Italian giants AC Milan have dispensed with the services of head coach Vincenzo Montella. The Rossoneri have replaced the former Roma striker with club icon Gennaro Gattuso.
Expectations were high at the club that this season the Rossoneri would return to their former glories. The clubs Chinese owners spent big in the summer recruiting the likes of Ricardo Rodriguez, Hakan Calhanoglu and Andre Silva in an effort to challenge for the Scudetto this season.
However, things have not quite gone to plan for the men from Milan. The team currently sits seventh in Serie A after collecting just 20 points from their 14 league games so far this season.
The decision was confirmed by the clubs official Twitter and will come as little surprise to Italian football fans.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) November 27, 2017
The decision to appoint Gattuso may prove to be a controversial one. The former Rangers boss had been managing the Rossoneri youth team. However, his last senior management role was at Pisa, were had mixed results. He helped the minnows to promotion from Serie C, only for his team to suffer relegation last season, despite a very good defensive record. Pisa scored just 22 goals in the Italian second tier, which condemned them to the drop.
Prior to his spell with Pisa, Gattuso had spells in charge of Swiss side Sion, Palermo and Greek side OFI Crete. The Milan job is a major step-up in standard from all of his previous managerial roles.
This season was Montella’s second in charge of the Rossoneri after leading the Italian giants to sixth place last season. A poor recent run of form spelt the end for Montella, as his side had won just two of their last nine games in Serie A. The Italian giants had qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League under Montella. However, their recent slump in form was enough to lead to Montella’s departure.
Former AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti had strongly been linked with returning to the San Siro dugout. Ancelotti spent eight years as AC Milan head coach from 2001-2009, winning the Italian title once and the Champions League on two occasions.
However, the experienced boss is reportedly keen to take a break from football management after leaving German giants Bayern Munich earlier this season, despite being the favourite to be appointed as the next Italy boss. Montella also did not take kindly to the rumours of Ancelotti replacing him in the dugout, stating that he could come and be his assistant if he wanted to return to Milan.
Gattuso’s first game in charge of AC Milan will be a Sunday morning trip to struggling Benevento. The minnows have lost all 13 of their Serie A games so far this season, scoring just six goals in the process.
The game will be an excellent opportunity for the inexperienced Gattuso to get off to a winning start in his new role. The Rossoneri cannot move up the Serie A table, though, as they currently trail sixth-place Sampdoria by six points. The men from Milan are also 18 points behind league leaders Napoli, so the Rossoneri look unlikely to mount a title challenge this season.