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i Rossoneri - From the Ashes

Started on 26 October 2015 by LFC
Latest Reply on 30 October 2015 by Jack
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Milan boss Mihajlović eyeing return to Europe in debut season at San Siro

Serbian manager Siniša Mihajlović has targeted a return to Europe's biggest platform in his first season in charge with AC Milan, having taken the managerial reigns from fan favourite Filippo Inzaghi this summer.

The 46-year-old took charge at the shared San Siro ground after a three year stint at Serie A rivals Sampdoria which culminated in Europa League qualification last term in what would be Mihajlović's last year of his spell at the Marassi.

A.C. Milan have been nothing short of disappointing in the last couple of seasons and have failed to qualify for any form of continental football for the past two seasons, finishing in lowly 8th and 10th positions.

The quality of the Milan squad is something that cannot be doubted and it could well be that Mihajlović is the man to lead them forward. With players in their ranks including Mattia De Sciglio, Jérémy Ménez, Carlos Bacca and Keisuke Honda, he may have little excuse for delivering a strong debut season, especially considering infamous chairman Silvio Berlusconi's lack of leniency with the club's past two managers and club legends at that; Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi were both sacked by the Italian after four months and one year respectively.

Milan are still one of Europe's elite teams despite falling on harder times more recently and their fans are keen to see the glory days restored for their team which has such rich history. Mihajlović can only hope he is the man to bring the good times back to i Rossoneri.
Good luck, I have a good feeling about this!
Good luck! Milan have a great squad, just need to get them playing together

Milan players back in training as pre-season preparation gets underway

Mario Balotelli took to the training pitch at Milanello Sports Centre for the first time since rejoining A.C. Milan on loan after struggling in his debut season for Premier League side Liverpool.

After a summer of rest and relaxation, the hard work all started again today for an A.C. Milan squad looking to impress new boss Siniša Mihajlović in his first training session in charge of the club.

Sky Sports Italia noted that native striker Mario Balotelli looked happy to be back at his former club, albeit only on a season-long loan for the time being, while the rest of the squad looked like they had an understanding of the Serbian's tactics.

Balotelli, who has won the Barclays Premier League with Manchester City and also played for Milan's fierce city rivals Inter netted 26 goals in 43 league appearances in his first spell with the club before moving to Liverpool last summer in a £16m deal, but the Palermo-born striker could only score once for The Reds in the league, firing in the winner in a 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

The Kop quickly lost patience with Balotelli's prolificacy or lack of in front of goal and then boss Brendan Rodgers brought in Danny Ings and Christian Benteke which looked to spell the end for Balotelli at Anfield.

Sure enough, he was loaned back to a welcoming A.C. Milan fan-base this summer and although Rodgers has been replaced by the reputable Jürgen Klopp, he is looking to hit the ground running on his return to Italy.

"It was not a good year for me in Liverpool. I wanted to do well, obviously. Ultimately I feel that it is down to Brendan. He did not give me enough chances. In a lot of games I was brought on late and I want to start games. He's a great coach though and I'm sad to hear that he has left the club. I will not forget Liverpool and will always support them in the future. Unless they're playing Milan, of course.

I think I've done the right thing for my career by coming back to this brilliant club which is so close to my heart. I'd like to come back permanently. I feel loved by the fans here. The coach has done well at Sampdoria and after meeting with him a while back and training with him today, I am very confident that we can meet the expectations that our great fans have of us."

Mihajlović was also available for comment after the training session, and Sky Sports Italia asked whether he has any plans for more signings during the transfer window.

"No, I don't think so. If that one special player becomes available then this can all change but right now I don't think so. We've got some top quality players in our team here and we've improved further with the likes of Carlos Bacca. This shows ambition and this shows that we can still attract those top players. There is no denying the amazing reputation that this club has."
Balotelli could be a tremendously important player this season, hopefully you can get the best out of this maverick
Good luck Adam! Milan should be a good team to use :)
Good luck with AC Milan. Illustrious club filled with players that have a point to prove. May have a fair bit of cash to play about with too!
Good luck Adam, hope you can restore Milan to their previous heights and maybe even beyond.
My fav club :)

Good luck, I will expect trophies :D

Ibrahimović doubts Mihajlović impact at Milan

Paris-Saint Germain and Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimović has aired his doubts over Siniša Mihajlović's arrival at his former club Milan.

The Serbian boss took over from Filippo Inzaghi at the San Siro earlier this summer and has already worked quickly to strengthen the team with the likes of Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano, as well as bringing in quality home-grown players such as Alessio Romagnoli and Andrea Bertolacci.

But Ibrahimović, who had a two year stay with Milan prior to his move to current club PSG, has expressed concern over the former Sampdoria boss' arrival.

Ibrahimović's illustrious career has also seen him play for Milan's fierce city rivals Inter and has also had prolific spells with European giants Juventus, Barcelona and Ajax.

The Swede certainly made an impact at i Rossoneri during a spell which initially saw him come back on loan for a year to the city he left for Spain and Barcelona, but his eye for goal saw the club sign him permanently for €24 million, albeit only for a year.

In his time at Milan he netted 42 goals in 61 games and there was speculation earlier this summer that he would return to play at the San Siro for a third time.

But the man himself has now commented on these rumours, labelling them 'ridiculous'.

"I have a great connection with the city of Milan, but I am happy here in Paris. I have not had any talks with the club about a return in any form so I find this talk ridiculous."

Asked whether or not he thought Mihajlović was the right man to bring back the glory days for the club, Ibrahimović added:

"In all honesty, no. What I think the team needs is a big reputation who can be respected. Mihajlović knows the league well, but what has he won?

Ancelotti was available. He could have come back. Klopp at Liverpool was available. These are both top managers. Sure Mihajlović did well last season with Sampdoria but he has not managed any top quality teams and I'm not sure he will be able to adjust."
Well every manager of that calibre has to start somewhere in my opinion
There's no better way for a manager to improve his reputation than winning some silverware. Will we see a push for the cup this season, or just the league?

Five Milan players to keep an eye on this season

Mario Balotelli returned to the San Siro on loan earlier this summer with a point to prove following a difficult debut season at Liverpool. The Italian striker scored just once for The Reds in a disappointing Premier League campaign but his record at Milan speaks for itself. He netted 26 goals in 43 league appearances during his first spell with i Rossoneri, and will be looking to show the world that he still has the ability to be a top striker.

Balotelli himself has spoken of his desire to make his return to Milan permanent but he will first have to perform on the pitch in order to seal his dream move back to his native country. He may find it difficult to hold down a place if he shows the same kind of form that he did at Anfield last season, especially with the additions of fellow strikers Luiz Adriano and Carlos Bacca.

Mattia De Sciglio has struggled with injuries in the past couple of years but there is no denying his defensive and offensive capabilities. Despite only providing a total of three assists in his professional career, Milan's #2 has received praise for his composure and determination both while attacking and defending.

Comparisons have been drawn between himself and former Milan right back Mauro Tassotti and the defender will be looking to hold down a place in the squad under new boss Siniša Mihajlović. It is expected that the 22-year-old will start ahead of Ignazio Abate in the first eleven. De Sciglio has managed to make a name for himself within the Italian national team, earning 21 caps since his debut in 2013.

Carlos Bacca is the first player in our list in his debut season at the San Siro, having sealed a €30 million deal earlier in the transfer window. The Colombian striker had an impressive two year spell at La Liga outfit Sevilla which saw him win two consecutive UEFA Europa League trophies. The 28-year-old hit a brace in the Final last season in a 3-2 win over Ukrainian side Dnipro.

Although he wasn't the youngest striker available, he certainly offers a lot to his new Milan team with his pace and aggression being two of his key attributes. Bacca will turn 29 shortly but the transfer fee involved in the deal suggests that Mihajlović intends on starting him up top.

Another new arrival at the San Siro, Luiz Adriano comes from Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk. A key player for Champions League regulars Shakhtar, the Brazilian netted 29 goals in his last 46 league outings for the club.

Although in an arguably much worse league than Serie A, the 28-year-old clearly has an eye for goal and has impressed for Shakhtar in the Champions League as well as domestically. €8m was enough to prize him away from his former employers this summer, and he will be looking to get a starting role in a squad packed with talented strikers.

Exciting young defender Alessio Romagnoli arrives at the San Siro with an understanding of how new boss Mihajlović operates having spent last season playing under him at Sampdoria on loan from Roma. With Adil Rami sold to Sevilla this summer, the Italian defender may have his chance to step in and prove himself.

Fans of Milan will also be hoping for big things from the young man, especially given the €25 million price tag on his head. Undoubtedly one of Italy's most promising players, he will have to fight off fellow defenders Philippe Mexès, Cristián Zapata and Alex if he is to hold down a place in Mihajlović's starting eleven.
A good attack to work with for the season, no doubt.

Lack of wingers could provide Siniša Mihajlović with problems, says Ancelotti

Former A.C. Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has said that he believes in the managerial capabilities of new coach Siniša Mihajlović, but the club's depth in the wide positions is a cause for concern.

The 56-year-old Italian, who led Milan to two UEFA Champions League triumphs in his eight year spell at the San Siro, was sacked by Spanish giants at the end of last season after losing out on the league title by two points to rivals Barcelona.

His representatives had held talks with Milan about a potential return to coach the club prior to Mihajlović's arrival, but ultimately he turned down their advances claiming 'I need some rest'. He also held talks with Liverpool before Jürgen Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers, but he declared himself unavailable and stated that he would be taking a year off from management to undergo an operation for spinal stenosis.

Milan are a team that hold a special place in Carletto's heart, and he has expressed his thoughts on their upcoming Serie A campaign.

"Of course Milan are a tremendous team. The city, the fans, they mean so much to me. I think they are in very safe hands with Siniša at the helm. There is much work to be done but I believe he has the ability to get this team back to the top of European football. It won't be easy and he'll need time and resources if he's able to do the job, but if they stick by him, they'll see the results, no doubt.

What worries me in the short term is where the goals are going to come from for the team. They have signed some great strikers, Carlos, Mario has come back on loan, but they lack width. I think they'll be caught out too easily if they are playing narrowly. They have Cerci, Niang and Ménez who can play out there, but who else? I think he needs to bring some people in to sort this problem out."

Italian winger Stephan El Shaarawy was loaned to Monaco this summer and the French club have the option to purchase him for just €14M at the end of his spell at Stade Louis II.

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