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Maldini: “Giampaolo was our choice and we will always defend him, we are only six rounds in and all is not lost”

Paolo Maldini before Milan-Fiorentina at Stadio San Siro on September 29, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

Paolo Maldini spoke after the Fiorentina defeat about the position of Marco Giampaolo and on the weight Stadio San Siro has on the players.

Milan lost their four games in six matches and the period of Marco Giampaolo at the club has so far been all-negative.

Giampaolo was the choice of Paolo Maldini, Zvonimir Boban and Frederic Massara to work with the young team of the Rossoneri and to raise the level of the game. However, nothing positive has come out of it yet. Last night Milan lost to Fiorentina 3-1 at Stadio San Siro and the Curva Sud protested by vacating their seats after Franck Ribéry scored the Viola’s third.

“The coach was a shared choice of ours, we will always defend him,” Maldini told Sky Sport Italia at the end of the game. “It is right to give him time, we know we have a young team. We knew there were some problems that we’d run into, although obviously we didn’t expect to lose four of the first six games, but also the quality of the football is unsatisfactory.

Marco Giampaolo during Milan-Fiorentina at Stadio San Siro on September 29, 2019. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“Right now, it might look like a tunnel with no light, but as our Coach said, the way out is with hard work to improve a game that does not flow as it should. We knew that relying on a young squad, during the period when we are waiting for the coach to really become a leadership figure, there could be a risk of the pressure getting to them. San Siro and its impact on the players should also be considered.

“The blame? The blame lies with the club, the coach and the players. The demonstration of the fans who left is right. Last year we did not offer a beautiful show at the level of the game, even though we were a point from the Champions League, and the fans were always there. It’s normal for the fans to have protested.

Fiorentina players celebrating at the end of Milan-Fiorentina at Stadio San Siro on September 29, 2019. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“What to do? The responsibility is to be shared around, otherwise it becomes too much of a burden to bear. We are only six rounds in, all is not lost. We know that in football, situations can turn rapidly. The worrying thing is that we saw such a downturn in performance from the Torino game on Thursday.

“The problems? It’s strange, because we played very well during pre-season and showed good organization. There started to be some traffic in the central area of the field, causing some tactical problems and difficulty in moving the ball around. The explanation may be the fact of playing at San Siro, this thing is not calculated. The Milan badge makes you play with a very heavy shirt, with a lot of history behind it and some of the players are very young, not yet able to handle the comparison with the teams of the past. That can be difficult.

Krzysztof Piątek during Milan-Fiorentina at Stadio San Siro on September 29, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“The formation? Giampaolo has worked with many systems and the day we first met, we discussed the variables, that football cannot be reduced to just numbers and shapes. You must be ready to realize where we can change and find a way around the obstacles. That isn’t just for the Coach, but also the players, because they might be young, but they do have some experience.

“My role? It’s always halfway between ownership and sports management, we share the problems with the coach and the players. These are good lads and if anything, we sometimes expect a more determined reaction from some of them. As I said, we knew that building a young, inexperienced and talented team would run this sort of risk.

Despite Maldini’s words, ANSA and Milannews.it are both reporting that these are hours of reflection for the club in regards to Giampaolo. Rui Garcia has been named as a possible replacement.

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