Former AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has told Gennaro Gattuso he needs to change his tactics if he is to succeed as coach of the Rossoneri.
Berlusconi had a reputation for meddling in team affairs during his 31-year reign as club president, which came to an end last April, and he has continued the habit by advising Gattuso to play a 4-3-1-2 system.
“I wish Rino Gattuso all the very best, but recently I’ve seen Milan playing with just one man up front and you don’t go anywhere playing like that,” Berlusconi told his own Mediaset television station.
“Ideally, he should play with two forwards with [Giacomo] Bonaventura just behind them.
“Suso and Bonaventura, who’s not all that much inferior to Kaka, are our two outstanding players, together with [Gianluigi] Donnarumma, yet they’ve both been relegated to wide berths and, after dribbling their way to the goal line, they find themselves crossing to just one forward who is outnumbered by defenders.
“This kind of attitude has led to us going through periods of games without even getting a shot in on goal. When [Arrigo] Sacchi was in charge, our wide players were the full-backs, and this is where I agree with [Carlo] Ancelotti and [Fabio] Capello.
“I hope my advice gets considered, because that is how I became the most successful president in history. We need to get back to playing the way we did when we won so much in the past: with two forwards, one of them being Suso, with Bonaventura as the support man who can also get a shot in.”
Milan have won seven and lost seven so far this season, scoring 23 and conceding 24 and Berlusconi said their form upsets him.
“I feel such pain and am suffering to the extent that I can’t even watch games through to the end,” he added. “It hurts to see Milan playing in such a way.”
Milan won 29 trophies during the Berlusconi years. That haul included five Champions Leagues and eight Scudettos.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.