Gattuso: “I was worried but it went well for us, we played with character, André Silva is a strong player, 4-4-2…”

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Gennaro Gattuso celebrating at the end of Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Gennaro Gattuso celebrating at the end of Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

Gennaro Gattuso liked how his team reacted after the defeat to Arsenal as they fought until the very end to get a win over Genoa in the last second.

After losing in the Europa League, the Rossoneri returned to the domestic league and found a very persistent and organized Genoa side at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Both Milan and Genoa had goals disallowed for offside, but generally both struggled greatly in front of goal as they were missing a spark.

Gennaro Gattuso took off Nikola Kalinić and Hakan Çalhanoğlu, bringing on Patrick Cutrone and André Silva, changing the system to 4-4-2, and his bet paid off brilliantly as in the 94′ minute, in the very last moment of the game, Suso’s cross found the head of Silva, who netted his first Serie A goal.

The Diavolo were far from brilliant, and it was a very difficult match, but in the end they return to Milanello with three important points in hand, as the chase for a Champions League spot continues.

“We were worried, and I was curious frankly to see how we’d react mentally to our first defeat in two and a half months [against Arsenal],” Gattuso told Premium Sport after the final whistle of Michael Fabbri. “I got a good response. My compliments to Genoa, as they caused us huge problems, but we played with character, moved the ball around without fear and I really appreciated that aspect.

Leonardo Bonucci, Franck Kessié, Gennaro Gattuso, André Silva, Cristian Zapata, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Ricardo Rodriguez celebrating at the end of Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Leonardo Bonucci, Franck Kessié, Gennaro Gattuso, André Silva, Cristian Zapata, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Ricardo Rodriguez celebrating at the end of Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

“It was a difficult game, don’t forget we played well but could easily have lost this game. Ballardini is going a great job. In terms of quality, I liked the team and then we’ll see how we are in London. We are not going there for a walk in the park, we are representing a glorious jersey.

“I heard a lot of bar talk about our physical shape against Arsenal, but we simply got the wrong attitude. We had prepared a different approach but got the first half wrong and left them far too many spaces. Arsenal have the quality to put the ball where they want if you give them time and space. We cannot give gifts to anyone, the team has understood that, and we go forward with those lessons.

Patrick Cutrone celebrating at the end of Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Patrick Cutrone celebrating at the end of Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

“The UCL? If you look at the table, we have closed the gap a great deal. There are still 11 games to go, seven of them at home. We’ll see. It’s important to get a few players back in shape. I’m happy that André Silva scored his first Serie A goal. It’s already hard to carry this prestigious jersey, even more so when you are young, but we must continue our work and grow over time, believing in ourselves.

“Kalinić? He is missing a goal, but he is a strong player with good technique. I want to see him more determined when the ball comes, or he has to bully defenders to find space. He lets himself be pushed around too easily. He has our trust. Obviously, strikers live to score goals and don’t care too much whether they play well or not, but we appreciate his hard work for the team.”

Nikola Kalinić during Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Nikola Kalinić during Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

Speaking to Sky Italia, Rino said: “There was a lot of concern on Sunday as we came off two and a half months without losing and with Arsenal we suffered, and something was wrong. We took the field well up to the 95′ minute on Sunday and there was no matter of physical condition.

“Congrats to Genoa, as we could’ve also lost. The difference compared to Thursday? Sometimes you don’t contemplate the fact that you play against players with completely different structures and physicality, but in the first half we gave the impression of not being compact against Arsenal.

André Silva scoring during Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
André Silva scoring during Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

“André Silva? He’s not a guy that I invented… he plays in the Portuguese national team, which is a great national side. He is young, and he has to get used to this league. He works hard and sometimes you have to tell him ‘enough’ after hours of practice and gym to give him a hand. He has great passion and desire, he can do very well. He’s a strong player and until now he didn’t prove all of his worth.

“The 4-4-2 formation? We wanted to try it and we did at just the right time. It’s not the first time I used 4-4-2, it’s the fourth or fifth time and also against Arsenal we did it at the end. We must take advantage of our attackers when I feel that the team must try to bring home the victory at all costs.

“My job? Playing and coaching are two complete different professions. Having been a player may help you in the daily ins and outs, but it is a truly different job. One must respect that and learn daily.”

Gennaro Gattuso celebrating with Marco Storari, Fabio Borini, Franck Kessié, Patrick Cutrone, Alessio Romagnoli and Ricardo Rodriguez at the end of Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Gennaro Gattuso celebrating with Marco Storari, Fabio Borini, Franck Kessié, Patrick Cutrone, Alessio Romagnoli and Ricardo Rodriguez at the end of Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

In his interview with MilanTV at the end of the encounter, the former midfielder stated: “I was worried because we hadn’t lost in a lot of time and we wanted to avoid the taste of defeat. We could’ve lost because Genoa put us in trouble, but we held the field and we have to continue like this. The first 7-8 minutes of the second half were bad, it seemed like we were scared but then we came out well and also on Sunday, with the physical levels we went all the way. Now let’s look forward.

“Borini? When we call him a stopgap he gets offended, but he can play everywhere. I’m sure he can also be a goalkeeper for us. On Saturday we spent three hours explaining the movements we need him to do. Kalinić? Nikola is of the highest level, he moves in an incredible way. We have to stay close to him, there’s still a long way to go and there’s plenty of time to get back to scoring.

The Milan Curva Sud during Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
The Milan Curva Sud during Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

“The 4-4-42? It’s a sign of how the offensive department is working well. We now have 14 different scorers this season? André is a guy who always works and often trains also when we tell him to rest. I didn’t discover him, he plays in the Portugal NT and now he needs continuity.

“The Europa League match? When you wear Milan’s shirt, you have to respect it, it’s glorious. We have a good fight on Thursday but it’s going to be tough. We don’t go to London on an Easter Monday trip.”

Gennaro Gattuso during Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Gennaro Gattuso during Genoa-Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on March 11, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

Gattuso also held a post-match presser: “I’m very satisfied, it went well. Genoa is a well-trained team, we could have also lost. I liked the personality and mentality of the team. After Thursday you wrote that we had a physical problem, but I knew that it wasn’t that. Two strikers? You lose more balls on the wings, but the penalty area fills more. Also on Thursday we played 2 strikers in the last 10 minutes. We can see it again [Gattuso said before Silva works better alongside another striker].

“The standings? We are starting to become pretty. We have 10 games to end and we have to keep working on growing, even though we have not done anything yet. I expect more reading from my team, we suffered against Genoa for 10 minutes and risked 2-3 times to concede.

“We live game after the game. The return leg in London against Arsenal? We aren’t going on a trip. In football you never know. We know that they are 70% through but we have the 30%.”

27 COMMENTS

  1. Calha and Bona are tired pls, we can turn it around if our players are physically ready and it doesn’t look like those 2 can contribute anything in London.

    Let’s go 4.4.2 from the start to show instant intent to score with 2 strikers, The Emirate Stadium is harsh for visitors and a lonely inexperience striker like Cutrone would suffer more, play Andre alongside him and see.

    Your changes and timing have been great so far even when we lost to Arsenal, let’s just ensure we avoid them pressing Biglia off the game like they did in first game with Welbeck, Kessie has to help protect him so that we can express our quality from the back.

    Kolasinac was too strong for Calabria in 1st leg and he combined with Welbeck on left to pile up physical pressure on the boy, we must sort this problem too.

    With 2 strikers, one will be able to press Wiltshire and leave him no breathing space, he was instrumental to their quality play in our half and created spaces Mkhi and Ozil to run our by lines.

    If we are tactically perfect, we can turn it around because we have the quality to do it.

  2. I cant remember when we last scored a winner in extra time. Last years equaliser against Inter felt like a win, but still.
    I just remember the last minute equaliser against Hellas a couple of seasons ago at san siro, their winner in extra time at home the season before that. Cagliari’s winner last season, Benevento’s equaliser, etc.. But FINALLY, we managed to score and get the three points at the end of the game, I want to take this as some form of symbolism, that the team is growing from a mental point of view, and of course a team as a whole. I like Rino’s honesty, as he said what I was thinking, the opening of the secondhalf was abysmal, and they could’ve scored, especially Zukanovic’s chance, but lickily we managed to wake up and started to move the ball around with more purpose and pace. Kudos to the win, a win that will give us a boost. I honestly dont care who plays against Arsenal, I trust in these players, as long as they do a good job and get something out of it, it’s good, but it’s obvious some players need a rest, especially one between Hakan/Bona, so I would be all for seeing Loca play with all his energy.

  3. Only seen the game in bits and pieces as I was working yesterday
    How did we go? Were we just lucky or was it well deserved?
    How did the change to a good old fashioned 442 work out?

  4. Portugal NT plays 442 and Silva’s statistics are monstrous… Sure he has Ronaldo alongside but imo he needs a partner up front and with Cutrone we might as well see a new copy of Sheva and Pippo

    Suso is now acostumed of dropping deeper for the ball and Hakan also, so 442 shouldn’t be such a problem. Jack is tired so now it would be a good time to try

    Forza Milan!

    • Have to admit I’m a fan of the 442 myself to be honest, I played in that formation most of my life
      as a deep lying sweeper but coming to the end of my career it was becoming old fashioned
      I think Silva would definitely shine within it he’s the type of player who needs someone up top with him and wingers either side providing the ammunition

  5. Against Arsenal, we need experienced players like Montolivo instead of Bonaventura and Borini instead of Calabria right from the start. We have to play on a 4-4-2 with André Silva instead of Cala and Cutrone from the outset.
    Bonaventura is an excellent player who unfortunately has wasted too many chances and Cala is playing it too personal. We’ll have to play a lot with Suso, who is a master in destabilizing the opponents’ defences. Kessié and Rodriguez must review their games because they are too slow. And the defensive system played against Ludogorets would have to be reinstated.

  6. To be honest it was a pathetic display until the last touch by Silva. The midfield was clueless, calhanoglu was easily tamed and suso was too predictable trying to cut inside and cross.
    Funny that ultimately suso’s relentlessness paid off and Andre Silva saved us all from that gutted feeling.

    I hope gattuso has some more tricks up his sleeve, so we can rectify these problems and continue to progress.

    Really hope we can beat arsenal, I hate English clubs so much that I was rooting for rubentus against Spurs.

  7. Well liked the spirit in the end they fighted hard but there are so many issues to take care off….milan was so slow to move the ball with no creativity in bits and pieces it felt like players have become zombies…..they were very slow trust me if we play like this arsenal will eat us alive…..bona and Hakan looks rather tired it’s good time to change to 4-4-2, we need to score goals and with out conceding let’s not put too much pressure on young cutro rather shape him up with silva upfront….we lost first leg so there is no harm in trying something new…..

  8. It worries me that gattuso sees nothing wrong the worst perfomers of the team (Hakan and Bona) Although i feel hakan atleast sparks creativity

  9. Not sure why some people are saying Calhanoglu and Bonaventura are tired? Tired from what?

    None of them has played more minutes than Kessie. So Kessie should be the ONLY player that has that excuse.

    In my opinion Calhanoglu and Bonaventura are the weak link in the Milan.They are just not good enough as they have not created any goal scoring chances whatsoever.

    Its even worst playing both of them at the same time. A second striker like Andre Silva would have more effect especially if we switch to a 442 which makes a whole lot more sense than playing Calhanoglu and Bonaventura who are BOTH ineffective.

    I dont even understand why we call Calhanoglu a free kick specialist when he has never scored from a free kick.

    Milan should seriously look to upgrade these two this summer. We need some real creative footballers like Pulisic, Frosberg, and Willian.

    • Lol…so u think the player with the most minute should be the only player that becomes tired? Then Donnaruma should be the only tired player in milan. Also, how many freekicks did Beckham scored in Milan? Does that mean he wasnot a freekick specialist? Its easy to look at players performing elsewhere and say Milan should go for this or that but remember how we all wanted Morata and Belotti during the summer? How well are they performing now? Players take time to settle so u dont replace new players with another set of new players else u will achieve nothing. Even Dzeko needed more than a season at Roma to begin to shine. What if Roma had replaced him after just that season?

  10. I know we all think that Berlu is crazy but I guess he is right about something. our players are playing far from the opponent goal.
    Bona proved in several times that he plays better when he play up front. Suso too. even the best moments of Kessie happens when he is in penalti box. we should take advantage of this and play our dangerous players closer to the penalty box.
    I don’t know maybe a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-2-2 without wingers. we can put monto and biglia in front of defenders and let 4 of bona suso kessie silva cutrone and hakan attack and counter attack.
    Donna – Calabria – Bonu – Roma – RicRod – Monto – Biglia – Suso – Bona – Kessie – Silva
    for arsenal game in a 4-2-3-1

    • More than anything, I think Berlusconi demands 4-3-1-2 formation. I understand his intent is to put more bodies in the final third of the pitch but in order to even accomplish “formations” players need to improve their movement off the ball first.

  11. The 442 is good to try it. I want borini to substitute suso meaning, front two are cutrone and Silva. Middle 4 men are calhanoglu, kessi,biglia and suso/borini. Borini has physical energy than suso. And he can run straight to 18yards to put tension on defenders,while suso can’t but rather tries cutting in, which all left- legged players are known for when they are on that wing side. Then with borini now, with his strength he can support front,mid-field and defence. We can’t allow suso to remain throughout when he has exhausted all his plans and there is no way.

  12. I don’t think that Suso is as predictable as people making it to be. True he mostly cuts inn but how many times in a game will he also go right to roll across from around the 6 yard area? And it’s not like he’s only shooting after a successful cutting in. I would say he trys to cross 50% of the time ,25% shooting and another 25% passing short, which is not poorly balanced in a normal sense, though this mainly depends on what the coach is asking from a winger. You think he’s so predictable then please ask the defenders if it’s easy to predict what Suso is about to do when coming at you. Of course he would fail some attempts whether dribbling, shooting or crossing but better than one who doesn’t at all try to create anything or can’t create. About a couple of weeks ago I was checking stats and he was in the top 5 chance creators in the league, while kessie was ahead of him in ‘most shoots’. I think Suso’s main weakness is rather trying to hard, not predictability. Trying a bit to hard when things are not working for him and therefore sounding selfish. However I have no idea why people complaining so much about his weaknesses when he’s still the best we have.

  13. The Rossoneri Group: “Forza Milan”
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  14. I believe that Borini could play well on the flanks in 442 standard, not diamond formation. Conti is good too as a RW. As for duo central midfielders, our best option are Biglia-Kessie.
    I do hope that Musacchio-Locatelli could be Rino’s alternative option, with Musa as Biglia’s backup and Loca as Kessie’s backup.
    Musa is my 2nd choice for DM, not Montolivo. Sorry for Monty.

  15. Dis is what I studied in our last match against Genoa,I believe that the team dat played the last 15-10min of d match(4-4-2),can win arsenal on Thursday!!!bcuz after the last substitution,d game balanced and we played Genoa is dere half,dat our defenders played and defense from dere half!!Forza Milan

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