Monday September 24 2018
Higuain feeling Milan frustration

Can Milan’s current crop of players bring the team back to the level that they so crave? Richard Gyasi says they need more like this summer’s big signing.

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.

Have your say...
Andre Silva is currently the top scorer in Spain. Oh Milan!!
on the 27th September, 2018 at 12:23am
milan should be VERY thankful to juve for pushing pipita out as for most juve fans this was a no no and obviously also for him also juve+milan always do business,milan are a mediocre team and pipita has kept them alive dont expect much more come on!!
on the 26th September, 2018 at 1:55pm
is the single biggest reason Milan are struggling. It invites pressure on the team because the opposition can push up. We see that with the goal kicks, we see that when we're hanging onto a game, we see that when we're struggling to break down the smaller sides. Physicality and pace do make a big difference in real football just as much as computer games. We need pace.
on the 26th September, 2018 at 1:28am
@ GGG I don't think you can blame the management. Gattuso wanted these players. The team is set up as Gattuso wants it to be. He clearly likes the idea of a heavily technical side with very little pace. Hakan is his preferred option at LW even though he's out of position, he's too similar to Jack and he's slow. Milan could've signed someone with pace like Promes or even gone all out for Martial but they choose a player with similar characteristics to Suso in Castillejo. That lack of pace I think
on the 26th September, 2018 at 1:25am
Some people are mentioning Biglia as a candidate for replacement. I couldn't fit him onto my prior post, but I totally agree with this. Another waste of money by Li and Co. Milan has been trying to somehow replace Pirlo since he left, but IMHO I think we need a ball winner, a real wrecking ball of a player more a la Gattuso. I also think they should try the 4-2-3-1, with Bakayoko and Kessie in the middle, Jack out wide left, Calha in the hole, and Suso wide right, until reinforcements arrive.
on the 25th September, 2018 at 3:44pm
Greetings from Mongolia.

I hope Milan will go back to it's winning days soon....with Rino. Actually he is doing good job. It can be seen that the problem is being solved, I suppose.

Forza Milan as always.
on the 25th September, 2018 at 2:33pm
Unfortunately, and even though I like Gattuso, I don't believe he is the right coach to bring Milan back into Champions League. I think it would be wise to bring Conte who has proven that he can get grit and a fighting spirit out of a group.
As far as players, we need someone to challenge for Biglia's spot, and a strong Left Winger. Martial, Depay, etc will do wonders for the team. Hakan is excellent when it is his day, but he switches off often.
This is still the best Milan squad since 2012
on the 25th September, 2018 at 1:28pm
@Victor - we should be winning games against Ata/Cagl...not allow them to steal points from us...the last 20 min against Atalanta felt like forever...when in fact we should comfortably bag these points and not grind out a draw and hope for the final whistle to get us out of our misery. That is reason for concern. Hence the article above, which we should contextualise and discuss the threat to the team morale if we keep on playing like this. If you struggle long enough it will show on their faces
on the 25th September, 2018 at 12:35pm
The Milan management clearly stated they needed a striker,left winger,and a midfielder.Unfortunately,they only addressed one of these issues with Higuain.We still have no proper left winger although I think Jack can do well there with Hakan moving to midfield. Castillejo is just a good option off the bench.Milan missed out on Papu Gomez,Draxler,Brandt,Chiesa,and many others.In midfield,we lost a young talent in Locatelli and failed to sign a solid versatile player like Barella.
on the 25th September, 2018 at 11:21am
Conte is very good at getting a team to punch above its weight. He did it with Siena in Serie B, then Juve when they won their first scudetto. I think he would be perfect for Milan but he needs a preseason to organise the squad and get rid of whimps and buy some fighters. I don't actually think he is that good once the team becomes strong as he isn't tactically flexible but certainly at Milan's current level, he is a great choice to get them into Champ League.
on the 25th September, 2018 at 8:33am
@Forza AC

Atalanta/Cagliari run us over? How exactly? lol
on the 25th September, 2018 at 8:19am
I'm in stitches everytime somebody says that Milan are not in the same league as Napoli, Juve, et al. In terms of belief and psychological strength terms of ability and quality please show me the chasm...Real is above Milan, Barca yes,and yes Juve has a good run of form...but to say this Milan is trash, please guys lets get real...their problem is psychological...why is it that Atalanta/Cagliari come and run all over us, its because these teams know we cannot handle pressure...
on the 25th September, 2018 at 7:01am
@Beppe Rossi

Lets check out the names.. shall we.

Donnarumma, Romagnoli, Calabra, Calabria, Conti, Bonaventura, Kessie, Suso, Cutrone, Higuin...thats just a few class players.

Clearly on Juve lvl but squad wise second in the league. FOR SURE.
on the 25th September, 2018 at 6:34am
@Pino "heading for relegation" .. Yes mate see you in serie b. Out of curiosity, how on earth is Napoli a new Giant without winning anything?
on the 25th September, 2018 at 6:31am
@ Maldini's Better Heir I agree with your comments although I don't think Laxalt is exactly a great option at left back either.

@ Viktor nothing wrong with a bit of positivity.

@ Pino Napoli are not some group of galactico's. They've just been playing together and winning longer. Milan have pressed the re-set button about 5 times in the time that that Napoli squad has been together.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 11:25pm
@Viktor Napoli and Milan aren't even in the same league. Milan is heading to relegation and has been struggling for years. Napoli has been challenging for the Scudetto for almost five years now.

History doesn't mean anything. Milan had a great history, but that's long over. Same with Inter. Serie A has new giants now, who are writing their own history. I wouldn't feel entitled to or expect points from Napoli, Lazio, Roma, Juventus or Fiorentina. Milan just isn't good enough anymore.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 10:08pm
Gonzalo must be thinking wtf ?... this team is garbage. He’s surely been spark up front. Had this been any other top team or even Atalanta,Sassuolo,Fiorentina he would had scored more and had better service,chances,and not thrown away certain victories/points. Don’t want to put blame on Rino, as his heart bleeds Milan’s soul,but that alone can’t carry the club back to glory years. They must be looking to Conte,or very “qualified” winning coach. This 2 steps toward,1 step back path is not ‘enuff.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 9:49pm
Not sure why more was expected out of that average squad.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 9:06pm
Already butchering the team and telling how things are.

We have played one game less.

We should have kept the result against Napoli. We should def shouldn't have drawn yesterday.

If we took these 6 points, which lets be honest, wasn't far off at all, we would sit second now, WITH A GAME IN HAND.

They should just keep playing, Im pretty sure they will reach top 4 this year.

Only thing thats worrying is center mid as Biglia isn't good enough.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 6:24pm
Saw the game. Milan's problem is the wings. Sorry folks, Suso is not that great. He had some good crosses yesterday, but he's slow, his only move is to cut in and shoot or make an inside out cross with his left, and when he tries to cross with the right it's 50/50. He actually seems quite awkward when he dribbles. Then we have Calhanoglu playing out of position. I was hoping for Castillejo to replace him since the 65th min. The club needs real wingers/inside forwards. Bring Chiesa and a new RW.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 5:53pm
Milan are a falen giant - & like Roma will take years to recover/ rebuild to levels they were at at peak. Even acquiring Higuain from Juve to spear head attack will not be enough i feel for UCL - or maybe Europe at all next season. The only club capable of challenging Juve at the top is (again) Napoli. AC Milan, Inter Milan & Roma need serious work on; stability & QUALITY investment to again be near the summit of Serie A.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 5:36pm
Calabria was great running and attacking but he was caught out on a few occasions positionally and Atalanta started to exploit it. Contrary to what most people think, i thought Gattuso got that sub correct. Calab became a liability. I dont like to say this but Rodriguez is not as great as we may think. I think Laxalt can and will do a better job both defensively and offensively (i can only imagine him wondering why he isnt starting). Rod looks clunky. And lastly, we just need more verve
on the 24th September, 2018 at 4:49pm
And finally, the front 3 are fine. It's the full backs and midfield(moreso) that are the problem. The formation requires a tactically astute CM but also one which is a box to box. Biglia is great positionally but lacks in the work rate required for the role. All i could have thought about when Baka cam on was....could have been least he is defensive minded enough and tactically aware. Jack can only do so much and Kessie flows between sublime and dunceness
on the 24th September, 2018 at 4:45pm
That 4 points lost can be the difference between 4th and 5th come May. It would have given confidence and some room vs the other contenders. Now we have to put in a run of positive results when the other top 7 are putting it in too. The mentality of the players are lacking. They are timid in the opening stages and they also seem to not be fit enough at for top tier football. They get going but burn out... and when they dont score when hot then they are setup to capitulate.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 4:42pm
Football is all about margins. Like Man Utd's draw vs wolves, they could have won but Shaw stutter stepped when defending....that is what cost them 3 points. For Milan on that corner, the players were not one was first to the ball and teams now know Milan to switch off in the latter stages so they exploit it. Very, very minor details...first to the ball and a clearance...simple but these are the margins between the current 5 points and what would have been 9 points
on the 24th September, 2018 at 4:39pm
Watching this match I went from being happy to completely expecting Milan to not to win and almost lose this match. Looking at most of the match we really should have put this game to bed, but it seems our goal scoring is a huge issue once again this year. Gattuso should have keep Jack on the field and taken Hakan off much earlier as he was ineffective once again. Not having another striker is really a huge issue, giving Silva away in the summer was a big mistake as well. FRUSTRATING!
on the 24th September, 2018 at 4:32pm
Milan's biggest problem is that numpty Gattuso. They should fire him and get a proper manager.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 4:07pm

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