Sacchi explains why he ‘wouldn’t overlook’ Milan in the Scudetto race: “Unity is strength”

By Oliver Fisher -

Arrigo Sacchi has been very critical of AC Milan’s performances in recent week, and yet he has claimed that he would not write them off in the battle to win the Scudetto.

Milan’s Scudetto have been called into question after three negative results above all: the 5-1 defeat to Inter in the derby, the 1-0 home loss to Juventus (with 10 men from the 40th minute) and the 2-2 draw against Napoli on Sunday in which they led 2-0.

Despite this, there is a more favourable run of games – at least on paper – to come after a very tough opening 10 rounds in the league. This must be balanced with the Champions League, where hopes are dwindling after obtaining just two points from the first three games.

Sacchi spoke in his weekly piece for La Gazzetta dello Sport about the battle to be crowned champions of Italy, something that many believe will be a two-horse race which is a notion he does not agree with.

“Many predict an Inter-Juve duel for the scudetto, and maybe it will really end this way, but I believe that Milan, at least the Milan seen on Sunday evening in Naples, are in full battle. Look at the standings: they are three points behind the Nerazzurri, it’s not that far away,” he said.

“Furthermore, and this is the thing that in my opinion must be underlined, after two consecutive defeats against Juve and against PSG, with all the controversies and tensions that accompanied them, the Rossoneri had the strength and courage to to react.

“Against Napoli they played an excellent first half, during which they could have scored at least three or four goals. Garcia’s team was put in clear difficulty, Pioli’s attackers were particularly lively and willing even in tracking back. And then I finally saw a compact, attentive, dynamic team.

“These are important signals that must be understood by the coach, and Pioli will certainly have done so, and by the entire environment to create that situation of enthusiasm, positivity and optimism that is the basis of every undertaking.

“It will be objected to me that Milan dropped in the second half, and this is undeniable. However, despite him making the mistake of letting their opponents back into the game, they did not become disunited and tried with his technical qualities and moral strength not to go down.

“It was not obvious that they would react in this way after what had happened especially in the Champions League in Paris. This means that, even if it is not yet fully recovered, Pioli’s team is on the path to improvement.

“The fundamental thing is that the Rossoneri demonstrate will: the will to do things during training, the will to achieve the objectives, the will to pursue the coach’s project and apply his ideas. When they are a team, when they play as a collective, Milan is strong and we don’t find that out today.

“The problem is that, so far, they haven’t always succeeded. The rather ambitious goal must be to play for 90 minutes as he did in the first half in Naples. So yes, we can have fun… Important improvements can be seen.

“Some players are not yet in top condition, and I am thinking above all of Leao and Theo Hernandez, fundamental for the development of the Rossoneri’s manoeuvre. Pioli will be doing recovery work on them to bring them to the top.

“Let’s look at the calendar: the Rossoneri have it better than Inter and Juve, who among other things will have to face each other and will therefore take points away from each other. But, beyond these details, what must reassure Milan fans is the group’s ability to react.

“This summer the club has changed a lot, many kids have arrived from abroad, some returning from less than exciting seasons, and a good dose of patience is therefore needed to assemble all the gears and make the engine work. I was taught that patience is a virtue as long as you have reliable people who behave with seriousness and humility.

“I don’t know Pioli’s boys, but I imagine they were chosen carefully and paying attention above all to their human qualities even before their technical ones. The club is proving to be very close to the coach, they are supporting him and this is what he must do if he wants to achieve important successes.

“Unity is strength, it has always been said. And the proverb never fits better than in this case. In conclusion, therefore, it is true that Milan have failed a few times, it is true that they have lost badly against Inter, Juve and Paris Saint-Germain, it is true that they are hanging by a thread in the Champions League.

“But it is equally It’s true that he has a gap in the league that can easily be closed and, if they grow from a playing point of view, they have ample room for improvement. Maybe the Scudetto fight will be reduced to a duel between Inter and Juve, but I wouldn’t overlook Milan today.”

Tags AC Milan Arrigo Sacchi


  1. Yes, cool. But you still can’t fall apart every time you face a good team. Napoli has been falling apart this season due to manager change, they had similar half times against bottom of the table teams. Milan still managed to lose 2 points from that game somehow.

  2. “I don’t know Pioli’s boys, but I imagine they were chosen carefully and paying attention above all to their human qualities even before their technical ones. The club is proving to be very close to the coach, they are supporting him and this is what he must do if he wants to achieve important successes.”

    Sacchi is being kind. He doesn’t want to be seen as inciting, after all nobody wishes for the downfall of another person. However, there are deep rooted issues with Milan highlighted by the opening lines, “I don’t know Pioli’s boys…”

  3. We always look good against open teams. But as soon as we get a defensive team we suffer. Or a team that basically closes up.

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