Meandering Milan need a new Arrigo Sacchi
There is a danger that AC Milan will finish second in the league this season and continue to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that everything is fine.
SundayÃ¢ÂÂs fortuitous win at Chievo leaves the Rossoneri just two points behind Juventus. And if they overtake the Bianconeri it will only reinforce the delusory state of affairs that has clouded the clubÃ¢ÂÂs judgement in the last few years.
The sight of Adriano Galliani hugging Carlo Ancelotti in the stands at Verona Ã¢ÂÂ the coach having been sent there for Ã¢ÂÂprotestingÃ¢ÂÂ a free-kick decision too fervently Ã¢ÂÂ summed it all up.
Seedorf rescues Rossoneri at Chievo
It wasnÃ¢ÂÂt a Champions League final, it wasnÃ¢ÂÂt a Serie A title, but a 1-0 win over a run-of-the-mill side where the real hero had been Nelson Dida.
And how often do you see the name Dida and hero in the same sentence?
When you are opened up time and time again by Chievo and have to rely on someone possessing, at times, the same mental fortitude as Adriano then what hope is there of returning to the summit of the domestic and European game.
The Serie A title was there for the taking this season with no Champions League to stretch the squad.
And granted, injuries to Rino Gattuso and Ricky Kaka have hindered their challenge, but Ancelotti never grabbed the bull by the horns as he used to and instead attempted to protect fragile leads on too many occasions.
Lecce, Reggina and Genoa are three cases in point where valuable points were dropped, and what a difference wins would have made to mounting some sort of viable title bid.
Dida enjoys rare heroic moment: 2003 Champions League final
No wonder Carlo has got cuddlier as the years go by, resting on the laurels of reaching the Champions League final and winning two, all to the detriment of everything that Milan used to stand for.
Silvio Berlusconi calls his club a Ã¢ÂÂfamilyÃ¢ÂÂ where everyone sticks together. Wonderful sentiments they may be, but when he took over the running of Milan back in 1986 his first task was to look outside the confines of Milanello for a new coach.
Now is the time to find another Arrigo Sacchi - a man hungry for success and someone with a new mindset, ready to sweep away the overfed prima-donnas living off past glories and integrate some new faces into the first team.
Massimiliano Allegri shares a similar background to Sacchi although he actually played the game in Serie A: earning his coaching spurs in the lower leagues and this season turning Cagliari from relegation certainties into UEFA Cup candidates.
It's no wonder the Sardinian club have extended his contract for another two years, even if we all know that when it comes to employment stability a coachÃ¢ÂÂs contract means little.
Massimiliano Allegri: The man to save Milan?
What it does mean is that Cagliari can expect a hefty compensation pay-off if Milan do move to take Allegri away from his island, but then it cannot be anything compared to the salaries meted out to some back on the mainland.
Dida reportedly earns 8million euro a year, Andriy Shevchenko the same, Emerson 7m, Giuseppe Favalli 4m and Zeljko Kalac 3m.
Imagine using that near 30m plus the six million freed up when Paolo Maldini retires, not to mention the four million odd Ancelotti earns as part of a rebuilding strategy, under a highly-motivated new man in the shape of Allegri.
It may be a gamble but then thatÃ¢ÂÂs how Berlusconi started out with Milan in the first place.
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