Milan enter the Derby della Madonnina as favourites against an Inter side with on paper a far stronger squad, but in practice Vincenzo Montella has been able to create the kind of team spirit we haven’t seen at San Siro for a long time.
But there is now a steely determination about the former Roma player that was not on show before. From defending highly sought-after 金沙登录goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from the invasive questioning in the Press to handling a volatile Carlos Bacca, Montella has used his personable charm in such a way that cle澳门云鼎arly conveys that he will not be pushed around, even with the weight of expectation at such a high-profile club.
Uniting a squad that has previously been fragmented, he has been highly praised for his introduction of young Italian players into the team. This was clearly in evidence when 18-year-old Manuel Locatelli scored a rocket of a winner against Juventus with only his second ever shot on target in Serie A.
But the Rossoneri have defied all expectations, and what first appeared to be a slight mismatch has so far proven to be a great success. Not only has the Coach displayed some of his previous good qualities – particularly by bringing the best out of the talent has available – he has clearly worked on some areas that needed improvement.
This was blamed on the aforementioned lack of funding, but when Milan missed out on a real chance to close up on the Bianconeri in the table, those same frailties were on show. Montella’s men had done the hard work by beating Juventus, but then lost their advantage by losing 3-0 to Genoa in the following match.
Before the 2015-16 November international break, Milan had already suffered losses against Fiorentina, Genoa and Inter, plus a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Napoli. Those results left them sitting in sixth place, which would be their highest position in the league all season, but things are very different as they go into the Derby della Madonnina this weekend.
He was not out of work for very long, replacing Walter Zenga at Sampdoria in November 2015. After a shaky start, he avoided relegation for the Blucerchiati, but it was ultimately an unremarkable year for L’Aeroplanino.
This weekend’s derby has been made even more poignant by the fact that the Nerazzurri have a new man at the helm. With Milan the favourites, it will be a baptism of fire for Stefano Pioli. But should the man in the opposite dugout secure victory on Sunday, it is imperative that he avoids nullifying such a monumental win with a follow-up visit to Empoli in the next round.
Under new boss Montella, the Rossoneri have climbed to third place in the table and will take on cross-city rivals Inter in confident mood. Despite the plethora of sacked managers that preceded him and uncertainty surrounding a Chinese takeover, the former Fiorentina Coach has defied expectations in the opening rounds.
Three years with the Viola brought some success, as he secured three consecutive fourth place finishes in Serie A despite very little investment. This lack of funding ultimately caused a rift with the ownership that cost him his job, but 威尼斯开户undeterred, Montella continued to graft.
His appointment at Milan this summer seemed like it could have been heading for disaster, with the club adopting an ‘easy come, easy go’ policy with their Coaches, and little investment available for a man who had left Fiorentina under those very same circumstances.
The progress made by both club and Coach this term has been a delight for fans, however there remains one question mark over his abilities.
Montella has been on the brink of success before. His last season in charge of Fiorentina saw his side make the semi-final of the Europa League, Coppa Italia and were competing for third place in Serie A. In some ways the Coach had over-achieved, but ultimately fell at the final hurdle in all three races.