Napoli-Milan

Grande partita al San Paolo nella 13esima giornata di Serie A.

Europa League draw, round of 32: When is it and who can Arsenal and Celtic face?

What is it? This is the draw for the last-32 stage of the Europa League. When is it? The draw will take place on Monday, December 11, 2017. What time is kick-off? The balls will be drawn at 12pm (GMT) in Nyon, Switzerland. You can follow all the action right here when this page turns into our live blog. Which British teams are involved? Arsenal and Everton were the only two British sides to contest the Europa League group stage, with the former advancing as group winners and the Merseyside club failing to progress. Arsenal will be one of the seeded sides in Monday's draw, while Celtic - who dropped into the competition after failing to progress from their Champions League group - are unseeded. Arsenal crushed BATE Borisov in their final Europa League group game Credit: pa Seeded: AC Milan (ITA), Arsenal (ENG), Atalanta (ITA), Athletic Bilbao (ESP), Atletico Madrid* (ESP), Braga (POR), CSKA Moskow* (RUS), Dynamo Kiev (UKR), Lazio (ITA), Leipzig* (GER), Lokomotiv Moskow (RUS), Plzeň (CZE), Salzburg (AUT), Sporting CP* (POR), Villarreal (ESP), Zenit (RUS) Unseeded: AEK Athens (GRE), Astana (KAZ), Borussia Dortmund* (GER), Celtic* (SCO), Copenhagen (DEN), Red Star Belgrade (SRB), Steaua Bucharest (ROU), Ludogorets (BUL), Lyon (FRA), Marseille (FRA), Napoli* (ITA), Nice (FRA), Östersund (SWE), Partizan Belgrade (SRB), Real Sociedad (ESP), Spartak Moskow* (RUS) * Transferred from Champions League How does the draw work? There will be two pots of clubs for the round of 32 draw: the 12 group winners and the four best third-ranked teams in the Champions League group stage are seeded. The group winners and four best third-placed teams in the Champions League will be drawn against the 12 group runners-up and the remaining third-placed Champions League sides. The seeded teams will be at home in the second leg. No team can play a club from their Europa League group or a side from the same country. Additionally, teams from Russia and Ukraine cannot be drawn together. Games will be played in principle on Thursdays 15 and 22 February with the exact schedule released after the draw. Who can the British sides face? Arsenal: AEK Athens, Astana, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Copenhagen, Steaua Bucharest, Ludogorets, Lyon, Marseille, Napoli, Nice, Östersund, Partizan Belgrade, Real Sociedad, Spartak Moscow Celtic: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atalanta, Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Braga, CSKA Moskow, Dynamo Kiev, Lazio, Leipzig, Lokomotiv Moskow, Plzeň, Salzburg, Sporting CP, Villarreal, Zenit

Europa League draw, round of 32: When is it and who can Arsenal and Celtic face?

What is it? This is the draw for the last-32 stage of the Europa League. When is it? The draw will take place on Monday, December 11, 2017. What time is kick-off? The balls will be drawn at 12pm (GMT) in Nyon, Switzerland. You can follow all the action right here when this page turns into our live blog. Which British teams are involved? Arsenal and Everton were the only two British sides to contest the Europa League group stage, with the former advancing as group winners and the Merseyside club failing to progress. Arsenal will be one of the seeded sides in Monday's draw, while Celtic - who dropped into the competition after failing to progress from their Champions League group - are unseeded. Arsenal crushed BATE Borisov in their final Europa League group game Credit: pa Seeded: AC Milan (ITA), Arsenal (ENG), Atalanta (ITA), Athletic Bilbao (ESP), Atletico Madrid* (ESP), Braga (POR), CSKA Moskow* (RUS), Dynamo Kiev (UKR), Lazio (ITA), Leipzig* (GER), Lokomotiv Moskow (RUS), Plzeň (CZE), Salzburg (AUT), Sporting CP* (POR), Villarreal (ESP), Zenit (RUS) Unseeded: AEK Athens (GRE), Astana (KAZ), Borussia Dortmund* (GER), Celtic* (SCO), Copenhagen (DEN), Red Star Belgrade (SRB), Steaua Bucharest (ROU), Ludogorets (BUL), Lyon (FRA), Marseille (FRA), Napoli* (ITA), Nice (FRA), Östersund (SWE), Partizan Belgrade (SRB), Real Sociedad (ESP), Spartak Moskow* (RUS) * Transferred from Champions League How does the draw work? There will be two pots of clubs for the round of 32 draw: the 12 group winners and the four best third-ranked teams in the Champions League group stage are seeded. The group winners and four best third-placed teams in the Champions League will be drawn against the 12 group runners-up and the remaining third-placed Champions League sides. The seeded teams will be at home in the second leg. No team can play a club from their Europa League group or a side from the same country. Additionally, teams from Russia and Ukraine cannot be drawn together. Games will be played in principle on Thursdays 15 and 22 February with the exact schedule released after the draw. Who can the British sides face? Arsenal: AEK Athens, Astana, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Copenhagen, Steaua Bucharest, Ludogorets, Lyon, Marseille, Napoli, Nice, Östersund, Partizan Belgrade, Real Sociedad, Spartak Moscow Celtic: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atalanta, Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Braga, CSKA Moskow, Dynamo Kiev, Lazio, Leipzig, Lokomotiv Moskow, Plzeň, Salzburg, Sporting CP, Villarreal, Zenit

Sorteggio Europa League: le possibili avversarie di Napoli, Milan, Lazio e Atalanta

Quattro squadre italiane ai sedicesimi di Europa League: Milan, Lazio e Atalanta teste di serie, Napoli in seconda fascia. Oggi il sorteggio.

Napoli draws 0-0 against Fiorentina, fails to go back top

AC Milan's Giacomo Bonaventura, top right, scores his side's second goal during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Bologna, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Napoli draws 0-0 against Fiorentina, fails to go back top

Bologna's Simone Verdi celebrates after scoring during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Bologna, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Napoli draws 0-0 against Fiorentina, fails to go back top

AC Milan's Giacomo Bonaventura celebrates after scoring during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Bologna, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Napoli draws 0-0 against Fiorentina, fails to go back top

AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso shouts during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Bologna, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Europa League draw: When is it & who can Arsenal, AC Milan & Celtic get in the last 32?

The likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Celtic will soon learn their fate in the continent's second-tier tournament

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Italia no olvida a Deulofeu

El 'calcio' todavía recuerda sus meses en el Milan de Montella y en invierno el Napoli buscará hacerse con sus servicios.

How to Watch Inter Milan vs. Juventus: Game Time, Live Stream, TV Channel

Juventus host to Inter Milan on Saturday at Juventus Stadium in Turin in a Serie A match.

Juventus defeated Napoli 1–0 last week and currently sit in third place on the Serie A table with 37 points. Juventus have just one loss on the season and have won three straight matches, including a Champions League group stage match last week.

Inter Milan enter Saturday in first place on the table with 39 points. Inter Milan has not lost a Serie A matchup and is coming off a 5–0 victory over Chievo.

Find out how to watch the match below.

How to Watch

Game Time: Saturday, Dec. 9, 2:45 p.m. ET

TV Channel: beIN sports

Live Stream: Watch live on Fubo TV. Sign up now for a free seven-day trial.

Cristiano Ronaldo Wins Record-Tying Fifth Ballon D'Or Award

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the 2017 Ballon d'Or, taking home the award for the fourth time in the last five years and matching Lionel Messi's record of winning the prestigious honor for a fifth time.

The Ballon d'Or award, presented by France Football, is given to the world's best soccer player, and either Messi or Ronaldo has won it every year dating back to 2007, when Kaka earned the honors.

The 32-year-old Ronaldo has finished in first or second place in Ballon d'Or voting in each of the last seven years, and excluding 2010 has finished in the top two every year dating back to 2007.

Even as he gets older, Ronaldo has continued to rack up the awards. In October, he was named FIFA's Best Men's Player. In August, he was named UEFA's 2016-17 Best Player in Europe for a third time (the award was instituted in 2010-11). There's still new ground for him to find, evidenced by his latest accomplishment on Wednesday, when he became the first player to score in each of the six group games in the UEFA Champions League.

In 2016, Ronaldo was helped by exploits on both the club and country levels, leading Real Madrid to a Champions League title and helping Portugal to the Euro 2016 championship. In 2017, Ronaldo's campaign was largely boost by his efforts with Real Madrid, as the club won La Liga's title in May and then followed that up with a second straight Champions League title–and 11th overall. Ronaldo was a menace in the knockout stage of the competition, scoring 10 goals in four multi-goal games. He netted twice in the final triumph over Juventus and added hat tricks against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. He also scored 25 goals in La Liga, helping Real Madrid to a record 33rd title, but its first since 2012.

Ronaldo was still impactful for Portugal, helping the side qualify for the 2018 World Cup by scoring 15 goals in the qualifying round, second only to Poland and Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, who scored 16.

Before crowning Ronaldo, France Football unveiled its 30 finalists in reverse order of how they finished in the voting:

29 (tied). Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool/Brazil) and Dries Mertens (Napoli/Belgium)

28. Edin Dzeko (Roma/Bosnia & Herzegovina)

27. Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich/Germany)

26. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid/Slovenia)

25. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France)

24. Radamel Falcao (Monaco/Colombia)

23. Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal)

21 (tied). Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus-AC Milan/Italy) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon)

20. David De Gea (Manchester United/Spain)

19. Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium)

18. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/France)

17. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany)

16. Marcelo (Real Madrid/Brazil)

15. Paulo Dybala (Juventus/Argentina)

14. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/Belgium)

13. Luis Suarez (Barcelona/Uruguay)

12. Isco (Real Madrid/Spain)

11. Edinson Cavani (PSG/Uruguay)

10. Harry Kane (Tottenham/England)

9. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)

8. N'Golo Kante (Chelsea/France)

7. Kylian Mbappe (Monaco-PSG/France)

6. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain)

5. Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia)

4. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy)

3. Neymar (Barcelona-PSG/Brazil)

2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)

Ballon d'Or 2017: What time is the award announced, who is on the shortlist and will it be Ronaldo or Messi?

What is it? It's the 2017 Ballon d'Or, France Football's annual award for world footballer of the year - the 62nd  When is it? The publication will be unveiling this year's winner on Thursday December 7. What time will it happen? The winner will be announced at 18:45 GMT.  What TV channel is it on? Sadly, it won't be in the UK. But you can follow all the build-up and reaction right here with Telegraph Sport. What happened last year? Cristiano Ronaldo crowned a memorable year by being named the world's best player for a fourth time when he won the 2016 Ballon d'Or on Monday night. The 31-year-old Portugal and Real Madrid foward topped the poll of 173 journalists worldwide. Ronaldo played a crucial role as Real beat city rivals Atletico Madrid in May to become European champions for a record-extending 11th time. The pair have won the last nine Ballon d'Or awards Credit: AFP/Getty Images Then two months later, Portugal triumphed at Euro 2016 in France to claim a major trophy for the first time - despite losing their talisman to injury early on in the final. Ronaldo, who has so far scored 48 goals in 52 games for club and country during 2016, was not able to accept the award in person with the forward currently away in Japan as Real Madrid prepare for the FIFA Club World Cup. Who is on the shortlist? The 30-strong list is below, including England's Harry Kane: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) Leonardo Bonucci (Milan) Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) Edinson Cavani (PSG) Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) Kevin de Bruyne (Man City) David de Gea (Man Utd) Paulo Dybala (Juventus) Edin Dzeko (Roma) Radamel Falcao (Monaco) Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid) Eden Hazard (Chelsea) Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich) Isco (Real Madrid) Harry Kane (Tottenham) N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea) Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) Sadio Mané (Liverpool) Marcelo (Real Madrid) Kylian Mbappé (PSG) Dries Mertens (Napoli) Lionel Messi (Barcelona) Luka Modric (Real Madrid) Neymar (PSG) Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid) Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) Luis Suárez (Barcelona). Who is favourite to win? There's only one, really. It's rare you see Leo Messi with odds of 8/1 attached to him for anything. Cristiano Ronaldo - 1/20 Leo Messi - 8/1 Neymar - 33/1 Gianluifi Buffon - 50/1 Harry Kane - 80/1 Antoine Griezmann - 100/1 Eden Hazard - 100/1 Kylian Mbappe - 100/1 Who has won the award the most? Yep, you've guessed it - Leo Messi (5) and Cristiano Ronaldo (4). They have won the last nine between them since Kaka's victory in 2007. You can see a full list of winners here. Ballon D'Or | Wins by player  

Ballon d'Or 2017: What time is the award announced, who is on the shortlist and will it be Ronaldo or Messi?

What is it? It's the 2017 Ballon d'Or, France Football's annual award for world footballer of the year - the 62nd  When is it? The publication will be unveiling this year's winner on Thursday December 7. What time will it happen? The winner will be announced at 18:45 GMT.  What TV channel is it on? Sadly, it won't be in the UK. But you can follow all the build-up and reaction right here with Telegraph Sport. What happened last year? Cristiano Ronaldo crowned a memorable year by being named the world's best player for a fourth time when he won the 2016 Ballon d'Or on Monday night. The 31-year-old Portugal and Real Madrid foward topped the poll of 173 journalists worldwide. Ronaldo played a crucial role as Real beat city rivals Atletico Madrid in May to become European champions for a record-extending 11th time. The pair have won the last nine Ballon d'Or awards Credit: AFP/Getty Images Then two months later, Portugal triumphed at Euro 2016 in France to claim a major trophy for the first time - despite losing their talisman to injury early on in the final. Ronaldo, who has so far scored 48 goals in 52 games for club and country during 2016, was not able to accept the award in person with the forward currently away in Japan as Real Madrid prepare for the FIFA Club World Cup. Who is on the shortlist? The 30-strong list is below, including England's Harry Kane: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) Leonardo Bonucci (Milan) Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) Edinson Cavani (PSG) Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) Kevin de Bruyne (Man City) David de Gea (Man Utd) Paulo Dybala (Juventus) Edin Dzeko (Roma) Radamel Falcao (Monaco) Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid) Eden Hazard (Chelsea) Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich) Isco (Real Madrid) Harry Kane (Tottenham) N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea) Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) Sadio Mané (Liverpool) Marcelo (Real Madrid) Kylian Mbappé (PSG) Dries Mertens (Napoli) Lionel Messi (Barcelona) Luka Modric (Real Madrid) Neymar (PSG) Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid) Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) Luis Suárez (Barcelona). Who is favourite to win? There's only one, really. It's rare you see Leo Messi with odds of 8/1 attached to him for anything. Cristiano Ronaldo - 1/20 Leo Messi - 8/1 Neymar - 33/1 Gianluifi Buffon - 50/1 Harry Kane - 80/1 Antoine Griezmann - 100/1 Eden Hazard - 100/1 Kylian Mbappe - 100/1 Who has won the award the most? Yep, you've guessed it - Leo Messi (5) and Cristiano Ronaldo (4). They have won the last nine between them since Kaka's victory in 2007. You can see a full list of winners here. Ballon D'Or | Wins by player  

Perotti: Juventus Lemah Musim Ini

Roma saat ini sedang bersaing di papan atas klasemen bersama Inter Milan, Napoli, dan Juventus.

Tutti alle spalle della capolista Inter

L'Inter continua a fare sul serio e si candida sempre di più allo scudetto. I nerazzurri, dopo il travolgente 5-0 al Chievo, hanno scavalcato il Napoli e sono i nuovi leader della Serie A. E sabato sera c'è l'attesissimo big match dello Stadium contro la Juventus. Non lascia la scia delle grandi la Lazio, capace di espugnare per 2-1 in rimonta il campo della Samp nel posticipo domenicale. Per i blucerchiati, invece, è il primo stop casalingo della stagione. Sempre più lontano il Milan, fermato sul 2-2 dal Benevento al 95' grazie allo storico gol del portiere Brignoli. Stasera la 15esima giornata si chiude con Crotone-Udinese e Verona-Genoa.

Tutti alle spalle della capolista Inter

L'Inter continua a fare sul serio e si candida sempre di più allo scudetto. I nerazzurri, dopo il travolgente 5-0 al Chievo, hanno scavalcato il Napoli e sono i nuovi leader della Serie A. E sabato sera c'è l'attesissimo big match dello Stadium contro la Juventus. Non lascia la scia delle grandi la Lazio, capace di espugnare per 2-1 in rimonta il campo della Samp nel posticipo domenicale. Per i blucerchiati, invece, è il primo stop casalingo della stagione. Sempre più lontano il Milan, fermato sul 2-2 dal Benevento al 95' grazie allo storico gol del portiere Brignoli. Stasera la 15esima giornata si chiude con Crotone-Udinese e Verona-Genoa.

Tutti alle spalle della capolista Inter

L'Inter continua a fare sul serio e si candida sempre di più allo scudetto. I nerazzurri, dopo il travolgente 5-0 al Chievo, hanno scavalcato il Napoli e sono i nuovi leader della Serie A. E sabato sera c'è l'attesissimo big match dello Stadium contro la Juventus. Non lascia la scia delle grandi la Lazio, capace di espugnare per 2-1 in rimonta il campo della Samp nel posticipo domenicale. Per i blucerchiati, invece, è il primo stop casalingo della stagione. Sempre più lontano il Milan, fermato sul 2-2 dal Benevento al 95' grazie allo storico gol del portiere Brignoli. Stasera la 15esima giornata si chiude con Crotone-Udinese e Verona-Genoa.

Perotti: Juventus Lemah Musim Ini

Roma saat ini sedang bersaing di papan atas klasemen bersama Inter Milan, Napoli, dan Juventus.

Serie A: l'Inter vola in testa, continua la crisi Milan

Le due facce di Milano nella 15esima giornata di serie A. Sorride l'Inter che travolge 5-0 il Chievo con la tripletta di Perisic e i gol del solito Icardi e di Skriniar e scavalca in testa alla classifica il Napoli. Il Milan invece continua la sua caduta libera nonostante l'arrivo in panchina di Gattuso e sprofonda a -18 dai cugini. Ieri i rossoneri hanno addirittura concesso il primo punto storico in serie A al Benevento facendosi rimontare sul 2-2 al 95' con un gol segnato per i sanniti addirittura dal portiere Brignoli.

Serie A: l'Inter vola in testa, continua la crisi Milan

Le due facce di Milano nella 15esima giornata di serie A. Sorride l'Inter che travolge 5-0 il Chievo con la tripletta di Perisic e i gol del solito Icardi e di Skriniar e scavalca in testa alla classifica il Napoli. Il Milan invece continua la sua caduta libera nonostante l'arrivo in panchina di Gattuso e sprofonda a -18 dai cugini. Ieri i rossoneri hanno addirittura concesso il primo punto storico in serie A al Benevento facendosi rimontare sul 2-2 al 95' con un gol segnato per i sanniti addirittura dal portiere Brignoli.

Serie A: l'Inter vola in testa, continua la crisi Milan

Le due facce di Milano nella 15esima giornata di serie A. Sorride l'Inter che travolge 5-0 il Chievo con la tripletta di Perisic e i gol del solito Icardi e di Skriniar e scavalca in testa alla classifica il Napoli. Il Milan invece continua la sua caduta libera nonostante l'arrivo in panchina di Gattuso e sprofonda a -18 dai cugini. Ieri i rossoneri hanno addirittura concesso il primo punto storico in serie A al Benevento facendosi rimontare sul 2-2 al 95' con un gol segnato per i sanniti addirittura dal portiere Brignoli.

Benevento, Vigorito 'mistico': "A Napoli nevicava mentre Brignoli segnava al Milan"

Il presidente del Benevento trova un punto di magia nel pareggio con il Milan: "Noi guadagnavamo il primo punto, mentre a Napoli nevicava..."

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