Milan AC have hailed the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as "a new chapter" after he replaced Fatih Terim on Monday.
Fatih Terim's mission to return Milan AC to the pinnacle of Italian and European football has lasted just nine Serie A games after the Turkish coach was sacked and replaced by Carlo Ancelotti at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium.
The Rossoneri's 1-0 defeat by Torino Calcio on Sunday left them in fifth place in the Italian first division table, five points behind leaders AC Chievo Verona. Terim was disconsolate afterwards, saying: "A will to win is not enough. Against Torino I saw a team without character."
Ancelotti, who had looked set to join Parma AC as a replacement for Renzo Ulivieri, succeeds Terim and his immediate aim will be to install some consistency into the side and guide them into the last 16 of the UEFA Cup at the expense of Sporting Clube de Portugal. The 42-year-old Ancelotti has signed a contract with the club until 30 June, 2004.
"It was a decision made during the night, when I didn't get any sleep," Milan vice president Adriano Galliani said on Studio Milan. "I thought again and again what I should do and finally I decided that this was the best decision to take."
A statement on Milan's official website said the appointment of Ancelotti, who will be unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday at 12:00CET, marked the start of a new era: "The club and Terim departed on good terms. A new chapter has begun. Ancelotti returns to his Milan, where he was a key player. From today it will be a new team."
A Milan stalwart as a player, Ancelotti's first coaching post was at Reggiana AC but he established himself at Parma, leading the Emilia Romagna outfit to second place in the title race in the 1996/97 season. A move to Juventus FC followed and he guided the club to the brink of the Scudetto in his second season in charge, only to be denied on the final day. He was fired by Juventus earlier this year and has been biding his time waiting for a suitable opportunity to arise - although he could not have expected to be in charge of Milan at this stage of the season.
The 48-year-old Terim took charge of Milan in the summer and was given license by the board to spend heavily to build a team for a Scudetto challenge. In came the likes of Portuguese playmaker Rui Costa and Filippo Inzaghi and the club made a promising start to their league campaign, opening with a draw at Brescia Calcio before beating AC Fiorentina, Udinese Calcio and S.S. Lazio in successive matches.
A defeat at AC Perugia followed, and a home draw against previously pointless AC Venezia ended with heckles for Terim from the Milan crowd. Milan then came from behind to defeat city rivals Internazionale FC 4-2 in the derby and supporters were suddenly on Terim's side again. Yet that fine victory has not acted as the spur many expected, and a goalless draw at home to Bologna FC was followed by Sunday's disappointment in Turin, which has cost Terim his job.
After a successful stint in charge of the Turkish national team, including guiding his country to EURO 96™, Terim established himself as one of Europe's finest coaching talents during a four-year stint in charge of Galatasaray SK.
Run of success
He led the Istanbul club to four Turkish championships, two domestic cups and the UEFA Cup in May 2000. The victory, over Arsenal FC on penalties in Copenhagen, was the first-ever European trophy won by a Turkish club and prompted Terim's move to AC Fiorentina. His stay there lasted less than a season, ending in February this year. His spell at Milan has proved shorter still.