I blame President Silvio Berlusconi. He blames Massimiliano Allegri. The fans blame Adriano Galliani and Mario Balotelli. They blame injuries, for which the media blame Milan Lab. Clarence Seedorf, naturally, agrees with his President in all matters, so we’re back to Allegri again.
It’s not remotely surprising that the Seedorf bubble burst so quickly, as bringing in a Coach with no management experience midway through a Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League campaign was never really going to end well. However, the way he has handled the downward trajectory is utterly disconcerting. Like the master of this mind trick Berlusconi, Seedorf has embraced every opportunity to take the credit and passed the buck of blame over to Allegri when things went sour.
“The team struggled psychologically to react, as they often do. This moment of difficulty 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,” said Seedorf after the 4-1 Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid. “I am not responsible for the situation that was created. I am here to improve the situation,” added the Coach ahead of a very difficult game with sixth-placed Parma. In just over a month the Dutchman has gone from self-proclaimed ‘anti-virus’ to cup of hot tea with lemon.
Now the Curva Sud will hold a protest with banners demanding the heads of Galliani and Balotelli. Perhaps they were inspired by the Lazio ultras and their ability to make a bad situation much worse. They complain that Balotelli doesn’t give 100 per cent, that he is petulant, lazy and obsessed with off the field antics. It’s not as if any of this was news when Milan signed him. As for those still insisting he is young and needs to grow up, let’s not forget Antonio Cassano is still pulling these stunts and he’s over 30.
Milan have fundamental problems and they are not going to be fixed by changing the Coach or a couple of players. They need to plan out an actual team and not just a collection of ageing figures they managed to get cheap who then have to be shoved into a starting XI with no logical form. The club has to revamp its medical staff and fitness trainers, because it has been too many years now with endless injuries that defy explanation.
Above all, everyone must step up and take on their fair share of the responsibility rather than following Berlusconi’s lead by taking the credit when things go right and passing the buck when it turns bad. Balotelli isn’t the only one who needs to grow up.