Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Atalanta must have burned for a lot of Rossoneri fans, as a familiar pattern was repeated. The inability of Gattuso’s team to last an entire 90mins with the same gusto and level of concentration. And it has almost become a pathology for the Diavolo to concede goals. Milan do need to improve on the mental level. But there were a few positives in their performance.
The Rossoneri are capable of scoring goals and could find the net more often as they’ve shown the last four league games. For the third time Milan have scored two goals and it was against a team that beat them by two goals to nothing last season at the San Siro, Atalanta. So the performance front it could be seen as an improvement, but they should have won the game by a large margin.
Once again Gonzalo Higuain showed why Milan’s insistence on him moving to the club on loan as part of the Bonucci deal was a great transaction. The Diavolo have lacked someone of his quality to lead the attack in a while. Higuain has already scored three goals in five games and is likely to make the 20 goal mark as a top Striker for the Serie A club. But his success could be limited by the players surrounding him, and the Argentine is already showing visible signs of frustrations on the pitch.
Having won the Scudetto in two successive seasons with Juventus, it’s natural that the former Napoli and Real Madrid forward will want to be part of a winning group. And it is for this reason that he left Naples to join the Turin club after three years without a medal. Higuain has got used to winning and he made that point when he joined the Milan in an interview "I want to make the fans happy, as well as the club that put their confidence in me. I want to win something important with this shirt."
What can he win with this group?
After the 1-1 draw against Cagliari it was reported by Sky Sports correspondent Manuele Biaocchini that when he approached Higuain for an interview, he went away very, very annoyed and immediately marched away in the locker room. Obviously he didn’t want to talk after Milan failed to win the match.
It must be noted that last season Leonardo Bonucci showed similar irritation on several occasions anytime Milan failed to secure victory against teams on the lower rung of the table. Bonucci is back at Juventus after a year with the Rossoneri hoping to secure his dream trophy the Uefa Champion League. These are ambitious players who want to win trophies and it doesn’t seem like Milan provides that sort of environment for them to thrive.
As it stands, the current group of Milan players is to bring the team to a level that can attract footballers of the quality of Bonucci and Higuain.
It’s quite surprising that given the personality of Gennaro Gattuso and what he achieved during his playing career, his team does not mirror his feisty nature on the pitch. We saw Antonio Conte’s Juventus side display the insatiable desire of their which made them so dominate on the domestic front. Likewise Atletico Madrid’s manager Diego Simeone, who is very invested in the affairs on the field. Gattuso is cast in the mould of these coaches. Coaches you expect to eke out the very best from players. Those who push you to the edge and accept nothing but a win.
Admittedly Gonzalo Higuain can score more goals if he can excise a bit patience in front of goal. Last Sunday he had a plethora of goal scoring opportunities but fluffed his lines. Milan also need more goal scorers in Hakan Calhanoglu, Giacomo Bonatventura and Suso. The burden of finding the net should not only be the responsibility of the Argentinian. More significantly, the team must be sharper on the counter, there were a few hesitations anytime Milan surged forward against Atalanta.
The Rossoneri should have won last night, and must show a winning attitude to keep Gonzalo Higuain Happy.