Friday June 21 2019
Giampaolo's very modern Milan

Marco Giampaolo’s Milan are expected to follow the 4-3-1-2 pattern, as Sam Wilson predicts what fans will see from the new-look Rossoneri.

It is a transformational time for Milan with huge changes throughout the club, although new Coach Marco Giampaolo might find himself repurposing existing players for the most part. The former Sampdoria boss steps in for Gennaro Gattuso, while Paolo Maldini, Zvonimir Boban and Ricky Massara take control of the directorial roles.

The Rossoneri haven’t qualified for the Champions League since 2013 and find themselves up against profoundly reinforced opponents. Antonio Conte has come to Inter, Maurizio Sarri to Juventus and exciting Paulo Fonseca at Roma, while Carlo Ancelotti and even Gian Piero Gasperini are getting into their strides for Napoli and Atalanta.

There is a common denominator and that is the focus on attacking, possession-based football. Milan joined the trend by appointing Giampaolo from Sampdoria. In a way, this was also a return to the past, as ex-President Silvio Berlusconi gleefully pointed out he’d always wanted two upfront and a trequartista.

Giampaolo’s trademark formation at Samp and before that Empoli was his 4-3-1-2, a system that really allowed the modest sides to flourish. His attractive brand of football allowed veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella to eclipse even the likes of Ciro Immobile and Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the Capocannoniere title at the age of 36.

Giampaolo’s tactics with Sampdoria mainly revolved around the middle of the pitch being a core part of the team’s success. With Quagliarella and another forward leading the line, typically Gregoire Defrel, it is likely that Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek will fill the Quagliarella role whilst Patrick Cutrone will occupy the other half of the front two.

Both Piatek and Cutrone will suit the Giampaolo style of attack, pressing the opposition back line and forcing the defenders into giving up possession.

Arguably the most important part of Giampaolo’s set-up in Milan will be the central attacking midfielder role, known in Italy as the trequartista. It was occupied by Gaston Ramirez or Riccardo Saponara for Sampdoria. Milan have several players who can fill this role and it will be down to Hakan Calhanoglu, Samu Castillejo, Lucas Paqueta and Suso to try and impress the new Coach in training to earn their place in the starting XI.

Considering their various characteristics, it seems as if Paqueta is the first choice for that spot in the hole behind the two strikers. He already attempted it a couple of times under Gattuso, while bringing Suso to a more central role also has potential, even if it’d rob Milan of his undoubted crossing abilities from the right.

It’s true that options are limited on the transfer market due to their Financial Fair Play situation, but snapping up Rade Krunic from Empoli for under €10m is an absolute steal. The Bosnia international midfielder contributed five goals and six assists in 33 Serie A games this season, but was sorely missed in the final round against Inter due to injury.

Milan’s wide array of attacking options will give Giampaolo a fluid and flexible approach to the squad. Additionally, if the Rossoneri sign another strong forward, Giampaolo will be spoilt for choice and the rotation options available could give the club the extra stamina they need coming into the final stretch of games next season. After all, that was the pivotal point where things fell apart for Gattuso.

Have your say...
Nurturing youth is important, but u need to plug holes in the team, this is Serie A, not career mode, results keep u afloat, not style points. Youngsters can b eased in slowly & carefully until they prove ready. @Maldini Heir & co.. I don't understand your fixation on continuity when we're headed towards disaster. I don't care how old players r or how long they stay if we can get back on track and have the luxury of being picky once more. It's not like our youngsters r world beaters.
on the 22nd June, 2019 at 4:16am
Did Juve think about stability in 2011? They changed pretty much everything including the coach & went from 7th to 1st. You can't go wrong when you disrupt a team in Chaos, it can only get better. Don't get carried away with the 1 point difference from 4th, the only reason we're there is because everybody else sucked. Saying Gattuso wasn't a failure is absurd, would you have said the same if Guardiola was in charge and we finished 5th?? behind sloppy Inter and little Atalanta?
on the 22nd June, 2019 at 3:50am
@maldini's heir You are ungraciously and quite noticeably forgetting which players are indefinitely being released due to expiring contracts. Abate? Bakayoko on his expiring loan? Montolivo? Mauri? You talk about them as if their leaving is optional. Be realistic, man. We're losing players and need to replace them. End of.
on the 22nd June, 2019 at 3:27am
and Piątek. All we need is a LW. We should try and bring back Deulofeu or sign Iñaki Williams or anyone with a bit of pace. Leave the rest. If we're really struggling for money then sell Çalhanoğlu. We don't need 2 players for each position. We need a guaranteed starting 11, 5 regular subs and the rest are only needed for injuries. Giampaolo just needs to back the players he's got. Hopefully Caldara and Romagnoli can play 38 games at CB. Just back them!
on the 21st June, 2019 at 11:29pm
@ various Ok I've done this exercise before but Milan have at least 30 first team players on their books. So that leaves at least 7 to 10 that they could sell/let go to reduce the wage bill. My picks would be A Donnarumma, Zapata, Abate, Bakayoko, Gomez, Strinic, Montolivo, Hallovic, and Silva and then we have Donnarumma, Reina, Plizzari, Laxalt, Rodríguez, Gabbia, Romagnoli, Caldara, Musacchio, Conti, Calabria, Biglia, Mauri, Kessié, Paquetá, Çalhanoğlu, Bonaventura, Castillejo, Suso, Cutrone
on the 21st June, 2019 at 11:23pm
Since Milan need to balance the books and we are going to potentially give up the EL this year (I know it seems like a waste of a competition but our players need whatever European football that they can get), it would make the most sense to sell Donna and Suso ($80-100 M). That would fund the required other CB, MF, and FW we actually do need. The rest should just stay the same. Not sure why we are letting Zapata go, he is a good squad player.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 7:23pm
We need mf reinforcement: we're losing 4? 5? Biglia is an aging injury liability and Bona's condition after such a long layoff is a bit of a question mark. I would be okay seeing Suso sold for his release clause; €6m is far too high a wage for him. Donna, I'm torn..if Plizzari is as promising as it seems then maybe selling Gigio is the right move. I would like to see Silva slot into a front pairing with Piatek/Cutrone. Hakan can serve as Paqueta's backup trequartista. I'm reservedly optimistic.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 5:44pm
For the record "Milan Fan" and I are not the same person. @Dano: I agree we're pretty good as we are, maybe get rid of one of Strinic or Laxalt to bring in that 4th CB. You forgot Krunic in MF. Still I think we need one more. Excited that it could be Ceballos, Kovacic or Veretout. Mauri is not starter material, Biglia is 33 and never impressed me. To make way for that additional MF Suso or Calha can go. Maybe both if they get a real LW for optional winger formations.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 5:13pm
Going over positions for a 4312
GK:G.&A. Donnarumma, Plizzari, Reina (we are covered here)
RFB:Calabria & Conti
LFB:Rodriguez, Laxalt, Strinic
CB:Romagnoli, Musacchio, Calara (need at least on more)
MF:Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura, Mauri (could use another but Paqueta and Calhanoglu could play here as well)
AMF: Paqueta, Suso, Calhanoglu, Castillejo
FW:Cutrone, Piatek, Silva
Then there is Borini, who can seemingly play almost anywhere. While the squad isn't "world class" it is still solid.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 2:49pm
I admire his work rate but sacrifices have to be made since we are rebuilding with today’s market and policy’s Arsenal qualifies for UCL past season with youth players but didn’t win the league let’s be organized ForzaMilan
on the 21st June, 2019 at 2:44pm
All with experienced and well organized coaches Milan need to be organized first not been linked to every single players we are buying now without selling same situation that got us in FFP mess in the first place now we have started again with that , like I said am excited and worried to see how the season plays but sales have to be made I don’t think Suso deserves a 6figure per season salary In my own opinion it’s too much sell him same as strinic , laxalt, castillejo even borini die I admire
on the 21st June, 2019 at 2:42pm
I have to agree with Maldini's Heir. The upheaval is worrying me. How many CMs have we been linked with? Krunic, Sensi, Praet, Veretout, Ceballos... so at least 5, none of which have the characteristics to replace CDM Bakayoko. I can see signing 1, maybe 2 mids, to give Giampaolo the tools he needs to succeed, but replacing the whole midfield is ridiculous.
Rumours of selling Donnarumma for 50-60m and buying Kramaric and Lovren...
Swapping Cutrone for Schick...
Signing Mario Rui...
No, thanks.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 2:39pm
Thank God we have a plizzar who can still grow just like donnaruma before the hype around him , biglia is 33 already what’s the use of having players you wouldn’t used all season then they leave free ? That’s the reality Milan face now better to cash in with some players then let’s know what we are working with as a team since we are rebuilding promote some youth players more club income then take it from there cos it’s going to be a difficult season with Juve , inter and Napoli
on the 21st June, 2019 at 2:37pm
In a weird way am exited and worried to see how the new season plays out especially for my beloved Team Milan , ok reality check new coach New ideas fine understandable but I feel there are players in the Team as on today based on the coach ideas and system should be sold cos right now the uncertainty is too much let’s know what we are working with in terms of Teamsheets and since We were asked to balance sheets sacrifices are kept to be made I feel the donnarumma’s Brother has be to go
on the 21st June, 2019 at 2:32pm
Things are looking promising, but what's with this page's obsession on the word "modern"? Actually, few top teams play 4-3-1-2. However, that's Giampaolo's preferred formation and it's only normal for him to deploy it here. Paqueta is basically a natural trequartista, whereas Piatek and Cutrone can only benefit from having a partner in attack, because that means more spaces. Finally, Calhanoglu won't be tortured in a winger role. The only actual question mark is Suso.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 2:21pm
I'm a little concerned by the goalkeeping situation. I think we should sell Gigio. In another universe Milan is financially stable, full of stars and he's a one club man, but the truth is the club is fighting for its FFP life, there are other transfers to be funded, and his replacement (Plizzari) is ready. Come a year from now Milan will have to pay him 10m per year or lose him for a fraction of his worth. Meanwhile Pliz will have left for more playing time. I say take the 60-65mm now.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 2:17pm
Also, Gattuso wasn't fired but left the position, granted he was going to be let go anyhow, all in all I think he did a good job. We had our best season for a few years. The team are not world beaters but they are also better than most teams in Serie A. Anyhow, I think it is fair that the new coach will want to bring in a few players, but I am hoping they try to keep most of the team as is to help the younger players. If we have to sell then let it be Donna, not that I want him to go.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 1:44pm
@Maldini's Heir I think a lot of us share your frustration but you might be going a little over the top. I agree that as little disruption would be best, but it is no unusual for a new manager to want to get a couple new players. Krunic could be a good addition. I think we do have the players to play a 4312, and agree with Jad that all we might need is one more MD, FW, and CB and we would be fine with basically 2 players for every position. Remember it isn't called silly season for nothing.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 1:38pm
any player thats being evaluated from any serie a side. there is always - milan is reported to also be interested. We look to be ALL over the place. the circus is back in town. Giampaolo will be one of two managers this year.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 12:34pm
By the looks of things we look to be signing a left back, and two new central defenders.

Does this mean Rodri, Romagnoli, Musacchio and Caldara all are going? why are we looking at covered positions. Romagnolis new deal is basically to drive hes prize up or what?

Maybe their all just rumors, but we look to be dragging in 3 different directions all over again.. already.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 12:33pm
Biglia is also a liability with injuries.

As far as being set up for a 4-3-3, a left winger was badly needed in the January window and didn't arrive. The only real wingers in the squad are Suso and Castillejo.

The squad is actually better set up already for 4-3-1-2, there are 3 strikers in the squad, two or 2 players able to play trequartista. Samu can possibly be used as a second striker if he stays and Giampaolo may be able to do something else with Suso.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 12:20pm
@Maldini's Heir, you realise that 4 midfielders from last season's squad are gone right?

Before signing Krunic, the only midfielders left in the squad were Kessie, Biglia, Hakan, Paqueta if he's to be used there and Bonaventura who is coming off a very long injury.

Clearly some more depth is needed and more midfielders need to be signed even if they aren't going to be starters. If one of those players is to be used as a trequartista that only leaves 4 players for 3 positions.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 12:16pm
Maldini's heir nothing you say makes sense. But most of all this "it's not the players that make a difference.

Milan were never built to play 4-3-3. No team in the world is stupid enough to play that formation with only one slow winger in the team.
I'm sure Milan will succeed this season with Giampaolo. He's the first "real" coach since Allegri. Gattuso was as clueless as a headless chicken unfortunately. We have to give Giampaolo some quality midfielders though. They're doing well. You'll see.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 11:52am
I honestly think Milan should sell Suso. €30 million minimum. All other players play with their hearts. He doesn’t track back - hardly turns up in games and wants 6+ million a season?! Need to sign players with pace - our front three have no pace! It’s easy to stand off against Milan because your not getting past being slow.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 9:26am
A “better” manager should be able to get at least another 10 points. Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to beat teams in the bottom 3? I’ve been screaming for about 3 years for Milan to shon a pacey left winger ever since we decided to play 433. We’ve already had a failed experiment with 4312 with another former Sampdoria manager. It’s not formations or even players that make the difference. It’s a decent manager and some stability.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 8:54am
@ Jad i agree with your sentiment but as far as I’m concerned Silva has been ruined by his first season with Milan and his loan. The problem the constant upheaval is it kills players’ development. We need as few changes as possible to the squad that finished 5th last season, 1 point off Champions League with apparently a sub-class manager. If Gattuso was the reason for Milan’s “failure” last season then we now have a new manager who the directors no doubt think is a “better” manager.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 8:50am
With the strict budget this is a chance for Milan to build from within. Give a chance to young players. A frontline of Piatek/Cutrone/Silva is more than enough, backup by 4321 (Ancelottis xmass tree) in case 2 forwards are out with Suso/Bonaventura/Hakan/Paqueta/Castellejo playing there. I really think theyre spoiled for choices. Only signing required is a MD. This team is not a world beater but can achieve top 4.
on the 21st June, 2019 at 5:28am
CORRECTION: Milan already have Paqueta so we need another trequartista.

NOTE: How is Krunic any better than what we already have? Surely that's just a completely pointless signing. If we're going to sign a player it has to be either Messi or don't bother. Because every signing disrupts the existing players and takes time to settle in. It doesn't work. It's why in the real world we don't have "transfer windows" for employees! Google changed 50% of their employees this transfer window.....
on the 21st June, 2019 at 3:35am
but surely the aim is to have as little disruption as possible. The current squad is not set up for 4312. It's set up for 433. So that's the formation he's going to have to play. To play 4312 we'd need 2 more strikers and probably 2 trequartiste and we'd have to sell our wingers. That's a lot of change when all we need is a pacey LW. One world class signing v 10. Which would you choose?
on the 21st June, 2019 at 3:30am
want to test one without the other! If Gattuso was so bad that he had to be fired, what makes the owners think that the players are not capable of doing better? Or....Gattuso did the best he could with the team he had which means he over-performed. Which is it? It can't be both. If Giampaolo is a capable manager he should appreciate that. Any manager that comes in demanding changes is basically not backing himself to get more out of the existing players. Sure you might target a few KEY signings
on the 21st June, 2019 at 3:27am

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