It would not exactly be an understatement to say that Filippo Inzaghi has endured a difficult time of things at AC Milan.
The Italian succeeded his old Rossoneri teammate Clarence Seedorf back in the summer, but reports are out in full force tipping him for a swift exit if they fail to beat Hellas Verona when the sides lock horns on Saturday evening.
But, with the job now looking increasingly like a poisoned chalice, the club may struggle to find the replacement they desire. Jurgen Klopp has been linked with the post but, with Borussia Dortmund now enjoying a Bundesliga revival, Milan’s chances of landing the German appear remote.
Inzaghi’s appointment in the first place was met with widespread shock, with the club’s decision to appoint another managerial novice so soon after the Seedorf struggles raising eyebrows across the planet.
There was no doubting his ability as a player, where he scored 288 career goals including 126 in the Milanese colours of red and black, but having coached the club’s under-19s for just two seasons was deemed as the right man by the club hierarchy to carry them forward.
A bright start to the season aside, the club have struggled in recent months with even January signings Mattia Destro and Alessio Cerci struggling to make an impact. Both were brought in to provide added threat, but the latter was voted Serie A’s worst January transfer with Inter Milan’s Arsenal loanee Lukas Podolski coming second.
They are currently 10th in the table and 11 points behind third-placed Napoli in the hunt for Champions League qualification, and any more dropped points could spell the end of Inzaghi’s fleeting and difficult time in charge.
If the axe is wielded and brought crashing down onto Inzaghi’s head then the club may struggle to entice a top manager capable of restoring them to the dizzying heights of old.
Klopp obviously and understandably appeals given the way he led Dortmund to two consecutive league titles in 2011 and 2012, but Milan’s chance of prising him away from the Signal Induna Park looks to have passed.
With Marco Reus to the fore, they have transformed their season around and are now eying European football, a feat that could eclipse the league titles won given how they have spent the majority of this season languishing in the relegation zone.
Things may yet change in the summer, particularly if Reus or Mats Hummels join the likes of Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski in leaving for pastures new, but the reality is that Klopp is too content and adored in his current surroundings to even consider a move elsewhere.
Inexperience rarely works at the highest level (Pep Guardiola at Barcelona aside) and if Inzaghi is sacked it could kill his coaching career before it had even got going.
Massimiliano Allegri was sacked last season despite guiding them to the league title just 18 months previously, and has shown the Milan faithful what they are missing by guiding Juventus to the cusp of a fourth consecutive Scudetto.
The Milan job is a poisoned chalice and one manager’s around the globe should beware. Lack of investment, lack of quality and lack of confidence are three reasons for candidates to stay clear.