Milan fans are once again speculating on manager Vincenzo Montella’s future with the club after another disappointing result. The Rossoneri fell 2-0 to AS Roma at a crowded San Siro on Sunday afternoon in a match that was a lot more even than the scoreline actually showed.
It is no secret that Montella has seemed to be sitting on a hot seat recently, but the reality of a possible sacking increased after the team’s embarrassing result away at Sampdoria last week. Things looked better on Saturday for the first 80 minutes versus Rijeka in a Europa League fixture, but Rijeka’s near comeback once again raised questions on Montella’s managerial style. Milan pulled out the victory thanks to a moment of brilliance from Fabio Borini and Patrick Cutrone, but the result was not satisfying for one of the most storied clubs in all of football.
Montella had the chance to redeem himself versus Roma at home, but he fell short once again. Milan seemed to have better spirit and played their best football in a while, but defensive lapses cost them at the end.
Although some player performances have been a cause for concern, Montella’s tactics have been just as easy to blame. It simply did not seem like there was a legitimate game plan heading into the match. I Giallorossi have been one of the top teams in Italy for the last couple years, so it’s very worrying that the team didn’t look as prepared as they should’ve been. The aspect of the team’s game that made this noticeable was the amount of long passes and long shots they took. A team that does this most likely has not prepared adequately so they turn to those “tactics” and pure luck to win their game.
“With a bit of luck, it could’ve ended differently,” Montella told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Montella also went on to praise the team’s spirit, saying that the team is on the right path and that he was satisfied with the performance. Milan lost by two goals and couldn’t get a single goal out of their 17 shots, so that mentality isn’t ideal at all for a team struggling to find its identity.
These can all be used as reasons to call for Montella’s sacking, but finding a replacement is never as easy as it may seem from an outside perspective. The first name that comes to mind as a possible replacement, of course, is Carlo Ancelotti. Ancelotti was just sacked by Bayern Munich this past week, and has a wonderful and successful history with Milan. The question is, however, is if he would want to take over a struggling side or even return to management. It’s easy for fans to say the club “can just hire Ancelotti” without putting both parties’ interests into mind.
There are other alternatives available such as Laurent Blanc, Walter Mazzarri, and Paulo Sousa, but once again throwing their names out there is mere speculation.
Sacking a manager before midseason and hiring a new one with no time to develop his own squad is a major commitment, so naturally the club will take its time to make a decision. Milan reiterated its support for Montella after the match, but things can change quickly in the world of football. All signs point to Montella keeping his job for the Derby della Madonnina on October 15th, but another slip up may prove to be extremely costly.