Is it time for a change of system?

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MILAN have been quite inconsistent so far this season, and I personally believe it’s because the players aren’t functioning as a team, and therefore, the club is relying on moments of individual skill from players, rather than successful partnerships and interplay.

Milan's Current Formation

While it’s true that consistently playing a similar starting 11 might blend the team together with time, is this really the time to be relying on such a thing? Is there an alternative?

So far this season, Milan have lined up in either a 4-3-1-2, or a 4-3-3, familiar to last season, but these systems have problems. The 4-3-3 was mainly used last season to take advantage of Ronaldinho, as he seemed incapable of playing elsewhere, but he’s already had a few successful games just behnd the strikers, so it’s not necessary anymore.

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The 4-3-1-2 has been used more this season, but I think it leads to Ibrahimovic getting isolated – thus seriously reducing his effectiveness – but also it means less of a benefit for Pato, who’s forced to take on multiple defenders to get at goal, when really, he’s best at coping with just 1 or making some direct runs behind the defence.

If Milan were to adopt a 4 man midfield system, it would allow Ibrahmovic and Pato to strike a golden partnership, which would reward both handsomely, but also having 2 wide players which track back would relieve pressure on the full back area, which is clearly Milan’s biggest weakness.

However, this too causes it’s own problems, because it means just 2 central midfielders. Why is this a problem you might ask? Well, for me, Andrea Pirlo is absolutely essential to the side, he had the best passing stats in all of Serie A last season, and he’s instrumental in setting up Milan attacks, but due to his lack of mobility and strength, it’s necessary to have 1 player stuck to just defensive duties and reducing pressure on him from the opposition.

Unfortunately, it means there will be no 3rd man there getting forward to support the strikers, though I do think it might succeed with good wing support.

Possible New Formation

And that brings us to the last conundrum – wingers. We know that Pato and Ibrahimovic would play up front, and a midfield pairing of Pirlo, and Gattuso (Milan’s best dm this season) would make up the side (along with the back 4 and Abbiati) but who would play on the wings?

Robinhho is no natural winger, but he would probably do a good job on the left, I’d like to fit Ronaldinho in, but his work rate is abysmal, and I think the wingers must be energetic and hard working for a formation like this to work. I’d suggest someone like Kevin-Prince Boateng to play on the right – he’s filled that role for Ghana before, and he’s strong, fast and full of energy – it’s not an ideal fit, but probably as good as Milan could do.

It’s also worth noting however, that if it’s not the time to just keep playing the same side and trying to blend the squad together, then is it a time to be trying a completely new system either? Maybe it isn’t.

Whether or not this system would work, there’s no real way of knowing unless Milan try it, but to be honest, I’m not really convinced that Massimiliano Allegri is even considering changing the formation, but I suppose he’s the man who’s paid to make all of the decisions, and if he can get this Milan side working as a team with a 4-3-1-2, then the Rossoneri will be all the better for it.

By Hefin Davies, Rossoneri Blog

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Ronnie2009
Ronnie2009
10 years ago

@ HELFIN DAVIES WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO MAKE ALLEGRI READ THIS BLOG AND CONVINCE HIM WITH THE ABOVE FORMATION AS SUGGESTED BY JOMAMA. @jomama ,I have been waiting like for ages wondering if ever Allegri would you use the team you have suggested, I would love to say that with the team you have formed if complimented well with each other, winning apart but will play wonderful football,also they wouldnt let the opponent to think Our attack is the strength and Madrids defense is the Weakness. but it also works the other way round, where our defence… Read more »

Sohel Sharif
Sohel Sharif
10 years ago

Madrid defense is weak….
Ronnie take a sedative and go to sleep…..hw many goals they have conceded this year…..
Wow….

milan til the end
milan til the end
10 years ago

I think it’s not only about the formation. Take a look at Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea now. Carlo is basically using the same typical formation like when he’s still at Milan, but in my opinion, the biggest difference there would be Ashley Cole & Drogba. If only Milan have fullback(s) like Cole/Maicon/Cissokho/Sagna..

As for the 4-4-2, I prefer Abate on the right wing but it’s more because of his speed & high work rate. Boateng would be more suitable to accompany Pirlo in the middle because of his physical abilities. I really miss Gattuso during his prime, though…

Ronnie2009
Ronnie2009
10 years ago

@Sohal Sharif , you have been on sedatives made from Pork meat for a very long time. Ibra Dinho Pato & Robinho can chew the hell out of Carvalho ,Pepe & Sergio Ramos has had a taste of Ibra & Ronnie while they were at Barca. Yes any Defence against the likes of Dinho Pato Ibra Robinho will look like sissies ,but the only problem is we dont have good support from the midfield and defence. Pato is talented enough to swipe Marcelo. We are superior in attack any day. In La Liga Its just Madrid & Barca and it… Read more »

sherbini
sherbini
10 years ago

amelia

zambrotta nesta t.silva antonini

gattuso flamini

abate pirlo pato

ibrahimovic

nie
nie
10 years ago

4-2-3-1

Abbiati
Zambro-Nesta-Silva-Antonini
Gattuso-Boateng
Pato-Pirlo-Binho/Dinho
Zlatan

alex
alex
10 years ago

amelia
abate(oddo) nesta tiago zambro

socratis
pirlo

seedorf

ibra
pato
ribinho

Gianni
Gianni
10 years ago

Ok I’ve been saying something similar way before the season started. The fact of the matter is that Milan’s midfield is slow and so having a 3-man midfield makes it even more vulnerable. I believe that, as stupid as it sounds, Milan have to build their formation around Ignazio Abate… bear with me one second. Milan need 2 things right now (besides a replacement to Nesta). Milan need quicker players and an easier time getting the ball through the midfield. Abate was used tremendously as a right back last year but looked positionally uncomfortable at times because his true position… Read more »

gilakaka
gilakaka
10 years ago

gud article, but I rather use Zambro as a sub & ill use Abate or bonera on d 4-4-2 strategy, forza Milan!!