Thursday July 31 2014
Pippo's problematic pre-season

With two disappointing losses in pre-season, the first questions and concerns of the Filippo Inzaghi era at Milan are beginning to rise, says Sam Lewis.

Pre-season has, by and large, not been pleasant for Milan so far. After starting the summer with a pre-World Cup duo of signings and the appointment of fan favourite Filippo Inzaghi, concerning results on the pitch threatened to fade initial hope surrounding the Rossoneri heading into 2014-15.

Two consecutive losses against Olympiacos and Manchester City, the latter a 5-1 thrashing that saw four goals scored pass Michael Agazzi and his often clueless defence inside 30 minutes, has sent another sobering reminder of the gulf between the Diavolo and Europe’s most talented clubs. Considering Agazzi and former Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Alex were brought in, alongside making permanent Adil Rami’s move from Valencia, with the intention to improve the backline, to play so poorly immediately upon arrival is no doubt an issue.

There appears to be a gap talent wise, yet pressure has been no less prevalent around coaching debutant Inzaghi, especially from the club itself. “I had a long talk with Pippo, and I'm sure that we will do well this season,” CEO Adriano Galliani told media this week.

“Everyone at the club is convinced that we will do well this season because we have a very good Coach.”

While it wasn’t revealed what Inzaghi and Galliani discussed, fans will hope the transfer market was one of the topics, with Riccardo Montolivo’s injury casting a large shadow over the midfielders available for selection when the new season begins.

“This team needs to be improved to come close to a championship,” former Milan midfielder Stefano Eranio has considered. “You cannot repeat the previous season.”

If Milan’s upcoming season is to be a success then additional quality is required to add to a side where genuine, veteran talent is at a premium.

The Rossoneri’s interest in numerous players around Europe is widely reported but the current state of finance at San Siro is apparently dictating that players must exit before new ones arrive. One of those is Robinho, with Besiktas, Olympiacos and home-town club Santos all seen as vying for his services. If and when that move is completed, Milan may finally take action on some of the players reportedly on their list, but with former targets Juan Iturbe, Antoine Griezmann, Davide Astori and Marco Parolo all at new clubs, that list is shortening.

A pre-season match against Liverpool is to conclude a tournament that has Milan sitting bottom of their group with minus seven goal difference, before a challenging stretch to begin the Serie A season greets the team - with new arrivals or not.

An opening bout against an improved Lazio side at the Giuseppe Meazza is the first League match under Inzaghi before a trip to Roberto Donadoni’s exciting Parma side comes a week later. A third week showdown against former Coach Massimiliano Allegri and Serie A champions Juventus will prove to be a serious test, perhaps the first of the calendar and of Inzaghi’s fledgling coaching career.

Questions are beginning to arise for Pippo’s Milan, and the time to answer them is rapidly approaching.

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Have your say...
Don't worry it's the preseason. I've been watching the team in Pittsburgh all week, they're upbeat & excited, so is the coaching staff. This under the radar training week, has been really good for the team.

Right now only Balotelli, SES, and Abbiati have starting spots. Pippo would like to go with a 4-3-3 with a SES, BALO, & Niang line

There are many positives from the preseason -
1. Balo is staying
2. Everyone is healthy
3. Niang is much improved,
4. BC is looking good in DF
on the 31st July, 2014 at 4:49pm
The squad is very average as it stands.

Inzaghi can only do so much and he'll be out before Xmas if they don't do well.

But at least Silvio will have his scapegoat.
on the 31st July, 2014 at 4:34pm
It is something of an outrage that coaches are held accountable for their results but senior club officials responsible for transfers apparently are not. Galliani may have been responsible for praiseworthy coups in the past, but certainly not anymore. I do not think he should stay when he considers Bonera and Mexes a "great pair". There must be someone in the club with the statistics from the last few seasons – surely someone would say something?
on the 31st July, 2014 at 4:32pm
Zaccardo, Bonera, Constant, Muntari, Niang, Zapata, Robinho, Mexes, Agazzi...all not good enough, all must go.

I don't care how thin it would leave the squad, I don't care if it means having 7 under 18's on the bench. Milan HAVE TO start at year 0. Clear the deadwood and build from the ground up.

We already aren't in Europe, with the players that would remain we'd still challenge for a top 6 finish.

Things cant possibly get any worse...bin the rubbish, cut the wage bill. Start again.
on the 31st July, 2014 at 4:30pm
4. Galliani and the inexperienced Inzaghi have failed to identify the very obvious weakness in the defence.

5. The only players which we have signed are the wrong players for the wrong positions who may actually have a negative impact on some of our better players e.g. signing Menez and Mr X (a left footed attacker) when we already have SES, Niang, Saponara, Honda and the jury is still out on whether Balotelli should actually play as an out and out centre forward.

What a shambles
on the 31st July, 2014 at 4:25pm
As things currently stand Milan are already in very serious trouble. Berlusconi/Galliani have failed quite spectacularly this summer in the following ways:

1. After an embarrassing public spat with Seedorf they fired him and now must pay out compensation to him;

2. After a previous disaster with an inexperienced manager they repeated the same mistake by hiring Inzaghi

3. Galliani has failed to raise any significant funds from sales and has been forced to loan out players for free
on the 31st July, 2014 at 4:20pm
Quel surprise, the results under Inzaghi – who has no senior coaching experience – have left something to be desired. In past times AC Milan combined style with substance; it was one of the things I always held as one of the club's attractive qualities. However, now it appears there is still a great focus on style but no substance – consider the opening of Casa Milan and the news of the new sponsorship deal while other clubs were strengthening their squads.
on the 31st July, 2014 at 4:17pm

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