Wednesday March 12 2014
Now to the Rossonero revamp

Following defeat to Atletico Madrid, Richard Thomas says Milan would be better off forgetting about results and giving youth a chance for the remainder of the season.

Tuesday night’s performance by Milan against Atletico Madrid, coupled with the end result, provided brutal confirmation of what the Serie A table has been suggesting all season. The Rossoneri, despite their rich history and pedigree in Europe’s premier club competition, are simply not good enough to grace it at the moment.

Ricky Kaka’s equaliser on the night at the Vicente Calderon briefly put this Round of 16 tie back in the balance, but from the moment Arda Turan restored the home side’s lead five minutes before half-time there was only ever going to be one winner. Clarence Seedorf’s side went on to concede a further two goals late in the second half before referee Mark Clattenburg’s final whistle mercifully brought the contest, and Milan’s European campaign, to an end.

The Rossoneri will be and already have been heavily criticised for the manner of the defeat, which is their third in succession in all competitions. Seedorf himself was particularly scathing of his side’s performance, citing a lack of resilience as the main reason behind the capitulation.

“You could see after the second goal that the team struggled to react psychologically, as they often do,” the Dutchman told the media following the game. “The period of difficulty [earlier in the season] lasted so long that it affected the team. They can react once, but after a second blow they can’t get back on their feet. In the second half the whole team no longer produced the right level of grit and determination to keep fighting. We sat back too much and in general it was not positive.”

It is clear that Seedorf’s honeymoon period at San Siro is now well and truly over. Since succeeding the sacked Max Allegri in January he has overseen, on the whole, a marginal improvement in performances and results. It must also not be forgotten that the Rossoneri were unfortunate to lose the first-leg of the tie with Atleti, nor that they put up a good fight in defeat against runaway Serie A leaders Juventus a week-and-a-half ago.

Those two performances, along with a few others, provide some evidence that Seedorf is taking his side in the right direction in the early stages of his coaching career. However, defeat to Udinese on Saturday followed by last night’s showing have highlighted the magnitude of the task that the San Siro legend faces if he is to restore the club to the sort of heights the tifosi have become accustomed to down the years.

So what next for the Rossoneri? They now have 11 Serie A fixtures left to focus on but with the side barely in the top half of the table and nine points off a European place, they have surely left themselves far too much to do to mount a serious challenge for continental competition. Seedorf has said that the Rossoneri still have ‘some very specific objectives’ to achieve before the season’s end, and one very high on his own personal list must surely now be to conduct a thorough and honest assessment of the playing staff he currently has at his disposal.

Indeed, if the club’s decision makers are certain that they have got the right man for the job in the rookie Dutchman, they would be best served to now write off the season in terms of results and allow Seedorf the opportunity to do just that. Poor though the season has been, Milan will not be dragged into a relegation dogfight so the Coach should be given license to use the upcoming games as a chance to experiment with youngsters, run the rule over fringe players, decide which of the more experienced ones to retain and try out new formations and tactics.

He should be allowed to do all of this free of the expectation of delivering good results that is normally a given at San Siro, so long as it is evident that he is building for the future. After all, it would surely serve the Rossoneri far better in the long term if they were to finish this season in say, 13th place, but having had a look at some of the youth players who so impressively won the Viareggio tournament in first team action, than it would to stick with the same set of players who have shown over the course of the season that collectively they are not up to the required standard and finish seventh or eighth.

The nature of Milan’s turbulent season means that they face the unfamiliar scenario of having to play two months of virtual dead-rubbers before the season is out. If they are used properly however, the upcoming matches may prove to be a rare and much needed opportunity to really take stock of where the club is at. It is an opportunity that, as demonstrated by events last night, the Rossoneri should not and cannot pass up.

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Have your say...

You is be crazy. Taarabt is worth the "trouble" and Honda absolutely is not. Honda is in a needs to be sold situation. He was always a poor fit and everything that Milan did not need. He should be sold, period. Kaka is here, use him (in the hole) and go from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3. Montolivo has to go. He plays as if the team revolves around him. You need ball-playing DM's. Lassana Diarra, Yann M'Vila, Luis Gustavo. These are players of huge talent levels. And go after Vermaelen.
on the 14th March, 2014 at 12:14am
Robinho, loose ends that could be off playing in mid table sides. Now the fact that Milan are knocked out of Europe and will not have the stress of European football on their shoulders next season, they should really in my opinion focus on slowly revamping the club itself, by changing the mentality and utilizing their youth and to stop putting their trust in has beens, once Milan start going in the right direction, then that is when I will start to enjoy watching the Derby Della Madonnina.
on the 13th March, 2014 at 11:01pm
could lead in an attack and always be back for defence, but then again there will never be someone like Pirlo that they can buy, they need to trust a young player to take that role and hopefully learn. Finally, the attack, amidst the controversy of Balotelli, with the right management he can be a great player and can be Milan's leader from the front, aswell as using El Shaarawy who is an amazing young talent that will only get better. However Milan need to get rid of players like Pazzini and
on the 13th March, 2014 at 10:58pm
seek him for advice. Taarabt is only 24 and has watsed his career in the Premier League, I believe he is a good player and Milan is the right move for him, and I do believe he can do good. Honda is a good passer and a player every team needs, but he lacks a physical and mental presence on the pitch. Whilst De Jong and Essien must go, they are nothing but has beens and have no place in a team like Milan. What Milan lack in midfield is a /proper/ playmaker, they need a new Pirlo, someone who was
on the 13th March, 2014 at 10:55pm
be honest, I believe Zapata is a good player that can be kept for a few more years. However what Milan need is a leader, someone who can really lead from the back and control his fellow defenders in order to tighten up space, which is something they currently don't have, a leader. The midfield is most likely Milan's best thing they have, Montolivo is good but when he wants to be, by bringing back Kaka, it is adding proper experience to the team, aswell as hope for the younger players who can
on the 13th March, 2014 at 10:52pm
onto the actual team, quite frankly Milan need a new goalkeeper, Abbiati and Amelia are by far too old, frail and slow to still be playing for Milan. They either need a new young goalkeeper or maybe even a 25-28 year old that can add stability in front of the goal. Next is the defense, when I look at the defense I see a tenth of what it used to be, Milan do have hope however, De Sciglio is a great player that deserves to be starting every game, aswell as having a good right back in Abate, and to
on the 13th March, 2014 at 10:49pm
they keep focusing on bringing in has beens and mediocre players, they're in some sort of mentality where they believe that if they bring in experienced players like the ones they had from the past, that it will win them a trophy or qualify them for Europe, but sadly that is not the situation. Players like Essien are the types of players you want in your team, if he is not good enough to play for Chelsea, then why the heck is he playing for Milan? A team that shouldn't be buying has beens. Now
on the 13th March, 2014 at 10:46pm
I'm going to be honest here, the situation Milan are in is terrible and it is somewhat the same (maybe even worse)as the one Inter went through. Now I'm an Inter fan through and through, but one thing I do not like is Italian teams being represented badly in Europe, as it makes Serie A look bad. Milan's problem isn't in its defense, attack or ownership, no, it is everywhere. Let's start off with their owners. The problem with Berlusconi and Galliani is that, they are far too focused on the past
on the 13th March, 2014 at 10:42pm
Balotelli taking free kicks for Italy,,,joke!!there are better players to do that!!!
on the 13th March, 2014 at 9:56pm
I am new to this, I am so proud to support the azzuri, We have in my opinion some excellent players...but people please...quit going on about balotelli!!! He is a big problem,,,, he doesn't score enough goals...goes missing in big games,,,is all hype,,totally overrated it's shocking!!! Also Pirandello keeps picking him ahead of real strikers like Toni , destroy, etc,,, Sau is a far better player too, I cannot understand how anyone other than Sam I think cannot see that balotelli simply
on the 13th March, 2014 at 9:54pm
I hope its rumours. But wouldnt surprise me if it were to happen.. it would underline the weakness in seedorf and the stupidity of the man if he isnt demanding a more controlled transfer policy that would see us bring in players that are needed (DEFENCE) to bring the team forward and see the youth actually develop not just loaned out until they are 30! Whatever ppl think so far whoever leaves I hope balo and pazzini are part of the departing players they are both beyond useless.
on the 13th March, 2014 at 6:50pm
I just want to take this opportunity to remind fans of the following stupid comments

- the winning DNA
- the Seedorf affect

Reality is seedorf will be sacked by xmas. Stop blaming money and youth. Milan actually had a very good team when they had Ibra and thiago and Cassano. They sold all three now they have nosedived. I completely disagree with this youth nonsense. With Ibra they won a league title. He wasn't a youth player.
on the 13th March, 2014 at 6:45pm
I wish FT would stop spreading stories about Adebayor. While he fits Milan's current transfer policy perfectly (in that he's another mediocre attacking player) nobody at Milan can seriously think that this is what we need right now. If the rumours are true and Seedorf is actually considering another striker this summer then he needs to leave the club. Please Galliani go before the summer.
on the 13th March, 2014 at 4:31pm
I was sore when Galliani was rumoured to be leaving milan. But after he brought in Essien i now believe that we cant move forward with him.
on the 13th March, 2014 at 11:02am
@ FERBAN not a bad looking team there!
on the 13th March, 2014 at 11:02am
@ Daniel Giambrone The rumours of Adebayor cannot be try. Why would Milan sign another striker when we have Balo and Pazzini? Alex might be a useful signing but I think we could probably do better. The point is that when we have no money every signing has to be a) necessary and b) the best we can get from what's available. You take last summer. We signed Matri for €11m along with about 10 other players. We could've got Ogbonna for €13m or Benatia for €13.5m. We just have the wrong proirities
on the 13th March, 2014 at 10:48am
We should definitely be playing the youth much more than the has-been's that we have right now, but that's not going to change with the people that are in charge. They seem to be more interested in signing players purely for shirt sales than creating potential stars of the future.
Milan have great potential in their youth system, but playing them only in pre-season friendlies is not promoting them! A change in mentality is needed otherwise in 5 years time we'll be saying the same thing...
on the 13th March, 2014 at 9:01am
milan will not begoing anywhere with kids just out o viareggio. if they want to be competitive team in another 2/3 years, they need to spend money wisely, not on players like birsa or constant. unfortunately, it seems that berlusconi is unwilling or unable to spend accordingly.
on the 13th March, 2014 at 8:34am
I prefer to look at in terms of using these guys to help aid the departure of some of the more senior players and with a squad of 30+ players that needs to happen. As for using them for the rest of the season it doesn't seem to be like the best way of building a winning momentum you really need the senior players to step up to achieve that.
on the 13th March, 2014 at 12:32am
Realistically, without spending a fortune :

PERIN (13m)

Out with the likes of Robinho, Matri, Mexes, Zaccardo, Bonera, Abbiati, Essien etc,etc,etc.

The Essien transfer showed just how far Milan have fallen. 10 years ago they would have signed him as a 25yo, now they are scraping around for has-beens like him. Why waste a cent on him? Just play Christante.
on the 13th March, 2014 at 12:27am
Im amazed how stupid u must be to say something so ridiculous!
So all of these ppl that are debating and writing and criticising one and other about milan and the obvious problems throughout the team are wrong??? you come on here as if there are no problems and all of those saying use some fresh young talent are wrong to demand a change, all the diabolical transfers and position changes of players is normal???
Your Amazed!!! I think you amazed us more than we amazed you!
on the 12th March, 2014 at 11:19pm
Ok archp, let Milan continue as they are: signing foreign players that have had their best days, paying them high salaries, & plunging the club even further into debt. Continue to hold back the young players-better still ship them out on loan/co-owner ships until they are in their mid twenties. I bet that you're delighted with the Adebayor rumours. Enough of the pressure/too young excuses: if you're good enough your old enough.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 9:08pm
@Sheva, you're spot on about Cristante. In just a few games, he showed a damn sight more than Milan's other midfielders. His exclusion baffles me! He can pass-making incisive vertical plays, he can tackle, he has a good shot, & he is effective at bombing forward & supporting the attack. It's amazing how many of us are seeing these serious problems at the club; yet the ones who are paid a fortune are oblivious to it, or are lacking the bottle to implement serious change.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 7:23pm
I am amazed if anything, at the amount of stupid things i have read on this blog.
the only rational thing i have seen in the whole posting is that seedorf must not be so tactically rigid.

play it on youth? sure why not.. lets give the kids some pressure that can ruin their entire careers.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 7:13pm
I feel the same man, but be patient, things are starting to change even if very slowly. We could be looking at an all Italian Europa League final this season, when was the last time that happened? The current top 6; Juve,Roma,Napoli,Viola,Inter,Parma, if they keep on the right track/improve over the summer, Id say that's Serie A's strongest CL/EL line up for a loooong time. KEEP THE FAITH.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 6:08pm
Foreign influence (and money) is desperately needed in Italy at this point. Roma and Inter are leading the way now, its time for the other clubs to follow. Roma are already stronger than they've been in years. Inter under Thohir have already made better, world class, world renowned signings than the past 3 years under Moratti. Now its time for Italian teams to look for foreign investors and move on with plans to build new stadiums. Quit wasting time, or else Portuguese league will surpass us too
on the 12th March, 2014 at 5:43pm
Seedorf shouldn't just experiment with youth players, he should also experiment with tactics because players like Balotelli,Pazzini,Kaka,and Honda are struggling with this formation which ironically one that Seedorf hated as a player.Taarabt is not worth the trouble,believe me and Seedorf should work on bringing the best out of Honda and Saponara instead.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 5:42pm
What a disgrace Italian teams have been in Europe in the last few years. Starting with Inter losing 7-3 to Schalke on aggregate, Napoli blowing a 3-1 lead against Chelsea, Milan blowing a 2-0 lead against Barcelona, Juventus being knocked out in the group stage, and now Milan once again being thumped 5-1 on aggregate. The issue isn't even money, its idiotic decisions by Italians with outdated ideas. Football has changed, but Italy has stayed behind.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 5:38pm
Milan need a major exodus this summer. Amelia, Abbiati, Bonera, Mexes, Zapata, Zaccardo, Abate, Essien, Muntari, Birsa, Constant, Robinho, Silvestre. I don't think Taarabt will be good in the long run and it would be a shame to waste money on him. Kaka had some great moments but not enough to justify Milan turning their backs on Honda and Saponara for him. As for Balo,if Seedorf wants to play with one striker then he should sell him coz he's horrible as a lone front man.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 5:37pm
I must say I am very disappointed in Seedorf.He had a chance to include Saponara and Cristante in the CL and didn't.He played Essien who has been awful so far and cost us 2 goals yesterday and didn't even remove him at half-time.He didn't include Pazzini until the end.He also plays a formation that plays half the team out of position and ironically is the formation he hated from his days with Holland.He has to give Honda and the youngsters real chances instead of wasting them on trash.
on the 12th March, 2014 at 5:23pm

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