CM: Thiaw’s impressive outing casts further doubts on Pioli’s strategy with signings

By Oliver Fisher -

Malick Thiaw’s performance against Torino was one of the main positives from the 1-0 win, but in turn Stefano Pioli deserves questioning for his approach with the new signings. recall how Thiaw finally appeared again from the first minute after showing some promising glimpses during his first few months at the club. Before that, the German Under 21 central captain had been given a paltry 142 minutes of game time across five appearances.

Pioli obviously reserves the right to evaluate the process of introducing and adapting a player given he sees Thiaw on a daily basis, but the problems the defence has had in 2023 so far makes it seem strange he has now appeared more.

Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kalulu haven’t hit the same levels as last season, while Matteo Gabbia has not done much better and the precarious physical conditions that Simon Kjaer has shown after his return to the field means there is hardly a wealth of available options.

The same narrative applies to Yacine Adli and Aster Vranckx, but perhaps above all Charles De Ketelaere who was the big-money signing of the last summer window and has instead become Brahim Diaz’s back-up.

The struggles of Kjaer and Gabbia in defence, the evident decline from Tonali and Krunic in the middle of the field and the inconsistency of the forwards Brahim Diaz, Ante Rebic and Junior Messias fuel at least some suspicions about the rotations performed by Pioli.

Tags AC Milan Malick Thiaw


  1. No need for doubts, simply Pioli doesn’t know how to rotate, he doesn’t know how to use the players. Yes, he won the title (how and why is another discussion), but he is at the limit of his tactical knowledge and ability. Insisting on players that don’t perform.

  2. Because Pioli wait until he let the Players play. Every Signing his comment is: Theyre not yet ready. Even we would sign Mbappe he would wait 2-3 games to let him play..

  3. It’s crazy how some people think they know more than Pioli and his coaching staff who watches the players training every day.

    If Pioli says the player isn’t ready then they are not ready.

    1. Exactly. There are many scholars of football who just know to whine when the team slumps and only knows to celebrate wins. Shame on such fans!!!

    2. Oh, so Thiaw suddenly became ready overnight? No, he was most likely ready for some time now, just like the others are, it’s just that Pioli doesn’t have a clue.
      Diaz lost every ball he had against Torino, CDK or Adli couldn’t have been worse.
      Pioli has his strengths but also his weaknesses, I don’t understand how you can just assume he knows everything. That was clearly proven wrong in January.

      1. Thiaw made a 7 minute sub appearance in the end of the Verona game in the first month of the season and was the best defender on the pitch. Won like 4 straight duels for headers in the closing minutes of the game. The idea that he wasn’t ready until last week is some of the dumbest thinking I’ve seen on this forum.

  4. CdK has been given a fair amount of chance, but we know how that played out. In this kind of moment, where every point will be valuable, there’s no point on giving player chances when he doesn’t deliver.

    1. CDK actually never really played a horrible match to be honest ok he is not amazing but he was never actually horrible like Messias is every game but he still somehow plays all the time. I would understand if Diaz was actually any good but he is also useless most of the time. And every time CKD comes in, he has to play with Origi and Rebič of course he can’t do anything…

  5. This is getting out of hand, he weren’t that good, he did alright and was lucky with a few rash decisions that could have gone against him. If anything I think the slow intergration has helped him. Hope he continues to improve

  6. I really hope we dont spend 20m on Diaz. I’m not saying he is a bad player, although i dont rate him that highly, its just we have CDK, Maldini and Adli who can play in that position, and none of them are being given a chance whilst he seemingly continues to underperform.

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