Less than a year since helping AC Milan halt a decade-long Scudetto wait in Serie A, Stefano Pioli has fallen out of favour with the San Siro faithful amid an underwhelming campaign.
The reigning Italian champions slumped to a 3-1 defeat at mid-table Udinese on Saturday evening and could drop out of the top four if Roma beat Lazio on Sunday.
And while the veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic made history at the Dacia Arena, becoming the oldest-ever goalscorer in Serie A, his manager Pioli has seemingly lost the supporters’ faith.
Since Italy’s top-tier competition resumed in January, the Rossoneri have picked up a mere 15 points from 12 matches, averaging a sub-standard 1.25 per game.
Saturday’s heavy defeat at Udinese also extended their winless run in Serie A to three outings, during which they picked up only one point and scored twice.
With fifth-placed Roma taking on eternal rivals Lazio in Sunday’s Derby della Capitale, victory for Jose Mourinho’s men would demote Milan outside Champions League placings heading into the international break.
Frustration boiled over on Saturday night as large sections of the Milan fanbase took to social media to urge the club to dismiss the manager who guided them to the title last season.
Twitter has been flooded with hashtags #PioliOut as the club’s devastated support could no longer contain their anger over the team’s lacklustre showings in 2023.
Although Milan’s hopes of securing a third consecutive top-four finish in Serie A now hang by a thread, Pioli could still save his job thanks to his Champions League exploits.
A 1-0 aggregate win over Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 sealed the Rossoneri’s progression into the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since the 2011/12 season.
But with runaway Serie A leaders Napoli awaiting them in a blockbuster last-eight tie, Pioli may not complete the season as Milan manager even if he stays in the dugout beyond the international break.
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