Saturday September 15 2012
Milan scapegoat

It’s too easy to blame Massimiliano Allegri, as Susy Campanale believes the Coach is a scapegoat for Milan's downsizing.

The facts are inarguable. Milan had not lost both their opening home games since 1930. They have been beaten at San Siro by relegation fodder Sampdoria and Atalanta. This side has no identity, no plan and no clue. Will Massimiliano Allegri be sacked? Almost certainly. Did he deserve the blame for this situation? Probably not.

This trap has been laid for the Coach since the summer, as Adriano Galliani and Silvio Berlusconi try to shift the responsibility for running this club into the ground. Selling Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva was just the most obvious moment in an overall downsizing campaign. Ah, ‘downsizing,’ that term that tries to make dismantling a company seem like an improvement.

Their inevitable slide into mediocrity is visible in the players now filling the ranks, from Kevin Constant to Francesco Acerbi. The most worrying aspect is that not only are the Rossoneri using these players – they couldn’t even afford to buy them outright. If you construct a squad of loans, co-ownership deals and players on the verge of a Bosman, then you can’t really complain when the results are unimpressive.

Galliani continues to insist they have “not lost ambition” and that Allegri has to challenge for the Scudetto with the squad at his disposal, but nobody genuinely believes that. I doubt even Galliani believes it. This is why I am concerned for the Coach, who let’s not forget did win the Scudetto just over a year ago and is now being groomed as the perfect scapegoat.

The stage is set for a dismissal in the next few weeks or even days, where Mauro Tassotti will be promoted from the role of assistant manager to caretaker. He’ll never get the job permanently, of course, because Tassotti isn’t glamorous enough for Berlusconi. There are already rumours Pippo Inzaghi is being prepared for the position after all of one game in charge of the Allievi Nazionali youth academy team. It’s still more experience than Leonardo had, I suppose...

I am not saying Allegri is blameless, of course. The performances against Sampdoria and Atalanta reminded me of Luis Enrique’s Roma last season. There was the same sterile possession, growing sense of desperation as time wore on and tendency to just hit long-distance efforts from every conceivable angle in the hope one might get a deflection in. This Milan is shapeless, boring, uninspired and workmanlike, but above all slow. They have always struggled with finding a change of pace, but more than ever before the Diavolo are stuck in second gear. Playing like this, they’ll finish a lot lower than second in the table.

Have your say...
Well its gonna be a long season for Milan. I blame B&G but one thing has to be said, this squad is good enough to beat Sampdoria & Atalanta. Allegri is also to blame. We lack a true trequartista so need to play with more width. Boateng has no business with the number 10 jersey. Any thing short of victory against Anderlecht and I'm afraid we will be in trouble. Like I said, its gonna be a LONG season for Milan.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 9:24am
This Team needs time.....

Go back to the first couple of games for Guardiola with barchelona ... and you will discover that it is all about time
on the 16th September, 2012 at 9:17am
We may not even come out of that ucl group.have we not been struggling in that competition with this coach? Spaletti will smoke us both legs...I hope he gets the sack tuesday nite
on the 16th September, 2012 at 9:01am
Milan's situation in the near future is going to be the same as Inter's in the past couple of seasons now, I'm sure of it. If Allegri goes, his replacement isn't going to fare any better. It'll be the start of a coach-swapping spree and the disruption caused by that truly will make watching Milan play a complete misery for the next few seasons. That's my prediction if Allegri does get sacked.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 9:00am
I too am frustrated with this Milan, and with Galliani and Berlusconi. I think it's criminal that Allegri will probably take flack from those two because of the state of the squad. What I would really like to see and hear about though, is fans in Italy raising banners criticising the club's management. I want to know that Galliani and Berlusconi are aware that the fans know they are the ones to blame for this mess.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 8:57am
I can't understand anyone defending Allegri.Yes he has limited resources but if this is a transition year then he has to take risks.I find it hard to believe than there is no solid terquarista in the youth team that can be promoted.Take a chance on De Sciglio,Emanuelson,Zapata in defence.There is no clear system of play.There is no danger from set pieces.Too many injuries.All these are a coach's fault.If he fixes these and still doesnt win then he is not to blame.But now,he's not even trying.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 8:50am
Totally agree with the article. Allegri is mediocre but is not to blame, that goes upstairs to management. However.....I am well happy with Milan's performance so far and hope they continue to play the way they are all season because....Forza Napoli!
on the 16th September, 2012 at 8:47am
Allegri deserves most of the blame.Emanuelson and De Sciglio are much better on the flanks than Antonini and Abate.Zapata is better than Bonera.Prince is doing horrible and needs to be benched with someone creative like Carmona playing instead.Allegri forced Pirlo,Nesta,Merkel,Pippo out of Milan while keeping useless Mexes and Robinho who make a combined 10mil a year salary,almost as much as Ibra or Silva.Plus,his training methods have led to a massive number of injuries.He is #1 culprit.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 8:42am
Is it now not obvious that allegri is a provincial coach? He was out thought by his opponent tactically and he couldn't respond. This squad is good enough to defeat sampdoria and atalanta come on...
on the 16th September, 2012 at 8:01am
Truly, there are to be no real expectations out of Milan this season - not with the team on hand. Allegri, isn't to blame here. I think this time around Galliani and Berlusconi got it all wrong and to frame Allegri for it all is just low. It's tough to watch my beloved Milan struggle the way the have been. But realistically, this seems like a transitional season - like the one under Leonardo. So let's set our expectations really low and look forward to the following season.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 7:17am
There are two sides of this coins, the head and the tail. The head is the management who have reduced the club to a completely average squad. The tail is Allegri who is stubborn with his tactics and ideas. Allegri prefere Bonera over Zapata and Mexes, he prefers Antonini to Emmanuelson as a left back, he prefers starting De Jong and Ambro together, he prefers Boa as a trequatista, he prefers one way traffic 4312 formation every game even if there's need to switch it when its not working.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 7:12am
Th worst Milan coach since zaccheroni and yes even worse than leonardo.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 7:05am
There is not much to disagree with this article ,Suzy pretty much said it as it is. I have never been an Allegri fan and even when we were winning last year (mainly because of Ibra,Nesta & Thiago)you could tell the team didnt have an ingrained game plan nor identity,however blaming the coach is a scam. The management is to blame full stop.They should have been nurturing and blooding replacements years ago , now we are going to have to watch the most embarrassing Milan ever .
on the 16th September, 2012 at 6:56am
Ha !

What happens to Susy who placed her side as a scudetto contender last week when Pazzini scored hatrick !

I say this, prepare yourself every week to write a blog, or probably more, like this.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 4:09am
It will be sad to see Allegri sacked for no fault of his own.Berlusconi made whole sale changes to some of the biggest names on the planet all in the name of saving money. The way it was done was unprofessional and with lack of direction.This coming from the richest man in Italy and one of the richest on the planet. I just do not understand.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 2:33am
Pretty much accurate but I too cannot call Acerbi mediocre its difficult to expect miracles from someone who is expected to fill in really big boots after only holding down a starting spot for Chievo only midway thru last season. I think Milan lost the ability to hold posession in the opponents half and are not confident of their defending so more work needs to be done there, I am hoping for a break out moment from el Sharawy.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 12:50am

I was far from impressed with Acerbi tonight, he was caught out of possession and his passing was below par, but as you said, hes only 23 (although Thiago was miles ahead when he arived at 24)^

Antoninis passing however was the worst ive seen from him... perhaps ever.

The team has no plan going forward. Its clear that without Robinho and Pato we will be miles off the pace in the league. Lets hope they can stay fit
on the 16th September, 2012 at 12:49am
It's a pretty poor squad, the worst since the 2009 season. Allegri may be blamed, Berlusconi certainly won't accept responsibility.

But Allegri doesn't always help himself. I remember last season he often played with 3 ball-winners in midfield and often finished with 4! A true sign of fear.

And things haven't changed too much. The midfield is full of enforcers. All of a sudden I'm worried about the Anderlecht game. If Milan draw/lose it, then they've got serious problems in that group.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 12:31am
I have to agree that so far things do not look good, but it has only been three games. Lets not loose perspective. The team lacks leadership and creativity as they approach the scoring area. The author is correct when she says that today they depended too much on long range shots. I DO NOT think that Boateng is a real '10'. I would play him on the right wing, which is where he impressed at the very start of his Milan career. The financial limitations are REAL, but who doesn't live on a budget!
on the 16th September, 2012 at 12:24am
An accurate take on the situation. Though I think allegri is an average coach that cannot perform with an average squad and so sacking him for the wrong reasons will still result in better performances from whoever his successor is.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 12:18am
But I have to admit that I somewhat like the way we play, with possession and i like that Boateng plays behind the strikers. But we need either Pato to come back now or buy a number 9. Spalletti, Capello, Inzaghi, Gullit, Guardiola should be coaches that we keep a close eye on day and night. Forza Milan
on the 16th September, 2012 at 12:09am
Flamini and Robinho are two mediocre players. They should be sold an I don't know why Allegri sometimes asks for mediocre players such as Mesbah, Traore?, Bojan??, and things like why Zapata instead of Astori or Ogbonna? .I also think he may be messing up things in the squad when it comes to relationships, he doesnt get along with everybody. I would love to see Inzaghi in te sidelines but its way too early and too many players still might see him as their friend.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 12:07am
I disagree that Acerbi is not Milan quality. I think he is ready for A.C. Milan 7 times UEFA champions and 18 times Serie A champions. But I do agree Allegri is doing something wrong, for example... Why do you star Yepes-Bonera in the first game and again today Bonera. Bonera is not a starter, while Mexes and Zapata are better defenders in every sence than Bonera. I honestly rather play De Sciglio than playing Antonini; in January I hope Antonelli comes and Mesbah leaves.
on the 16th September, 2012 at 12:03am
Good article i agree.Allegri isn't blameless here but neither are the directors,there are players at Milan who are 2nd and 3rd rate,Constant,Mesbah and so on and you have to say Galliani brought these players to the club,he's tried to offload Mesbah to every club who'd listen to him and now Allegri is getting the flak for everything?
you could put Alex Ferguson in there and it'd be no different.
Take KPB he's personifies whats bad about Milan,overrated thinks he's a star and he's not that great.
on the 15th September, 2012 at 11:51pm
Allegri has hid behind the combined strength of Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva for 2 years. Milan have always played slow, boring unimaginative football under Allegri. He is partially at fault for the current squad's makeup, as he asked for lots of runners and workhorses. Now exposed as a horrible tactician, man manager and motivator, this coach will get the sack he deserved long ago.
on the 15th September, 2012 at 11:48pm
I agree almost completely. I disagree when the author call out Acerbi as a player not of Milan quality. He is only 23 and he has looked impressive in his two appearances. Its not his fault milan has absolutely no cohesion.
on the 15th September, 2012 at 11:35pm

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