Marco Giampaolo said he was not expecting such a poor display against Fiorentina, and stated ‘I take responsibility, of course, but I go forward because I believe in my ideas’.
Four defeats in six games. That is the record of Marco Giampaolo at the start of the 2019/20 Serie A season.
Last night at Stadio San Siro, the Diavolo took on Fiorentina of Vincenzo Montella in hope to put the bad start behind them. But hopes and reality are two very different things and the Viola ran through a pitiful and shameful Milan side for 90 minutes.
After 13′ minutes, Hakan Çalhanoğlu gave away possession for no reason and the move ended with Ismaël Bennacer committing a foul in the box and giving Fiorentina a penalty which was scored by Erick Pulgar. In the 55′ minute, Mateo Musacchio was sent off after a bad foul on Franck Ribéry and 10 minutes later Gaetano Castrovilli scored Fiorentina’s second goal.
In the 70′ minute, Fiorentina got another penalty (again after a Bennacer foul in the box), but Federico Chiesa’s shot was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma. In the 78′ minute, however, Fiorentina made it 3-0 with a wonderful Ribéry goal. Rafael Leão, who was the only positive note in a very, very gloomy evening, scored in the 80′ minute with a great effort to make it 3-1 at the end.
Milan received whistles all throughout the game and after the 3-0, the entire Curva Sud vacated their seats in protest of the ugly and bad Rossoneri they were watching.
“Three days ago the team in Turin had played a game full of personality and I had caught a glimpse of the things I want the team to do,” Giampaolo told Sky Italia. “On Sunday, the game was played badly, on an individual level, with no organization or sense of collective responsibility.
“Then there are strong young players who interpret things in a very individual way but that can only get you so far. The difference is the ability to be a team because otherwise it comes down to disorganization in the game. When things aren’t going well, you must have the strength to cling to your identity as a team. If we try to resolve things individually, we risk drowning in difficulties and that is what happened on Sunday.
“The protest of the fans? The fans are accustomed to something different, they have every right to protest. They are loyal and support Milan. We must go beyond these thigs. The management? I talked to them. I take responsibility, of course, but I go forward because I believe in my ideas.
“Individuals? It is not a question of individual players, on Sunday the team seemed to have found itself for the first time at San Siro without having done a training session together. This bothers me. You can lose but with order and doing things well. This was the thing that disappointed me about every single player.
“The errors committed? Up until three days ago, I liked the performance and saw good responses against Torino. Then the emotion and emotional aspects took over. On Sunday, the pressure got to them, they felt the absolute need to win and I told them to play with all the right ingredients to win, not waiting for events to happen. We had to create the events ourselves. Instead, the pressure weighed on us, we were tense, not reacting quickly enough and evidently feeling the pressure.
“What to do? I have to get the best out of every player and make this team as much of a unit as possible. If you can’t play the Milan quality and style, then I have to put on more quantity and try to make them more of a solid team and build on that. Doing things together helps you overcome difficulties. You share the load, you work together, and you don’t drown individually. That’s what I told the team at half-time.”
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Giampaolo said: “If I thought about resigning? No. What happened? The team thought about recovering on Friday and Saturday, they played on Thursday. I said that the team played like they never trained together. There were no signs after the game played in Turin, on Saturday the team had difficulties because they knew they had to win. This was a weight on their legs and on their heads. We didn’t have the mental serenity to be able to play a game that you had to win.
“The protest of the fans? The have rightly expressed disappointment. There is little to add. The team, through the performances, must drag the fans. On Sunday we were unable to do it, and during the season we’ve done it only partially. The fans give everything for the jersey and the colors, we are the ones who have to drag them.
“A lack of character and commitment? Three days ago I had different sensations, albeit there were mistakes. On Sunday we had great difficulty doing anything well. The justification I can find is that perhaps we had too much responsibility to have to win, which weighted physically and mentally. We made a lot of technical mistakes.”
In an interview with RAI, Giampaolo said: “Three days ago the team had given signs of recovery and personality. On Sunday we made a worse performance, perhaps we felt too much pressure to win and the red card put us in trouble. Definitely a performance no one was expecting, let alone me.
“What can be salvaged? In a game where you lose at home 3-1 and finish in 10 men there’s little to salvage. Right now we’re not sure about our ability to be a team. The rumours about my future? It’s part of my job. I’m not worried about that and I’m going to continue just thinking about doing the best I can.
“A lack of personality? I think that difficulties of this kind can only be solved through collective thinking, through things done together. Otherwise, there is a risk of drowning and drowning. The road is only that of the collective, the individualisms that emerge during a game fill the eyes but do not help the collective. I have to do my best with this team because I think it has qualities, I have to bring out the best potential from them without losing the ability to be a team. Coming out of difficult situations passes through doing things together and I must be good at recruiting players who have this in mind.”
Giampaolo also had an interview with MilanTV: “This was a negative surprise, the ability to not find the same track as last time, the same type of performance. Perhaps we felt the responsibility too much, the need to win at any cost. Because this is what is expected. The added pressure led us to lose lucidity, we even made basic mistakes. We made mistakes that highlight a lack of serenity.
“The team was unable to express itself in a clean way, even from a technical point of view, and from a mental point of view we were confused and too individualistic. The right path, for me, is to work as a team. Do everything together. No one should think they can settle the game alone because that doesn’t work.
“There’s a lot that needs to be sorted out, but to sort it all out I need to start with a shared way of thinking. Sometimes players get caught in trying to do things by themselves but if the team doesn’t work together then the team loses structure and order.
“Structure are order are what the team needs most. We must risk as little as possible in every game, we mustn’t put ourselves in the position to concede cheap goals as we did on Sunday due to our nativity, like the penalties which were given too easily. We need to grow, San Siro is an important stage and a great responsibility. I always try to put the team in the position to play with serenity.”