Sunday November 18 2012
The One-Man Shows

Saturday’s Serie A games saw Lazio and Milan rely entirely on Federico Marchetti and Stephan El Shaarawy, notes Susy Campanale.

The old adage about there being ‘no I in team’ doesn’t necessarily hold sway when one man has to carry an entire squad on his back. On Saturday we saw examples of this at the Juventus Stadium and the San Paolo, where Lazio sat back and hoped for the best from Federico Marchetti – which they certainly got – and Milan were once again dragged out of the gutter by 20-year-old Stephan El Shaarawy.

Marchetti’s performance in goal for the Biancocelesti was simply stunning. While Gigi Buffon was off getting a cup of tea and catching up on his Sudoku, Marchetti was flying right, left and under the crossbar to deny everything Juventus could throw at him. Admittedly, when you have 21 shots on goal and still end 0-0, something has to be said about the Bianconeri strikers. However, some of their efforts really would have secured victory on any other day against any other goalkeeper.

It’s remarkable that Marchetti is still ignored by Cesare Prandelli for international duty when he is regularly more reliable – and younger – than Morgan De Sanctis. He had a bad 2010 World Cup for Italy, but who didn’t? I hope we don’t regularly see this sort of Lazio approach away from home, as it reminded me of their Europa League goalless draw against Tottenham.

Milan are increasingly a one-man show, or at least a one-boy show, seeing as El Shaarawy only just turned 20. The Little Pharaoh has already netted the 10 Serie A goals that will see Massimo Ambrosini pay up on the pre-season bet with an all-expenses paid vacation in the Caribbean, but there’s more to his contribution than that. Every time the Rossoneri are plunging into the darkness, they send out an SOS for SES to come to the rescue. Maybe he can keep the team afloat until the rest of them form some sort of unit, but it’s a very risky approach to rely so heavily on one striker, especially one so inexperienced.

El Shaarawy has shown himself to be truly remarkable both on and off the field. After scoring a sensational brace at the San Paolo, he dedicated his goals to Christian Abbiati, embarrassed by a Gokhan Inler snapshot in the opening five minutes. He has the wisdom of the Pharaohs too. After all, Tutankhamen became The Boy King of Egypt at the age of 10...

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Have your say...
Susy, when I was 20, I considered myself way beyond boyhood (just to show camaraderie with El Shaarawy:)
For those concerned about "putting too much pressure" on him ... well, he is handling it just fine, as a true professional and champion should do. Remember Paolo ?
And for those who boldly step up and say that Allegri has no clear plans or clues ... please. I don't question your concerns but I do question your qualification to pass judgement in this manner.
Hindsight 20/20 :)
on the 22nd November, 2012 at 6:53am

Noccerino should definatly not play right now as he was utterly bad against Napoli. Clearly we should Boateng is great when hes great, but he's starting to become a glamour player. Milan should keep starting with constant as he's been adapting very well if Abate is not fit. I neer want t see bonera again. Use Zapata
SES, Bojan and Pato would be ideal IF Pato could get back to someone pace, goal determination and skills in general.
on the 19th November, 2012 at 9:45am
Milan's problem is that Allegri has no clear plan.Every game it's a different line-up/formation.In defense it is becoming clearer every game that De Sciglio,Zapata,Acerbi,Emanuelson should always start.A 3-man midfield of Montolivo,Boateng,Nocerino seems best with a forward line of 3 of SES,Bojan,Robinho,Pato,Niang,Pazzini.Also,Gabriel deserves a shot with both Abbiati and Amelia flopping and a change of captain is needed as well since having a captain that doesnt play is disheartening.
on the 18th November, 2012 at 8:57pm
Hrant, I've read some funny stuff in my days but you're somewhere up there. The 2 players you're bashing are the best attackers Juve have besides Vučinić. No need to be so worked up after 1 game, especially when both attackers had little to no space against a catenaccio playing Lazio.
on the 18th November, 2012 at 5:07pm
Mustafa, is this the same Prandelli who allows De Rossi back in the squad after punching another player in the face? Prandelli is not professional and clearly holds a grudge, there is no way on earth that De Santis could be considered better than Marchetti.
on the 18th November, 2012 at 2:21pm
Another Milan game, another centre back pairing, more goals conceded. Allegri has not got a clue what he doing anymore. It is embarrassing having to rely on a 20 year old. That 20 year old is doing incredibly well but there is too much pressure on him now to keep up the good performances. We need a consistent line up and consistent players around him. Sadly Allegri has rotated so much this season that is not likely to happen under Allegri's tenure. Time for him to go.
on the 18th November, 2012 at 1:51pm
Marchetti deserves to be called Azzure. He has capacity of keeping the ball. without him lazio may lose 5-0 that is for sure. he was the man of the Match.
Lazio is lucky to have like this young and profissional goal keeper, this season lazio will finish third place good news and they reach the final of Urope leage.
on the 18th November, 2012 at 12:31pm
Marchetti did a great game, but thanks to the lackluster Giovinco/Quagliarella! Both are not Strikers and both arent Juve material! Giovinco can only come from bench in the last 20 mins and Quagliarella is a coppa italia squad player! When will Marotta understand that a WorldClass striker who's worth 20m exists only on planet Mars? Splash the the 35m for God's Sake! Juve are almost out of Champions League and Marotta still watching the market!
on the 18th November, 2012 at 12:13pm
such amazing perfomance shown by marchetti and SES yesterday will definately see them with Azzuri color.
on the 18th November, 2012 at 11:32am
Marchetti is a top goalkeeper. He deserves another chance to play for the Azzurri. At least he's better than De Sanctis!

He wasn't that bad at South Africa 2010 but the defence didn't protect him, especially Cannavaro.
on the 18th November, 2012 at 11:16am
Frustrated Juve drew, but Chelsea what matters. Marchetti is no longer called to the Azzurri because of breaking the code of ethics (set by Prandelli).

Glad Milan got the draw because I would have felt sorry for them to get defeated by Napoli and then hammered by Juve.
on the 18th November, 2012 at 10:55am

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