Sacchi highlights the most worrying aspect of Milan’s slump after Dortmund loss

By Oliver Fisher -

Arrigo Sacchi believes that AC Milan have once again demonstrated a lack of unity on the field, but stressed his belief that Stefano Pioli deserves more time to put things right.

Milan’s hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League were all but ended last night as they lost 3-1 at home to Borussia Dortmund. Olivier Giroud missed an early penalty then at the other end Marco Reus scored one, and that would set the tone for the night.

Malick Thiaw’s injury forced Rade Krunic to come on at centre-back and that appeared to be a big turning point in the game. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens put the away side 2-1 up, and then Karim Adeyemi scored 10 minutes later to seal the deal.

Sacchi spoke in a post-match column for La Gazzetta dello Sport in which he gave his thoughts on the nightmare against Dortmund and what he saw on the field which gave him a lot of concern.

“The first thing that comes to me to write, and I write it with great regret, is that Milan have shown that they are not yet a team. And if you’re not a team, if you’re not a collective, if you play individually, if you don’t have the correct distances between departments and if you don’t press, you’re in trouble in Europe,” he said.

“This is what the match at San Siro against Borussia Dortmund said. Now the road to qualification for the Rossoneri is an almost impossible climb, a sort of Mortirolo to climb. I hope they succeed, even if other results have to be added, but the reality is that this Milan does not give peace of mind, does not convey security, does not have the necessary balance.

“It’s true that Giroud’s missed penalty perhaps affected the performance, but it’s equally true that Pioli’s boys managed to get the match back on track. Chukwueze’s goal was beautiful, an appreciable, courageous action, which however was not followed by others. And here lies the problem.

“Too many ups and downs during the same match and too many inattentions, especially in the defensive department. Look at the Germans’ 2-1 goal: the Rossoneri are poorly positioned, one goes to double the man, doesn’t get the ball and leaves the opponent free on the outside.

“These errors, at an international level, are paid for: it is inevitable. Just as it is inevitable to think that this team was built this summer by introducing many new faces, especially foreigners, and it takes a lot of time to give a clear identity to the whole group.

“Another detail not to be overlooked: Milan arrived at this match with their men counted. Pioli had little chance of redesigning the line-up with substitutions. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Thiaw also got hurt: the issue of chain injuries is weighing heavily on the construction of the team and a remedy must be found as soon as possible.

“It cannot be said that the commitment was lacking. Far from it. Whoever took the field gave everything they had. The trouble is that this ‘everything’ was not enough to overcome the obstacle and this defeat risks jeopardising the next period.

“In these conditions the psychological stability of the team is fundamental and it is above all on this aspect that Pioli will work so that his men do not fall into depression. Against the Germans I saw Chukwueze well, excellent ideas, good speed, but it’s the collective in general that didn’t work as it should have.

“Sometimes Milan are too stretched, not very compact and in this way the fundamental collaboration between the departments is missing. The growth process is still ongoing, this is quite evident and it is also normal that this is the case considering how many players were purchased in the summer.

“If it takes nine months to make a baby, do we want to give a coach the right amount of time to give substance to his project? I know that patience is a quality unknown to the fans, I know that everyone would like the best from the start of the season, but in this case it is necessary to wait, think, reflect and insist on the ideas that have been proposed to the players. Haste, in football as in life, is never a good advisor.”

Tags AC Milan Arrigo Sacchi


  1. Dude talks about making babies. Unhinged much?
    Pioli had this group since July. That’s 5 months. If they aren’t playing right after 5 months they never will.
    Sack the baldy and Sacchi should go on an extended vacation somewhere and shut the fûck up. Dude hasn’t coached in over 20 years, all he does now is talk. Talk. Talk. Come take the helm and show us how it’s done…

    1. I generally respect you but show some freaking respect towards a milan great who actually has coached on the highest level and has inspired the modern day greats of coaches of the sport which you propably never has and if so only on a low level.
      He is not wrong either even if you disagree with his phrasing.

    2. Bro what do people do here? Same thing talk, talk talk but with vastly less of an informed opinion than Sacchi. Sacchi is a revolutionary coach with many trophies to his name and a legend of the game of football…he is able to say these thing because unlike, I would say, pretty much everyone on this forum he knows what the fck he’s talking about. And he wasn’t wrong..where in what he said was incorrect? He was spot on

      1. Exactly he has more football acumen in his pinky finger than all of us combined together, people might disagree with him but that just doesnt change the fact the we are all minors in his presence and he certainly should be shown some respect from everyone supporting the club.

  2. He’s right and like most fans, he’s been saying it since the Inter match. That was the first real test and the team failed miserably. We don’t play as a collective and the void in midfield leaves the defense exposed and the attack isolated. We spent 60 million on three identical midfielders, with no Serie A experience, at different stages of development, to start together. RLC is in his prime but was still considered a back-up to Tonali by Maldini and Massara. Reijnders has potential and some experience as a starter but in lower leagues. Musah with some potential but completely unproven. Why did we sign them? Because American owners like English speaking players?
    Look what we passed up on: Scamacca and Amrabat were signed on LOAN! Serie A proven Luis Alberto and Berrardi are doing very well, not to mention their added set-piece threat. I’m not sure how Kamada is doing but from what I’ve seen from him at Frankfurt and with Japan, he is much better than Reijnders.

    1. “RLC is in his prime but was still considered a back-up to Tonali by Maldini and Massara”. Glad ppl are realizing this. RLC would have been backup to Tonali and Bennacer, with RLC rotation for them and then Krunic as the “if something goes wrong” option. Now both of those back ups are starters smh 🤦‍♂️
      Btw Kamada and Reinjders play two different positions most times. Kamada is more of a CAM. He would have played CAM if we kept the 4231.

      1. But we weren’t planning for a 4-2-3-1 in the summer were we? Pioli had decided to use a 4-3-3. Also, how would we have signed a striker, Pulisic, Reijnders, RLC and Okafor on 50M? We also needed starting quality RW. So either we would have signed let’s say Scamacca for 30M and Pulisic for 20M, still had Saladmaker and Messias as backups (Pulisic would switch left in the event Leao got injured) and no additions to the middle, or we would have signed Scamacca for 30M, RLC for 20M and been starting Saladmaker or Messias at RW, with no backup for Leao. It’s kind of useless to cry about the past. We need to move forward. How do we fix this now, not what should we have done. In any case, the injury situation is massive and this can’t be ignore as a major reason we’re dropping points right now. I’ve never seen so many injuries. We have one active senior CB out of a group of five!

    2. I love Sandro and wish he’d stayed, but fully fit (and I know therein lies the problem but…), fully fit, RLC is comfortably the better player.

      Including wages, Amrabat is costing Utd 15m for one season where so far he has offered nothing. If you want him that badly I would expect he will be back at Fio in the summer…

  3. If some one who failed to his job stays you would have stayed
    Pioli is not the level to coach acmilan project hw damaged and desytroyed the good wiork started by Elliot.
    Iy was great wrong and un bearable mistake and unresponsiblity to trust this envested acnilan and also to keep him when sacking Maldiini
    Prevention is beeter than Cure.

  4. Don’t try to shift the blame on management with your theory that players should have Serie A experience to play. Which Series A team Who excelled in Europe the last 10 years?
    People just don’t get it in here. Pioli has reach his limit. There’s nothing more to expect from him as a coach. He is scared to play freely. Look at how he put his man Krunic as a central defender while he has Florenzi and Calabria who can play there. He can try play Krunic as a stricker

    1. “Which Series A team Who excelled in Europe the last 10 years?” Inter last year, Roma and Fiorentina also last year (3 finalists), Juve late 14-15 and 16-7. Napoli 2014-15.
      The Serie A point was about familiarity with the league. Plus it’s a requirement anyways both in the league and in Europe. Management made y’all think what we got were great players when really they’re nothing special

      1. I’m glad Pioli is Italian, otherwise you would’ve said AC Milan is in no style of play because we have a foreign coach and would’ve won everything with an Italian.
        Italian players are so good that’s why Italy missed 2 World Cups in a row and even struggled to qualified for Euro 2024. I am asking you again: which Italian players who’s been talked about everywhere in Europe and are ran after? None. You have a problem with foreign players but unfortunately for you all the Italian players you have now and you think are great are considered average at the European level

        1. My points are compartmentalized. You asked for Serie A teams that excelled in Europe in the last 10 years and I gave you them. Its not like there aren’t teams in Serie A that aren’t good in Europe thus dispelling the notion that Serie A players and teams can’t do well in Europe. Sacchi was saying we loaded up on a bunch of foreigners when there’s talent here in Serie A that can do the job. Inter right now is a prime example. They’re top 3 in Europe imo behind City and Bayern.

          Serie A does not mean Italian per se. You introduced Italian vs foreigners into your logic but this is about Serie A. I never said anything about Italians and foreign was in the context of the league not the players. There are also foreigners playing here. It doesn’t necessarily translate to the country team or else England would be winning the world Cup right left and centre. But I do think the league overall is not great.

      2. Not sure what you’re saying here, but are you saying all of those teams are more successful than ours because….they got further along in European competition? The only club winning trophies was Roma, who park the bus and then mamage to score a goal at some point. This works in knockout competition. If Mourinho were our coach you’d be complaining that our football is terrible. Juventus reach two finals, having paid 100M for Ronaldo at age 36 and then paid him a backbreaking amount. Fast-forward and Juventus has been found guilty of cooking the books and has been punished for that “achievement”. Napili has done nothing more than we have except play in Europe for longer recently. Inter did what? Reached a final last season? Ok, who did they beat in the semi-final? If Pioli wasn’t so inept against Inter (2-8 record), it might have been us. If you’re going back to 2010 then just go back 3 more years and we won the CL in 2007. I laugh at any comparison to Fiorentina on any level. 5 years ago were were not even playing in Europe and on the verge of bankruptcy and Serie D. You can spend 500M in a summer and still be mid-table (see Chelsea). All we need to do is get a better coach, find a good young striker and get a backup for Theo. This season is going to be disappointing, but the world is hardly collapsing. People need to take a deep breath.

  5. He’s right about everything but giving Pioli more time. He has had plenty of it (too much in fact) and it’s time to move forward in the summer.

    1. No problem if Tomori went down. In Pioli’s head, we have Krunic who can replace anyone, even Maignan. That’s why he doesn’t want him to leave the club because he’s irreplaceable and can replace anyone

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