Mauro Tassotti has defended Paolo Maldini after his sacking from AC Milan, while he gave the management some transfer advice and told Rafael Leao to start aiming for a goal per game.
Maldini’s exit has once again come into the limelight after the former defender decided to break his silence on exactly what happened in early June when he gave a lengthy an interview with La Repubblica regarding the split, sharing details on the motive and his reactions.
You can read the full interview with Maldini here, while the reasons for the fall-out between Maldini and RedBird were debated at the time and continue to be debated. In the meantime, Stefano Pioli’s side are looking to move forward under the new management but repeated injury problems is making it tough.
Tassotti spoke during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport that was published this morning and he spoke about various topics from the January transfer window to the events of the last few months.
From the outside it’s difficult to comment pertinently but, as a former footballer and manager, what’s happening with all the injury problems at Milan? Can it be solved by training more, less or differently?
“To train more is difficult, there’s no time between one match and another. A coach must have the strength to rest those who are tired but it’s not easy, I assure you. It could have happened that MilanLab reported Kakà’s injury risk to us, Maldini, Nesta or another champion but… if there is a derby that Sunday, or Milan-Juve, what do you do?”
You won a Champions League with two alternative central defenders – Filippo Galli and Maldini – in 1994. Theo Hernandez played centrally on Saturday, were you impressed?
“Good but I would like to see him back out wide as soon as possible. His quality and speed are too important.”
How is the emergency resolved with the mercato? What kind of player do Milan need?
“I think a central defender is essential, there’s only one left… Then you have to make a decision on Jovic, because you can’t always ask Giroud to play three high-level games in a week.”
Would you recommend a player to Milan? Someone you like, not necessarily hyper-famous…
“I say Sudakov, who I had in the Ukrainian national team. I read that people talk about him and he’s interesting to me. Of course, I know that it’s difficult to bring him here from Ukraine.”
Is it right to move forward with Pioli?
“Of course, he deserves to stay. You can’t ask for much more than what he has done, he has enhanced many players and won a championship when no one asked him to win it.”
And Maldini’s farewell?
“In my opinion it was wrong to send him and Massara away, they achieved great results. Whoever puts in the money does what he wants but in short…”
Prediction: how will this Milan go this season?
“They will fight until the end for a Champions League place, from there onwards… let’s see.”
From there on, perhaps it depends on Leao?
“I have the impression that Leao is judged too much for his somewhat soft, light-hearted attitude, which is instead his way of behaving. It doesn’t mean that he isn’t committed.
“Now he doesn’t play for goals but for the beauty, but he will understand soon that he can score a goal a game. Maturity will come, I’m sure of it.”
What is the future for you? Do you want to go back to coaching?
“I wouldn’t want to move too far from Milan but that’s our job, sometimes it takes us far away.”
Who do you talk to about football? Maybe Ancelotti and Shevchenko, of whom you were also deputy at Genoa?
“I haven’t heard from Ancelotti lately, little or nothing. I hear from Shevchenko all the time and also from Allegri. He and Landucci are two friends.”