Journalist Luca Serafini believes that now is not the time for accusations and alibis but rather it is the exact moment to get behind the AC Milan squad to help them recover from a tough moment.
Milan have had a rather dreadful start to the new year having won just one of seven games and with the Scudetto now beyond them, the Coppa Italia no longer an objective and defeat in the Supercoppa final too.
The defence alone has been a real worry given that the Rossoneri have let in 18 goals across the seven competitive matches so far in 2023, which is the worst of any team across Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues and shows the need for immediate improvement.
Serafini spoke in his weekly column for MilanNews and was tasked with picking apart what is undoubtedly a delicate moment for everyone at Milan.
“I’ve seen and told about a lot of crises: that Scudetto lost after having had a seven-point lead over Inter… That terrible 73-74 with a 5-1 in the derby but three days later 2-0 against Borussia in the Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final,” he began.
“Marchioro sliding towards Serie B with Rivera on the right wing and Nereo Rocco arrives to save the barrack, even winning the Coppa Italia. And again with Sacchi, Capello, Tabarez, Terim, Zaccheroni Ancelotti…
“Each of those dark crises had its faces, its reasons, but I don’t remember the connotations of this accursed January. A bombastic progression towards shambles from Torino’s one goal to Lecce’s two to Riyadh’s three to Lazio’s four and Sassuolo’s five. Hammer blows that brought convictions and presumptions to their knees.
“We’ve been talking for 20 days now about injuries, slow recoveries, transfer market, tactics, modules, game system. Each has its own interpretation, however difficult to contradict. Now is the time for solutions, even drastic ones. And these can only be in the hands of Pioli and the team, however many speeches the management may have made to them.
“There is no time for accusations, for trials: we are now in the middle of the storm and the boat needs to be righted. We need to plug the leaks, resume the course, aim towards the ground. There is no different way than to work everyone, without exception, emptying water with buckets, rowing, fixing in the engine room.
“I still firmly believe that this ship is not the Titanic: it hit its iceberg, its icebergs, but it came from 3 years in which it sailed the seas with pride, unity of purpose, will, enthusiasm. Conviction in the project that was being built. You have to cling to these lifeboats, to your certainties of getting out of the storm thinking about how you got into the water.
“Once you reach the dock, once you land on the mainland, there will be time and ways to identify causes and culprits. That moment is not now. Now is just the time to have strength and courage, from the goalkeeper to a system that protects the defence more, compacts the team, produces results.
“The prediction of the derby given the cup Inter and after the beating of 2 weeks ago, seems closed, insurmountable, unsustainable. But it is a prediction, only a prediction: a theory that can be overturned by fighting, suffering, running, spitting out one’s soul. With humility, remembering who we are. And above all, where we want to go.”