Thursday October 25 2012
Milan's never ending nightmare

Milan worked hard, defended well and created chances in Spain last night, but as Scott Fleming laments, the outcome was just the same.

The Costa del Sol. A millionaires’ playground where Ferraris roar through the streets and yachts the size of battleships lie berthed in the bay. A place where the old Milan, with all their wealth, success and superstar players, would have felt at home.

But stricken by poverty of funds off the field, and poverty of quality on it, the new Milan looked like imposters in Malaga last night. And they were treated as such by their hosts.

It's not that they were outclassed in part one of their Champions League double header with the club known as 'The Anchovies’, though.

Deployed in a bold new 3-4-3 formation, the Rossoneri actually started rather well at La Rosaleda. Once the back three of Philippe Mexes, Daniele Bonera and Francesco Acerbi had survived the first 10 minutes without conceding 10 goals – as most of us expected them to – Massimiliano Allegri's side began to make some promising excursions upfield.

Malaga were awarded a penalty shortly before half-time, but as Joaquin's spot kick soared over the bar, 'keeper Marco Amelia leapt to his feet, punching the air. It was the sort of break the Diavolo have been waiting on all season. Perhaps this is it, you dared to think, perhaps this is the moment when Allegri's Milan finally turn things around.

In the second half however, Malaga simply accelerated beyond them. It was like watching one of the aforementioned yachts going into cruise control, and leaving a rickety fishing boat in its wake.

The winning goal, scored by Joaquin after a sublime one-two with Manuel Iturra, was the Andalusians only clear cut chance, but it certainly wasn't against the run of play.

“We went a little too deep as time went on and were unable to be quite as dangerous on the counter attack,” said Bonera. “At times a three man defence becomes five.”

At full time Allegri did what he always does – put a brave face on it and went in search of positives. He didn't have to look too far, Milan had worked hard, defended well, created chances. But after six defeats in 11 competitive matches, it all begins to sound a bit hollow.

The sale of players in the summer has been a ready made excuse for the Rossoneri this season, but it wasn't available to them last night. Beset by financial problems and an irate Sheikh demanding to know where his money had gone, Malaga sold even more key players than Milan did, and at prices well below their true value.

Two clubs in very similar predicaments, but whereas the Italians have been demoralised and dysfunctional, the Spaniards’ crisis has galvanised and united them, the inspirational Manuel Pellegrini leading them to the upper echelons of La Liga and three wins from three in their debut Champions League campaign.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani continues to insist that Allegri is the man for Milan, even as rumours of Frank Rijkaard's arrival begin to swirl. The tactician's demise was foretold before the derby, the Lazio game and last night, yet still he clings to life.

Malaga's European heroics are described by Spanish paper Marca today as 'a never ending dream'. For Milan, this season is beginning to feel like a never ending nightmare. 

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
Couldnt agree more with you more Maldini's Heir. There is no consistency with our starting eleven even more so we start we Constant in Midfield??.. I hardly recall this guy even starting on Genoa last year. Also, you can see the decline of the team when Allegri trusts Bonera starting every game. If he wasn't good enough to ever be in the starting eleven when we first signed him what makes him good enough now! blame can definitely be placed on Allegri's horrible tactics. RIP ALLEGRI
on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:49pm
Milan fan is right! I will support opponent teams just to ride off Allegri.Worst coach among the top teams in europe.And Scot,stop looking for pozitive things in this game.! Heeyy..Malaga is not Barcelona
!?The main thing with Allegri is that he has provincial little team way of thinking!He always think about not to lose .Even one point with Atlanta or Malaga is good for him.And the team of Milan is good enought.look at the bench,Robinho.Pato,Bojan,Flamini,Zapata,Gabriel,Boateng De Yong,Abiati
on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:46pm
To my fellow Milanisti, if we sack allegri then what should we do? Who should be the manager? Also don't forget Milan don't have any money to buy players so anyone like Guardiola will want money to come to Milan. So what are the options if you sack allegri??? Not much so you have no option than to stick with it and give him time
on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:41pm
No actual coach, no actual players, epecially in attack.

El Shaarawy, Pazzini, Pato, Bojan, no no no
on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:40pm
Allegri has no clear formation and no clear starting 11.I'm tired of certain players getting chances just because the others are too young.Let the youngsters make mistakes and learn as opposed to playing average older players with no chance of improving.I want to see a team line-up consisting of Gabriel,De Sciglio,Zapata,Acerbi,Emanuelson,Montolivo,Ambro(C),Flamini,Carmona,Shaarawy,Pato/Bojan get 5 games in a row just to give them some rhythm.
on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:29pm
This is the worst Milan side I've ever seen (since the days of van Basten & Baresi).

It's not Allegri's fault, they sold probably the best out and out striker in the world and the best central defender in the world this Summer also lost players like Nesta, Gattuso, Seedorf, Pippo, Zambo.

These high class players have been replaced with freebies and loan deals who are not good enough to wear the shirt.

If I were Allegri I'd have quit in the Summer, he can't work miracles.

Very sad times.
on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:20pm
Beyond a managerial change, the club needs new leadership. I love Galliani and his emotional goal celebrations, and I know he wants success for the club, but football has changed a lot since his appointment in the mid-80s. I think we need a more modern executive to run the club who can put together a better scouting system and make better transfer decisions. Yes, FFP means Milan needs to balance the budget, but the club is still one of the richest in Europe and needs to better allocate resources
on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:19pm
Keep playing Bonera and Ambrosini Max. Not sure why he seems to be the only person on this planet that thinks those 2 are worth even touching a ball. Those 2 wouldn't even crack an MLS squad. They're horrible. Bonera caused the first Lazio goal last weekend with his garbage defending. Keep up the good work Max. Keep the promising youngsters on the bench and keep playing Ambro and Bonera. Garbage!!! Sack him pronto!
on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:19pm
"milan fan" - no true fan of the club would cheer against it. also a true fan would know that the club's name is Associazione Calcio Milan, not Milan FC.. but anyway.

I agree it is beyond time for a change in coach. Allegri seems out of ideas, and his players don't seem to respect or be buying into his philosophy anymore. I cannot understand how he continues to play Bonera and Yepes.. are Acerbi, Zapata, and Mexes all injured?

on the 25th October, 2012 at 1:13pm
If Berlusconi still loves Milan he should sack Galliani and Allegri together, yet Silvio decided to quit politics, if history taught us something is that Silvio invests in Milan because of elections. So he won't invest anymore. So please for Milan's sake sell the club.
on the 25th October, 2012 at 12:53pm
Allegri never had it right, the scudetto was won by the players on the pitch, which was made possible by a league that did not pose much competition. Juve was still on the rise and Inter was and is still trying to rediscover it's identity. Allegri has never possessed the ability to be tactically sound, his stubbornness in playing particular players, some out of position beguiles me. When he does make changes, they are late and irrelevant. He was never fit for the job, and I put full blame on him
on the 25th October, 2012 at 12:39pm
Mmmm so Scott what game did you actually watch last night? I agree Milan got beat and deserved to lose but Malaga certainly didn't accelerate away from them, maybe with a bit more luck Milan might of snatched a win.

And Milan fan, really? Won't support Milan until Allegri goes? When he does maybe you can jog on with him.... Milan don't require fans like you, I believe there is a club in northern England or France looking for glory hunting supporters
on the 25th October, 2012 at 12:30pm
Seeing a back 3 last night with yet more variations of defensive partnerships really brings into question Allegri's decision making this season. I am a total loss to understand what is our strongest 11. At this stage we do need to get rid of Allegri and pick a coach who will pick the same starting 11 week in week out. There is no other way this team with turn around without having a consistent starting 11. Sorry Allegri. Thanks for the first title in 7 years but its time to go!
on the 25th October, 2012 at 12:12pm
and short term signings (Crespo for one season, Stam for two) and a total failure to plan. On the other hand I am rapidly losing patients with Allegri's inability to pick a starting 11, particularly a back 4, and stick with it. On what possible basis does he think the team (admittedly of inferior quality) will gel if he keeps changing team and now formation. The performances have not been as bad as the results suggest but this is even more reason to pick 11 players and stick with them. Tbc...
on the 25th October, 2012 at 12:09pm
"Milan Fan" you might want to consider changing your name. I do agree however that Allegri really must go. At the beginning of the season I was very much behind Allegri and am still of the view that Galliani and Berlusconi also must go for putting us in the mess we are in not because of this summer's activities but by a consistent failure to plan for the day when 12 of our 30 somethings would retire. Wasted signings (this is season its Traore and Constant) who crowded youth team players tbc
on the 25th October, 2012 at 12:06pm
i will support all opponent teams against milan until Allegri goes
patience is over with this guy
he shouldve gone since first season against tottenham then last season when he surrended seria a to juve now he needs to go
he is making milan fc a joke
please go allegri u r not milan
on the 25th October, 2012 at 11:28am

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