When Stefano Pioli was hired as the Milan boss on an interim basis, there was huge questions about the move. Some were worried about whether he could take the Rossoneri back to the top and some were worried about his past record. But the 2-1 win over Napoli on aggregate in the Champions League quarter-final should be a fitting knock in the face of his detractors.
Pioli has faced so many issues along the way at Milan. From constant injury issues, not having enough squad depth, questions about the quality of multiple players in the side and the recent poor spell in 2023, he has seen a fair bit of issues at the club. The transfers made in the summer of 2022 haven’t worked out either, leaving the Italian short of options in the side.
But you would never see Pioli complain about these issues in public. He gets on with it every single time, making the most of what he has. That is typified by how he changed to a 3-5-2 shape earlier in the year when things weren’t going right and this led to them knocking Tottenham out of the Champions League and returning to form. He has acted as a problem solver, even when there have been times when Milan have never actually had a quality right-wing option and attempts to sign one in the market have failed. But for Pioli, it has been all about finding solutions to problems and fixing them.
Whether Milan actually win the Champions League or not is a different issue, but Pioli has taken them to the semi-final of the competition and has won the Scudetto with them. That, in itself, should be considered a massive achievement considering the model Milan operate on. His detractors have been silenced ever so resoundingly.
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN