Update from Monday, June 9
Clarence Seedorf has been removed from his post at AC Milan, with Filippo Inzaghi named as his replacement to lead the Serie A giants into the 2014-15 season.
The Daily Mail broke the news, which was confirmed on Milan's official website:
BREAKING: AC Milan sack coach Clarence Seedorf and appoint Pippo Inzaghi until June 2016— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) June 9, 2014
After less than five months in the San Siro hot seat, AC Milan are set to sack Clarence Seedorf and replace him with Filippo Inzaghi, according to reports.
The Italian giants drafted in the Dutchman after they sacked Massimiliano Allegri in January, but he has quickly fallen out of favour with the Rossoneri hierarchy and is set to be replaced by the club's former striker and current youth team coach, Inzaghi.
Reports coming out of Italy, per Reuters' Brian Homewood (via Mail Online), suggest club president Silvio Berlusconi held discussions about the managerial position with chief executive Adriano Galliani on Monday night.
And it seems the wheels have been put in motion immediately. Italian football expert James Horncastle tweeted La Gazzetta dello Sport’s front page, which claims Inzaghi’s appointment is all but done:
After a disastrous start to the Serie A campaign, Allegri was eventually relieved of his duties in January, having steered Milan to just five wins in their opening 19 games. Seedorf was a popular replacement with the Milanista faithful, and he guided the club to a much more respectable 11 wins from 19 contests in the second half of the campaign.
But having fallen out with Mario Balotelli, overseen a 5-1 trouncing in the last 16 of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid and proven unable to secure European football for the 2014-15 campaign, the Dutchman doesn’t seem to have done enough to convince the Milan board he should be the man to lead them into next season.
Instead, they look likely to turn to Inzaghi and, in truth, you get the impression the Rossoneri are making the same mistakes again. Like Seedorf prior to his recruitment, Inzaghi has no senior top-flight coaching experience, and he will walk into a dressing room devoid of leadership and rife with disillusioned players.
How will Inzaghi fare as manager?
It’s an enormous ask for a manager as inexperienced as Inzaghi—who has been in charge of Milan’s under-19 team for the previous two seasons—to get Milan out of the mess they are currently in.
Sure, his record at the club—having won two domestic titles and two European Cups—will ensure he commands respect, but is that enough to hone the best out of talented but inconsistent players like Balotelli, Keisuke Honda and Kaka?
Italian football writer Adam Digby thinks not and has questioned the logic of casting aside Seedorf and appointing someone just as untried in Inzaghi:
Pippo Inzaghi to be coach of #Milan? Like Seedorf he's inexperienced, has to deal with a mess of a club & a flawed squad. In bocca al lupo!— Adam Digby (@Adz77) May 26, 2014
Perhaps he will be able to channel some raw Milanista passion through these players, but it is a huge step up for the man known as Pippo. He could be brilliant, but it could so easily go wrong for him; it's a major gamble by Milan.
If things start badly, will Inzaghi get the patience required from the Milan hierarchy? The patience any manager needs when taking on such a massive job? Perhaps we only need to look at how Seedorf was so hotly coveted, yet so easily written off, to provide us with an answer to that.