Monday October 2 2017
Can't get no satisfaction

Vincenzo Montella felt satisfied after defeat and Maurizio Sarri angry following victory, as Susy Campanale rounds up Serie A Week 7.

“I am satisfied.” That’s the phrase that we keep hearing from Coaches and directors after games, even when the results very clearly do not warrant such an attitude. Then again, one can only be satisfied if expectations are met and it would seem we all have very different ideas of what those are.

Ivan Juric declared himself satisfied with the performance as Genoa fell 1-0 to Bologna. Vincenzo Montella said he was satisfied after Milan suffered a second consecutive 2-0 Serie A defeat, this time to Roma in a scrappy affair at San Siro. Director of sport Massimiliano Mirabelli was satisfied they had “dominated Roma for 70 minutes.” I’m not sure what game he was watching, but it can’t have been the same one I witnessed.

The Rossoneri were chaotic, didn’t work as a unit and finally got their first shot on target after 181 minutes of Serie A football. It’s probably to be expected of a side with nine out of the starting XI being summer signings and only recently switching to a system with three at the back. It’s amazing how many assumed Milan would be top of the table by now, simply because they spent €200m, and now believe Montella should be fired for not achieving that unrealistic expectation.

Ultimately, are Milan playing that much worse than Inter, who now sit in second place? I’d argue not really. Benevento, who scored just one goal in the opening weekend, found the net and rattled the woodwork twice at the Stadio Vigorito, as the Nerazzurri scraped the three points thanks to a Marcelo Brozovic brace. You could be satisfied with the results under Luciano Spalletti so far, but certainly not with the performances.

Napoli put in a display of total dominance against Cagliari and it’s remarkable it only ended 3-0. Yet Maurizio Sarri was still complaining at the final whistle, even a clean sheet not enough to quell his incessant desire for football perfection. At the same time, he repeatedly warns the Scudetto is a dream rather than a target and won’t even glance at their position as sole Serie A leaders. Don’t tell him that they are the first Serie A team ever to win the opening seven rounds with at least 25 goals scored, a minimum of three in each game. That would raise expectations and Sarri fears the comedown should they not be met.

Maybe expectations should be raised. That’s what Simone Inzaghi has done at Lazio, where despite trailing Sassuolo and suffering from an injury crisis, they retained their identity to fight back for a tennis-style 6-1 result. The Aquile used to crumble in these situations because they lacked self-belief. Now the Biancocelesti, their fans and their opponents all know full well what they’re capable of and that can tip the psychological balance of a game.

Atalanta have made a habit of fantastic comebacks not just because of their skill and the tactics of Gian Piero Gasperini, but above all their confidence. In the past, the Orobici wouldn’t have recovered from 2-0 down against Juventus in the opening 25 minutes, but now they are not satisfied to simply be sacrificial lambs. Similarly, it’s not the kind of lead Juve used to fumble, but this season their certainties have been shaken a little. Max Allegri insists he’s satisfied with the performance, but his angry storm off the field at the final whistle suggests otherwise, as well it should. The Old Lady can’t just do the bare minimum and expect to get three points. Not anymore.

People expected VAR to satisfy everyone, but it remains a subjective medium. You can show 100 people the Andrea Petagna ‘handball’ footage and they’ll all come out with different views on whether it was a penalty. It was unrealistic to think it would solve all ills, but it certainly has helped. As with the lengthy gap between goal disallowed and then decision overturned in Torino-Verona, it needs to be streamlined and tweaked, but there’s no going back now. VAR is here to stay.

Have your say...
Mistakes have been made and the consequences are showing already but lets remember that players like Silva, Musacchio, RR, Conti, Kessie, Hakan are young and have tremendous potential for this club as well as resale value. Their acquisitions are positive for the club. Bonucci and Biglia I believe will prove themselves over the course of the season, they simply have too much quality and experience.
on the 4th October, 2017 at 4:01am
All criticisms of Montella here are fair but to sack him this early in the season would be Russian Roulette. Which top coach is available other than Carlo? None. No guarantees Carlo wants the job atm considering the pressure and if our beloved Carlo should fail to yield immediate results.. what then? We need level heads and must look beyond these initial results.
Let us not forgot Montella has also done positive things at Milan particularly for youth including Locatelli, Cutrone, Calabria, etc.
on the 4th October, 2017 at 3:56am
@ I can't believe it - The reason I'm calling for Montella's sack is because he was the one who asked for all of the changes. He had my support until the summer. But the minute he overhauled the squad that had kept him in a job last season I wanted him overhauled. It concerns me when a manager shows such little faith in his own players and so much faith in a quick fix on the transfer market. And it annoys me no end that the very same overhaul is being used as an excuse for the poor results.
on the 3rd October, 2017 at 11:24pm
I do feel for silva hakan rr and mus mainly down to being forced into a new league and virtually playing straight away honestly i would be surprised if any of them could speak Italian. Milan really should have suck with players familiar with Italian football and than introduced these guys into the team when some chemistry had been build between the players. For me milan should be playing 343 with rr biglia kessie calabria mf suso kalinic bonna cf and of course making proactive subs.
on the 3rd October, 2017 at 10:03am
Calls for montella to go are just ridiculous it is hard to take any fans seriously when they spout that nonsense. Saying that i am starting to think a change of coach is the best outcome at the end of the season montella is proving to be a disappointment. What is scary is that some fans seem not to have learnt from the mistakes of the past insisting on instance success with would require a huge debt burden. Milan need a good coach with a long term vision who gets the best out of the primavera.
on the 3rd October, 2017 at 9:56am
@Maldini's Hier, "Since when did Montella become a long ball coach." Could not agree more with this statement. Top teams do not play this kind of football. Provincial teams with no quality and talent do this. I don't know if this style is used because of Bonucci who's ego was over inflated at Juventus with his passing abilities but Montella needs to rain him in if this is the case. It will cost him his job. The play out the back has been horrible and atrocious in all honesty.
on the 3rd October, 2017 at 1:29am
than rotating the base. There really are no excuses for the delay in introducing Silva and the reliance on Borini. And there's definitely no excuses for the long balls. If Milan lose the derby then Montella needs to go.
on the 3rd October, 2017 at 12:01am
Bonucci signed on 14 July. We had the entire pre-season, the EL qualifiers and the opening Serie A games to work on our new formation. Romagnoli's injury was no excuse. Either Zapata, Gomez and Paletta have a place in the squad or they don't. It was also in this crucial part of the season where players are fresh that we could've got a settled line up. In August and September there's very little need to rotate. By now we should know who are starting 11 is and then rotate from that basis rather
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 11:58pm
Equally players weren't just sold at the whim of Mirabelli and Fassone. They were clearly the players that were no longer required by Montella. Montella decided that he needed 3 deep lying midfielders (Biglia, Monty and Locatelli) and 1 box to box (Kessie) and that Kucka was surplus to requirements despite playing over 30 games the previous season. And even with the players that Montella was given there's still so much he could've done. The first thing of course was get a settled side.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 11:52pm
Ok I've now watched some of the game and all we seemed to do was hit the ball long! Since when did Montella become a long ball coach. People criticise the transfers but at the end of the day my view is that these were driven by the coach. Had someone like Sarri been in charge then he would've asked for minimal changes because a) he sees the benefit of a tight, familiar squad; and b) he's more interested in getting the best out of existing players rather than taking a punt on a load of newbies
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 11:26pm
Milan started their transfer campaign well but made many mistakes towards the end. Nevertheless,with this squad they can compete if Montella switches to a 4-4-2. 3-5-2 is clearly not working offensively nor defensively.A 4-4-2 seems best with the players Milan have.Back four,two of Kessie,Biglia,Locatelli in central midfield,two of Suso,Jack,Hakan,Borini on the wings,and two of Kalinic,Silva,Cutrone up front.That's every position covered with decent rotation options.WAKE UP MONTELLA!
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 8:11pm
Sheva was right when he called the transfer campaign chaotic. It started off really well with Musacchio,Rodriguez,and Kessie and looking to play a 4-3-3 but then they didnt sign any wingers.Then they let go of Mati,Pasalic,Kucka,Poli,Berto,Sosa and kept Montolivo.Then the Bonucci signing which Milan admitted was not planned and they started catering to him.They made him captain,gave him Kessie's number,and switched to a 3-5-2 leaving Suso and Bonaventura on the bench most games.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 8:01pm
oh common susy! why take a swipe at Inter when Rossonerri are such in a panic mode. i had to laugh to at your report. a hey at least Brozo had his day and he scored two fantastic goals you might have said in your analysis. oh and there the coming derby della madoninna...what are you gonna do susy?!
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 6:09pm
Usually I would feel sorry for Milan because out of the 3 northern teams, they are the ones that I have a soft spot for. Yet, it serves their cocky fans right. They made fun of Roma when they sold 3 players to get depth, calling them a supermarket all summer while they spent so much. Making fun of us acquiring Di Francesco and being certain they would take our CL spot. Look now. 5th with a game in hand and 4/6 clean sheets.

Next time, be humble and results like this wont sting as much. Losers.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 5:04pm
200 million spent on mediocrity. Can't say we didn't tell you so. 7 points back already and it's only the first week of October...
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 4:18pm
I watched Roma counter attack Milan with pace and in numbers. This is something that I see many Italian teams not do properly anymore. You see it constantly in La Liga, EPL and German leagues. For me this where Italy has dropped the ball in general. This is the vein Italian teams should have sought to grow in but nowdays many teams have tried to switch to a possesion game in which they are to slow to replicate properly. Hats off to Di Francesco, a coach who has shown intelligence so far.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 3:30pm
Right about now Bonucci regrets leaving Juve LOL
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 1:25pm
still manager to recover to win the scudetto as their good managers knew what they were doing. I watched Milan last night baffled as to how Suso didn't start such an important game, did not even come on when they were a goal down, in fact Roma made the 1st 2 subs and Milan made their 1st in the 80th minute when 2-0 down bringing on a striker for a striker. Borini played as right wing back with Abate & Calabria on the bench. Played 2 strikers good in the air but no wingers. This aint good sorry
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 11:36am
Milan's owners did good biz as they bought their plyers early. They had a decent pre season with Bonucci the only player that did not play so there really shouldn't be excuses. Other teams change sides sometimes later than Milan did and still do better with less players. Dortmund keep losing key players and buying others but they still have an identity and do relatively well. Sevilla lost their manager, transfer guru, players and are doing okay. Atalanta lost players as do Juve every season but
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 11:26am
Fans were mystified when the club game the No.10 shirt to Boateng and then Honda. But giving it to Calha-no-clue is without a doubt just the worst decision yet. He has no pace, no composure with his first touch, lacks all creativity and without a doubt a complete waste of money. He should be heavily fined for that second yellow. As long as players like Borini and Calha-no-clue are near the first team, Milan will have another painful season.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 10:40am
Not bad for a Supermarket ey?
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 9:46am
And I do think we can blame Montella for the overhaul. It didn't happen without his knowledge or consent. He wanted it. He considered the players he had last season to be under-par. He wanted lots of new players. And this is the consequence. So in many respects it is his fault. The only question is can Milan recover all of the lost points while we wait for the team to 'gel'. Finally, how is it that Napoli players can play every 3 days Milan players can't?
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 7:06am
Didn't see the Milan game but from the reports it sounded like a tight match where Roma got the break off Romagnoli. The result is largely acceptable to me. I don't expect Milan to beat the teams who finished above them. I expect them to beat those expected to finish beneath them. If they did that then they'd challenge for the title. That's how teams win titles. It was the secret to Ferguson's success. It's because of this that I was against the summer shopping spree.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 7:00am
I think it would be a mistake to sack Montella, at least until after the break in November. He is a decent coach and I am sure time will prove this.They are only 1 point worse off than after round 7 last season and if remember Milan fans were positive last season until the season was half over.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 5:58am
wow Bonucci
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 4:26am
yeaah.. I think Milan should stop using the "new team" excuse. Man City overhauled nearly the entire team yet they are top of EPL table. Maybe it's unrealistic to expect the same of Milan but the fact is there have been no improvement in 7 games. You'd think they'd get better as they accumulate games but to me it seems like they're actually getting worse as a unit.

Inter are quite an enigma,they've been performing really badly yet scraping results. I wonder how long their luck will stay.
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 3:07am

Don't you have any questions regarding Napoli only scoring 3 today? Maybe they should be worried that they are only averaging 3 per game perhaps?

Something negative, surly?
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 2:56am
Atalanta are doing a great job and what a tremendous result against the might of Juve!
Upcoming showdown between Milan and Inter will be very interesting but certainly not for the way they're playing which tbh is rubbish...could this be the game that Milan turn a new leaf? probably not...
on the 2nd October, 2017 at 2:27am

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