would understand who to blame. I see him every game doing good at 40 too. His positioning is good. His assisting is good. He is good set piece too. Now u dont say Ibra to play alone as attacker. In the article i was talking about above milan were playing 4-5-1 u still blame ibra. Our attackers didnt work together. We need rebic leao calabria back and get midfield duo first when ur build up is trash why blame ur striker. If milan players realize how to just keep urself good we will be great team. We have A* squad but injured. Winter target to get a mid fielder. Summer target to get back up players gabbia, ballo, baka are not ur back ups. We dont need speed in games i agree with u. U need to work as team. Florenzi, theo and leao mostly do this mistake but leao is still fine. Theo loses the ball so much too. Florenzi builds up but doesnt give a pass.

    1. And And And u line up any formation. When ur players dont have the certain capabilities u have to sit back. Wasnt klopp stuck with injuries. Wasnt he. Now his pool is best. So stop killing ur coach’s brain he is doing his best just wait. It is the players who should understand and keep themselves fit.

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