Monday October 28 2019
Amateur hour at Milan

The latest Milan performance was disconcerting for Kaustubh Pandey, as even the basics seemed beyond them against a decimated Roma.

Milan’s fifth defeat in just nine rounds made clear the extent of the problems they are dealing with. Defeat at the Olimpico is understandable enough, but not when gifting two goals to a decimated and exhausted Roma side.

Roma came into the game with about half of their main squad injured and Edin Dzeko playing with a mask on due to a broken cheekbone. The Giallorossi had only one midfielder in Jordan Veretout fit, so Paulo Fonseca played centre-back Gianluca Mancini in a more advanced role barely three days on from the Europa League match with Borussia Monchengladbach.

With all this in mind, how did Milan look more fatigued, sluggish and disjointed than Roma?

Stefano Pioli stuck to having Lucas Biglia in midfield. Hakan Calhanoglu started on the left, Suso kept his place and so did Franck Kessie. Krzysztof Piatek had to stay content with a spot on the bench for the second consecutive game, as Rafael Leao started up front.

Milan did start bright and won a flurry of corners in the first few minutes, even had a goal disallowed for offside. But the bounce faded off soon enough, as Roma grew into the clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

Yet again this season, it was a case of individual errors letting Milan down. It must be frustrating for a coach to see all the hard work undone by mistakes that you’d expect from a youth team player rather than an international. Can you really spend precious time training top flight stars on how to pass the ball accurately to another teammate?

Franck Kessie left Edin Dzeko, of all people, unmarked at the far post to hand the Bosnian what could be the easiest headed goal of the season. The lesson wasn’t learned, because Roma should’ve had another two identical goals, if not for Mancini and Chris Smalling turning free headers off target from six yards. Again, these are their most dangerous players in the air, the first ones you ought to be tracking. There’s tactics and then there’s basic common sense.

Even the glimmers of hope disguised imminent disappointment. Davide Calabria replaced the visibly struggling Andrea Conti and his cross helped create Theo Hernandez’s equaliser. However, it was also Calabria who passed the ball straight to Dzeko in the final third, allowing Nicolò Zaniolo to score relatively undisturbed. Another gift, another Roma goal.

Milan are a disaster defensively and can make schoolboy errors at an astounding rate in a single game. At some point, people have to acknowledge there’s only so much a coach can do when the basics are so alarmingly poor.

That’s not to say the various tacticians who passed through the Rossoneri doors don’t have issues to answer for.

The selection of Biglia continues to be a talking point. The Argentine contributed just about nothing, while Kessie was constantly making a mess. This lack of effort and concentration cost Milan against Lecce too.

Pioli, Paolo Maldini and everyone else keep insisting that there is no special treatment, that every player must earn his spot in the team. Yet Suso is always the first name on the teamsheet, despite his predictability forcing everyone around him to adjust their tactics to suit his frankly negligible presence. Make no mistake, if this team is persisting with 4-3-3, it’s because of the Spaniard and his seemingly cast-iron guarantee of a place on that right flank.

As for Roma, Fonseca will be delighted with the effort his players put in. They were organised, compact and worked their socks off despite almost being a half-broken side. The fact they are only one point off fourth-placed Napoli in the midst of an incredible injury crisis is remarkable and gives hope for what they could achieve with even just three-quarters of their squad available this season.

Have your say...
Great response. Hahahaha
on the 1st November, 2019 at 8:00pm
Bonaventura has this one trait, which alot of the best players in the world have. When Jack plays a pass, he looks for where the teammate can receive the ball and turn into space, to give the teammate the best advantage possible. When Hakan, plays a pass he looks to hit his teammate. This is something all of our players do. They just want to pass to their teammate, but its not enough, you have to set your teammates up even if its just to set up their next pass. We lack this quality.
on the 1st November, 2019 at 6:48pm
How can nobody see that Bonaventura is our key to any sort of success? Last night he took on a man and lost the ball. Thats about the first time ive seen him not succeed in doing just that. Bonaventura will get you chances. Bonaventura will make others around him better. We wont win no leagues, because we lack so much quality but he will bring much more than any other player in the squad.
on the 1st November, 2019 at 6:42pm
Suso is a terrible player, who scored a good goal. I am glad for the 3 points, now keep him out of the team. Team lacks quality, so many bad passes. Castillejo tried running in behind defences, was a nice watch even if it didnt get us much, but Suso is so static so was nice to see, he almost got a goal too early on by running into the box, which suso never ever does. Suso just stands around in positions where he cant score.
on the 1st November, 2019 at 6:37pm

You are right man.

1 goal and 0 assists in 10 games.

We should raise his salary!
on the 1st November, 2019 at 9:59am
Im here after the win against Spal and to the Suso haters. ... Suso Suso Suso
on the 1st November, 2019 at 8:31am
I have to say, even as an Inter fan I feel a bit sad by this AC squad. Both Milan clubs have been down and out for way too long.
Here's to better times ahead!
on the 30th October, 2019 at 7:01pm
You guys dont get it. And dont watch the games.
The real problem in this squad is musachio, he makes the whole deffence poor. Always leaves gaps, always makes it that others has to cover and make mistakes. You could have had a training con on the field and he would do a better job. When was the last time you saw musachio win a dual? or win a header? Totally agree with the Suso point, he is absolute usless, how can you since april have one assist? like how is it possible when have castilejo,rebic
on the 30th October, 2019 at 6:59pm
@DARi0 @ Arad, Romania

Im willing to bet you a lot of money that milan will be closer to end up close to 4th rather than close to last 4th.

Put your money where your mouth is kid.
on the 30th October, 2019 at 6:30pm
I just cannot understand how Piatek is not a starter. Oh wait, Pioli is self-declared interista. Anyone thinking milan will finish top4 this season is completely delusional, they are actually closer to Serie B.
on the 30th October, 2019 at 4:30pm
On Spalletti: Folks, the reason they didn't sign him is because technically he's still on the books at Inter and he was demanding too high a severance fee to be released. Milan needed a coach right away and couldn't wait for a protracted contract dispute a la Conte v. Chelsea. Thus they went with the B option. What I'm wondering is why not Guidolin? He's got a much better record than Pioli, having qualified Udinese for the CL twice and EL once, EL with Palermo, EL with Bologna.
on the 29th October, 2019 at 6:54pm
Did Pioli not learn from Giampaolo failure? Piatek on bench, the only natural goal scorer in the squad!
on the 29th October, 2019 at 6:48pm
i hope milan demoted to serie B next season...lots of useless player in Milan..biglia, Suso, kessie , mucahsio
on the 29th October, 2019 at 2:12pm
Should’ve chosen Spalletti over Pioli. Overpaid many players but too cheap on the coach. Inter spend €13m/year for conte, great coach will improve the players and get the best out of them. Spalletti is not that elite of a coach, but he improves the team. Totti as CF in roma 1st spell, then relaunched Salah as top class winger, Icardi’s highest goals as top scorer, Skriniar in his breakout season, etc
Pioli was sacked in Lazio Inter & Fio consecutively. How can maldini & boban justify themselves?
on the 29th October, 2019 at 1:38pm
Why poili showing same stubborness as giampaolo. Do a fioretena here all unknown players young chiesa & simeone playing fearlessly ??
on the 29th October, 2019 at 12:25pm
milan's only hope lies in youngness... some are gone for sure in locatelli & cutrone. milan's mistake lies in letting both of them go.. i assume this is hard take for milan fans. anyways life goes on.. piatek ben nacer leao are bloody young as well. milan needs to skip away these players awhile for their own sake : kessie bigilia suso hakan & paqueta until formation being fortified.
on the 29th October, 2019 at 12:18pm
simply put, milan need to take a page out of inter's books. Since suning took over, they have got their finances right, got the club back on track off the pitch and have now finally got everything going right on the field. Spalletti would have been an amazing choice for us, better to wait until next season and give him a proper go.
on the 29th October, 2019 at 5:50am
AC MILAN should concentrate on top 6 finish and try to win the Coppa Italia Cup to build confidence. They should stop hiring and sacking Managers it makes no difference. These players are no good enough to win the Scudetto it's a fact so it will take them max 5-10 years to aim for the Scudetto unless they SPEND big on players and wages no chance of that they have huge debts.
on the 29th October, 2019 at 12:02am
It's no mystery why players like Calabria went from one of Italy's most promising RBs to a mistake waiting to happen. Loyal servants like Gattuso, Abate, and Cutrone were pushed out of the club. Now who's supposed to be his point of reference?
on the 28th October, 2019 at 11:58pm
@Gee Jog on with that trash; being a fan does not mean blindly following and attempting to prop up their self-inflicted downward spiral. It's precisely because we care for the club that we're pained by watching the current state of affairs and want to see them do better, to live up to the standard of Milan. They don't need us to make excuses for them, they need to simply do better.
on the 28th October, 2019 at 10:26pm
Calabria cost us the game but he also got the assist & almost scored had it not been for Kolarov.He's young & didnt give up despite a period where he's making some big mistakes.I can live with that.What I cant live with is the absence of Piatek,Rebic,Krunic,Benacer game after game under 2 coaches while Suso,Hakan,Biglia keep playing.There is no reason for our squad to play 433 other than to include Suso.We need a 4312 or 442 with the new players.SPAL is a perfect game to make big changes.
on the 28th October, 2019 at 10:16pm
Spal is the time for Pioli to drop Suso and Biglia and bring in Piatek and Bennacer, if he doesn’t the season is beyond saving, the ‘experienced’ players have already lost 5 out of 9 games, just play the young players, there is nothing to lose now
on the 28th October, 2019 at 10:13pm
I hope all these comments are not from Milan fans, if they are then you need to stand by your club and team through sickness and health.
on the 28th October, 2019 at 6:40pm
On paper this team is capable of a top 4 finish. Can we honestly say that Roma/Lazio/Atalanta are player for player far superior than Milan. I doubt, so there is a bigger problem within Milan and it has nothing to do with coaching staff or player personnel. The problem is mental, a team who have lost their identity and confidence in their ability and have not recovered since Berlusconi decided to change course. Send them on a pilgrimage or dismantle this team altogether and start all over...
on the 28th October, 2019 at 6:23pm
#SusoOut #BigliaOut
on the 28th October, 2019 at 5:20pm
I've got to say, Pioli's tactics seem right. He's trying to get the best out of his better players and put them in their right positions. Theo pushing so up the pitch seems like a great way to get the best out of him. Also Paqueta and others are where they should be. Suso and Biglia are not performing and I believe he'll bench them eventually.

Main problem is somewhere else. Milan are losing to themselves. It's mental and it will not get better until they win some and gain confidence.
on the 28th October, 2019 at 4:11pm
how didn't dzeko get a red at the beginning? And Anotnucci at the end... how didn't he get a second yellow?
Not that that would've helped milan...

Formation looked good at numerous points... bennacer over biglia though.. would like to see bennacer and paqueta link up. leao over suso and piatek in there.. calhanoglu isn't doing terribly as of late, but maybe someone else can try too
on the 28th October, 2019 at 2:04pm
Forget CL. Top 10 might even be out at this point. This might even be our Fiorentina 18/19 year. It has dawned on my that practically all of the 200m that Fassone and Mirabelli spent is useless. Suso, Calhanoglu, Kessie, Silva, Kalinic, Biglia, Bonucci, Conti. We are so screwed.
on the 28th October, 2019 at 12:34pm
Even Messi will look bad in this Milan
on the 28th October, 2019 at 10:58am
Milan should start count their stars. Piatek all by himself took milan in almost in their desired position. This lad is gifted proven RARE goalscorer. Give him confidence nothing else. With three players you dont recognise what position is theirs. How come you solve the problem without using them in right position. You know who they are : hakan unsettled at milan,, suso LM to lw to rw or actuallY AM?,, aah paqueta! So dedicating but maybe this what his mistake is......
on the 28th October, 2019 at 10:23am

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Your data may be made public and you accept our Privacy Policy. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.