I do feel for Massimiliano Allegri right now, because his position as manager of AC Milan is becoming more untenable by the day.
Every time you look, there is more speculation that he will be out as head of the Rossoneri sooner, rather than later. It really is no way for a manager to operate.
Adriano Galliani has recently given his backing to the beleaguered Allegri, stating that the club's confidence in him is unwavering, and that there is little chance of him leaving. However, when an executive starts to use past accomplishments as justification for keeping a manager, you know that the latter is on shaky ground.
Even Arsene Wenger has leapt to Allegri's defense, maintaining that Milan's struggles are purely due to austerity measures.
ESPN FC is now seriously discussing a story that first appeared in La Gazzetta dello Sport, which claimed that AC Milan's brass is flying to New York to discuss a possible deal with none other than Pep Guardiola.
That's big talk. And I was inclined to dismiss it until Guardiola's agent expressly denied Milan executives' statements that there is no chance of the all-conquering former Barcelona manager moving to the red half of the San Siro.
The agent, Jose Maria Orobitg, said:
It is absolutely not true that Pep has rejected Milan. I often speak with them, and I can assure you that Guardiola hasn't rejected them. Everything is possible in the future. Never say never, but now is not the right time.
Should Massimiliano Allegri be replaced before season's end?
When a manager's precarious position becomes this abundantly clear, there is usually little time for him to turn things around. And Allegri's problems compound every week.
As if the pain of sitting in the middle of the table on seven points was not enough to put the manager in a precarious position, AC Milan lost to their archrivals Inter, despite having an extra man on the pitch from the 48th minute to stoppage time.
Looking at both teams' squads from that game, it is eminently clear that the Rossoneri had a better starting XI and a far superior bench.
While Allegri had the likes of Ignazio Abate, Luca Antonini, Antonio Nocerino, Mathieu Flamini, Massimo Ambrosini, Robinho and Giampaolo Pazzini to turn to as impact subs, Andrea Stramaccioni had to deal with Gaby Mundingayi, Joel Chukwuma Obi and Marko Livaja.
And those were just each team's benches. With this reserve of talent at his disposal, it is perfectly reasonable to ask Massimiliano Allegri what the heck is going on.
In most instances like this, the players themselves are not the problem. I have little doubt that the current group is loyal to their manager and wants to win for him.
But Allegri's tactics are stale, his methods figured out by opponents and his players seemingly in a trance from their seemingly unstoppable futility.
When that happens at any club of any reputation with any manager, the man in charge must go.
Regardless of whether a marquee name like Pep Guardiola is brought in to take the helm or a lesser-known man with experience is handed the keys to AC Milan, the only way the Rossoneri can improve in the near future is by booting Massimiliano Allegri.