Mauro Tassotti reveals why Ricky Kaka couldn’t start against Napoli and the reasoning behind Ignazio Abate’s new position.
Clarence Seedorf has opted for Abate on the right side of the attacking trio behind Mario Balotelli, a new role – but not entirely unprecedented – for the right-back.
“Kaka was not able to start, as he didn’t train for two days and lost 3kg in three days. He had gastroenteritis, just as Keisuke Honda did,” assistant manager Tassotti told Sky Sport Italia.
“Abate was preferred to Riccardo Montolivo, as the Coach brought Ignazio back to the role he had at the start of his career. He has a lot of pace and can turn the situation around quickly.
“Ignazio will play where Honda would’ve played had he been fit. The system and philosophy doesn’t change, even if some players do.
“We discussed putting Urby Emanuelson in that position, but Clarence wants to give him a consistent run at left-back and feels it might confuse him to keep switching roles.”
Tassotti had been Massimiliano Allegri’s assistant manager and stayed on to work with new Coach Seedorf, but could be leaving San Siro in the summer.
“I have already said I’ll evaluate my position, my contract expires in June and we’ll see what to do with the club.”
Philippe Mexes is due to wear the captain's armband this evening rather than Cristian Abbiati.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.