Friday September 27 2019
New Milan, same problems

It took just five matches for Milan’s mood to change from optimism to misery, as Vijay Rahaman wonders if they’ll ever get it together.

After a summer of optimism, with a new Coach, a host of promising young players and legend Zvonimir Boban returning to join former teammate Paolo Maldini in the sporting side of the project, that has turned to doom and gloom within five games. A record of two wins and three losses, with just three goals scored (two of which were penalties), and five conceded, is not pretty reading for the long-suffering fans of the 18-time Scudetto winners.

However, it's not just the results which are making Milan fans miserable, it's the poor performances on the field.

Last season, legendary player Gennaro  Gattuso was let go because it was suggested the playing style was not in keeping with the traditions of the seven times European champions. His replacement was Marco Giampaolo, a man who cut his teeth at Empoli and Sampdoria. The Swiss born tactician had developed a reputation for his teams playing an entertaining style of football, using a mostly 4-3-1-2 formation. His teams pressed the opposition, moved the ball quickly and were generally a joy to watch.

Fast forward a few months later and all and sundry are asking, where are those performances? Last night's loss to Torino was a classic example of what is both good and bad with the Diavolo under Giampaolo.

Truthfully, the first half in Piedmont was the best 45 minutes of football that Milan played so far this season. They played at least 10 yards higher up the pitch, pinned back the Granata full-backs and midfielders, won back possession in short time and most importantly created chances. Just before the 20th minute mark, new recruit Rafael Leao won his team a penalty, after being shoved by Torino full-back Lorenzo De Silvestri. Krzysztof Piatek stepped up to give the away side the lead and all seemed well in the Milan camp.

There were more good things to come (I am getting to the bad soon enough), as a Suso cross took a deflection off the back-heel of Lyanco and Leao almost opened his Milan account with a header, but Salvatore Sirigu made a world-class save! Was that a sign of things to come?  

The answer is most definitely not. Giampaolo made a horrendous mistake just after the hour mark that affected the game. 

He took off the lively Leao and brought on Giacomo Bonaventura. Now, it's no problem bringing back Jack, but why on earth did he take off the Portuguese forward who was looking dangerous all game@ He made the same mind boggling mistake in the Derby della Madonnina, again, when the 20-year old was looking dangerous. Why was Suso, whose performance was frustrating yet again, not the one to go off? 

It came as no surprise that Toro saw that substitution as a negative one from Giampaolo and went even further on the offensive, scoring twice within just five minutes through Andrea Belotti to bring home the points.

The away side did have two gilt-edge chances to score late on through Kessie and Piatek, but one missed from six yards and the other nodded straight at Salvatore Sirigu. Despite that, Giampaolo's in-game management was poor and that negative vibe he sent out was not why he was brought to the club. He only used two of his available subs as well, which interestingly was one more than he utilised in the Derby. Someone needs to tell him he is allowed three!

Whenever a team is not performing well, the responsibility not only lies with the manager, but the CEO, the sporting director, the entire coaching staff and the players. Ivan Gazidis, Maldini, Boban etc all have to continue working to turn this situation around and soon.

This week, the Diavolo and their city rivals Inter announced plans for a brand-new stadium, that is scheduled to open in 2022. Will Milan get their act together by then? The eyes of the world are watching to see if this legendary club can make new memories, otherwise Milan fans may just be confined to the great ones of the past which will make the misery that much harder to take.

Have your say...
We sold cutrone to keep a sack of potatoes upfront who couldnt score in a brothel. We kept suso for what exactly to do EXACTLY the same thing in every single game; cut in from the right to shoot with his left. Then Calahuglu absolute waste of space. This team from top to bottom is useless. They have no pride no shame no nothing. Gattuso should never have been let go. Milan are once again floating just above relegation. This numpty of a manager has made us go back another 5 years!!!!
on the 2nd October, 2019 at 6:46am
Difficult to say who is the most responsible for the play of Milan and the lack of success. Giampaolo is of course one of them. The players are also very responsible. They should be ashamed for what they are doing in the field when they dress the glorious AC Milan shirt! Personally, I would play a 4-3-1-2 with the following: Dona, Conti, Hernandes, Romma, Duarte (Caldara), Kessie, Bennacer, Krunic (Bonna), Paqueta, Leao Piatec. Enough with Suso and Chalhanoglou!
on the 1st October, 2019 at 8:58am
we need to stick as many new players in as possible and leave the old to rot, the old is broken, toxic, they turn everything they touch. NO ONE cand develop at milan cause our players are like poison. Bona may be the only player we can use from the old ones.
on the 30th September, 2019 at 1:28pm
@Mirko you are wrong in that statement. New is definitively better. Because our old is broken. For my liking, Bennacer and Theo can get give away as many penalties as they want, I JUST NEED TO SEE SOMEONE PASS THE BALL FORWARD. and they do. What held us back yesterday was Hakan, and Suso. "old guard", they disrupt every play with lack of quality and slow possession/backwards passes. They have no creativity. GP should lose hes job for sticking with em. Get em out. if They play, you get sacked!
on the 30th September, 2019 at 1:25pm
Total embarrassment. When the curva leaves before the end of the match you know we are an embarrassment.
The club sold its soul with Cutrone. This is what we deserve.

And all the people bashing on the old guard, just remember Bennacer gave TWO penalties away last night, Theo was a SHAMBLES and got spun constantly .... new is not always better. Be careful what you wish for.
on the 30th September, 2019 at 9:00am
There is only one word to describe Milan : TRASH.
on the 30th September, 2019 at 7:22am
What I witnessed was a disgrace besides Leao. That kid decided to play his own game in the last 20mins & look at what he did. Bennacer played dmf at empoli & they got relegated. He played cmf for Algeria & got player of the tournament. So Mr Bean decides to play him dmf. Where's paqueta? Too Brasilian? Wtf does that mean? He starts at #10 for me. Why take Kessie off? Next game Dona. Calab. Duarte. Roma. Theo. Kessie. Krunic. Bennacer. Bona. Paqueta. Leao
on the 30th September, 2019 at 1:22am
His stubbornness of continuing to use suso will surely get him the axe. He tries to play his game but with suso it ends up being the same predictable milan. Sit suso on the bench and start rebic leao and piatek and see how much more direct we look
on the 29th September, 2019 at 7:59am
Whats most frustrating for fans of any club is when a manager seems to not see obvious choices while also losing games. U can do 1 or the other but not both. He has had all summer with most of this squad yet his selections and subs are a mess. That said id still give him time to fix things. I doubt he wil b given that time though, as Fior wil probably beat us then if he doesn't win against Genoa and Lecce he has a nasty run of games coming after Roma, Juve, Lazio and Napoli.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 10:08pm
As an Inter fan that dislike Napoli and Juventus the most, I want both Milan teams to be back to where they belong. I don't know why Milan fans dislike Suso so much. He creates most Milan chances and the only player that really looks dangerous inside opponent's 1/3.
You have to question Maldini why he went after buying attacking options when it is obvious Milan needs strong box-to-box midfielders for Giampaolo's 4-3-3 narrow formation like amateur Arab club owners. Why buying Leao, Rebic?
on the 28th September, 2019 at 3:22pm
Guys, it's been a tough start, but we're still only 3 points off 4th, 4 points off 3rd. So just relax. We play Fio, Genoa and Lecce next, all winnable games, before a strong test at Roma. Let's see what happens in those next three games.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 1:30pm
I was happy with the Giampaolo appointment due to his style and formation even though I thought Gattuso was a good coach that didn't have a good enough squad. I still see it.Suso,Hakan,Kessie,Biglia,Borini,Rodriguez are all not good enough.What baffles me is that we now have players to replace these guys but Giampaolo refuses to play them. Even more surprising is that he abandoned a formation that he was successful with for years after one loss with the average players mentioned above.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 11:09am
This Milan has been messed up for years now. Undoing the mess should start with selling the mediocre(mid table) players that were bought, some under Yonghong Li. Particularly Biglia, Borini,Chanaloglou (Imagine this charlatan wearing Milan legendary 10 jersey),Suso, Kessie. My summation is that you cannot turn a worthless stone into a polished diamond, you can only polish rough diamonds, even if you are the best craftsman. Secondly, Giampaolo is detached from reality, which makes me question.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 6:37am
New Milan, Same Word : TRASH.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 6:13am
Milan's transfer strategy was atrocious, it's not a wonder they end up like this. They want to play 4-3-1-2 yet not even 1 trequartista was bought. Nabil Fekir could've been a star there and he went to Betis for only 25 million. Then there's Rebic who's a jack-of-all-trade and unneeded players in Theo and Krunic. Leao, while bright so far, struggled to score even in Ligue 1. What exactly was Milan hoping by replacing Cutrone with him? Benacer is their only good one and he's not even a starter
on the 28th September, 2019 at 3:59am
Why every Milan coach is so stubborn starting Suso all the time? I don't get it honestly. He's just too weak, too slow, one trick pony, holding up play all the time, not attacking spaces (coz too slow & weak obviously). We have much better options with Paqueta, Leao, Piatek, Rebic. We won't improve and play fast flowing game until he is gone. Maldini & Boban realised this and tried to get rid of him but unfortunately no one wants to buy him last summer.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 3:07am
I agree with FERBAN. We can't just keep rebooting every 6 months with new players and coaches. If they believe in Giampaolo's football, then they need to stick with him and support him. He seems nervous to use the same style at a big club though.

They won't attract a big name coach at the moment. The squad is not going to tempt a star manager.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 3:06am
Mate turn your capslock off. It adds nothing.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 2:57am
Result wise, Milan are not doing that badly. But the performance itself is really bad. When finally they can create consistent scoring chances, piatek just wasted them and as the attack improves, the defense crumbles.
Should start to seriously consider Spalletti. In fact imo they should’ve got him in the first place. Not a winner but capable of steadying the ship and get top 4. His 4-3-3 is suited to players that milan have. Suso can’t play as no 10, same like Perisic. So inter let him go.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 2:23am
take suso off and give paqueta chance
on the 28th September, 2019 at 12:47am
What optimistic summer? I was not at all optimistic during the summer. Seeing Rino leave and no proven manager to replace him. Selling Cutrone. Constant rumours of selling Gigio for 50m and overspending for Correa. The transfers were mostly uninspiring minus maybe Bennacer. Leao possibly.

I've never felt less connected to Milan. I applaud you Milanisti who are in the stadium every week.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 12:46am
That's the problem - we see a "New Milan" every 6 months.

1 goal from play in 450 minutes of football. That's the lowest in Serie A.
on the 28th September, 2019 at 12:01am
1 goal from open play and 3 defeats in 5 games is a terrible start, the performance in the first half was an improvement at least, Giampaolo needs to let Paqueta play his game and his return on sunday is needed, still think 4-2-3-1 will create more chances for Piatek (even though he had more chances against Toro and missed 2 that could have won the game), without Cutrone there is no replacement for Piatek so a lot of pressure is on him (and Giampaolo)
on the 27th September, 2019 at 6:49pm
they will get it together if and when they finally stop appointing average mid-table managers.
on the 27th September, 2019 at 6:21pm
on the 27th September, 2019 at 6:18pm
Milan is like a dog chasing it’s own tail. I honestly don’t think Milan will ever fix itself...forever cursed. At least Inter went it out got Spalletti...then made CL, then fired the coach,and their best / most expensive players and brought in Conte and Lukaku and so far living up to hype. Milan on other hand... is 7 years of an ongoing joke of spending. NOW there’s talk of Gattuso return. That’s how messed up things @ Milan are. Make Ventura coach. Maybe it’ll reverse the curse ?
on the 27th September, 2019 at 5:55pm
Milan were the better team for 70min. I agree with the article that taking Leao off was a mistake. Then again it's a mistake to play Suso at all. GET RID OF HIM. One dimensional player with no contribution on the defensive side. Bennacer play very well, and should permanently replace Biglia. I say play Rebic and Leao up top with Paqueta behind. Bennacer instead of Biglia and Jack on the left of the middle 3, or Krunic for solidity. Then give Duarte a chance over shaky Musacchio.
on the 27th September, 2019 at 5:32pm

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