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Wednesday March 12 2014
Now to the Rossonero revamp

Following defeat to Atletico Madrid, Richard Thomas says Milan would be better off forgetting about results and giving youth a chance for the remainder of the season.

Tuesday night’s performance by Milan against Atletico Madrid, coupled with the end result, provided brutal confirmation of what the Serie A table has been suggesting all season. The Rossoneri, despite their rich history and pedigree in Europe’s premier club competition, are simply not good enough to grace it at the moment.

Ricky Kaka’s equaliser on the night at the Vicente Calderon briefly put this Round of 16 tie back in the balance, but from the moment Arda Turan restored the home side’s lead five minutes before half-time there was only ever going to be one winner. Clarence Seedorf’s side went on to concede a further two goals late in the second half before referee Mark Clattenburg’s final whistle mercifully brought the contest, and Milan’s European campaign, to an end.

The Rossoneri will be and already have been heavily criticised for the manner of the defeat, which is their third in succession in all competitions. Seedorf himself was particularly scathing of his side’s performance, citing a lack of resilience as the main reason behind the capitulation.

“You could see after the second goal that the team struggled to react psychologically, as they often do,” the Dutchman told the media following the game. “The period of difficulty [earlier in the season] lasted so long that it affected the team. They can react once, but after a second blow they can’t get back on their feet. In the second half the whole team no longer produced the right level of grit and determination to keep fighting. We sat back too much and in general it was not positive.”

It is clear that Seedorf’s honeymoon period at San Siro is now well and truly over. Since succeeding the sacked Max Allegri in January he has overseen, on the whole, a marginal improvement in performances and results. It must also not be forgotten that the Rossoneri were unfortunate to lose the first-leg of the tie with Atleti, nor that they put up a good fight in defeat against runaway Serie A leaders Juventus a week-and-a-half ago.

Those two performances, along with a few others, provide some evidence that Seedorf is taking his side in the right direction in the early stages of his coaching career. However, defeat to Udinese on Saturday followed by last night’s showing have highlighted the magnitude of the task that the San Siro legend faces if he is to restore the club to the sort of heights the tifosi have become accustomed to down the years.

So what next for the Rossoneri? They now have 11 Serie A fixtures left to focus on but with the side barely in the top half of the table and nine points off a European place, they have surely left themselves far too much to do to mount a serious challenge for continental competition. Seedorf has said that the Rossoneri still have ‘some very specific objectives’ to achieve before the season’s end, and one very high on his own personal list must surely now be to conduct a thorough and honest assessment of the playing staff he currently has at his disposal.

Indeed, if the club’s decision makers are certain that they have got the right man for the job in the rookie Dutchman, they would be best served to now write off the season in terms of results and allow Seedorf the opportunity to do just that. Poor though the season has been, Milan will not be dragged into a relegation dogfight so the Coach should be given license to use the upcoming games as a chance to experiment with youngsters, run the rule over fringe players, decide which of the more experienced ones to retain and try out new formations and tactics.

He should be allowed to do all of this free of the expectation of delivering good results that is normally a given at San Siro, so long as it is evident that he is building for the future. After all, it would surely serve the Rossoneri far better in the long term if they were to finish this season in say, 13th place, but having had a look at some of the youth players who so impressively won the Viareggio tournament in first team action, than it would to stick with the same set of players who have shown over the course of the season that collectively they are not up to the required standard and finish seventh or eighth.

The nature of Milan’s turbulent season means that they face the unfamiliar scenario of having to play two months of virtual dead-rubbers before the season is out. If they are used properly however, the upcoming matches may prove to be a rare and much needed opportunity to really take stock of where the club is at. It is an opportunity that, as demonstrated by events last night, the Rossoneri should not and cannot pass up.

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Have your say...
Petr Cehc
De Ciligo - Hummels - Rami - Contero
Monti - De Jong
Aubameyang - Pastore - Sharawy
Deigo Costa

SUBS: Perin, Tarrat, Kaka, Pazzini, Urby, Zapata, Saponara, Poli, Cristante, Petagna, MASTOOR
This is my dream team for Milan next season, yes it's a dream........a long dream - hopefully it will happen
on the 20th March, 2014 at 8:15am
Lets be honest here.. Berlusconi and Galliani are the real problems of Milan, They sell our best players and bring Rubbish Players for free or on loan.. a real team like Ac Milan cannot be surviving on BOSSMAN Players and Loan Players because no team will let go of their best players on loan... Milan need a complete revamp both internally and on Transfers..

BERLUSCONI PLEASE SELL OUR TEAM TO PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN SPENDING AND BUILDING A PROJECT..
on the 18th March, 2014 at 1:51pm
Milan need to follow Romas, man city and chelseas example and let investors pump big money into the club unlike berlosconi so come on berlosconi sell the club to someone that cares and is willing to bring big names to milan we have fallen well behind the spending league in europe milan cant keep hoping for bargains!
on the 17th March, 2014 at 10:47am
Maldini heir
Everyone is starting to realise what balotelli really is. The footballers, exfootballers, everyone. When a player believes they are bigger than they actually are they become balotelli. He doesnt realise how lucky he is to be where he is, yet I see the angree little child everytime I see him play. He score he moans, he doesnt score- he moans. If he misses, which he does alot, its everyones fault but his. The guys unstable, and everyone is starting to see that hes not that good!
on the 16th March, 2014 at 4:58pm
@ MM and Baggiot class balotelli not! Balo's scored 22 goals in 32 for Milan. That's more than 1 in 2 games. What do you expect? Seriously what could Balo do to make you back off and focus on our defence that has conceded 38 goals in the league this season. Now Altafini in defending Galliani is also criticising Balo. It seems everyone's having a pop. Why not. It's great having a scapegoat. I must remember to blame Balo next time something goes wrong in work.You're late? It wasn't me it was Balo
on the 16th March, 2014 at 12:50am
Mm

Correct!!beyond belief that people rate someone who never scores!!its crazy. It's wrong. Pirandello needs to grow some strength. Drop balo. Drop gaicerini too!!!
on the 15th March, 2014 at 10:04pm
Boss
You have fallen for the propaganda! They wont get an established manager for 2 reasons.. 1. Berlusconi doesnt want to spend any money. And 2 (the fundamental reason) NO manager would accept being the manager of a team they wouldnt actually be able to control, no manager would take on the sell sell sell wiithout reinvestment!

Maldini heir
The ultras are completely correct to take it out on balo, hes there to score and he doesnt, hes lazy, attitude overated hype- finally ppl are realising!
on the 15th March, 2014 at 9:02pm
There is something very sinister going on at Milan behind the veil. The man in charge will be dead soon. His bloodline is akin to that fit bird that owned Roma for a bit. Look what happened to her.

For all the Milan fans, you have heard it here first, Milan will never win another champions league again or a scudetto whilst berlusconi owns the club.

As a juve fan, this is concerning as we have just lost our only rival. Now we have to eat at the table with xmas break teams like Roma and Napoli.
on the 15th March, 2014 at 6:33pm
Incredibly annoying how Milan have this bizarre round robin of appointing managers or being linked to managers that have no experience or are mediocre. After ancellotti, they appoint Leonardo? Why? Because he was mates with Galliani? Allegri? Why? Because he was ok at a crap team. Now seedorf? Why? Same reason as Leonardo. Clearly there is no trial and error lessons for the stupid people in charge. Instead it is trial and trial and trial.

Why not acquire an established manager? Hiddink?
on the 15th March, 2014 at 6:26pm
Mm

I've known Milan have been a sinking ship since, I would say, when shevchenko left. That was the relevant date. I know Milan won the CL in 2007 but I think that was a poor Milan that got lucky, a bit like Chelsea.

As for the youngsters, of course they should be promoted if they are good enough. But champions trump youngsters. Milan should be after those. We know they have the money.
on the 15th March, 2014 at 6:21pm
Daniel G

I agree with you to an extent. Your notion that, where your team cannot afford quality, they should turn to youth, is debatable. Of course if they are good players they should be promoted. But there are quality players out there available for cheap. Just look at juve with tevez, llorente, pirlo.

Crucially, it is evident Milan have received money from sales. That money could be reinvested but when it is, it is done recklessly. The finger has to point to those in charge of transfers.
on the 15th March, 2014 at 6:14pm
Musacchio is free? Holy crap I forgot that.

If Milan don't sign him then Milan should be fired from Serie A.
on the 15th March, 2014 at 3:25pm
You gotta sell Honda, preferably De Jong, Montolivo. You could keep Abate and rotate between him, Emmanuelson and De Sciglo. Sell Constant, I think. Rami is very good and so is Zapata. He has not been the problem. But you can't have them both. Make a move for either Vermaelen or Vertonghen. Rotate Taarabt, El Shaarawy and Robinho outside of Balotelli. Pick one of Pazzini/Niang. Saponara fills in for Kaka. M'Vila, Diarra, Gustavo, maybe Lucas if Liverpool move Gerrard to DM permanently. AKINFEEV.
on the 15th March, 2014 at 3:16pm
Maldini's heir makes a great point on De Jong. It's not even him, but in this system you need an anchor or playmaker and not an enforcer in that role. That was why Gattuso played where he did (tho I understand the formation is not the same).

They have the next Redondo and the next this and that...so let them play. Saponara is already 22. And then you bring in Honda? Because Honda is free? The Bosman from CSKA you need is Igor Akinfeev this Summer. Watch them blow that.
on the 15th March, 2014 at 3:06pm
The Ultras are planning a protest this weekend and hopefully Galliani will get the hint. Interesting list of players they've highlighted as good examples. Montolivo, Bonera, Abbiati, Kaka, De Sciglio, Abate, De Jong, Poli and Pazzini. Hard to disagree in terms of professionalism but some of those players surely lack the quality. I mean Bonera and De Jong are part of the problem. And again I would re-emphasise that I cannot see how Balo is primarily responsible. He's rescued Milan in a few games
on the 15th March, 2014 at 12:07pm
@The Inter Man, you made some very good points. It's nice to see a rival fan speaking with balance & common sense. Kudos to you!
on the 15th March, 2014 at 10:09am
@Baggio class balotelli not!
Baggio is my all time great! It offends me when balo name is even mentioned in the same sentence as baggio! I have said over and over that he is single handedly the most overated player I have seen- its more ridiculous than the 50m chelsea spent on torres! The fact that all our hopes are pinned on balo for wc is even more worrying. We see milan suffer with defenders that dont defend. Midfield that to creat and strikers that dont score its ridiculous. Get rid asap!!!
on the 14th March, 2014 at 9:17pm
@ Adam well considering 2/3 helped Milan finish 3rd last season and 1/3 helped Italy to the finals of the Euros I'm not sure what you're saying is necessarily correct. Plus Honda remains an unknown quantity in Italy but had success in Russia. There's also Kaka, Saponara (part of Italy's U21 Euro Finalists), Niang (second youngest player to score for Milan) and Pazzini (15 goals in 30 apps last season). Tarabat might actually turn out ok plus we have Petagna and whatever happened to young Ganz???
on the 14th March, 2014 at 6:56pm
@Adam

Haghahhahahahah, the front three is shocking. Yeah right. Love people who thrives on hating and trashtalking. front 3 sounds great.
on the 14th March, 2014 at 5:49pm
Baggiot class balotelli not! I do appreciate your frustrations and I have been frustrated in the past with Balo but every since he effectively helped Italy to the final of the Euros and Milan qualify for the CL last season I have become frustrated with the criticism. I also see his frustration on the pitch. FT has now reported that Balo was not excluded from training due to his performance but because of injury. Another lie.
on the 14th March, 2014 at 5:42pm
PERIN (13m)
ABATE - ASTORI (10m) - MUSACCHIO (bosman)-DE SCIGLIO
CRISTANTE - MONTOLIVO - DE JONG
HONDA
EL SHAARAWY - BALOTELLI

would finish 6th.......

the front 3 is shocking
on the 14th March, 2014 at 3:07pm
Maldini...thank you
I want to see balo do more ..much more, I want to see him win matches regularly ..in fact I want to see this man achieve. Believe me. However I don't understand why the azzuri followers do not see the. Good...but not great player he is. Great players pull things out of nowhere like messi,like our very own Baggio, why are you defending a player who simply does not do what world class players do???,,,regularly?,,,
Do you not see it??
on the 14th March, 2014 at 1:03pm
@boss
Clap! clap!on realising ibra/silva helped ruin us! Money is the exact problem as the money made from these sales has not been reinvested instead its vanished and we have been left with filling a team up with overated half wits.
Youth is also a problem- no 1 is saying fill 11 players with 16 year olds.. what we are saying is why have cristante/de sciglio/saponara/petagna if they are not going to get game time. Our seasons over integrate them now so next season theyl have alittle experience
on the 14th March, 2014 at 10:06am
Right now, the balance is all wrong, & leans heavily towards the average/older players. Milan's finances are a mess & things are only going to get worse without CL football. Youth may be the only option. If they can manage to scrape a few coins together, then I hope that take the 'quality over quantity' route, & get their priorities right-starting with a decent CB.
on the 14th March, 2014 at 9:54am
@boss, no disputing Ibra, Cassano, & Silva! The trouble is, who have Milan signed since? Mostly journeymen on high contracts & far too many of them. They've bloated their squad with a lot of mediocrity. I agree with Maldini's Heir, they need to be more astute with signings and not hang around the bins looking for scraps. Matri was a ridiculous signing! They need a CB & what do they do?!, they sign an average forward. I would like to see them have a decent blend between youth & experience.
on the 14th March, 2014 at 9:48am
@ Baggiot class balotelli not! Welcome! It's rants like that which will see Milan sell Balo and replace him with players like Adebayor in the summer. Balo is not Milan's primary concern. It's the defence. Did you hear he was training alone yesterday? Due to an injury? Did you hear Costacurta doesn't think he's world class? Did you hear all the rumours? Milan lose 4-1 to Atletico and nobody's talking about our defence just Balo. I'm so sick of hearing about Balo and I'm sure so is he.
on the 14th March, 2014 at 9:47am
@ The Inter Man I'd be interested to know what you think as an Inter fan of why they so often fail to incorporate their own youth players. Inter consistently produce some of the best young players in Italy but they get sold off. How do you feel about the likes of Bardi, Donati and Caldirola (all finalists in the Euro U21s) being loaned out or sold (to Bundesliga teams!)? Even players like Santon and Balo in the past?
on the 14th March, 2014 at 9:42am
@ The Inter Man My god not all Inter fans are....Yes I agree broadly with what you're saying. Certainly we need changes at the top. De Jong is actually one of our biggest weaknesses in the team because he doesn't sit in front of the defence but moves around. We need a player who'll sit. I agree we need a leader at CB. I think the real frustration for me is that Milan could've built on last season but instead the last 2 transfer windows have been abject disasters. The squad is getting worse.
on the 14th March, 2014 at 9:33am
Baggio it's shocking that we put this player up as our saviour! ..get real people.
on the 14th March, 2014 at 9:32am
I understand your views on balotelli however we must all remember that if he is a striker then he simply has to score one in two..... Not including penalties...if he really is great???? ...if of course he is just another everyday striker....then he's ok....but...if he is the man all pundits and supporters seem to believe he is,,,,then he needs to be scoring 25 goals a season...minimum.... Ronaldo...messi...do!!! They are greats,,,,balotelli isn't. Purely and simply. For a nation that produced
on the 14th March, 2014 at 9:29am

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