Clarence Seedorf was announced as the coach of his beloved AC Milan just a mere four and a half months ago.
After signing a three-year contract there seemed to be an air of optimism as the Rossoneri put their faith in a charismatic club legend, despite his rookie status.
Milan needed renovation to rise once again after the disappointment of the Massimiliano Allegri era and Seedorf’s appointment seemed a step in the right direction for a club that needed to reinstall the passion into their play.
The dream, however, has not surfaced to reality and the youthful enthusiasm that met Seedorf’s appointment has transcended into naïve inexperience and it appears increasingly likely Seedorf will be released in order to allow former teammate Filippo Inzaghi to take the reins and lead Milan forward.
Often considered a club reluctant to sack managers, having a third Coach in the space of half a year, represents somewhat of a crisis for the Diavolo.
There is a resemblance to the problems at Old Trafford this season and United’s inability to capture the form that was so powerful under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Milan have failed to emerge as a consistently dominant force in the post-Ancelotti era and the theory behind hiring Inzaghi resembles the speculation surrounding Ryan Giggs’ potential to replace David Moyes.
Both Giggs and Inzaghi have a mandate among the fans and represent a safe option politically within the club. United’s appointment of Louis Van Gaal, however, shows that United have recognised the need for experience and Milan may have to follow suit.
Inzaghi, a true fans' favourite and much more beloved than the man he is set to replace, is a classic Milan move, much like the re-signing of former deity Kaka.
The attitude seems to be that a friendly face masks the horror beneath it, and from an outside perspective it seems Milan simply don’t have a long-term strategy.
The sacking of Seedorf seems to be a harsh one. Given the quality of the squad at his disposal, Seedorf’s work for the club was largely positive and it could hardly be said that he was given time to settle into the job.
In the 19 Serie A games under Seedorf, Milan won 11, lost six and drew two. Not a sparkling record but when put into perspective the stats tell a different story.
If the Dutchman’s win percentage had been maintained from the start of the season then Milan would sit fourth on 70 points, five ahead of Fiorentina, the team currently occupying that position.
It should also not be forgotten that Seedorf provided Milan’s first Serie A victory over Inter in four years.
If Milan are siting Seedorf’s inexperience as the reason for his sacking then replacing him with Inzaghi makes very little sense; his expected replacement also prepares to come into the role having never coached at senior level.
Granted, Inzaghi has been a success coaching at youth level, but his appointment does little to portray Milan's direction more than that of Seedorf's. Replacing a rookie with a rookie, albeit a slightly more popular one, seems to be a move in a sideward direction.
Rumours have been ripe about who Milan wanted to replace Seedorf with names such as Zenit’s Luciano Spalletti and Sevilla’s Unai Emery reportedly rejecting moves to the San Siro. The reports are evidence of how far the club that won the Champions League just seven years ago, have fallen in recent years.
Inzaghi, the second choice rookie for Milan and reportedly third choice to replace Seedorf in the last month, will be the next man stepping up to restore the faith in the hearts of some very weary fans.
Whether the former striker will be lying on his coaching 'death bed' in a couple of months is anyone’s guess. The future of Milan is a mystery to all, Milan included.
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