Pioli discusses meeting with Cardinale, defensive solutions, Maldini interview and Leao’s fitness – Sempre Milan

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli answered some tough questions regarding his meeting with Gerry Cardinale, his side’s poor form and the pressure he is under.
Pioli has battled through difficult periods throughout his time as Milan boss, but this is certainly up there among the most challenging times. Not only have the team won two in eight games, but their most recent defeat against Borussia Dortmund is likely to knock them out of the Champions League and there is an injury crisis to battle.
For the match on Saturday night, the Rossoneri will have just one fit senior centre-back in Fikayo Tomori after Malick Thiaw was ruled out for the rest of the calendar year following a hamstring issue he suffered in midweek.
Frosinone make the trip north having had a good start to life back in the top flight as they sit in mid-table and well above the relegation zone, something they would have absolutely taken at this stage before a ball was kicked.
Pioli spoke to the reporters who gathered in the conference room on the eve of the game and he addressed a number of different topics, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
Tomorrow Frosinone arrive at San Siro with confidence, could that make them a tough obstacle?
“We have to counteract a high level of play. Di Francesco is doing a great job and they will arrive with confidence and enthusiasm. We want to give continuity to the victory against Fiorentina, because there are many points to score.”
How did lunch go with Cardinale?
“It was a positive and constructive meeting. It is an additional stimulus for my work and that of the team.”
What kind of a player is Simic? Is he ready for tomorrow?
“He worked with us in the summer, he also played in the friendly against Real. He’s an attentive defender, I saw him calm. Will he play from the start tomorrow? I won’t tell you…”
How do you comment on Maldini’s words? He praised you for your work…
“No comment on what he said in the bulk of the interview. I will always be grateful to him and Massara. Now, however, I cannot help but use all my energy to motivate my players and try to win tomorrow. I am not alone, I am always supported by the club. Now the thought is to win tomorrow.”
How will you face Frosinone tomorrow?
“We have our own way of playing and we have to bring it onto the pitch; we have a very clear strategy on what to do when we don’t have the ball. They like to dribble and we will have to be very careful there. Then the games change, we have to be a little more good at reading the moments of the match.”
Have you made any progress on the injury issue?
“Definitely yes. I’m sure that we will improve soon and the emergency will end. Tomorrow Kjaer won’t be available, but we will get him back for the next game. Now we are in an emergency at the front and at the back, but we have other solutions. We are only focused on tomorrow.” 
How do Milan get out of this difficult moment?
“With winning, there’s no point in beating around the bush. We’ll need to play a serious, real match, with intensity and quality. With Fiorentina we were careful, tomorrow we have to do the same. Victories give you that enthusiasm. Here we always try to be positive , but now it’s time to demonstrate on the field that we are competitive.”
There continues to be talk about the injuries, bad form.. what are your responsibilities?
“There are always the manager’s responsibilities. It’s too early to make assessments. In the Champions League we have little chance, but we will go for it in Newcastle. Regarding the league, I told the team that there are many games missing and if anyone thinks they can’t reach Inter and Juventus with still 25 matches to play, it is better for them not to show up at Milanello.
“They all showed up, also because they are paid to do so. I am convinced that we have a compact group, especially in the negative moments there was unity and this It was an asset.”
Could you move Calabria inside, play Krunic at centre-back again, or is there a defensive solution we aren’t privy to?
“We have tried in addition to Simic a few things that you don’t know, there are other solutions. We have the right solutions to be a balanced team tomorrow.”
Do you miss Maldini and Ibrahimovic?
“I’ve already said that I don’t feel alone. Clearly we have to give the answers on the field.” 
After Thiaw’s injury the team seemed deflated, with Calabria putting his hands on his head…
“It certainly had an impact, we are all aware that an important player was missing. But my players know what it means to be a team, they shouldn’t feel sorry for themselves and still give something more.” 
You have had previous crises and there has always been a reaction. What is different this time, and what can Milan do to get out of this moment?
“It’s difficult to make comparisons with other complicated moments in the past, with different players and at different times. We need to rediscover certainties. We know that by playing in a certain way, results will arrive”
When does Leao return?
“I think with Atalanta, we will do everything to get him back.”
How is Camarda after his debut a week ago?
“He’s still the same even after his debut. He works the same way, the team is always close to him.”
Frosinone are a team that press very high and like to be aggressive. How will you face that?
“They are aggressive. We have prepared ourselves. We need to find an overload in build-up, there are solutions to create difficulties for them.”
What is the fundamental aspect to be implemented tomorrow?
“Concentration and determination.”

Poili poili you get mouth.the way you answer the press if you implement it in your tactics Milan will win back to back games
Well there is literally nothing else he can say, whatever the truth is…
This guy is like a ‘talking action man’. Same old words regurgitated – I was over him 12 months ago, next…
If you are over him then you shouldn’t be called milan fan so leave rn
So if you don’t like Stefano Pioli, you’re not a fan? Especially after these horrendous performances, idiotic tactics and downright stupid substitutions. True Milan’s fans want to win, not this current garbage we’re experiencing. Your logic is crazy.
Your logic meter is wild.
You don’t like the way the club is been run, you are not a fan. Real wild
‘They all showed up, also because they are paid to do so.’
Such a weird thing to say..
I have said it before and and I will say it again! SempreMilan’s comment section is toxic AF! We are 3rd in the league, have a (debatably long) shot @ the round of 16 of the CL, and we are decimat3d by injuries notwithstanding. TBH, we need to now step of the gas regd #Pioliout and honestly back our team regardless of the past two months. I’ll pen off by reminding everyone of several facts,
5 years ago we were neck deep in the banter years and almost on the chopping block courtesy of Yong Li
4 years ago we were betrayed by Dollaruma but somehow made the CL and were thrashed by Atalanta five nil
3 years ago we were back in the CL and had started rising from the ashes,
2 years ago we won the league! Enough said
1 year ago we were beating Tottenham and Napoli (Serie A champs) en route to the CL semis.
This year we posted a + balance sheet, partially rebuilt the squad and save for Jovic every other signing seems like a legit hit. Jury’s still out on Chukweze but he is limited by one of those solid hits at RW. I can understand a step back to make ten steps forward. I’ll judge the team in July 2024 and no earlier. I suggest we all do the same. Forza Milan 🔴⚫️
Spot on. It is a true pity that it is impossible to have a mature and logical discourse about the team we support on this site without devolving into toxicity and name calling.
While I personally pin a large part of the loss to Dortmund on Pioli, I don’t see the point of repeatedly calling for his head. He is the manager until the club says otherwise so what is the point of the obsessive, repetitive comments about sacking him. I can pretty much guarantee that no one employed by the club reads this site so enough with it already!
The Maldini interview is a one-sided version of events released at a low point of the season for the team. I love Maldini (still have a photo of him and Sheva on my wall) but how quickly everyone was swayed by that interview was remarkable.
The point is that the situation isn’t as bad as most would make it seem. The CL could have gone better, no doubt but that was the group of death so was always going to be difficult. There have been many positives as outlined Vickqb7 above. Let us support the team and not feel the need to spew venom as our moods change.
“The Maldini interview is a one-sided version of events” bro here’s the thing..the whole summer was a one sided version of events until now. After 6 months there’s now balance and the other side of the story while we had to listen to how Maldini wasn’t collaborating, wanted power and control etc. now we have his side. No one’s swayed. Just that the people who believed in Maldini all along are still commenting and the ones who lapped up the one sided story in the summer are nowhere to be seen (except a splattering here and there in Dejan, Nelli).
Those days, I clearly wrote wait till we hear the Maldini’s side of story and all hell breaks loose. But boy oh boy I didn’t expect this kind of hell.
Just waiting until all you guys reach your simultaneous orgasm over the interview and then we can get back to football.
That is a fair point. That said, typically the truth is somewhere in the middle. Whenever there is a break like that, feelings are hurt and reputations are damaged so a little mudslinging tends to happen. Based on the comments on here (on the original article), quite a few people overreacted. While there are some of us who take a more balanced approach, the extremism is a little over the top.
I for one disagree with Maldini about Tonali. I still think the team is better now then it was with Tonali. The injuries have really been an issue moreso this year.
Pioli out!
All the positive points you stated were on the Maldini’s reign. And now the man is gone (more importantly on how he’s gone) it’s only fair to think about the potential negativities. And yes, many of us here were spelled by the numbers of mercato’s signings along with all the sensation while a few logical ones could see we’re really not in better terms compared to last season.
For me personally, Pioli with the help of figures like Maldini (and Ibra) is entirely different with Pioli without. One way or another they formed this winning chemistry. They won as unit. And it simply won’t work if there’s a missing part. That’s why he said ‘he’s not alone’ several times above, for me it’s more like he tried to convince himself rather than to answer a question.
And after the scudetto we have gone backwards, not forward. That’s the problem. Our team haven’t looked convincing since January, is that not a problem? Ya we’re third because of the quality of players but we haven’t been playing well. We could be first for all we know have we had consistency. I’m not going to sit around and be happy with playing like crap and losing to teams like udinese and say ‘oh we’re in third so it’s okay’. Loser mentality. I understand top teams can have an off game and lose to a lower team sometimes but we haven’t had a convincing game since napoli last season!
2 things I’d like to say:
1) I wish Pioli was the one that was fired and Maldini was still in his position. Quite clearly, management made one of the biggest mistakes in footballing history by dumping Maldini.
If they were serious, Cardinale and Furlani should beg Maldini to come back and actually sit down and learn from Maldini. We have a clueless football management telling footballing experts what to do and it shows.
2) Why Pioli out? I’m tired of losing 3-0, and hearing Pioli say “well, we were playing great for 70 mins. It’s a shame about the loss. Another second half failure? Well, I’m encouraged by the 70 mins of good play. We’re playing with great enthusiasm. The fans are great. Cheering while we loss with gusto.”
(rinse and repeat after every loss, never mind tactical failures, set piece failures, 2nd half failures, positional failures and then all the muscle injuries.
Same mistakes. Same comments. Game after game. I don’t think Pioli even identifies or works on the mistakes any more. I honestly don’t.
It’s time.
How do you comment on Maldini’s words? He praised you for your work…
“No comment on what he said in the bulk of the interview. I will always be grateful to him and Massara. Now, however, I cannot help but use all my energy to motivate my players and try to win tomorrow. I am not alone, I am always supported by the club. Now the thought is to win tomorrow.”
I don’t understand. Pioli in his first two seasons played such beautiful attacking, entertaining and direct football. How did you lose that? It’s almost as hard to watch now as allegri. At least allegri gets the results though. Go back to what you know and what we did best with some minor tweaks and it could be turned around. If not, you deserve to go. Simple as that.
I also saw a stat for the year of 2023… Something like 21 wins and 15 losses. 61 goals for and 55 against. Tell me, is that something that some fans here are taking too far because we’re in third? Big deal, a club like milan should be aiming for first and winning each game. Inter are +23 in goal differential, we’re +7. That’s embarrassing. We’re on pace for a goal against a game, not good enough.
Even some fans here are better than Pioli 🤣🤣🤣
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