The last time an AC Milan side started a campaign with four victories out of four was back in 1995 under Fabio Capello, and now after years of problems both on and off field, Stefano Pioli has achieved the same feat.
History sometimes repeats itself so, is there any resemblance between the two sides?
First four fixtures…
In terms of the sides they faced in those first four matches they were fairly similar both had three easier fixtures on paper and a more difficult side. The current Milan side had the slightly bigger challenge as Inter are considered serious title contenders.
In 1995, Capello was at the helm after being promoted from the youth set up some years before and was extremely successful winning domestic and European titles, whilst building a reputation as a disciplinarian who preferred a firm approach to management.
The man currently in charge, Pioli, has taken charge of 14 teams so far in his coaching career, with this spell at Milan being one of his most successful. He is a great man manager who believes in having harmony in the squad rather than ruling with an iron fist.
Considering the different personalities between the two men, they both have a similar philosophy when it comes to their style of play. Although Pioli might seem more comfortable with being more attacking, they both base it all on a solid defensive unit, plus a physical and energetic midfield.
Pioli’s team is currently on a 21 game unbeaten run in all competitions, if we roll back the years Capello led Milan to a Scudetto whilst not losing for an incredible 58 matches, a record that still has not been broken.
How do the squads compare?
In terms of experience, the 1995 squad wipes the floor with the current crop of players as Milan were the team to beat in Italy and Europe around that time. Players like Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini had won everything, and the Rossoneri were going into the season having signed Roberto Baggio and George Weah, after possibly the best striker in their history, Marco Van Basten, was forced to retire through injury.
This 2020 Milan squad maybe does not have the experience in winning titles, excluding Zlatan Ibrahimovic of course, but it is full of talent and youthfulness that if they did find success it could have the potential to sustain it for a number of years.
A similarity between the past and present squads is the core of Italian players who can transmit the importance and history of the club to the players who are new to the Milan world.
Although the rivals have not changed much from the 1995 season compared to this season, the expectations are slightly different. Juventus won the Scudetto in 1994 with Milan finishing fourth, which was something of an anomaly as Milan had dominated most years around that period.
Inter were having a difficult time then under the guidance of Roy Hodgson. Lazio and Parma also put up a challenge at the time.
Now in 2020 Juventus are the team that have completely dominated Calcio for the last decade, challenged this season by Napoli, Atalanta and Inter with Milan hoping for a Champions League place as the primary objective.