Stefano Pioli has proven himself to be a coach able to get the most out of a squad the was certainly psychologically damaged when he arrived.
As Tuttosport reports (via MilanNews), the fact Milan are in first place in the Serie A table is not accidental, but rather the result of the evolution of the technical-sporting project that has a precise date as a keystone: 21 July 2020.
That was the date that the Rossoneri ran out 2-1 winners against Sassuolo at the MAPEI Stadium, and news broke during the first half of the game that Ralf Rangnick’s seemingly imminent arrival was off and that Pioli instead would be rewarded for his work with a new deal.
The Emilian has been able to create the alchemy that was missing in the Milan dressing room, though he does not just deserve praise for the psychological impact he has had on the group but also the tactical side to his management.
Since Lecce-Milan on 22 June – the first game after lockdown – Milan have amassed 16 victories and five draws in the league and a 0-0 draw in the Coppa Italia against Juventus. The record in the Europa League reads five wins, one draw and one defeat.
Expanding the range to the whole of 2020, Milan have played 41 games across the various competitions, collecting 92 points (at an average of 2.24 per game). Before the outbreak of the pandemic, Milan averaged 1.83 points per game, from the second half onwards the figure is 2.41.
The goals scored have increased (70) while they have conceded just 29 in 29 games. The stats show it: Milan’s path of growth is the perfect example of why continuity is sometimes the best course of action.