AC Milan axe Montella
IN the end, Vincenzo Montella became a victim of the heightened expectations at AC Milan.
When a club spends more than €200 million (nearly US$250 million) on new players in the offseason, six wins in 14 matches and seventh place in the standings are simply not enough.
Unable to produce inspiring results with a completely revamped squad, Montella was fired as coach of AC Milan yesterday and replaced by Gennaro Gattuso.
"We all raised expectations a little too much in the summer, but the fault lies only with the coach," Montella said. "These players deserve much more, and I'm sure that they'll be able to emerge from this difficult period."
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Milan have won only two of their past nine matches and have as many losses six as wins. The Rossoneri have been beaten by Lazio, Roma, Inter, Juventus, and Napoli the top five teams in the standings.
"Coaching Milan was an honour, and working with this team was even better," Montella wrote on Twitter. "I hope Rino can restore Milan to where it belongs."
The move came a day after a dispiriting 0-0 draw at home with Torino.
Milan announced in a statement that it had "parted ways" with Montella.
"We are very grateful to Mr Montella and his staff for all the work done up to today, their commitment and professionalism," the club said. "Management of the first team is entrusted to Gennaro Gattuso."