Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has defended his decision to retain firebrand Gennaro Gattuso as captain of the side.
Gattuso is facing a lengthy suspension after a violent clash with Tottenham assistant coach Joe Jordan during Milan’s 1-0 Champions League defeat against Spurs on Tuesday.
The Italy international grabbed Jordan by the throat and headbutted him, leading UEFA to charge him with ‘gross unsporting conduct’.
But despite his behaviour, Allegri said Gattuso deserved to keep the captaincy after the player apologised for his actions.
“I believe that it is right that Gattuso retains the captain’s arm band. He has made a mistake, but he has taken the blame for it,” Allegri said.
“I think that his career proves the type of player and man he is. Everyone can make a mistake. I think he has made a mistake, but he has apologised to me, to the guys and to the club after the match.”
“Therefore I think he deserves the captain’s arm band, also because he never moves aside when there is a chance to play, like anyone else in the team.
“He completed the match with 12 stitches on his knee. This should be enough to prove who Gattuso is both as a player and as a person to all people who haven’t understood this.”
Allegri said Milan had put the Spurs defeat behind them and were now concentrating on their league clash with Chievo on Sunday as they look to defend their three point lead at the top of the Serie A.
“We have put the match against Tottenham to one side since we know that the result is still open and we will be focused on it after the match against Juventus. Right now we’re focused on the match against Chievo, since this is the closest match,” Allegri said.
“The main difficulty is that Chievo are able to enhance their skills when they play against big teams.”
“The team is made of young players with good technical and physical skills. Therefore this is going to be a difficult match, like all matches we will have to face from now until the end of the championship.”