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Written By Onyeka Daniel

With the season almost half way, the results have not been really consistent for Italian Serie A side, AC Milan with the Rossoneri struggling for consistency and plenty of injury cases and this has increased the pressure on their manager, Stefano Pioli.

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The Rossoneri have struggled to impress this term, crashing out of the Champions League in the group stage and sitting 11 points behind league leaders Inter after 17 matches. Injuries and poor form have hampered their campaign so far, concerning supporters.

While the club is reportedly against sacking him, citing the injury crisis at the club as another factor, but the buck of the blame still rest at the feet of the manager, hence, he will have the next two to three games to save his job. Legendary manager, Fabio Capello has weighed in on the issue, analyzing Milan’s difficulties this season, offering some advice to Pioli and suggesting ideas ahead of the January transfer window.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport in a recent interview, Capello first weighed in on Milan’s various issues this season. “Now it makes no sense to change coach, but Pioli must find solutions. Continuing along the same line is not good. We need to understand where to act: defence, midfield, attack. Two years ago, Pioli had a formidable midfield at its disposal, with Tonali, Kessie, Bennacer, Calhanoglu.


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“What it is now is not clear, but the midfield is the engine of the team. I would act there, even if with so many absences it’s not easy. The teams that use counterattacks put Milan in difficulty, we’ve seen that several times. I would work on this and try to have a more attentive defence. “In the meantime, we could try new tactical solutions in defence. But the psychological aspect is also fundamental. Tactics provide remedies, but they can’t do everything.

“Playing as a unit wouldn’t be the remedy for all ills, but it would help. In this way, Milan could be less aggressive, but more orderly. “And at this moment it’s important to have balance and filter. I repeat, the midfield has changed a lot and is now neither fish nor fowl. I hope for Milan that Bennacer returns to being the player he was before his physical problems.

“I would change my way of thinking. In a defence without Tomori, Kjaer and Thiaw, there are many absentees. The central players are missing. We need to shake things up, change direction. But sacking Pioli now wouldn’t do much good.” He tried to find the reason behind the Rossoneri’s injury troubles this term. “I may be old-fashioned, but I think little preparation has been done to go and play in the USA or elsewhere, like many teams do. Go and play immediately for commercial reasons, then you pay the price.

“We should start working again in stages, but when you meet great teams, even in a friendly, nobody wants to lose. Now they have to deal with so many injuries, it’s complicated.” The former coach analysed the club’s work in the transfer market. “I would’ve signed two quality elements that change the team, not many prospects. Pioli, from what I read, approved everything. Let’s say he was corporate and condescending and now he has to correct the situation.

“Everything is still at stake. Of course, elimination from the Champions League hurts, but we shouldn’t get too emotional. But here, maybe enough with the algorithms.” He reflected on Milan’s decision to dismiss director Paolo Maldini in the summer. “If a management group makes a decision, it means that they are convinced of the goodness of the choice.

Beyond the abilities of Maldini and Massara, who did a good job, now it is a question of moving forward, because I repeat, there is still a lot at stake.” Finally, Capello discussed the qualities of former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has returned to Milan in a backroom role.

“He was a champion and he is an intelligent person. The problem is that from the statement written in political dialect it is not clear what role he has. “A technical role? The risk is that he will undermine Pioli’s leadership. The problem is not his ego, but what he is supposed to do in a practical way. I honestly don’t understand it and therefore it’s difficult to talk about it.” He further added.

Meanwhile…

Brazilian defender, Gleison Bremer has reportedly agreed to extend his contract with Juventus and is now expected to put pen to paper in the coming days. The 26-year-old has been a key figure under Massimiliano Allegri since his arrival from rivals Torino last year.

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This season, he’s seen over 1500 minutes of action across 17 matches, playing almost every available minute. Juventus, who are still in the early stages of their shift to sustainability, have been working to renew the contracts of various stars in their squad in recent months, negotiating with the agents of players like Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa.

According to a report from Italy, Bremer has agreed to sign a new deal with Juventus that will extend his stay by a further year to June 2028. A meeting between the club and his entourage after the win over Napoli this month proved decisive in the negotiations.

The defender, who currently earns around €5.5-6m net per season, will receive a slight salary adjustment in the form of add-ons. For the Bianconeri, the new deal allows them to spread out his amortization fee, helping shore up their balance sheets.

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