The ex-coach of Milan Montella gave an interview to La gazzetta dello sport the next day after his dismissal.
– What were you thinking about on your way to Milanello yesterday morning?
“I wasn’t nervous and didn’t suspect anything, I swear. I was getting ready for training as usual. Just an ordinary day.”
– and what surprised you most of all in this decision, which took you aback?
“the fact it has been made right now. There were moments when my quit seemed more appropriate. But now the team has shown better results”.
– what happened when you came to Milanello?
“I was met by Mangiarano, our general secretary, he led me to Mirabelli. He said that the authorities had made their decision at night. The time discrepancy tells much. I guess it was the owners’ decision rather than directors.
– what was happening in a locker room?
“all the players said a lot of kind , sincere words to me. I don’t like saying good bye but it was great to feel their support. Even Montolivo, who hasn’t played long and Paletta, who didn’t go out in the field at all, were friendly to me.”
– what was the important mistake, in your opinion?
“the expectations were too high”
– yours or the club’s?
– and what is your main merit?
“as a coach of Milan I’ve won 33 matches out of 64 – 50 %. I recall with pleasure the victory in the Super Bowl of Italy, the return to euro cups, exit from the European League group. Such results haven’t been demonstrated by Milan for many years”.
– if Kalinic had scored Torino at least one goal…
“or if Cialhanoglu had hit the goal on the 92th minute, perhaps, they wouldn’t have decided on my dismissal. But there’s no one to blame. I can only praise the team, they did their best, they wanted to grow and trusted me. If there is no result, a coach is always to blame.”
– did you really feel that the club supported you? They’ve always expressed quite the opposite.
“yes, I’ve always felt their support. I’ve never had problems with Mirabelli or the players. I did my job well. It was supposed to end like this, but I worked as hard as I could and was useful , therefore I have no regrets.”
– If you were the head of the club, would you implement the same transfer campaign?
“may I skip this question?”
– of course. Let’s talk about the team level.
“the team is still at the stage of settling its position. They’ve been through unsuccessful games. We showed bad results with Sampdoria and partially with Lacio. But the project is being in progress. We lost to grandees for various reasons, because we were not ready. Certainly time is needed to reach the top level. A year ago Juventus got ahead of us by 28 points, Roma by 24, Napoli by 23. It will take some time to reduce the gap.
– do you think Gattuso will have it?
“he’s created the history of the club, we are on good terms with him and I wish him to return Milan to the top. He’s better than someone else.”
– it will be easy enough for him to start…
“I can say without any arrogance that I would make it too. A series of simple matches is waiting, there you can achieve good results and I counted on this. But I accept the choice of the football authorities and thank everybody for a chance given to me. I’m proud of having trained the team I was a fan of in my childhood.”
– Rino has already received blessing from Berlusconi. Have you read about it?
“no, but I’ve got nothing to say about it”
– does Milan have the potential to grow?
“this team is among the potential leaders. If young players start revealing their talent, the team will achieve the highest level. But you should realize that all of them are developing gradually”.
– who will win scudetto?
“if everything goes well, then Napoli will”
– what are you going to do?
“I’ll stay here, my children go to school”.
– what about having some rest and meeting the national team?
“I don’t think about it and nobody has invited me”.
– and would you like to be invited?
“yes, but now it’s not the right time to answer this question”.