Thursday August 30 2012
Milan’s tactical Bojan gamble

On the fringes at Roma last term, Bojan Krkic's chances of establishing himself at new club Milan depend on tactics, says Scott Fleming.

Who knows how Bojan Krkic planned to celebrate his 22nd birthday. However, unless the young Spaniard has been eating cheese before bedtime lately, he couldn't have dreamt it would involve being presented with a personalised birthday cake by a man bearing an uncanny resemblance to Uncle Fester, with Serie A's most under pressure Coach grinning broadly in the background.

That was the scene on Tuesday night, when after a day spent travelling from Fiumicino airport to Linate airport, to the club's Via Turati HQ and on to a restaurant, the birthday boy was cordially welcomed into the Milan family by Adriano Galliani and Massimiliano Allegri.

The circumstances of the transfer aren't ideal for either party. While the club are hoping the player can give them a boost both in terms of PR and morale, the player is hoping the club can do precisely the same thing for him.

Having performed below even their staunchest critics’ expectations in Sunday's 1-0 loss to Sampdoria, and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano gone, Robinho and Alexandre Pato injured and Giampaolo Pazzini not at optimum fitness after his defection from Inter, the Rossoneri need someone able to slot into Allegri's newly devised front three in Bologna on Saturday.

As for Bojan's perspective, his comments upon completion of the deal last night were enlightening. “I want to thank the Coach, who wanted me so much.”

At Roma he was unwanted, unappreciated by the new regime. No one at the capital club would have been rushing out to get him a birthday cake, put it that way.

Four yellow cards, one red, 13 starts, 20 sub appearances, seven goals and one assist. Those are the figures that tell the tale of his debut campaign in Serie A last year. Not a bad effort, but from someone who debuted for Barcelona at the age of 17, and scored 41 goals for the Blaugrana before he hit 21, rightly or wrongly, we expected more. The Catalan club's insertion of a buyback clause, to be enacted in 2013, hinted at a suspicion on their part that Bojan might explode into unstoppable form, but as of yet he hasn't.

Whereas on the opening day of last season he was a starter for Luis Enrique's Giallorossi against Cagliari, he spent this year's curtain raiser against Catania on the bench.

With Roma trailing their Sicilian visitors 2-1 on Sunday night Coach Zdenek Zeman made three attacking substitutions, and yet Bojan remained seated. Alessandro Florenzi, who spent last season on loan at Crotone, and Nico Lopez, an unheralded 18-year-old, were preferred.

On the one hand it’s not hard to see why Zeman would want rid of someone who is essentially an Enrique player, even if Bojan wasn't a guaranteed starter during the Olimpico reign of his former Barca colleague. But on the other it's curious that the Czech was willing to dispose one of the few members of his squad who, as a wing forward, looked a perfect fit for the 4-3-3.

Allegri's introduction of a 4-3-3 at Milan is therefore well timed for the Catalan of Serbian descent, but it does leave us with an interesting, chicken and egg type scenario. If the Diavolo boss reverts to his beloved 4-3-1-2, it’s hard to see where Bojan will fit, and he'll simply be swapping a burgundy bench for a red and black one. So his success depends on the 4-3-3 system. And the 4-3-3 system's success depends on him. 

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Have your say...
If Milan sold Pato to PSG(who is totally useless and always injured!) Milan would have kept Silva and Zlatan maybe.
on the 1st September, 2012 at 2:34pm
Ok Milan is going through some changes at the moment. And I like the new look Milan. My only worrie is the loss of Thiago Silva as he was pure class. But I'm intrigued to see Acerbi do well and Zapata looks like a good buy. Mexes and bonera are a bit of a liability! Yepes is slow but a general at the back and plays with heart which I respect.

Up front I was really hoping on pato this season, but he doesn't seem like the same player anymore?!? And he is injured again. I'm hopeful for Elshawrary
on the 1st September, 2012 at 1:46pm
Sorry, but Milan are now a laughable side. This is coming from a fan of 20 years.

You give away Cassano, a brilliant player, after already having given away Ibrahimovic and T.Silva. What do you expect but to perform awfully?

I was even willing to forgive the loss of Ibra and Silva while Cassano was still there, but now we don't have a chance in hell.

I originally watched Italian football because it was more entertaining than English football and full of superstars. Milan have lost that.
on the 1st September, 2012 at 12:47am

Funny the lot of us talking bout Bojan, and for some reason you seam to be more concerned bout Mesbah(!!!??) .
on the 31st August, 2012 at 2:35pm
I agree with one of the comments above:
Can we just stick with one team and keep it consistent
Mesbah should be encouraged and get given more time and confidence he is a fantastic player.
For me the team is like this:

Abiati, Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Mesbah then:
De Jong, Montolivo, Nocerino,
then: Robino, Bojan, Pazini

If we can't perform with this team then I can't say anything no more (they will just need a bigger wallet or just just a new owner better from Qatar or Dubai)
on the 31st August, 2012 at 2:25pm
In case he do well for Milan. Can Milan pay him for 28 millions? Hehe..
on the 31st August, 2012 at 2:02am
give the boy play time and I'm sure he can contribute more than we are expecting. if he is a replacement for cassano, then Milan have done well. He has pace, can dribble, low centre of gravity and his goal scoring record isn't exactly bad given that he was mostly a substitute at roma. de jong's addition is the critical one. Milan have desperately looked open since van bommel departed. with him covering the back four, the likes of boateng, nocerino and ahem ahem montolivo will feel liberated.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 10:29pm
What exactly was the point of these signings. Just because they're free does not mean they don't cost anything in signings. I can't see what Mesbah has gone wrong but it looks like he is no longer needed. Can we just pick 23 players and play a consistent team and then we might not run out of money.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 9:19pm
I'm a little confused by the other signings. I might be talking a bit too soon but It seems that Milan have signed yet more fringe players in Acerbi, Traore and Constant. If we sign De Jong we've currently got 13 midfielders. How are they all going to play? This has been the problem for years. Too many injuries and too big a squad which means players don't play regularly and we don't build a team. If these players don't add anything to the squad (ike Dhoraso, Vogel and Oliveira before them) then
on the 30th August, 2012 at 9:18pm
I'm not really a fan of Bojan, but I just have a feeling that he'll do well at Milan. He knows how the Italian league works now and should have some good experience. I think it'll be good for him to know Allegri has full faith in him. Hopefully he'll do Alrite.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 8:41pm
@Toto @VIKtor

Agree with you both guys. This season is about how Milan will change.

De Jong

Cannot see Gabriel getting any play time, but Bojan Krkic will do well for me and be a good signing

Forza Milano
on the 30th August, 2012 at 8:39pm
regardless if bojan is a success or a failure at milan, it was more about roma wanting to get rid of him AND milan having to need him. unliked/unwanted, and tactically unsuitable to zeman. yes bojan is technical, and could even score some goals too. i think 7 goals for a player is pretty good considering how inconsistently he played last season. ...BUT, with robinho and pato out injuried, he is of greater need now for milan then at roma. and roma saw a good opportunity to get him off their hands
on the 30th August, 2012 at 7:13pm
I see the writer of this blog has not seen that much of Bojan play as I cannot think of any other reason as to why he would call Bojan a wing forward as he is quite useless on the wings. He never blossomed during Guardiola's era as opposed to how good he was during Rikjard's reign because he was shunted to the wings with Messi occupying the central role. He is good through the middle and that is about it. Strange Roma letting him go but not as odd as Juventus wanting to buy Bendtner
on the 30th August, 2012 at 6:46pm
@dom Juventus are the only team that can challenge in europe?! When was the last time juve did anything in europe?? Milan however have played with consistency in CL every year. Calm down with all this juve jibberish, im happy that their back for the sake of Italian fotball, but claiming their the only team from italy that can compete abroad is absurd, they have done nothing the last 7 years... Milan on the other hand has won CL and gone through many times. Just thought u should know
on the 30th August, 2012 at 6:18pm
I thought Bojan was unlucky at roma, Enrique was mainly to blame for his lack of form and I can see him doing well for milan, as for the CL, a rebuilding milan are in the wrong place/wrong time, udinese on the other hand are a disgrace, their directors have no intention to have a run in the CL with their buy/build/sell aproach putting a strangle hold on italian CL chances, dock them points and ban them from europe!!!
on the 30th August, 2012 at 4:51pm
Well, I'm happy that this was a transfer Allegri wanted. Normally Milan's coaches don't get much of a say in the attacking transfers. If Allegri wanted Bojan, then he has something interesting in mind for him.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 3:22pm
Berlusconi should sell Milan,he hasnt got the financial muscle anymore.To match the EPL the serie A needs foreign investment,Juventus are the only team capable of challenging in Europe from serie a.Bojan could be a good signing he has got potential and hopefully a creative midfielder will be signed.As well Udinese are a farce,I never wanted them to get CL.They were always going to get knocked out in the qualifier,for the sake of Italian football Inter needed to get 3rd place.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 2:22pm
I really like Bojan and I hope Allegri does not let him down as it was him who really wanted him at Milano. I feel Allegri has to move away from the 4-3-1-2 or at least have another good alternative as this formation requires a proper trequista which Kpb is not although he is ok in that position. Therefore I think Allegri should deploy a system which requires no trequista, the systems that come to mind are the 4-3-3 and 4-3-2-1, Bojan would fit nicely in either one.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 1:43pm
I've always suspected Bojan would work best in front 2, actually. And so far his inability to live up to his potential has been down to being deployed exclusively in a front 3; where he's too slight to play the 1, and too far from the goal to do his best work when out-wide.

He's essentially a penalty box striker of great finishing ability and instinct. He is also technically gifted enough to link up play and take players on - which is why he's often put out wide, but that isn't where hes suited
on the 30th August, 2012 at 1:33pm

What a bunch of cr@p. So lemme get this straight you support different teams every season? What a loyal fan you sound like.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 12:34pm
Mmmmmm why are people so down on Milan? The only mistake they've made this year is sell Thiago Silva and not replace him... The rest, Gattuso, Nesta, Seedorf et al were great players, legends, but time waits for no man. Personally I'm glad to see the back Ibrahimovic. His style of play made us one dimensional. Milan will be fine, it may be uncomfortable at times but we'll be there or there a bouts... The same happened in the late 90's we went away built again and then came back pretty good!
on the 30th August, 2012 at 12:18pm
I have to give the Milan management praise, they've reduced both the average age of the team and the payroll whilst maintaining a competitive squad...this is a new Milan team and should be given time before being heavily criticised.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 11:54am
One thing that needs to be discussed is Milan's injuries. I saw the article on Pato but the fact is if you get injuries one season your unlucky but every season since 2003/2004 then there is something seriously wrong with the medical team. Perhaps Milan Lab is not working the way it should be after all Pato and Kaka both recovered better with Brazil than Milan. All of these thing injuries are very strange!
on the 30th August, 2012 at 11:45am
Milan r ridiculous.They needed a left-back and a terquarista for over 3 years yet keep signing strikers and defensive midfielders instead.On top of that they have an idiot for a coach.Sadly for us real fans we have to continue to watch the games despite only Mattia De Sciglio looking like AC Milan quality.I hope to see Carmona playing instead overrated and overpaid Robinho and Prince who should have been let go along with Mexes,Bonera,Yepes,Antonini,Mesbah instead of Ibra and Thiago.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 11:24am
I think Bojan can fit into either the 4-3-1-2 system as a second striker or the 4-3-3 system as a wide player.In fact, he is more likely to get chances in the box in the former formation. The main thing here is faith. If Milan show faith in him then he might have a chance of becoming the player which we all expected. However, if Barcelona, a club which tends to show faith in its youth players (in stark contrast to Milan) did not have sufficient faith in him there may be something not quite right
on the 30th August, 2012 at 10:53am
A strange transfer yet again by Milan, but they needed someone up front. And if he keeps Robinho out of the 1st 11 then that can only be a good thing.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 10:35am
Milan are dead to me. What a terrible signing to join their mediocre, overrated and useless attack of Robinho, Pazzini, and El Sha... Watching what is happening at Milan is a tragedy and bad for Italian football. I will put money that they don't even get out of their champs league group this year. I will be supporting Juventus and Napoli as they clearly still care about winning and flying serie A's flag in Europe. Could somebody pls write an article about Udinese's disaster. Another joke..
on the 30th August, 2012 at 10:11am
its a positive sign.and if we could get de jong and maybe kaka(still dreaming) we would almost be back to the strong starting 11 we had last year.
Abate Mexes Zapate Emanuelson
Nocerino De Jong Montolivio
Pato Kaka
Subs-Yepes,Bonera,Antonini,Flamini,El Shaarawi,Robinho,Bojan,Pazzini.

Dosent look to bad.(if we get de jong)
on the 30th August, 2012 at 10:01am
Unless Roma take a replacement, this is one bold move from the management. Making a direct rival stronger and yourself weaker (even if it is just a stronger/weaker bench) without even any financial profit: sounds more like the kind of deal Rosella Sensi would do to please her new friends crom the north than the new management who have till Bojan hardly set a foot wrong this mercato.

I truly hope Roma have something up their sleeve, otherwise this deal makes no sense.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 9:47am
I love Serie A, and usually support all Italian teams in Europe. But this time, I hope Milan crash out of group stage. And badly, from an easy group.

Or get relegated from Serie A.

A message needs to go out to Galliani & Berlusconi. Stop murdering a top club. If you are not interested anymore, get out.
on the 30th August, 2012 at 9:41am

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