Sacchi: “Giampaolo must feel the esteem of the club like I felt it, Milan need to show Giampaolo confidence like Berlusconi and Galliani did with me”

Arrigo Sacchi during Bocelli and Zanetti Night on May 25, 2016 in Rho, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)

Arrigo Sacchi has written a column on today’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, urging Milan to not be hasty and keep their faith in Marco Giampaolo.

Marco Giampaolo’s start to his Milan career has certainly not gone according to plan as he’s lost 3 of the 5 first Serie A games and his team does not play anything that resembles the ‘beautiful football’ that was promised.

One of Giampaolo’s biggest advocates is legendary coach Arrigo Sacchi, who liked Giampaolo found some hardships at the beginning of his Milan career.

Sacchi wrote a column on Saturday’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport to discuss the situation of Giampaolo – who at least for now does not appear to be in risk of getting sacked.

“Giampaolo’s Milan has shown improvements that bode well for its future. Paolo Maldini compared this start with that of 1987, which then ended with the win of the league. I hope for them that the story repeats itself and that Marco’s men can find, in addition to confidence, greater determination and competitive spirit. It’s a young team that will always wait for its players with patience and maximum will. The coach is a much greater guarantee than I could have been in 1987. For years, Marco has been training in Serie C, Serie B and Serie A. In the last four seasons, the teams he led – Empoli, Sampdoria – went well-beyond expectations, playing football as protagonists, in a fun and beautiful way. He has enhanced many young players by proving himself to be a ‘true maestro’ with sensitivity and non-common ideas.

Marco Giampaolo during Torino-Milan at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on September 26, 2019. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

“The football of Marco is about is participation, unselfishness, enthusiasm and courage. Courage that makes you free like beauty, and ideas. It’s clear that the club must avoid being hasty, showing confidence and friendship like Berlusconi and Galliani did with me. I was a nobody, but the club trusted me and following my directions also in the transfer market. In the first games, we lost once in the league but twice in the UEFA Cup, where we ended up eliminated. A difficult and complicated start, but Berlusconi and Galliani did not lose hope and esteem. Symptomatic, for example, was the speech of the President after the match we lost at home, on the neutral pitch of Lecce, against Espanyol. It was a short and easy to understand speech: ‘those who follow him will stay and those who will not follow him will leave. Good job everyone’. Duration of the speech: 25 seconds. We have not lost a game afterwards and in the end there was the triumph [of the Scudetto] sanctioned by the applause of the Napoli crowd at San Paolo.

“Giampaolo must feel the esteem of the club like I felt it, only in this way will he be able to express his potential in a serene and cohesive environment. The club with its visions, its rules, its history and its leadership comes before the team, just like the team comes before each individual. Only if they all push in the same direction, united and convinced, will they speed up the adaptation of the young and will they increase the quality and determination. The coach in such a positive and serene context will be able to give space to his own knowledge and create a group synergy that will allow the individual to reach levels that he would never reach individually. Milan will have to return to being a homogeneous group, as willing and animated not like it’s now: this is the only way they can become big. The coach must be flexible with his own ideas, in order to transform the group into a team full of concepts and self-esteem. The Rossoneri can become a constantly evolving collective, in which everyone takes part in the defensive and offensive phases, and are multi-propose, linked by an invisible thread that is the play.

Roberto Donadoni, Filippo Galli, Mauro Tassotti, Franco Baresi, Arrigo Sacchi and Silvio Berlusconi with the Champions League trophy during Sacchi’s book presentation at Banco BPM auditorium on June 17, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“To become a team you need ideas and intensity, giving life to football means being professional athletes, reliable people and of value. It is necessary to act as collective intelligences that move on the basis of internalized connections which over time become so normal that they lead to acting unconsciously. All this is achieved through hard training and participation, in which everyone does their best to reach those guarantees that transform amateurs into Champions. Only if everyone remains united towards the objective, with excuses, scapegoats and with intense work, will it really be possible to make a change. The Current players should remember that they are at Milan, one of the most famous and greatest teams in the world: they should honor their presence with superior commitment, determination and will. They follow the coach and they’re heroes, each one doing what he’s able to do. Good luck, dear Milan.”

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