SM: Top four finish would see Pioli keep his job as Milan head coach

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are one win away from securing a spot in the 2023-24 edition of the Champions League, and it would almost certainly see Stefano Pioli keep his job.

After the difficulties that Milan have had on the domestic front during 2023 it was understandable that speculation began to circulate suggesting that Pioli’s job might not be as safe as had been made out previously.

However, the Rossoneri are currently on course to finish in fourth spot and a win against Juventus (or Verona on the final matchday) would see them secure a spot in the Champions League, a competition they reached the semi-finals of this time around.

As our colleagues at confirm, if Milan were to get top four Pioli would certainly keep his job as head coach. The ownership set the target of qualification for the next Champions League, which is crucial because of the revenues it brings.

Winning the Scudetto again was very difficult, but the run in Europe was very much appreciated because of the money that brought it, even if it did end with a deserved defeat against rivals Inter in the final four.

However, there will certainly be a meeting at the end of the season to clarify what went wrong in Milan.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. Pioli should keep his job regardless of the finish. It never makes any sense how one point here or there determines a coach’s position anyway.

    Pioli, with the 3rd or 4th biggest wage bill is the 4th or 5th best performing team in the league whilst also reaching a UCL semi final (on one of the smallest budgets of any quarter finalist).

    The club would be crazy to replace him, like they were with Allegri, IMO. He’d instantly go somewhere else and make them better. And who do you want to replace him with? Conte, who won’t stop moaning, De Zerbi is no longer affordable since he’s getting English money, Spalletti would rather be in his vineyard…

    1. Well, there is a good argument to change coach based on the points dropped to bottom half clubs. We should handily be in the CL places, and not just scraping in and thanks to Juventus’ self-inflicted wound. The “final standings” for the purposes of evaluating his performance has to be done without including Juventus’ point deduction, as that had nothing to do with their or our performance on the pitch. So yes, we will technically have qualified for the CL, but when it comes to wins, draws and losses we’re not a CL team this season. That said, he will most likely get renewed and we’re going to have to endure another season of Leao or Theo being one-man teams to get us through games and while still being unable to break down teams in the low block. Be prepared to be second best to Inter again. My choices for replacement: De Zerbi (difficult as you noted), Spalletti (seemingly set for a sabbatical as you noted), Italiano, Motta, Palladino (although Palladino prefers a back 3 and that could break Leao again). Also keep an eye out for Gilardino, who completely turned Genoa around after taking over in October. He may among the next group of up and coming managers and we’ll know more next season when he’s in Serie A with Genoa.

  2. I dont even care about the table position. They been playing like crap and his managment of the team has been very poor this season. next season he will get the axe at the first stin of bad resaults (hope they dont come).
    I do think he should be replaced but if muricans dont wanna cash out for a real good coach then better he stays, i guess.
    This season has been weird for Milan

  3. anything but keeping pioli or for that sake the managment would be stupid. Yes our spring has been bad domestically but at the time o the world cup we had 2 points less than the previous season. In recent years milan has had some of the best numbers in statistics of winning percentages that broke records backwards for many years. The fact that pioli had a better wining percentage than any coach in the years spanning back to the mid 90ies capello sides untill this spring hit in hard shows he has done a marvelous job.
    This spring has been jeopardized by the lack of good depth in the squad as we had to fight extra hard in the cl but at the same time we are clearly VERY vulnerable if we are struck by injuries for our important players. Has pioli been perfect in utilizing substitues ? no but when he has called upon those who was periferal players they have hardly made apperances that justified their call ups either
    Guess what it stems from the lack of funds made available by the ownership and not a bad management or a bad coach even if both might do make some questionable choices that the fans disagree with,

      1. Likewise to you Elliotazzuri and yeah its been a long while since i posted over there but got a bit tired of how it was run but i still visits the site on a reguar basisl but just hasnt posted there for some time. Anyways hope you are doing good and if you want you can always come over here and post more here. Ive spoken with old rossoneriblog people and goal people here as well, sermpremians community has also become a lot more active than rossoneriblogs in the past years

        1. And we have Football-Italia people here too now. It’s where I was before they made it impossible to post since they’re trying to become a “legit” news site a la (where I used to be before Football-Italia). Milanmania before that.

          1. Yeah football italia as well even though ive only posted there sparringlyi as most of my comments got canned by theirlousy moderating. Still at least people can make a profile there now so in that sense its an improvemnt to some extent from my view point. Just made it a bit more troublesome for those not posting there frequently. Goal ,i pretty much ran their moderating but cut my ties with them some years ago but we had a lot of fun in that milan forum. Milan mania has gone under my radar so added it for my bookmarks for further scrutinization, 😀 thanks

    1. I think I would probably just err on the side of stability and keep Pioli, but I’ve become much less of a fan after what I saw in the second half of the season. Regardless of squad depth and injuries we are and were better than Cremonese, Spezia, Empoli, Bologna, Salernitana, Udinese and even Roma. Convert three of those from draw or losses to wins and we’re in second place.

      And it’s not just that we failed to win, the team just looked miserably poor in some of those games. In others they were the better team (like vs Roma, Bologna and Salernitana) and they did nothing. Why? Because Pioli has no clue how to breakdown a low block. The best evidence is comparing how we played against high-flying Napoli, basically dominating them over the course of the season (including the game we lost in October) vs how we were dominated in turn by Inter. To win titles you need to take 6 points from the likes of Spezia, Cremonese, Empoli, etc.

      1. ‘Ill never become a lesser fa regardless of results, if milan management calls me and ask me to burn down a competitors stadium i’ll propably wont think twice 😀
        kidding aside i get that its been a difficult spring but overall i think there is no reason to question our management or coach the questions should be directed towards the ownership if they doesnt act accordingly in this coming market. Obviously within reason but i expect some sort of intend shown this summer if or when we qualify for cl but people shouldnt set uo far too crazy demands either,

        regardless whether you reckon pioli as a coach lacking tatical qualities he has brought results. Give him a strong cm/cdm a strong right wing and a strong striker im sure the results will come back again. Unfortunately that wont 100% cut it as we also need a few more players to up the quality depth on the bench,

        1. Yes agree. That bald head coach maybe dont have quality like the other bald head ( guardiola) but it is not fair to sacked him if he can make AC Milan finish 3 or 4th serie A this season . Looking at how awful & disaster transfer market this season if pioli out then maldini too , but if pioli stay ,i hoping maldini buy player from pioli request not raw material like CDK

          1. I wouldnt even sack either of them in the event of not qualifying fr cl. for me it all comes back to cardinale if we doesnt qualify hence why im expecting some sort of intend shown by the ownership this summer.
            It would be a huge disapontment though buut it could propably have been avoided with a january transfer kit for maldini. Anyways im pretty sure we wil quaify in the end f day.

  4. I don’t know why the heat would be on Pioli with the injuries and limited options he had to work with ALL season… He did the best he has to work with. If anything, the pressure needs to be on Maldini and Gerry to produce a better transfer campaign.

    Our depth has been a joke. Look at Inter – plug & play all the way. Us? Only a decent starting 11 with flaws (RT Wing and AM)…

  5. Im not pioli die hard fans or pioli shining knight. I just want to say : to win match versus mid & bottom tier club in serie A you need to score goal . But how you can score with player like Rebic ( 3 goal ) , CDK ( 0 goal ) , Origi ( 2 goal) , Junior & Saladmaker never score more than 8 goal / season . We dont have free kick specialist like pirlo in the past ( it is hard to see free kick goal from AC Milan now ) . Main striker giroud already 37 years and cannot score 20 goal above / season. It is not about player value in transfermarkt, yes we have high value total squad in transfermarkt comparing to small club in serie A but our atacker player are flop and squad depth in bench are awful

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