Just days after Milan's humiliating 5 – 0 loss at the hands of Chelsea, an ex-manager seems to be throwing them a lifeline while the players try to stay afloat after heavy criticism in the Italian press.
The familiar face of Arrigo Sacchi has often made his views public regarding Milan's chances in the league and cups, invariably with brutal honesty accompanying his comments.
This time, though, the outspoken and critical coach was the unexpected figure coming to the defence of the Rossoneri, saying that he believes they are candidate number one with regards to the Scudetto.
The bald-headed coach insisted: “If the team has the right enthusiasm, this loss in Russia can serve as a useful lesson for the future.
“The bitter exclusion from the Champions League takes away the most important [competition] and is financially punishing, but it also allows for focus on the Serie A title without wasting extra energy (on the CL).”
The coach has justified his prediction based on the fact that Milan's lack of Champions League football would give them an advantage over the other four major contenders for the Scudetto who will all negotiate the top European club competition.
The coach went on to address Milan's summer transfer campaign, which many have hailed as the best out of the clubs in Italy. Sacchi believes that the team has been strengthened by the acquisitions of a number of important players, among them Mathieu Flamini, Gianluca Zambrotta and Ronaldinho.
The former Azzurri coach was careful with his views on Ronaldinho as he said, “Ronaldinho is a risky bet after a few years in the shade. But if he is able to reach the levels of three years ago, the Rossoneri will have won bingo!”
Ever the critic, Sacchi then gave a harsh assessment of the mentality of the players, wondering: “Will certain athletes that are no longer so young be able to find the continuity, enthusiasm and right level of concentration?
“If yes, then they will prove my prediction. If not then they will continue to reveal themselves as the slow and inconsistent side that has played in the last few championships.”
From kindness to cruelty, Arrigo Sacchi's schizophrenic predictions will soon be tested as the Serie A gets under way in less than a month's time.