Vitiello: The three big marks against Pioli as he battles for Milan future

By Euan Burns -

Despite AC Milan currently sitting second in Serie A and heading for the quarter-finals of the Europa League, there is a widespread belief that Stefano Pioli will lose his job come the end of the season.

According to Antonio Vitiello at Milan News, there are three key reasons as to why the writing is on the wall for Pioli, despite what is on paper not a very disappointing season.

The first is the style of play. Whilst Milan have their moments of brilliance, there are many games that go by with very little in the way of exciting football. No team has won more games by a 1-0 scoreline than Milan in Serie A this season.

Another factor working against Pioli is the number of injuries that players have been getting. Many at the club think this is the result of poor load management from Pioli and his team, which has cost the Rossoneri a lot of points this season.

Finally, Milan under Pioli have seen themselves fall too far behind Inter. He has lost five recent derby matches against Inter and the Nerazzurri are by far the superior team this season. That coupled with poor showing in the Coppa Italia and the Champions League does not reflect well on Pioli’s ability to take Milan to the top.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. I think its unfair to take the cl exit into the equation as all teams could have failed in their progress in the group of death and that was clear even before we played a single minute. I would also add a major reason why we didn’t progress was down to Leao trying to look good instead of just taking the simple shot when he had an open chance against newcastle in the first match. That pretty much cost our progression as i percieve it.
    Style wise i can understand some critique as we often plays a bit boring style passing the ball endlessly back and forth completely lacking urgency.
    Injuries could definitely be a critique but whether it falls back on him or our medical staff or simply a horendous amount of weird circumstances going against us might be up to debate. Even though the record has been especially atrocious this season I will argue though that milan has had grave injury issues for over ten years,
    In regard of Inter I think even if we had a near perfect season we would still be behind them because they simply has been superior but i would also add that the bottom level of the smaller teams has somewhat increased also causing many of the bigger teams trouble. In the end if we can make an actual upgrade like hiring Klopp then im fine with that but in no way if its conte that is seen as a savior.

  2. Thank You Euan Burns for stirring the pot with this riveting piece. Now watch the Peanut Gallery crawl out of the woodworks for this…

  3. “despite what is on paper not a very disappointing season.”
    What would be considered a very disappointing season? Being in the relegation zone?
    It’s a very disappointing season. The media and some fans wanna lower the standards just so they can make it seem like it’s not a bad year.
    Spent by far the most money in the summer listening to Pioli’s wishes and Milan is out of the Scudetto race in February after they were out of it in January last season.
    Failed to get out of the UCL group stage which was an objective before the season.
    Knocked out of Copa Italia in the quarter final at home to Atalanta, after they got knocked out at the same round last season to a 10 man Torino at home again.
    That’s besides Milan being awful defensively, playing wayward playground style of football with not even a little hint of organized structured play. Being owned by your biggest rival, record setting number of injuries and the coaches inability for a 2nd year in a row to find a way to use the most expensive signing of the summer.
    No matter how this season ends, Milan needs a new coach. If they are a serious club, they should already have struck a deal with a new coach and work with him behind the scenes on the team for next season.
    The current coach has been there for 5 years not 2 months like De Rossi. How Roma finishes this season should factor in what they do with De Rossi.
    How Milan finishes this season should play no role in the coaching decision.

    1. Bro the banter years were disappointing seasons, talk about low standards? I don’t think you appreciate where Milan were 5 years ago and you take for granted where they are now. Pioli has run his course that was clear last year. However the last half decade of the Burlesconi era and Li’s time were unserious. You mustn’t have been around or perhaps are too young but those were the worst years (in terms of being a sports fan) of my and many other milanista’s life. I would have traded a nut for Milan to just be competitive again. Then the Americans showed up and for the first time in a long time got serious.
      You think Motta is going to tell Bologna (in the mist of a battle for CL) he’s leaving them end of the year? You think officially making Pioli a lame duck will help Milan finish strong and secure second? Or would you rather Milan sign a guy how has left the last clubs he was at in a worse stop than when he got there?

      1. Oh no not another comment bringing up the banter era.
        Disappointment comes from failure to fulfill expectations, not in comparison with previous disappointing seasons.
        We are not debating what era is more disappointing.
        A disappointing season is a disappointing season and this season just like the last one is very disappointing.

  4. Oh, ffs, the 5 derbies are important but people are forgetting context and making a big deal out of it, instead repeating everything like a monkey.

    All 5 derbies are from 2023 to now… two of the derbies were at the beginning of the year (one in Serie A and one in the Italian cup) when we were in a big emergency and it was the time when Pioli started experimenting to make the bleeding stop (we were obviously worse than Inter and in the one that we lost 1-0 to a Lautaro header iirc, we were more preoccupied not to lose by a bigger margin)

    Two of the derbies are from the Champions cup where Inter came in much better shape physically and was able to get two quick goals.

    The last one, and the first leg of CL are the only ones that I put blame on Pioli, while there were some excuses especially on the last one (lots of new players, screwups by Thiaw and Theo, etc), he should have been more aware of how strong Inter was in midfield and the counterattack and played more cautiously instead of rushing to force a goal and getting punched in the mouth.

    Also let’s not forget that Inter has a significantly higher salary total, and while that might not seem like much, it is indicative of the quality of the players that each team has.

      1. Looking for excuses is a loser mentality.
        Inter has better players that’s why they are beating us? It’s not Pioli’s fault.?
        Inter isn’t just beating Milan, but embarrassing them.
        Also, if Inter has better players than Milan that means that they have better players than all serie A teams.
        How come Juventus only lost once to inter over the last 5 head to head games, Milan lost all 5.
        Fiorentina has 1 win and a draw.
        Napoli 1 win and a draw.
        Lazio 2 wins.
        Bologna 2 wins.
        Milan has 5 losses, 12 to 1 goal difference.
        Even Roma has a win during that period over inter.
        Everyone except Milan.
        Yep it’s the players that are the problem not the coach.

        1. I don’t understand why this group of haters is always using the “loser mentality” as explanation for people that don’t agree with them. Yes, in sports and in life you should always want more and more, better and better results, never be satisfied – I agree to the point that everyone has their limits at different level and at some point the extra pressure you impose on yourself is actually cooking you, not helping you. However, when people mature they start to develop common sense and realize if they constantly complain about everything, they are not ‘winner mentality’ advocates, they are just annoying brats.

          1. And on the topic, you can respectfully agree to disagree. Yes, you can always blame the coach for the overall performance of the team, but there is always someone to blame, right. Yes, Inter are more mature team, they are probably in top 3 right now globally as performance. Give them credit for that. Did we lose 5 times in a row – yes, do we like it – no. Were they with better and deeper squad in those 5 matches – hell yes.

            At the end the question about replacing Pioli is – is there a better alternative available. He has his strategic “wonder” moves, but he also has some advantages that are not given enough credit and will be once he is replaced.

          2. They lack depth and subsequently tie their whole esteem to Milan. Deep down they lack the esteem to accept that Milan are still in a recovery phase and are a couple years behind Inter. The second star hurts I know but that’s sports you can do everything well and still lose…

      2. It is Pioli’s fault in the sense that against superior opposition you have to adjust your game plan, and not press against a team who kills u in transition. Pioli never adjusts.

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