BLOG ITALIA
Thursday January 18 2018
More Milan lows than highs

Evaluating Milan's season so far, it's easier to pick out the lowlights than the few high points, writes Richard Hall, but Patrick Cutrone was a beacon of hope.

Milan would have welcomed the winter break more than most, after promise turned into disappointment almost from day one. In the early summer, 60,000 turned up to watch the new and most thought improved Milan squad qualify for the Europa League via two preliminary rounds. The enthusiasm would start to drain as results worsened and the players failed to perform. Now on their second Coach of the season, they will be hoping for a better 2018.

Vincenzo Montella perhaps could be seen as somewhat unlucky. Under the previous regime, the lack of spending meant that he had to cobble together a team with little to no financial backing. The emergence of some bright young things from the Primavera had given Milan an identity again and the Europa League finish last season was an achievement.

This season, however, saw the Rossoneri spend over €220m on almost an entire new line-up and that turned out to be more of a curse than a blessing. Montella could not settle on his first-choice XI, nor a formation, and this saw him replaced by Gennaro Gattuso. The fans’ favourite has come with a reputation of being more ‘blood and thunder’ than a tactical maverick, but he will have to prove that he can handle the position in the second half of the season.

In all this turmoil, it has been hard to find many that have stood up and been counted, showed character and pulled the team forward. That is perhaps apart from youngster Patrick Cutrone. The teenager from Como has risen through the ranks so quickly and started to become a fan favourite, being their top scorer with goals in Serie A, the Europa League and the Coppa Italia.

The fact that he is a fan of the club and has an industrious nature has meant that he has stayed close to the hearts of the Curva Sud and, whilst Andre Silva and Nikola Kalinic have floundered, passionate Cutrone has done enough to deserve a starting place in the team.

Whilst Cutrone has been winning hearts and minds, Andre Silva has been perplexing the Milan faithful. He has looked like the player they wanted him to be in the Europa League (bagging six goals in 10 games), but has yet to break his duck in Serie A. The hope was that the 22-year-old would be able to mirror his form at Porto, where he netted 20 goals over the league and the Champions League. It would be foolish to write him off just yet, as his confidence is low, and this cannot have been helped by the emergence of Cutrone. Perhaps a goal in Serie A will displace his demons and see him have a better 2018.

Whilst there was not much to write home about for Milan fans this term, they have had some moments of excitement and one of them was thanks to Cutrone. Milan faced Inter in the Coppa Italia game that Gattuso had described as their World Cup Final. At the time Milan had lost three out of their last five matches and sat an incredible eight places below the Nerazzurri in the league. Even in the warm up there were issues, as goalkeeper Marco Storari was injured and replaced by ‘the other Donnarumma’ Antonio. In a game that had everything (other than goals), Cutrone would end up being the hero and scored in extra time to win the game 1-0 and see them march on to the semi-finals.

Whilst the highlights of the first half of the season were few and far between, the disasters were easier to find. Perhaps the lowest point came against Benevento, a team who at the time had zero points on the board and didn’t look likely to change that. Gattuso had taken charge for his first game at the helm in Serie A and was poised to take three points home, as his team led 2-1 well into injury time. From a late set piece, it was none other than Benevento goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli who leapt to head in an equaliser and leave the Rossoneri shell-shocked.

Milan will certainly want to avoid any more incidents like this in the second half of the season and there is still reason to be positive. If Gattuso can settle on a formation, he may be able to give the Rossoneri the stability they need. If Cutrone or any of the other strikers can start providing the goals, then there is still the Coppa Italia and the Europa League that could help salvage something from this very difficult campaign. 

Have your say...
Am I?
It looks like you've lost the plot mush!

Your footie savvy travels on a wing and a prayer........
LOL

Chillax viktor!
on the 23rd January, 2018 at 1:22pm
@CARPE DIEM

Dude,

you keep writting about non related fotboll matters.

"Not exactly rocket science"

You're the one who keps digging further and further in to nonsense. Go away.
on the 23rd January, 2018 at 8:49am
viktor

Do me favour.......
Take a chill pill mush.............

Your footie messages aren't exactly rocket science!
on the 22nd January, 2018 at 10:25pm
@CARPE DIEM

"as is my unquestionable knowledge of World Football."

For sure mate for sure.

"We are not here to score personal points against each other but we should be here to discuss "calcio".

Finally you start making some sense, took a while but you seem to be on the same page as most of us. Good for you oh fotboll guru
on the 22nd January, 2018 at 6:25pm
My English is certainly OK, as is my Italian, as is my unquestionable knowledge of World Football.
I notice quite a few contributors whose English leaves much to be desired as clearly it isn't their first language, but this is only be be expected and really nothing to write home about.
We are not here to score personal points against each other but we should be here to discuss "calcio".
It is totally absurd to take me on about my writing as I make a very good living out of it.
English & Italian.
on the 22nd January, 2018 at 3:45pm
@juvenitini86

To be honest,

If we for some miracle pull off the 4th spot, I would be beyond stoked but I think 6th is more likely. I have strong doubt on Gattuso as well, however, last too games, at least I've seen them play with a different "anger" and grit rather then before.

There is a massive concern tho, Kallinic should NOT be playing, he is without a doubt the worst signing we did so far.

As for Genoa game yes tricky!
on the 22nd January, 2018 at 3:11pm
My English is certainly OK, as is my Italian, as is my unquestionable knowledge of World Football.
I notice quite a few contributors whose English leaves much to be desired as clearly it isn't their first language, but this is only be be expected and really nothing to write home about.
We are not here to score personal points against each other but we should be here to discuss "calcio".
It is totally absurd to take me on about my writing as I make a very good living out of it.
English & Italian.
on the 22nd January, 2018 at 1:55pm
@viktor
Spoken like someone who never tried a tide pod :P
Also, best to ignore those that talk nonsense.

As for Milan, a win is a win. Though I still doubt Gattuso's abilities, it's likely that future failures won't be solely down to his managerial failures. Always was the case but it's worth pointing out.

My predictions are way off this week. For my sake more than you-know-who, I hope at least we keep up with Napoli and win. Still, there's always problems against Genoa based teams.
on the 22nd January, 2018 at 10:54am
@CARPE DIEM

Lol.. clearly you cant comprehend basic english and using google translation on all your post as you just write bunch of jibberish and trying to use fancy words that has ZERO meaning to it context.

You are the one who write just nonsense, there are 3-4 other people who clearly states that, yet you continue.

PLEASE do us a favor and keep your absurd thoughts to yourself, again, noone wants to hear about your trolling.
on the 22nd January, 2018 at 9:28am
viktor

yours are puerile and vulgar posts, nothing to do with FOOTBALL ITALIA.
The green eyes of envy perhaps?

Ranting and raving will do you no good.
Write something about Milan or something to do with football.
Your childish behaviour doesn't contribute anything to the discussions of FOOTBALL ITALIA.
on the 21st January, 2018 at 11:59pm
I'm sure that anyone with an ounce of gray matter will realize that I know my onions much better than most. So I'm afraid that the JOKE is on you mush! I genuinely "mastico" world football and lay down, if not the law, THE FACTS as they are........... No arguments with that gringo......
on the 21st January, 2018 at 11:18pm
@CARPE DIEM

Dude, what are you talking about lol.. Eating those tide pods or what?
on the 21st January, 2018 at 11:16pm
Every Club tries their very best in the pursuit of success.
But................
Out of so many teams ONLY ONE WINS!

So no matter how hard you try, the chances are that the ELITE Club in your League will always better you.
With notable exceptions.
Like if you darkly plot to take them out of the picture.....
on the 21st January, 2018 at 8:29pm
@CARPE DIEM

You're one sad troll.

You do realize your only amusing us here and is being considered as a big joke. Let the grown up speak instead.
on the 21st January, 2018 at 8:04pm
that 2013/14 season when milan won 2 games and draw 1 against roma juve inter napoli and fiorentina so that is 7 points out of 30 or again the next season or the following season with the same teams which was 10 points out of 30 or the 2015/16 season with 8 points out of the 30. when milan was full of over the hill expensive players signed on free transfer who didn't even lend themselves to any real tactical setup and the club sacked allegri mid season since them having 7 new managers.
on the 21st January, 2018 at 1:18pm
@maldini heir
Almost half that figure was spent in the current inflated market. In terms of spending 569 million euros they also made 275 million euros on player sales leaving 294 net spend. You consider that most of that figure is represented in the last transfer market it is almost been a state of parity. In addition milan lost the likes of silva gattuso seedorf nesta ibra zambro inzaghi in a summer. What is also key is the lack of spending to reaplce these players before the decade.
on the 21st January, 2018 at 12:55pm
MEANWHILE IN THE REAL WORLD


The hapless Gattuso is still Milan's manager
No hoper Locatelli is still Milan's BIG HOPE


And......... WOW!
Today it's Cagliari!
A real TOUGHIE for a struggling side like Milan!


paolo

Really?
You have no idea!
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I rock mate!
on the 21st January, 2018 at 7:24am
PS The reason Milan failed to qualify for the CL since 2014 is because we failed to beat the newly promoted sides. Our record against the top sides has been pretty good. It was excellent last season. But then we struggled to beat Empoli and Cagliari. That's right you need supercalifragilisticexpialidocious players to beat Empoli and Cagliari.
on the 21st January, 2018 at 4:29am
@ paolo Milan have spent over 500m on players this decade. As a fan I'm not going to demand they should've spent another 500m. In fact I wish they'd just stuck with the same players rather than paying millions for marginal or non-improvements. The big thing Milan have been missing is a manager. Barzagli's career would've been a failure had he signed for Milan. Look at Bonucci. World class at Juve, mid-class at Milan. I'm sick of talking about players. I want a proper manager.
on the 21st January, 2018 at 4:26am
@carpe diem are you serious you are quoting tuttosport one of the most inaccurate sports papers around i think you need to use better sources.

no wonder you can't tell the difference between opinion and facts come one if you are going to use a source use gazzetta or sky italia or corriere della sera or corriere dello sport. Even when they write about juve and torino a paper dedicated to these two clubs they get it wrong
on the 20th January, 2018 at 9:53pm
Just in case you all think that I'm having you on......

I'm not joking!

Today's TUTTOSPORT (mentioned on the first page)

MILAN
Progetto Sarri
Per rifondazione
(pagina 4)

It's 100% true!
on the 20th January, 2018 at 6:08pm
juventini86

Have you got anything even slightly intelligent to discuss with yours truly?
NO?
Mind your own biz mate!
Oh yours...
NOT!

Anybody got news about Sarri and Milan's project?

The way I see it is that Locatelli is a run of the mill average player and that Gattuso is a dead loss........
Then you keep on with your ABSURD FANTASIES.

And poo poo to juventini86 ;o)
SOZ
on the 20th January, 2018 at 5:57pm
@CARPE DIEM

"Either write something constructive or mind your own biz!
Get a life!"
Oh, my.

@Maldini's Heir
FWIW, I didn't rate Allegri myself back then and thought it would be best that Milan sacked him. Still eating my words to this day, and maybe the same will happen re Gattuso but I'm not holding my breath.
on the 20th January, 2018 at 2:05pm
you keep referencing English teams you are forgetting they have control over the players the clubs buys. As for utd it is absurd fergie was there for decades he built that club in his own image how could any coach in world football without completely overhauling that team expect to successfully impose his idea on that squad.

The likes of insigne mertens hamsik are fulfilling their potential under sarri but even before his arrival they were still quality players.
on the 20th January, 2018 at 12:04pm
@maldini heir you are referencing juventus before conte arrived but they spent consistently on the years before he arrived the likes of barzagli buffon chiellini bonucci marshisio matri where all there before he arrived not also accounting for money spent on the likes of diego melo krasic martinez poulsen candreva amauri. Milan hasn't been funded for over 5 years at least on a significant and consistent basis and you are expect a league winning team because of 1 summer transfer spending.
on the 20th January, 2018 at 11:53am
Well............ Good news for Milan, if true.

TUTTOSPORT has an article about a new Milan project with Sarri at the helm.
on the 20th January, 2018 at 11:29am
to win a race. There isn't this great dividing line between the seemingly superhuman Juve players and the seemingly subpar Milan players. The biggest difference is probably the Juve core has played together for so many years and have winning mentality. But they also have a far superior manager. We forget about judging these Milan players until they have a proper
on the 20th January, 2018 at 5:52am
The manage makes all of the difference. Napoli would not be first without Sarri. And then we'd be writing off the likes of Koulibaly, Jorginho, Insigne and even Mertens as "average". Milan have not had a proper manager since Allegri in 2013, Been through lots of players all of whom have been written off. But they've never got a chance to play under a proper manager. It doesn't matter how much they get paid. This is top level football. You can't give some amateur a formula 1 car and expect them
on the 20th January, 2018 at 5:48am
@ paolo Chelsea is just one example. Man Utd collapsed the minute Fergie retired. He was winning titles with the likes of Neville, Butt and Cleverly one minute and then suddenly he leaves and they struggle to qualify for Europe. When Conte took over at Juve they had finished 7th. With a few signings he turned them into an unbeaten first. Garcia took Roma from 6th to 2nd in season with a few signings. Lazio went from 9th to 3rd in one season. And Inter this season went from 7th to CL places.
on the 20th January, 2018 at 5:44am
juventini86

What's your prob mate?
Either write something constructive or mind your own biz!
Get a life!

If I am provoked I state the FACTS again and again, and again and again...........
However any valid and friendly banter is more than welcome......... ;o)

What's it got to do with you anyway?

You write your messages, I write mine.....
on the 20th January, 2018 at 5:40am

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