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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...
How Balo is coming in for most of the criticism after last night is beyond me. Our defence conceded 4 goals. Our midfield failed to provide any service whatsoever. And if he hadn't won a few free kicks we wouldn't have had any shots. Emanuelson couldn't simply put the ball down the channel to Balo even when he was screaming for it. Balo probably does not have a long term future at Milan unless he starts stepping up in the big games but our No 1 priority has to be our defence.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 12:29pm
Last nite also helps to clear up the on going disgussion about balotelli and his clear lack of understanding that he is supposed to score goals. They parade him like the saviour on the covers of gazzetta dello sport for what?? So he can unbalance the team- its no coincidence that we played better in the first leg bcoz balo was absent! We need to get rid of 80% of this bunch and use the youngsters. Sacchi was very critical last nite- and was correct we are not a team just a bunch of wannabe heros
on the 12th March, 2014 at 11:31am
Our season was over by xmas, all we needed to do was focus on the youth set up and get the boys in and plaaying so next season wed have a well balanced focus hungry team. Instead we wasted money on wages of players like honda, tarrabt, essien this list is endless now we have an obligation to play these bunch of overated twats so the youth are pushed further and further back! Our only promising players are ses and desciglio but once psg on man city put an offer theyl be sold!!! Embarrassing!!!
on the 12th March, 2014 at 11:24am
Last nite highlighted all the issues we have. Firstly we are officially rubbish! 2nd our players new and majority of old players who havnt been sold and profit pocked are also rubbish. Balotelli really unbalances the team which is already a mess, bonera is flying a flag for the worst defender on earth, our defence n defensive mid field are horrendous. What a mess, seedorf even tried to pass the buck to allergri saying he left them in this mess- no!!! The fault lays with berlusconi!!!
on the 12th March, 2014 at 11:19am
Bonera OUT. Muntari OUT. Essien OUT. Robinho OUT and the big one....waaaaait for it....the one that you are all too afriad to mention incase of backlash for speaking the truth and or because you are all too softy softy that you dont want to sound like you are provoking but ill say it.....BALOTELLI OUT!! I said it from the start. I said it through out and ill continue to say it!
on the 12th March, 2014 at 11:18am
As a Juventus fan, it is quite disturbing that Milan have fallen so far below us.... Serie A is at its majestic best when it's Juventus and Milan fighting for the Scudetto, with Inter, Roma, Napoli, Fiorentina and some others vying for the next 4 slots.... As an objective Serie A supporter, Milan must keep faith in Seedorf for at least 1 more season, and this June they must get rid of the deadwood currently in place.... Even better is to choose a handful of players and then fire the rest....
on the 12th March, 2014 at 11:15am
With no CL footy/money next season, Milan should sell Balo, Monty, & lose the deadwood & high earners. They should fast-track their young talents and give them an opportunity. They cannot do any worse than what they are right now. The young players should have more hunger, & will be a lot cheaper. If Galliani is still at the club, then we will just see the same old trend of signing older, mostly average, foreign players on ridiculous contracts.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 11:09am
The reason I haven't listed more players is because we cannot simply replace 20 of our squad. We need gradual change. If you're after 2 centre backs then off the top of my head I'd go for two of Astori, Paletta, Donati, Caldirola, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Howedes or whoever else can actually defend and is available come this summer. END OF RANT
on the 12th March, 2014 at 10:35am
What next....? Sell the club to the oil barons do a PSG or just sit in mid table for 5/6 years. Balotelli and Montolivo will try leave I think Abate to Juve?
on the 12th March, 2014 at 10:25am
actually stand in front of the defence. He moves around. Even though he's no ability on the ball and all he can do is kick people? At this stage I am at a complete loss how to fix the squad. Certainly the defence is the main priority. We need 2 new centre backs and a goalkeeper. Forget about attack for now and hope that Balo, SES and Saponara come good. We need reduce the size of the squad and get rid of the deadwood including Bonera, Rami, Mexes, Emanueslon, Constant, Essien and Robinho.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 10:23am
Emanuelson is considered a better left back than De Sciglio. The former couldn't make Fulham's team last year and the latter would probably walk into the Barcelona team (he actually would he's better than Montoya). I was actually hoping that Balo would finally lose it and punch Emanuelson if he failed to thread one more pass than the channel. Balo wasn't great but our problems certainly do not begin with him. De Jong (and I've seem him live in the San Siro against Juve) does not actually stand..
on the 12th March, 2014 at 10:18am
for their shortcomings in management when they've never been a manager before. That's why you don't start with supposedly one of the biggest clubs in the world but work your way up. It seems that at Milan we're happy to put our faith in novice coaches but not novice players. Right now the squad is such a mess with lots of the wrong type of players in a few positions. Our defence conceded another 4 goals even with Bonera not being completely terrible. Rami got caught out and for some reason....
on the 12th March, 2014 at 10:14am
The problems last night were numerous and frightening. It seems Galliani's short term fix of signing the "experienced" Essien completely backfired when he used his experience to lose the ball in his own third. The short term fix is also causing havoc with our formation by forcing Poli out to the right wing. Poli seems to have been the journey man this season playing every position. We'll never if he could've made a decent CM. Seedorf's inexperience is showing. It's difficult to criticise someone
on the 12th March, 2014 at 10:11am
Milan definitely need a complete revamp in the summer under Seedorf. The amount of deadwood in the squad is unbelievable and makes you wonder how the club have got themselves in such a state.

A change at the top is vital to the future of the club. Berlusconi and Galliani have now run their course and a new approach is now needed in the running of the club. I believe a team based on youth is a must for the future, although there's no chance it will happen with these two at the helm.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 9:46am
Balotelli has huge potential but doesn't turn up in the big games when it matters, apart from Germany game in euro 2012. Prandelli has to take Cassano, he has been great consistently all season. Balo dips in and out of games but there is no consistency. The top players do it week in week out. Any team that plays Bonera in their team is going to struggle. A Few weeks ago when he said if Cesare needs me for WC I am available I nearly died laughing. He could come as a water boy if he likes.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 9:42am
Balotelli has huge potential but doesn't turn up in the big games when it matters, apart from Germany game in euro 2012. Prandelli has to take Cassano, he has been great consistently all season. Balo dips in and out of games but there is no consistency. The top players do it week in week out. Any team that plays Bonera in their team is going to struggle. A Few weeks ago when he said if Cesare needs me for WC I am available I nearly died laughing. He could come as a water boy if he likes.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 9:39am
Balotelli has huge potential but doesn't turn up in the big games when it matters, apart from Germany game in euro 2012. Prandelli has to take Cassano, he has been great consistently all season. Balo dips in and out of games but there is no consistency. The top players do it week in week out. Any team that plays Bonera in their team is going to struggle. A Few weeks ago when he said if Cesare needs me for WC I am available I nearly died laughing. He could come as a water boy if he likes.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 9:38am

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