Sacchi offers advice to Pioli in order to help Milan have a ‘beautiful spring’

By Oliver Fisher -

Arrigo Sacchi believes that AC Milan can turn this good run of form into a ‘beautiful spring’, while offering some advice to head coach Stefano Pioli.

Milan made it five wins in a row yesterday against Hellas Verona away from home, and they moved three points above Juventus in the process to take a firmer grip on second place in the table.

Theo Hernandez got the opening goal not long before the break then Christian Pulisic doubled the advantage early in the second half. Noslin scored for Verona to cause a few jitters, but Samuel Chukwueze’s volley off the bench secured another important three points.

Sacchi spoke about the Rossoneri during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport (via PianetaMilan) and he began by sharing his thoughts on yesterday’s win at the Bentegodi.

“With the victory in Verona, Milan have extended their lead, even if there are still many games to go. The Rossoneri’s win was clear, but some things need to be corrected if they want to reach the finish line,” he said.

“Pioli’s team, in some moments of the match, were too stretched. The defensive phase is not always impeccable, also because the midfield does little filtering and the forward do not track back much.

“The question is basic: in this way the defenders are often exposed to one-on-one situations and can go into crisis. The objective must be that of having a compact team, because in this way everyone helps each other and everyone collaborates. If a player is 40 or 50 metres from where the action takes place, it’s like not having him.

“In Italy , unfortunately, we have not yet learned this simple rule: the closer the players are, the more they can lend a hand, they can press , they can attack the opponent and, consequently, allow the defenders to position themselves in the way better to avoid being jumped.”

Sacchi also spoke about certain individuals who seem to be enjoying a good run of form at the moment, such as Christian Pulisic who has now scored 12 goals for the season which is a personal high for him.

“Of the Rossoneri players, to also talk about positive things because there are some, I admired the growth of some individuals. Christian Pulisic above all. It seems to me that this boy, in his first season in Italy, is integrating well and is lending a hand to the team.

“He has good technique, excellent athletic qualities and also seems to me to be well disposed when it comes to tracking back in the non-possession phase.

“Now, to continue on this positive path that has lasted since the beginning of the year, to keep Juve at a distance and to try to get as far as possible in the Europa League, Pioli must focus on pressing, on a compact team, that he must move like an accordion, back and forth all together, all eleven, without pauses and at a high pace.

“If he succeeds, I am convinced that it will be a beautiful spring for Milan.”


Tags AC Milan Arrigo Sacchi


  1. Thiago Motta does this way better than Pioli. Bologna does not concede a lot of goals and they are just as good on the attack as well.

    Pioli has no balance in the defensive and attack. We score a lot but concede a lot. This is what teams like inter want so they will allow you to press them and have possession and hit you on the counter attack. Some thing Inter had a hard time to do with Bologna. Sigh.

    1. Yes, Milan need to improve defensively, but No, Bologna is not as good in the attacking phase as Milan. Milan has scored 13 more goals than Bologna has, and only Inter has a better goal differential than Milan.

  2. He’s not wrong at all. But for that you need players with specific characteristics. Sure modern football is erasing specific positions or roles assigned but mezz’alas playing pivot roles will never work.

    City play Rodri and Stones in pivot roles and now want to add Zubimendi next to Rodri. That’s pivot player profile. Not Reijnders, Musah or Adli. They’re more suited for trequartista role.

  3. Pioli hasn’t been able to ge Milan to defend better in transition. AM/RLC doesn’t track back quick/well enough. Leao and Giroud Don’t. Puli is the only one that tracks back quicker than the rest. The midfield pushes up too much and doesn’t always have enough time to help the d.

    So we get overrun in transition leaving our defenders to play 1on1 when that’s not really their strong suit …

    This has been a constant under Pioli. Especially this season.

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