With new talent as his disposal, this season proves to be a critical year for AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella as it is Champions League or bust for his newly bolstered side.
As the new Serie A season approaches this coming weekend, there is no player or coach that is under more pressure than Vincenzo Montella this season. While coaches of the past have been able to blame their bad tenures on lack of squad depth and talent, there is no excuse of Montella this season as his club as spent hundreds of millions of dollars on high profile names to help bring Milan back to where it belongs, the Champions League.
While last season can be considered somewhat successful after leading Milan to a Europa League finish, Montella will be under heavy scrutiny should he fail to guide his team to a top four finish this season. In seasons past, Montella has always been given the benefit of the doubt when it came to squad depth and talent. Even looking back at his tenure with Fiorentina, Montella came close to guiding his team to a Champions League place but seemingly fell just short every time.
Heading into the 2017-2018 Serie A season, Montella has all the tools at his disposal. Montella has proven players at every position on the field and in addition also possess some quality squad depth.
With new arrivals Frank Kessie, Leonardo Bonucci, Hakan Calhanoglu, Andre Silva, Mateo Musacchio, Ricardo Rodriguez and Lucas Biglia, Montella has immediately been eight new starters that will fill in alongside the already proven likes of Suso, Giacomo Bonaventura, and goalkeeper Gianlugi Donnarumma.
In addition Montella will have the likes of Riccardo Montolivo, Manuel Locatelli, Nikola Kalinic, Fabio Borini and many more to bring in off the bench.
It is never easy to overhaul a squad and introduce more than ten new faces to the lineup, however that is the task Montella is faced with this upcoming season. Although Milan have an European competition to compete in, Montella will mostly be judged on his success at the domestic level.
While many expect Juventus to repeat as champions once again in Serie A, there is no reason why this Milan side should not be competing with the likes of Napoli, Rome, and Inter for the other top places in Serie A. This upcoming season will prove critical in determining if Montella is the right man to lead Milan back to the glory days of the past.
Failure to land AC Milan in the Champions League would prove catastrophic for the club due to certain FFP punishments that would cripple the club’s ability to spend. It also would put a black eye not only on AC Milan but Vincenzo Montella as a coach for failing to bring the Rossoneri back into Europe’s top stage with the club’s best side in recent years.