Milan go into the 12th game of their Serie A season with much hope for a positive result. However, that hope quickly turns to water when Pioli and company realize it’s Juventus up next. The Rossoneri face the Bianconeri up next and if history is to go by, Juventus is never a great hunting ground for Milan (regardless of the venue) as the Rossoneri have lost their last eight meetings against the Italian champions – conceding 18 goals in the process via Fctables.
For Pioli, it continues what has been a tough start to his Milan career. Since his first game in charge against Leece, Milan have taken only four points from a possible 12 and more so the only win so far came against Spal who are currently bottom of the League. The Rossoneri have been haunted by individual errors week after week, and although performances were better this weekend, simple mistakes in the back-line proved to be costly. With a tough schedule ahead of them, it is looking like time for despair within Milan.
Milan currently sit at 11th place in the Serie A table. This is behind typical relegation-battling sides such as Cagliari and Hellas Verona. Six losses in eleven matches is the worst start in decades. To put things more in perspective, Pioli and company have only managed to score 11 goals in 11 matches. They’ve conceded 15 goals, giving them a disappointing goal difference of -4 (Skysports). The Rossoneri sit five points above relegation. With a tough schedule ahead, it’s understandable to see why Pioli could be in a tough situation real quick – if the pressure isn’t on already.
Milan will face Juventus in Turin this coming Sunday. Juventus is once again on top of the league table, and while they’ve not been at their best, they still have the tireless Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks which is literally enough to win them games. The Bianconeri will enter as strong favourites and any Milan result outside of a loss will be a major positive.
Considering Pioli’s tough fixture schedule since his arrival, it remains to be seen just how long Pioli would be given by the Milan hierarchy before the pressure piles on him like it once did under Giampaolo. The general sense though is that Milan are still under-performing and a continued form of poor results could see Pioli get the Giampaolo treatment once again.
Much recently, a report from La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews.it) reports that Milan’s owners Elliott Management are ready to spend necessary funds in January to help the team strengthen various positions. It could be the saving grace for Pioli to revive Milan’s poor form but he must first survive till January and further losses even reduce the chance of that.
The despair within Milan stems from their current position and product on the field. The team has looked better under Stefano Pioli, but still far below Milan expectations.
Champions League qualification was desperately needed. Eleven matches in, and it seems as if that rising dream is over. Eight points behind the top four may very well be too much to overcome, especially with Juventus and Napoli coming up in the schedule.
Milan can hope for an improved style of play to boost both player and fan morale, and perhaps Europa League qualification.
A loss against Juventus on Sunday will mean Pioli would have taken four points from a possible 15 and eyeballs would have to be raised whether he is the right man to bring back the glory days to the Rossoneri for once more