Marco Giampaolo needed more time to have a genuine chance of implementing his plans for AC Milan, according to assistant coach Daniele Bonera.

Milan sacked Giampaolo following a 2-1 win over Genoa in October, his seventh match in charge.

The former Sampdoria boss presided over three victories and four defeats before the Rossoneri rushed to appoint Stefano Pioli – a move that, so far, has failed to lead to an upturn in the team's fortunes.

Pioli has led the team to four points from five games since his arrival, with their solitary triumph coming at home to lowly SPAL.

"In a few months, two coaches arrived with different working methods, two ways of thinking on a defensive level," Bonera, an assistant under both coaches, told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"With Giampaolo, we thought more about the ball. With Pioli, we are more practical and we work on the positioning of players.

"Giampaolo did not have the time he needed, but at a club like Milan there is never much time."

Asked about the players, Bonera said: "I see guys who are very committed. Many are really young, in their twenties. It takes time.

"We need patience, which is a rare commodity in football. We are trying to do better every day. I've never seen any of the players holding back because of fatigue."

Milan's problems could grow further if Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain launch a January bid to sign goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, as has been rumoured in recent days.

Bonera, who made over 150 Serie A appearances for Milan during his nine-year spell with the club as a player, recommends the 20-year-old Donnarumma remains with his boyhood club.

"As a fan and someone in love with Milan, I would recommend he stay with us," Bonera said.

"But he has staff and family who advise him."

Stefano Pioli says AC Milan fans who are protesting against his appointment as head coach are only making him more determined to succeed.

The 53-year-old was announced as the new Rossoneri boss on a two-year deal on Wednesday, the day after Marco Giampaolo's sacking was confirmed.

Some fans have already made their displeasure at the news known, with "#PioliOut" trending on social media given the coach's links with city rivals Inter.

Pioli, Inter boss in 2016-17 and said to have been a Nerazzurri fan as a child, says supporters are entitled to their view - but he is eager to prove them wrong.

"I have respect for the fans and they have the right to criticise, but this is an extra stimulus for me," he told reporters.

"I don't have social media and I'm not on there. If you find some profiles, they're not mine. I prefer people to criticise you while looking you in the eyes.

"The past is the past. I'm a man and a professional, who wants to do well. The judgements will be from what happens on the pitch, not from what I was as a child."

Pioli takes over a Milan side who have lost four of their opening seven Serie A matches of the season and are already four points adrift of the top four.

However, his goal is to instil some bravery into his players in order to get them back into the fight for a Champions League place.

"We'll be working on the players' heads as well as the set-up on the pitch. We've got 10 important days [in the international break] and I'll try to make the most of every moment," he said.

"[Giampaolo] is a good coach but he has different ideas. We start from a good level: I know this is a professional group, with top guys not only from a technical point of view but also a moral one.

"I'd like to make the team play in a positive way. I just have to give them all the courage possible.

"We have to fight to get into the Champions League."

Pioli's first game in charge will be at home to Lecce on October 20.

Stefano Pioli has been appointed as the new head coach of AC Milan, replacing the sacked Marco Giampaolo.

The Rossoneri severed ties with Giampaolo on Tuesday after just seven competitive games in charge, despite a thrilling 2-1 victory over Genoa on Saturday.

Milan confirmed Pioli's appointment in a statement on their official website on Wednesday.

"AC Milan announces the appointment with immediate effect of Mr Stefano Pioli as the new coach of the first team," the statement said.

Milan said 53-year-old Pioli has signed a two-year contract with them.

Former Inter boss Pioli had been out of working since resigning as head coach of Fiorentina in April.

Pioli spent barely six months in charge of Inter, joining in November 2016 and losing his job in May 2017, while he has also had a spell at Lazio.

Luciano Spalletti, sacked by Inter at the end of last term, had been linked, while Gennaro Gattuso was tipped with a swift return and Milan great Andriy Shevchenko was thought to have been under consideration.

Pioli's first aim will be to breathe life into a faltering Milan side, who are 10 points behind leaders Juventus after just seven matches and sit 13th in Serie A.

Gattuso led Milan to their highest placing since the 2012-13 campaign, but a failure to gain Champions League football and question marks over the team's style of play saw him replaced at the end of last season by Giampaolo, who spent three years at Sampdoria before taking the Milan job.

Marco Giampaolo has become the latest AC Milan head coach to see his time at San Siro cut unceremoniously short.

Appointed in June on an initial two-year contract, the 52-year-old oversaw just seven Serie A matches before becoming the seventh Rossoneri boss to be sacked since Massimiliano Allegri left in January 2014.

Four defeats and only six goals scored in those seven league games underlines the difficult start to the season Milan have made, even if they did battle to a decent win over Genoa on Saturday.

Still, sacking a coach so soon in a season is remarkably impatient and short-sighted, surely? Well, Opta data paints something of a different picture...


1 - This is the first team a Milan head coach has been sacked after the first seven matchdays of a Serie A season.

5 - There are actually only five coaches, including Giampaolo, who did not reach 10 games in all competitions in charge. The others are Arrigo Morselli (nine games, September to November 1953); Cristian Brocchi (seven games, April to May 2016); Bruno Arcari (six games, May to June 1956); and Paolo Barison (five games, June 1976).

4 - Giampaolo is the first Milan boss to lose four of his first six Serie A games since Italo Galbiati back in 1982. Giampaolo lost to Udinese, Inter, Torino and Fiorentina. In fact, the last Milan coach to lose three games in a row in the league was Vincenzo Montella in October 2017.

100 - Giampaolo's record in Serie A is an average of 1.17 points per game from 315 matches in total. Of the current coaches in Serie A to have taken charge of 100 or more matches, only Cagliari's Rolando Maran has a lower average (1.15 from 246 games). The next lowest is Sinisa Mihajlovic, another former Milan boss, who averages 1.4 points per game from 269 in total.

- Giampaolo is the second coach to be sacked in Serie A after the first seven matchdays - Giuseppe Iachini with Udinese was the first in 2016-17. The other? Giampaolo's successor at Sampdoria, Eusebio Di Francesco, also lasted just seven games this season before being dismissed on Monday.

Marco Giampaolo has been sacked as head coach of AC Milan after just seven games in charge.

The Rossoneri have endured a difficult start to the campaign and not even a 2-1 win over Genoa on Saturday was enough to convince the board to keep Giampaolo.

After replacing Gennaro Gattuso at San Siro, Giampaolo was tasked with building on Milan's fifth-place finish in Serie A last season but his tenure got off to a poor start with a 1-0 defeat at Udinese on opening weekend.

Victories over Brescia and Hellas Verona followed, but a 2-0 derby defeat to Inter preceded losses against Torino and Fiorentina.

In a brief statement published on Tuesday, the club said: "AC Milan announces it has relieved Mr. Marco Giampaolo from his position as coach of the first team.

"The club is grateful to Marco for the work carried out and wishes him all the best to come in his professional career."

Former Inter boss Stefano Pioli is expected to be named as Giampaolo's replacement.

Pioli has been out of work since resigning from his previous job at Fiorentina in April. He has also had spells with Lazio and the Nerazzurri during his coaching career, lasting just seven months in charge of the latter between November 2016 and May 2017.

Another former Inter boss in Luciano Spalletti had been linked, while Gattuso was tipped with a swift return and Milan great Andriy Shevchenko was thought to have been under consideration.

Pioli's immediate task will be to inspire a side sitting 13th in Serie A after seven matches, already 10 points adrift of leaders and defending champions Juventus.

Gattuso led Milan to their highest placing since the 2012-13 campaign, but a failure to gain Champions League football and question marks over the team's style of play saw him replaced by Giampaolo, who spent three years at Sampdoria before taking the Milan job.

Marco Giampaolo has been sacked as head coach of AC Milan after just seven games in charge.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be concerned that one more significant defeat could see him sacked as Manchester United manager.

Although Ed Woodward has given his backing to the former striker and insisted the club has faith in their longer-term plan, it seems the loss to Newcastle United on Sunday has caused particular concern.

AC Milan, meanwhile, could make a change in the dugout on Tuesday, while Real Madrid are considering a Chelsea midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – SOLKSJAER FACING SACK IF UNITED LOSE HANDSOMELY TO LIVERPOOL

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not survive at Manchester United if they suffer a significant defeat to Liverpool.

The Daily Mail and the Mirror claim executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was very concerned by the manner of the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, despite giving the manager public support.

It is suggested Woodward could choose to dismiss Solskjaer if United are beaten heavily by league leaders Liverpool on October 20 - much as Jose Mourinho was sacked after a 3-1 loss at Anfield last year.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are in desperate need of goals but one of their targets, Moussa Dembele, could be stolen away from Lyon by Everton for £40million in January, according to Football Insider.

AC Milan are another major club ready to make a change in the dugout. Gianluca Di Marzio claims the Rossoneri could replace Marco Giampaolo with former Inter boss Stefano Pioli as early as Tuesday.

- Inter, meanwhile, are plotting a bid for out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, according to Calciomercato.com.

Real Madrid appear to have turned a corner under Zinedine Zidane but the former France star still wants a new midfielder. Sport say he has sanctioned a possible January bid for Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

- In France, Sylvinho paid the price for Lyon's poor form - particularly Sunday's derby defeat to Saint-Etienne - and the Ligue 1 side are considering former Valencia boss Marcelino as his replacement, according to Soccer Link.

Marco Giampaolo's time at AC Milan could already be over and the Serie A giants are considering replacements.

Milan overcame Genoa for their third win in seven league games this season, but they are still struggling in 13th in the table.

Giampaolo's stint at the helm at San Siro may be over already after just over three months in charge.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN CONSIDER GIAMPAOLO'S FUTURE WITH PIOLI, SPALLETTI FAVOURITES

Milan are leaning towards sacking Giampaolo despite the win over Genoa, according to CalcioMercato.

SempreMilan reports the club almost sacked Giampaolo at half-time, when the side were trailing before fighting back.

According to Sky Sport, former Inter coaches Stefano Pioli and Luciano Spalletti are favourites for the Milan job.

 

ROUND-UP

- Looking to strengthen in January, Manchester United sent scouts to watch Lyon forward Moussa Dembele against Saint-Etienne on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail. Dembele came off the bench for struggling Lyon in the 1-0 loss.

- Juventus and Inter look set to battle for the Serie A title and they could be fighting elsewhere too. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Italian giants are set to fight to sign Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- Leicester City are looking for a replacement for Ben Chilwell as they prepare for clubs to bid for the left-back, according to The Sun, which links Manchester City and Chelsea with £50million moves for the England international.

- Out to improve their defence, Arsenal are targeting Wolves centre-back Willy Boly, according to The Sun. A France youth international, Boly joined Wolves from Porto, initially on loan before the move was made permanent last year.

- Newcastle United could make a move for Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall in January, The Sun reports. Worrall, 22, is coming out of contract at season's end and the Premier League club could land him on the cheap in early 2020.

Marco Giampaolo had full faith Pepe Reina would save Genoa's late penalty due to the strength of the AC Milan goalkeeper's character.

Former Sampdoria boss Giampaolo secured a vital win to boost his chances of keeping his job as Milan coach on Saturday - Franck Kessie's penalty ultimately proving the winner in a dramatic 2-1 triumph.

Reina, a late replacement for Gianluigi Donnarumma, made a vital contribution when he saved Lasse Schone's penalty, having earlier gifted the Genoa midfielder the opener when he bundled in a free-kick.

The win lifts some of the mounting pressure on Giampaolo, whose side had lost three on the bounce heading to Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

"I am quite cool-headed during a game, fortunately," Giampaolo told DAZN.

"I had doubts it was a penalty, but Reina has so much character that I had faith he would save it.

"It was a difficult match, we were under a lot of pressure, so I praise the lads for not letting go. I didn't even care if they misplaced a pass, the important thing was to give a response in terms of character.

"I want us to continue with this character, but obviously hope to get a sharper and higher quality style of football in the future.

"I want to see this team play better football, but it wasn't possible because they felt the pressure so much and needed the victory so badly.

"We had to scrape the last bit of determination and character. I couldn't ask them for beautiful football, as we had other objectives."

Giampaolo rolled the dice at half-time, taking off Hakan Calhanoglu and the ineffective Krzysztof Piatek, introducing Lucas Paqueta and Rafael Leao.

The duo inspired a six-minute turnaround, though Giampaolo insisted the comeback was a team effort.

"I liked Paqueta, he came on well, as did Leao, but I won't condemn those who they replaced," he added.

"I told the lads to keep their cool and turn it around. It's not wise to bleed in the presence of sharks. These forwards have different characteristics, but I know that Milan need all of those elements.

"I won't throw anyone out of the window. My objective is to keep everyone involved."

Pepe Reina atoned for two calamitous mistakes as his late penalty save saw AC Milan secure a remarkable 2-1 win over Genoa to hand under-pressure coach Marco Giampaolo a reprieve.

Reina, a late replacement for Gianluigi Donnarumma at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, gifted Lasse Schone an opener four minutes before the interval when he bundled in a free-kick.

Milan scored twice in the space of six second-half minutes to turn the game on its head, however - Theo Hernandez thumping in from a tight angle six minutes after the restart before Franck Kessie converted a VAR-assisted penalty.

The referee, who also dismissed substitutes Riccardo Saponara and Samu Castillejo, deemed Davide Biraschi's handball for that penalty was worthy of a straight red card, though Milan's numerical advantage disappeared when Davide Calabria received his marching orders.

Calabria's indiscipline looked set to cost Milan dearly when Reina charged in recklessly on Christian Kouame but, in another dramatic twist, the goalkeeper made a superb save from Schone's spot-kick to secure a vital triumph.

 

Reina kept the scores level when he denied Lukas Lerager early on, but he was to blame as Schone opened the scoring.

Though Schone's free-kick had some swerve, it should have proved a simple take for Reina, only for the former Napoli man to let the strike squirm out of his arms.

Cristian Romero missed a great chance for Genoa before half-time, before Saponara was sent off from the bench for complaining that the referee had not stopped the match for a head injury.

Krzysztof Piatek's ineffective return to Genoa was cut short at half-time, after which the visitors' fortunes improved, with Hernandez lashing home the equaliser.

The turnaround was complete two minutes later as Piatek's replacement Rafael Leao forced a handball from Biraschi, who saw red after the penalty was awarded following a VAR check.

Kessie made no mistake from 12 yards, but – having drawn a foul from Calabria which saw the Milan defender receive a second booking – Kouame won an 89th-minute penalty as he went down under pressure from Reina.

But Reina made amends, plunging low to his right to parry Schone's effort wide and save the day for Giampaolo.

What does it mean? Giampaolo back from the brink

A loss would have left Milan with five defeats from their opening seven league games – their worst start since 1938-38. With the Giampaolo project already under severe strain, his time may well have been up.

However, this turnaround – and the manner of it – could have just spared the former Sampdoria coach, though his Genoa counterpart Aurelio Andreazzoli, whose side sit 19th, may not be so lucky.

Reina's remarkable return

The writing appeared to be on the wall when Reina, after his calamity in the first half, needlessly dived in on Kouame, but the 37-year-old did not stick to the script as he helped Milan claw their way out of trouble.

Card-happy referee endures a difficult time

It was an extremely tough night for referee Maurizio Mariani who, with the assistance of VAR, did at least get the major calls correct.

By the letter of the law, Biraschi's sending off was the right decision, albeit a harsh one. However, Saponara's complaints over Mariani's failure to stop the play for a head injury were valid, while Milan substitute Castillejo also got on the wrong side of the official in the closing stages.

Key Opta Facts

- AC Milan have received the most red cards in the top five European leagues (5).
- Pepe Reina has saved two of the last six penalties he has faced in Serie A.
- This is the first match in the top five European league in the 2019-20 campaign that has featured four red cards.

What's next?

Milan return to San Siro after the international break as they take on Lecce. Genoa, meanwhile, face Parma.
 

Pepe Reina atoned for two calamitous mistakes as his late penalty save saw AC Milan secure a remarkable 2-1 win over Genoa to hand under-pressure coach Marco Giampaolo a reprieve.

Reina, a late replacement for Gianluigi Donnarumma at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, gifted Lasse Schone an opener four minutes before the interval when he bundled in a free-kick.

Milan scored twice in the space of six second-half minutes to turn the game on its head, however - Theo Hernandez thumping in from a tight angle six minutes after the restart before Franck Kessie converted a VAR-assisted penalty.

The referee, who also dismissed substitutes Riccardo Saponara and Samu Castillejo, deemed Davide Biraschi's handball for that penalty was worthy of a straight red card, though Milan's numerical advantage was cut when Davide Calabria received his marching orders.

Calabria's indiscipline looked set to cost Milan dearly when Reina charged in recklessly on Christian Kouame but, in another dramatic twist, the goalkeeper made a superb save from Schone's spot-kick to secure a vital triumph.

 

Marco Giampaolo insists he cannot afford to give up on Krzysztof Piatek amid reports the misfiring AC Milan striker will be dropped again this weekend.

Milan have taken just six points from their first six Serie A matches of the season, with new head coach Giampaolo already endured four defeats, while Piatek has scored only twice.

The Poland international was outstanding last term, netting 13 times for Genoa in the first half of the league campaign before joining Milan in a €35million deal and notching a further nine.

Rather than back Piatek to rediscover this form and lift the Rossoneri, however, it has been reported Giampaolo is thinking of leaving him out of the side for Saturday's trip to Genoa - just as he started from the bench against Brescia in August.

The coach would not rule out dropping Piatek but was adamant he is standing by the 24-year-old.

"Milan cannot give up on the most prolific striker in the league from last season," Giampaolo told a news conference. "If he does not score, who does? I can't do it.

"Piatek needs to endure it. He might have to spend some time on the bench like against Brescia but we need to have faith in him. The important players need to be in the trenches."

Giampaolo does not believe he has reason to question the Milan players' desire to perform for him, but he would rather they focused on themselves than their coach.

"At times of difficulty, the first thing a person can do is focus more," Giampaolo said. "Players then have to give their lives for the shirt and not for me.

"I've seen enthusiasm from the players from the first day, in their work and the training methods. That means that the team believes in what it's doing.

"We need to have strength in defeat, keep things steady, roll up our sleeves and focus on the details."

Giampaolo is not interested in making excuses, though, adding: "Nobody was expecting this situation but we're in it now and we have to get out of it.

"I won't discuss the fans' discontent or protests, but the team hasn't expressed itself as well it should have."

"We need to take responsibility in the right way and find the composure to play well on the ball. I'm worried about these dynamics.

"Following the past two defeats, you can't fail to pay more attention. But we also need the right character to play football. There's no other way."

Marco Giampaolo insisted he will not quit AC Milan despite coming under growing pressure following the team's worst start to a campaign in 81 years.

Milan have lost four of their first six Serie A matches under Giampaolo, who was brought in as a replacement for Gennaro Gattuso in June.

The 52-year-old took full responsibility for his side's dismal 3-1 defeat to Fiorentina last weekend - their third loss on the spin - but has refused throw in the towel so early in his tenure.

Reports in Italy claim former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been lined up as a possible replacement for Giampaolo, though the ex-Sampdoria boss is continuing to stand firm.

"We're working to do better. We were already working at 8 this morning," Giampaolo told Le Iene.

"You say I work a lot but work badly? We'll find the solution. Resigning? Never! Leaving means giving up and we never give up."

Giampaolo has previously admitted to having been a supporter of the Rossoneri's bitter rivals Inter and said two years ago he would like to coach them one day.

Ahead of Saturday's trip to Genoa, however, the Swiss-born Italian explained: "I said I supported Inter until I was 10, but I'm not a Trojan horse.

"We're not budgeting for a bad result against Genoa.

"We're working to eat the panettone. Our objectives are always at the maximum, we always think about doing our best.

"Milan are above individual interests."

AC Milan head coach Marco Giampaolo is under significant pressure after his side lost their fourth game in six Serie A matches this season, marking their worst start to a campaign in 81 years.

The last time a Rossoneri side lost four of their first six games of a Serie A season was in 1938-39, and the only previous occasion it occurred was in 1930-31.

Anything other than a victory at Genoa on Saturday could prompt the club's directors to call time on Giampaolo's tenure after just seven league games in charge, with the club 16th in the table as they head to Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris.

Giampaolo replaced Gennaro Gattuso as head coach at San Siro after the club finished fifth in Serie A in 2018-19, narrowly missing out on a place in this season's Champions League.

Paolo Maldini recognises AC Milan's situation looks "like a tunnel with no light" but insists the club will make no knee-jerk reactions in regards to head coach Marco Giampaolo.

The Rossoneri shambled their way to a 3-1 defeat against Fiorentina on Sunday, with Franck Ribery rolling back the years in a fine performance for the visitors against a Milan side who played for 35 minutes with 10 men thanks to Mateo Musacchio's red card.

It was Milan's fourth defeat in just six Serie A games under Giampaolo, who was brought in to replace Gennaro Gattuso, and there are already murmurings his position is under threat.

Andriy Shevchenko, former boss Massimiliano Allegri, Luciano Spalletti and Claudio Ranieri are all rumoured to be under consideration should Milan opt to make a change in the dugout.

Club legend Maldini, now Milan's technical director, accepted the performance against Fiorentina was unacceptable but said Giampaolo will have time to turn around their fortunes.

"We chose the coach, we will defend him, it is right to give him some time," he told Sky Sport Italia in quotes translated by Football Italia. 

"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.

"Right now, it might look like a tunnel with no light, but as our coach said, the way out is with hard work. 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.

"Of course, it is the fault of the players, the club, the coach, everyone. Last season, we finished one point off the Champions League places and they always supported us.

"I think the fans were right this evening to protest. The responsibility is to be shared around, otherwise it becomes too much of a burden to bear."

Maldini pointed to the fact the season is still in its relative infancy, but conceded he was disappointed the performance levels failed to match those they showed in a 2-1 loss to Torino.

"We are only six rounds in, all is not lost. We know that in football, situations can turn rapidly," he added. 

"The worrying thing is that we saw such a downturn in performance from the Torino game on Thursday.

"Explaining such a big setback in performance over three days is difficult, unless you realise that was played in Turin and this is at San Siro.

"This is a very prestigious jersey with a lot of history behind it and some of the players are very young, not yet able to support the history of it. That can be difficult."

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