Massimiliano Allegri set for Milan exit

Posted by Sumeet Paul

AP Photo/Luca BrunoAfter three-plus seasons, Massimiliano Allegri decided he will be leaving AC Milan, and owner Silvio Berlusconi, after this season.

“I can be certain that this is my last Christmas at Milan. I leave a good team that earned the love of the fans, and a team that with a few adjustments will have a future.”

After being appointed as Milan coach in June 2010, Massimiliano Allegri confirmed on Tuesday that he would resign at the end of the season. While he may have split opinion during his tenure, does he leave the Rossoneri in a strong position?

The Milan boss conceded that the focus of 2014 will be on the Champions League, as that realistically that now represents the best possibility of returning to Europe’s top table next year. In addition, he is targeting the Coppa Italia to at least leave with a trophy, while a top-three finish is still an objective.

He admitted that his biggest regret over the past three years was his inability to earn Milan’s second star, their 20th Scudetto, but there is a sense that perhaps the time is right for a change as opposed to allowing him to “finish the job”.

Speculation over who will replace Allegri in June will undoubtedly dominate headlines the closer we get to the end of the season, but for now it is an appropriate time to reflect on his time in charge and discuss whether or not it can be judged as a success.

Having won the Serie A title in his first year in charge, there was much optimism surrounding his tenure as he benefited from investment and perhaps the strongest squad in Italy at the time.

However, his job since has been made increasingly difficult considering the management’s cost-cutting strategy, the end of an era with the retirement of several ‘senators’ and the ongoing nuisance of injuries that have plagued the Rossoneri over the past two years.

The departures of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were arguably the biggest blow, while the loss of the likes of Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf contributed to making his job bitterly difficult along with Alexandre Pato’s injury problems.

But in the eyes of some Milan supporters, Allegri has contributed to his own downfall, and he may well have earned the criticism with some of his selections and tactical limitations. His over-reliance on stars was a source of frustration, while Milan have perhaps lost some of their glamour and flair under his management.

Nevertheless, considering all the issues he has faced off the field, he has performed well to keep Milan competitive and it may take his departure to prove how he brought a sense of solidity to the club and kept the squad together having managed difficult personalities.

In terms of leaving Milan in a stronger place than that in which he found them, that is perhaps an impossible task. With director Ariedo Braida leaving the club after 27 years, it is another sign of a new era opening up at Milan, and the decision on Allegri’s successor will further shape the future of the club and it is a choice that they must not get wrong.

Was Allegri’s tenure a success? Is it in the best interests of Milan to now look for a new coach?

For all the latest Milan and Serie A news, you can follow me on Twitter @italiafooty

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