AC Milan were a real force to be reckoned with in the 2000s, having players like Kaka, Pirlo, Seedorf and Shevchenko to name but a few. They also won the Champions League twice in 2003 and 2007, while also appearing in the Champions League final only to lose to Liverpool on penalties.
However, things in the red half of Milan haven’t been great, they have failed to reach the Champions League since 2014 and during the 2014-15 season, finished in tenth place, their lowest position in recent years.
Things seem to be changing since former player and club legend, Gennaro Gattuso was appointed as manager of the side.
Many will remember the type of player Gennaro Gattuso was while playing for both the Rossoneri and the Azzurri, a box-to-box midfielder with fantastic tactical awareness and anticipation.
However, what he lacked in skill he certainly made up for aggression, being the no-nonsense defensive midfielder which allowed Andrea Pirlo, his teammate at both AC Milan and Italy, to add his creative flair to the game.
Gattuso is certainly not afraid to speak his mind, as can be remembered back in 2011 where AC Milan faced Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 in the Champions League, where he famously squared up to Tottenham first team coach Joe Jordan.
Gattuso was then banned for five Champions League games as a result.
Since taking charge of Milan, they have won 61 percent of their matches and they are currently unbeaten in 2018, having won eight and drawing two, with crucial wins over the likes of Lazio, Sampdoria and AS Roma.
In the wake of their most recent win, 2-0 away to AS Roma, Gattuso praised his side for their mental strength and character since taking over at the San Siro.
He said, via ESPN
“The first month was difficult, but the guys always listened to me in everything and now we do not lose for 12 games.”
This can be seen as Gattuso has been changing the way his team lines up, when he first started, he played three at the back, but this proved to be unsuccessful as they lost their last Europa League group stage match against HNK Rijeka 2-0.
He has since switched to a 4-3-3 formation and it seems to be working wonders for him, and one player who seems to be shining under Gattuso’s reign is 20-year-old striker Patrick Cutrone, who has scored eight goals since the Milan legend was appointed.
Gattuso has also compared him to former Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi.
He said, via Sports Illustrated
“He’s young with a lot of hunger. He’s similar to Inzaghi and has the venom inside. He has to improve a lot technically and needs to play more with the team.”
Despite describing himself as a players nightmare, the players of AC Milan have nothing but praise for their new manager and they claim that the atmosphere has changed around the club since he took charge, with midfielder Franck Kessie saying that the work rate at the club has dramatically increased.
With this added boost of confidence and self-belief, Milan feel they can challenge for trophies this season, as they are currently in the semi-final in the Coppa Italia, and also face an out-of-form Arsenal side in the Europa League.
With the experience of Gattuso on the touchline, the Rossoneri are confident that they bring some much-needed silverware to the San Siro.
Luke Holmes, Pundit Arena