The periods without results had generated the director’s discontent: the game and the market were at the center of the discussions
No, it was no longer that idyll that up to a certain point gushed everywhere. In words and mutual compliments, in photos, in TV images. Milan’s chiaroscuro year in the end also wore out a tandem that seemed to be made of iron. The one between Maldini and Pioli. The head of the technical sector and the head of the team. The two central figures – together with the sports director – of the sports area. And now, with the termination of the relationship with Maldini, as often happens in these cases, behind-the-scenes emerge and filter through which it was not easy to notice at the time. That’s right, however: if the dirty laundry is to be washed in the family, the rule is even more valid in a context where Milan had the essential need to catch qualification for the next Champions League without the air at Milanello becoming stink of controversy.
Pioli and Maldini washed those clothes inside the sports center, but now it’s difficult to pretend that nothing happened between coach and manager. The deterioration of their relationship is not the trigger for Paolo’s departure, but it was in any case an element that cannot be reduced to the banality of “these things happen”. For two reasons: the first is that Pioli enjoyed and enjoys the highest esteem from the owners, the second is that the relationship had been frayed for months now. Two, in particular, the elements that led them to leave and fueled Maldini’s bad feelings towards the coach. On the one hand, the manager no longer shared Pioli’s idea of the game, he no longer liked the football played by the coach. On the other hand, there was a dissent on the use of players who arrived in the 2022 summer transfer market. Probably not only in the playing time of some, but on the drastic choices not to let others play at all, or almost. And in this respect Maldini’s “sensitivity” to an increasingly acclaimed flop of a transfer campaign that he himself had personally conducted is evident (and logical, from his point of view). A coexistence, therefore, no longer serene between the two, which Maldini’s (dutiful) daily presence at the field made increasingly delicate. It’s hard to say if the relationship would have had room to be mended, but the question is no longer on the agenda: the club has gone further and made its choices.
June 8, 2023 (change June 8, 2023 | 1:16 pm)
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