Saturday November 2 2013
Milan are AWOL

The worst thing about the Rossoneri right now is not the results, but the performances and mentality, argues Susy Campanale.

There’s no point denying that Milan are in absolute crisis now and facing Barcelona on Wednesday it’s not likely to get any better. A weakened Fiorentina without Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, Mario Gomez and David Pizarro didn’t have to get out of second gear to win 2-0 at San Siro, mainly because the Rossoneri are reduced to either first gear or reverse. They trundle along for 90 minutes and fans wait for the moment they step up the pace to change things around. If it does happen, it is rapidly followed by a defensive disaster.

The calls are out for Massimiliano Allegri to be fired, though I’m not sure what good it would do with the options available. It is true that the team is playing absolutely terrible football and the squad don’t appear to know what they’re supposed to be doing. With Roma, Napoli, Fiorentina and Inter you get the sense these players have a specific plan they worked out in training and know where they are supposed to be at any given moment. Milan’s plan seems to be ‘give the ball to Kaka and Mario Balotelli, then hope for the best.’ It worked in the second half of last season, but SuperMario is now in a permanent sulk between pointless bookings and increasingly embarrassing attempts to win a penalty. Mollycoddling him is just encouraging this self-destructive petulance.

Not only are the Rossoneri not organised, but they have no spark either. Taking the initiative should mean more than running aimlessly at a wall of players or shooting from midfield. Someone also needs to appoint themselves Wall Monitor, because it’s ridiculous that a top flight team doesn’t know how to stand in a line properly. Milan were always bad at defending from set plays, but this isn’t marking we’re talking about – it’s the ability to stand in a spot and not move. Instead of releasing statements on how a free kick was not in the right position or telling Riccardo Montolivo he should argue with the referee more, how about focusing on some of the football school basics?

The real issue with Milan seems to be psychological, as they suffer from crippling arrogance. Have you noticed the only decent performances they have put in this season were when the Rossoneri were considered underdogs? Started strong against Juventus only to fall away, held Barcelona to a draw and attacked Udinese despite an injury crisis. When on paper the stronger team, they just assume they’ll score at some point and don’t push the issue until time is running out.

Allegri said this week Milan “can’t rest on our laurels,” but that’s precisely the problem. They have no laurels. What this team is resting on is a cold, hard floor with the shrivelled remains of laurels. The sooner they get that into their heads, the better, because time is running out.

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Have your say...
Only a new privately owned 55.000 stadium wil solve their problems. Juventus earn 30 mill EACH year because of their stadium.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 9:24am
Great article with an interesting new angle on the Milan problem. However, the solution remains the same. Allegri got this team into a psychological slump and can't get them out of it, so replacing him is the only solution. I don't know why but I have a feeling Tassotti will take over and Gattuso will come in as his assistant and Pippo will take over next season with Gattuso.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 8:48am
As a Juventus fan but with a husband that is fiercely a Milan supporter I despair at the way Milan are playing. They are stumbling around with no direction, Balotelli in my opinion is lazy, if one of his few attempts on goal fails he just stands around moaning to himself. He is a prima Donna. Kaka is trying so hard but the look of despair on his face is evident, there is no one with him. Milan is in confusion and needs to go back to basics with more Italian players.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 8:43am
Second half of last season we benefited from questionable balotelli penalties, the plan was to give him the ball so that he can dive in the box, this time the refs are on to him. I still don't get how people like Susy still don't think getting rid of Allegri will solve our problems. The root of all our problems is Allegri, it was CLEAR FROM LAST SEASON, the sooner we stop ignoring this fact, the better.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 8:40am
Milan will keep struggle UNLESS they sell to a RICH owner, not a Thohir, or (and) build a new 55.000 seater stadium and sell out each week.40.000 in a 85.000 stadium is pretty dull. Juve earn 30 mill more per year, because of their new stadium. Imagine Milan could splash out 30 mill more each summer. Then we are talking big names. This Milan squad is rubbish. Only 5 worthy players.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 8:33am
Allegro is not a top class manager and his record tells you that. He won title in first season but that was down to him having an immense squad and IBRA. 2nd season we should have walked the title again but his tactics are shocking, sitting back, not playing in 1st half etc. 3rd season was saved by el sharaway, De jong, ball and no tolivo. Else what a shocking team. This season, using injuries as an excuse, no spark no idea and that can only come from manager. Need to change manager, simple.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 8:25am
@at anonymous. I have been saying that for ages about Balotelli. A chip on his shoulder and only good for penalty taking. Not a team player and one good game every once a while is not good enough. He is constantly booked and injured and is in the media more often than he plays. Has anyone noticed he only plays against the weaker teams? Rarely does he play against the top teams always injured or suspended! Italy's best striker some say , but no way better than Rossi or even Toni at the moment!
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 8:01am
Milan is facing a bigger problem than Aligri's possible exit.
There's no quality enough.
Players like Zapata and Constant should be 3e choice after their own yought.
Muntari, Zaccardo, Birsa are bench players.
Milan's injured players are fatal for the results.
The staff should scout 4 better and cheaper players, they are there somewhere.
Lets keep Alegri 4 a while, cause its not his fault.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 7:51am
I'm not one to advocate firing coaches willy nilly, but Allegri has lost sight of what he wants to do with this team. Milan under Allegri do not have the same identity they demonstrated in his first season. Therefore, Allegri must leave and another coach given an opportunity to work with this set. Perhaps Capello or Lippi to instill some discipline and focus?

Also, Balotelli must be sold in January. Needless bookings, a lack of professionalism and blatant cheating.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 7:34am
I'm looking for Viktor where is he? Maybe in Juve's news? but juve won the game so he wouldn't be there
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 7:15am
Allegri needs to leave...this squad may not be built to compete for the the title but certainly it should be competing for third place.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 7:14am
Allegri is taking way more heat than he deserves.
We turned over our entire first 11, and nearly our entire bench in less than two years with injury prone players, players that were a surplus to requirements at their previous clubs, players with attitude and lifestyle issues to go along with mediocre players that were only purchased because they cost nothing or very little money...Add, not as talented as be4.
IDN if the same starting eleven has played for 10 full games since last January..
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 6:46am
Milan have taken the game with a levity hand for too long....its painful watching this milan....honestly
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 6:29am
I think its good for italian football,its the beginning of a new dawn of calcio.....milan will rise again
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 6:26am
Allegri was one of the best young coach around. And certainly he still is. But I think it's now time for Milan to take a fresh tactical approach. They got tons of talents that have all the potencies the world's best. Saponara, Birsa, SES, & Niang. Plus some matured talent like Montolivo, Kaka, & Balo. All they need is a new, fresh coach.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 3:59am
i dont want to see balotelli in italian squad for Brazil '14. he is lazy and useless.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 3:12am
Bit much to say that he is talentless. He is a brilliant player and has demonstrated that. The last few games have been poor but everyone on the team has been poor. Injuries aside, Milan have made no progress this year which is the most telling part and a sign that Allegri's time is coming to an end. This last game was probably the most frustrating I can remember. I keep telling myself that things will change once their players are back but the injury list is shorter and they're not improving
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 2:01am
Can't wait for Balotelli to throw a temper tantrum and ask for a transfer
He will jump ship as he is not a team player.

on the 3rd November, 2013 at 1:17am
And Balotelli should have gotten two penalty's against fiorentina today, he was brought down clearly in the box twice..
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 1:17am
You're all pathetic, Balotelli is a great player who is judged too much for his personal life, he doesn't play well for a couple of games, which happens to every player, and you're all talking crap about him. He is a great player, but you'll all find out when he starts scoring again for milan AND italy, then you can go back to pretendng you all love him. I'm a REAL milan fan, and i keep supporting my club, they haven't even played that terrible the last games against lazio..
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 1:16am
Now with Honda and Rami being reinforcements in January, it is crucial Allegri leaves and Saponara gets more gametime along with Niang.
Who wouldn't want to take charge at a club with such rich history?

Very good article by the way.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 1:01am
Allegri needs to go.
Having someone that endorses 'good football' after defeats and someone that sets to reach 3rd spot is a foundation for disaster.
Allegri's days of having Seedorf, Pirlo and Gattuso in the midfield, Boateng (at his prime) trequarista and Ibra + Pato up front are over.
This season it was time for him to implement a game style and not just throw the players onto the park.
The players don't know what to do, they need a mentor.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 12:59am
Allegri doesn't enough to cntinue compete in the rest of serie A games, so may be better Allegri gone before crucial party in Wednesday
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 12:33am
Even if he was "talented", (as good technique) doesn't necessarily mean he is a good footballer.
He is a pathetic excuse for an athlete. Slow, weak, absolutely no balance on those pencils he calls legs.
Make shocking decisions on the field. Wanders around like a lost puppy. I don't know what else to say. Personally I love the faith Milan have shown in him (and the subsequent downfall) and any goal he scores only justifies their belief in this false prophet.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 12:18am
Milan and ITALY need to realise that the 'balotelli is good player' thing is a myth.
People love to say he's talented but with a bad attitude - people only say he's talented because of his attitude. He's in the headlines constantly because who wants to read about boring professionals, so any positive action is blown up as an act of genius - which he isn't.

Just to put it in perspective, Baggio was talented, Vieri was talented, Signori Zola Vialli Schiallaci were talented. Balotelli? No.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 12:11am
Milan did well and recovered last season and easily beat Barcelona because they all worked hard and covered in the only formation that suits these players and that is 4-3-3. Milan where already doing well many games before Balotelli arrived and all he did was have the odd good game and score penalties, he was shocking many times last season. If Milan play say 4-3-1-2 then with these players it is a disaster, I mean Milan lost to the under 17s with this formation.Get El Shaarawy etc fit in 4-3-3.
on the 3rd November, 2013 at 12:00am
Allegri is to weak to be a manager
on the 2nd November, 2013 at 11:46pm
Excellent article. I think it's safe to say that there's no way we're going to turn this season around like we did last year. Assuming Roma win tomorrow, we will be nothing less than 21 points away from the top and 16 points from the third and final CL spot. There is no hope for us this season; our defense is in shambles, the rest of our squad are deeply lacking in confidence and the coach is a loser who continues to make cringe-worthy decisions and does not know how to motivate his players.
on the 2nd November, 2013 at 11:41pm
Galliani storming out of the stadium shortly after the second goal went in was pretty telling. I think Alegri may be gone before Wednesday.
on the 2nd November, 2013 at 11:31pm

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