AC Milan officially sacked Sinisa Mihajlovic on Tuesday, and swiftly appointed former Primavera coach, Cristian Brocchi, as his successor.
The club released an official statement on their website, which read: “Sinisa Mihajlovic has been relieved of his role as AC Milan coach.
“The club would like to thank Mihajlovic for the dedication and hard work carried out this season.
“Cristian Brocchi will now be in charge of the first team until the end of the season. AC Milan would like to welcome Mr Brocchi and wish him all the best.”
Mihajlovic was appointed in June last year following an impressive spell with Sampdoria, and appeared to be the right man to lead Milan forward.
Although he suffered with inconsistency early in his tenure, the Rossoneri showed signs of playing with direction and purpose during a 12-game unbeaten streak in all competitions through January and February.
However, having now gone five games without a win, which in turn has led to a 15-point gap opening up between themselves and third-placed Roma, the club’s hierarchy have opted to take action and relieve Mihajlovic of his duties.
It is difficult to assess whether or not Milan have made the right decision, as from Mihajlovic’s perspective, he deserved more patience and time having planted the seeds for improvement and development in the side in the coming months and years.
The Rossoneri became a more solid defensive unit for the most part, and youngsters such as Gianluigi Donnarumma and Alessio Romagnoli were given an opportunity to become first-team regulars under the Serbian tactician.
In contrast, results simply haven’t been good enough and the lack of Champions League football again next season in unacceptable for a club of Milan’s stature. An appearance in the Coppa Italia final next month is all well and good, but results in Serie A are essentially what Mihajlovic was always going to be judged on.
While their league standing and recent form were obviously against him, he also endured a tense relationship with club President Silvio Berlusconi.
The former Italian PM was never shy to publicly criticise the 47-year-old, and that culminated in several clashes through the media between the pair.
It was clear from the day he was appointed that there would be tension between them, and positive results on the pitch were the only thing that would keep the club sailing in the right direction at all levels.
Once that became an issue, it was the perfect excuse for Berlusconi to act, and he has again risked making a bad decision for the club.
Seemingly failing to learn from his mistakes with Clarence Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi, the Milan owner has again put his faith in a coach lacking experience at the top level in Brocchi.
While the former Milan midfielder has impressed for the most part with the club’s youth teams, he will now hope to avoid following a similar path to those before him in terms of suffering an early setback in what looks to be a promising career in coaching.
As for Milan, they must now start again with a new man at the helm, with the players, Berlusconi and vice-president Adriano Galliani all to blame too as they should accept responsibility for another disappointing season for which Mihajlovic has ultimately paid the price.