Ex-AC Milan coach Sacchi questions Pioli’s tactical change

Former AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi has questioned Stefano Pioli’s tactical changes.

Milan have won the last three games across all competitions 1-0.

“Something happened and it was difficult to predict. The syndrome of success has blocked Milan,” Sacchi wrote in his column for La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“They were not accustomed to winning and Pioli started to have fear, so he relied on tactics to stop bleeding. Therefore, he used a three-man defence which in reality is with five men because the full-backs often track back.

“Like this, they don’t have a numerical advantage and playing well is hard. The use of tactics always pays off in Italy but remember that a tactician always loses against a strategist,” continued the former coach.

“Pioli was a strategist and I’d be sorry to see him on the list of tacticians. Which Italian club has won the most Champions League? Milan because they’ve always played strategic football.

“A strategist always puts playing style at the core of the project. The tactician must buy big champions to compensate for the lack of general organisation. Milan were on the right track, but then they went backwards.

“The founding fathers had thought of an offensive and team sport. Here we have lost these original characteristics, transforming it into a defensive and individual sport.

“But this is not the path to follow if you want to continue entertaining the public. Pioli was the architect who designed the beautiful creature of last season and was able to win through intelligence and ideas, generosity and courage.

“His Milan played with eleven men always in an active position, as Napoli do now. So I hope he will return to that path, which can only be followed if one strongly believes in his ideas.”

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