The Inevitable Reset


FAN ARTICLE by Dr. Stanley Johnson.

Much has been written about our beloved Milan and the strange goings on at the Via Turati. We have sold enough names to fit an all-star roster and brought in enough names to warrant a day searching Wikipedia.

While attempting to put together a Milan season preview, I came across more transfer activity than anticipated that made any previous edition of this irrelevant.  That team might do well in FIFA, what we have left, might not. But that is FIFA, and not reality, we do not have free agents to sign in one window only to sell in the next for a heady profit, we have free agents we take on in one window, hoping we don’t have to loan them to Palermo in the next. Welcome to reality my fellow Milanisti.

Pazzini undergoes Milan medical
Pazzini-Cassano: An announcement within 48 hours?

Every club in the world has a worldwide fanbase, and however unsavoury it might be, the truth is that many do support teams based on their results or star players. Hence PSG, Manchester City, etc might win a lot of new supporters, and Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona et al will gain more to their already impressive statistics, a lot more than Milan can hope to attract now. That shouldn’t be an issue for us.

Silvio Berlusconi was our Sheikh Mansour (of sorts) in the 80s when he took over. He brought in great coaches, bought new players and we won a string of titles, establishing a legacy that is surpassed only by Real Madrid in Europe. But those days are long gone. We need to find self sufficiency now, attempt to obtain our own stadium, reduce losses and keep wages to a minimum while remaining competitive on the pitch. Milanisti might feel dejected at our frugal spending and sales but we remain fans always. So getting that off my chest, I attempt to look forward at Mian’s coming season. With time still left for the end of the transfer window, it is possible that we may have more changes to the squad, yet the key players of our season are undoubtedly already there.

Christian Abbiati did a more than decent job last season and should be our starting stopper. Amelia (provided he stays) is a capable backup. The younger keepers, Gabriel and Pazzagli might not get much of a sniff with those two fit and in form.

Milan’s current starting XI + players that have arrived/players that have left this summer (screenshot from La Gazzetta dello Sport)

We have a new central defence(almost) with Acerbi and Zapata. Mexes (provided he stays)is another option and will be keen to prove himself after Thiago Silva’s departure.  Bonera and Yepes are good enough backups against the smaller teams. While pubalgia prevented Didac Vila’s transfer back to the Primera Liga, it might be a blessing in disguise as with the anticipated exit of Mesbah, Didac might compete with Luca Antonini for the left back position once he is fit. Di Sciglio and Abate will remain our options on the right.

Allegri’s preference for a tough midfield trio has led to the phasing out of Andrea Pirlo, but Riccardo Montolivo shows some promising signs as he attempts to cement a place as either trequartista or regista. We have a glut of midfielders who play in varied positions, with Nocerino, Boateng, Muntari, Ambrosini, Strasser, Traore, Constant, Flamini and Valoti. That is quite a lot of competition for three spots in the starting XI and personally, a lot similar to one another barring on or two of them.

Up front, Alexandre Pato will hope to lead the line, with Robinho, El Sharaawy and presumably Pazzini providing support. Caen youngster Niang is also said to be close to joining the Rossoneri but I doubt he will be a major figure in his first year in Serie A.

Did I leave someone out? Yes! Urby Emanuelson. Our Jack of all trades. I am going to make a bold prediction, that all those big names above notwithstanding, Urby will be Milan’s most important player this year. No, not top scorer or assist maker but he will be required to fill up a number of our weak areas from left back to trequartista and any spot in the middle. He is beginning to find his feet and I tip him to be a surprise package this year.

A top three finish in Serie A, while imperative, might be tough with the quality of Juventus, the new Roma, Napoli and Inter, but should be a satisfactory job with the players in hand. In Europe, a favourable group might see us through Round One, but anything further looks beyond us.

Milan has done a full reset, a real life ‘Restore to factory settings’. It’s the beginning of a new cycle, and let’s hope that this one brings all the joy that the previous one did.

Dedicated to Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi. May we see more of their ilke.

Forza Milan!

Dr. Stanley Johnson
@stan_jg on Twitter

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Harsh reality indeed


Good Piece!


Bonera & Acerbi are you kidding us !!


Nice article…but am sure we will get Kaka…and rest will remain same…if mexes leaves..mapou will come in and slot directly in 1st team…hope this team matures into a world class team in 2-3 years and we do not see sale of top players every summer after this.


Bonera & Yepes He Said.

stanley johnson

Acerbi and Bonera was the Gazzetta’s selection 🙂


Finally,thank you. a realistic fan who knows what to expect. Lets get behind the team


Hear, Hear!


I never thought that this long awaited reset will cause Milan to drop to a mid level team (player level).
If this is all with our transfer market then fine, I will be happy if we manage to cope a Champions League place.
Juventus are way ahead of us, in every parameter and position, we have NO world class or even similar players,
They brought Giovinco while we will need to “enjoy” Urby,
they have Pirlo Marchisio and Vidal, we have Montolivo Boateng and Nocerino.
Time will tell, but we are now a mid level team


umm monty is far of pirlo and kpb and noc shit on vidal and marchisio. so idk what ur complaining about


Ok. Take out Pirlo. We made a massive mistake selling him. Massive. But how is our current midfield weaker than Juves? I think we actually have more power and drive in the centre than Juve. Nocerino has been a revelation since he signed. Boateng is the kind of player Serie A defenders hate. Montolivo can play the ball around a bit and dig in when needed. Put it this way. Milan’s midfield will not be bullied. And for all their joy at an unbeaten season last year, Juve’s defence was pretty shocking. Expect a long season, lots of goals, and… Read more »


very fair article indeed! but i have bit doubt for Boateng, he seemed out of place in all pre-season..its my personal opinion, hope i am wrong.
and also Milan Lab need to do their job to keep players recovers fast from injuries.
Forzaa Milannnn!!!


for now, we can have our starting eleven as.
Abbiati, abate,acerbi,zapata,antonini,montolivo,flamini,nocerino,boateng,urby,pato. 4231. We can be more competetative with this for some and have good back ups incase of injuries.

stanley johnson

that’s interesting, a 4-2-3-1, @lawcy, But Count Max has shown he is rather unflexible regarding formations, unfortunately.


it’s a long walk to d top. We wil get their. Juve did.


can someone kindly explain to me why milan has stuck to 4-3-1-2 when clearly milan doesnt have the players that suit that system. Secondly why is prince boateng wearing number 10 ? Can anyone see that allegri is not as good as u would like him to be,think about it,berlusconi sells ibra and silva,we cant blame allegri for thatbut for u to be coach of milan and yet u go to buy traore???is he ok. 1.It was allegri who let pirlo leave for free 2.he bought mesbah 3.allegri played silva just b4 barca game and he got injured. 4.he rushed… Read more »


well… for starters, boateng is wearing the #10 because it is vacant, and because he wants to. the jerseys don’t really do anything to the players, except in a few extra rare cases give them more motivation next, you can’t blame allegri for the transfers (traore, mesbah, etc) simply because he’s not the one buying the players. the ones responsible for that are the scouts, then b&g. you can tell from his interviews that allegri & tas*soti knew nothing of traore before he came, which shows that neither had a say or a hand in bringing him in silva himself… Read more »

Milano Q8

– Agree with you, just to add to what you mentioned regarding the coach not being involved in purchasing players. Selling Silva for example not only the coach was not aware but even Silva himself! The scout only recommends based on Berlusconi and Galliani requirement as the final decision is up to the big boss! Even when Ancelotti was present the same thing happened, he did not get the players he always wanted (e.g. he wanted Etto) instead got Ronaldiho! Its the big boss who choses!


1.It was allegri who let pirlo leave for free Not the best idea, but not the worst either. Pirlo hadn’t been playing well during few seasons before his exit except that scudettoseason before getting injured. His salary was high and Milan played alot better with MVB, thats why they won the Scudetto. 3.allegri played silva just b4 barca game and he got injured. Silva told himself he was available for the game and wanted to play. 4.he rushed pato back onto the pitch just after he barely got back from an injury and he got injured again in the ucl.… Read more »


People are exaggerating about us being at the level of a mid table team…I might not have much hope for this season, even though you can’t blame me for being a little optimistic. We’ll see how Pazzini will fare, I wish him the best. We’re not done in the transfer market we’ll see what happens. I still think Kaka will come back, and a midfielder might join. Maybe Mbiwa now if Mexes leaves, I hope Mexes stays though but Mbiwa arrives no matter what. I’ll be more optimistic for the season after this though. With Mbiwa probably joining sooner or… Read more »

isaiah shevy frm lasgidi

lets do it.we nid more reinforcement mgt mak d fans smile


I say you’re wrong. He should be flexible with his formation and not just A̶̲̥̅ one way forward milan. Now Ibra has left yet they are gunning ƒσя A̶̲̥̅ player with similar qualities †̥ D̶̲̥̅̊ extent of wanting †̥ swap mexes ƒσя Bentner. They just paid Inter £7m and Cassano ƒσя Pazzini yet they couldn’t pay £3m ƒσя mbaye. Why didn’t they go ƒσя inter †̥ loan him †̥ them? Allegri let pirlo left on free. From Gattuso’s interview Allegri didn’t want him and Nesta again and so many other top players.


How can u rebuild we inferior players. If milan can’t buy a player worth 8mil then am sorry we have no future. Traore,constant,ambrosini,yepes,bonera and antonini piss me off.


think about it like this, the clubs that are spending now (at least those who will go without a league trophy or the ucl) are going to have a LOT less to spend next season due to FFP. Milan, on the other hand, who have greatly reduced their expenses, will have a budget that is steadily going to grow from now on. Add to that the fact that player prices are going to start dropping from next season, and Milan will be able to buy better and better players every season. This is why Milan has a future, and the… Read more »


there really is quality in this team…the players just need time to gel and to get used to the new tactics ( ibraless milan) … robinho is in form, boateng, pato montolivo nocerino and abate are top class players and some players show some real promise : de sciglio, el pharaone, vila, urby acerbi…this is a transitional year and hopefully we will be in the top 3

isaiah shevy frm lasgidi

milananista u mak sense.i tink wit time and a little hope of reinforcement we can stil b d best


Fairly good article Stanely…. We still have few days left for the transfer window to shut. Have a strong feeling of KAKA making the Rossoneri squad.. Galliani should either try to get Essien from Chelsea or Diarra from real, out of which Essien will be a much better option considering Boetang & Muntari already (Ghana) there in squad. Winter break will be a welcome to G. Rossi & Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpellier will make the Milan side really good in terms of squad…. If Allegri sticks to the above squad whether the top 3 spot is assured or not time can… Read more »


this team will compete but won’t win anything. pazzini is will contribute. abbiati is a great shot stopper but is not a complete goalkeeper & i believe given a chance amelia could do well. zapata? in columbia they prefer yepes… hopefully pato will explode this year, hopefully!!!


i still cant see a reason for milan to buy TRAORE!!!!


@Nyamesam why do you always bash Constant????…haven’t you seen him in pre-season?? He’s good and will surely get better!!


Every player we have sold has been replaced with someone who is not nearly as good. Also, the players that we held on to that are good have been terrible this preseason. I’m talking mostly about Boateng and Abate. I have defended both these players in the past because I really like them, but they have been awful in the preseason games. If B&G are about saving money and ruining the team they should sell Pato, Robinho, SES and replace them with Amauri, Toni, and Boriello. Also, since Boateng and Abate haven’t been playing well so we should cash in… Read more »


when mexes came i thought he was a very good defender but after watching him against barca i realized he was a mediocre player. very bad positioning and decision making. i hope he stays but just as backup player as he is better than yepes, bonera and acerbi(didn’t see him play much but at tim trophy he looked very slow and was leaving a lot of space ungourded behind him). mbiwa would be a great addition and he and zapata should be our first choiches. reinforcement is needed at LB position(kolarov/cissoko/criscito/ogboona) in midfield milan should play monti noce and boa… Read more »


I have taken a more hopeful solution. Lets wait and see what happens. The season hasn´t even started a many of you want to sell everybody. I really hope that all of them can show us that with the right motivation and dicipline can make a great team (without big names).

Remember the lecce match (we were losing 0-3, and had no hope, look what happen…..)


U guyz don’t get it. No one has a problem with investing in youth. What i am saying is dat d blueprint should have been laid down last season. And our scouts(if we still have any) sent out to spy on talented and relatively cheap players. Then when d transfer window commences, we already knw who we want and d amount they might cost. So all we have to do is sell some players to cover debt and also reduce money spent on salaries. Then we start buying players. Berlusconi might ve issues bt he can’t tell me dat a… Read more »


lets just w8 till the end of the transfer window, if nothing changes then milan is doomd. Lol, ac mi loan. Lol. Im outta here..

DWD vagamundo

Dredd–Don’t slam the door on your way out. Heard Man City was going to win all this year, so maybe you should be a fan of theirs.

Milano Q8

@Dr. Stanley Johnson. Good honest article from a true Milanesta, I do agree with this article to a certain level however: we can still compete to being number 1 with a little financial push! Its true that Berlusconi is not like sheikh Mansour nor the old Berlusconi as we remember. For that reason a new investor is required to save the club! The financial crises that the big boss/Milan are facing will continue for a very long time, if there isn’t a secured financial rescue plan implemented then i think Berlusconi should sell the club if he failed to get… Read more »


Why do people keep talking about Galliani being this transfer market magician? Last transfer window the only piece of magic he did was get Nocerino for 500,000. It was a total let down otherwise. Don’t expect much. Other clubs think Galliani is anything but a gentleman. They don’t take kindly to him trying to steal players or borrow them on loan. It costs money to do real business. Wake up!


People must get behind the team, this year the team needs the fans, and fans are acting arogant. We all knew that this would happen, and finally it has and we can improve year after year. But i do belive allegri is not the guy to lead milan. His decisions are bad at times. But milan will always be milan, among the best. Just be patient. When this things happens, the new players and old ones develope and imrove their game. But i am verry posetive that milan will get some more players before the transfer vindow closes, gilliani do… Read more »


Am a milanist,and so sad about the sale of our 2 world class players to psg,bt milan has brought in some fine name too,(montolivo,zapata,traore and the 1 i love more is acerbi)…teams change,just that ours changed in a bad way…but this new milan cannot


You can not say our reality until the first half of the season is over and you can see what position we are in, in my opinion…


I hope to god Allegri shows some guts and has Cristante as Montolivo’s back up instead of Ambrosini, Muntari, Traore. He has actual quality and is young. It’s all well and good saying we’ll focus on young players but you need a flexible manager who will actually play them


Don’t worry Cristante will get his shot, you should remember he’s only 17 years old. Let him stay with the Primavera for another year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he got called up for some games during this season as well. Next year he’ll probably get his shot in the first team.


Allegri Ȋ̝̊̅§ whack. He’s killing milan. How could he let pirlo go on D̶̲̥̅̊ free? And now he has added Cassano all becos of his rigid stand. He sent Gattuso and Nesta packing. Maybe Pato will be next.

muhammed ishau

with team it time 4 relegation


Ok enough with the relegation talk. This is still a solid soccer team, all of you paper fans should take a hike. I have the ac milan logo tattooed on my right calf, with the words AC MILAN PER SEMPRE. Milan forever. regardless, we had to transition and get younger. When ffp kicks in next season you will be seeing teams like PSG and MAN city even barca and real offloading players to balance their books as well. Dont think so short term. This team will not be relegated, do you have any idea how bad you have to be… Read more »


Bravo phil, bravo. At last someone who isn’t bashing the team and is supportive, it’s what this team needs, not a bunch of negative comments.


The FIGC have just approved a rule change in Serie A upon request of Lega Serie A president Beretta. Here it is: Starting this season, Serie A clubs will be allowed to have 12 substitutes on the bench, making 23 players available for selection on match days, like in international tournaments. This suggestion was actually made by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis last season, when he said that sending players into the stands to watch the matches made no sense and that everyone should be able to be on the bench for selection. While some squads have more than 23… Read more »


phil aka dredd, wats ur deal dude, am i the only 1 dissinnn milan, dont thinks so, son, hav u read other peoples comments, go hommm cuzzz, wait n c mate, this team will play badly n lose to, i aint gonna say n e thing else, just watch. Peace

DWD vagamundo

Thought you said you were out of here. Can we hold you to “ain’t gonna say n e thing else.”? I’ve long suspected you (and some of the others) are a troll. Milan probably aren’t going to win the Scudetto or CL this year. But we’re not going to get relegated either. I’m comfortable with that for this year. We’re rebuilding because of the new FFP rules, and we’re ahead of a lot of clubs. So let’s all real fans support I Rossoneri. There’s lots of clubs for the rest of you to support if Milan are no longer good… Read more »


Great article doc. The real milan started to cramble in that ucl game against arsenal at san siro which we lost 2-0, the first time ever an epl team beat milan at san siro in the ucl; that’s when this revolution should have started. But it does’nt help now talking about when we should’ve started to rejuvinate this team, but what’s important is the lesson our mgt should learn from this, that we should not wait until almost all our squard is well above 30, and for them to refuse to renew thier contracts to start replacing them. Which brings… Read more »


When pple say Madrid et all wud start selling their stars to balance their books, i jst laugh. Aren’t u guyz wise!
Do u think Madrid, Man City, PSG and d rest haven’t heard of FFP and wat it entails? Do u think dey don’t knw wat wud happen if they don’t meet d requirements.
Let me tell u guys sumtin, there is a reason y d rich gets richer and d poor get poorer. These clubs have it all planned out and they won’t have any problems.


to late, door broke, oh wen milan end up in 4th place, no cl, u will remember wat i said. 9 days to go. Lol. Players in or milan finishd. Peace. Oh DWD go sukkk a dikkk, peace. Love use all. Hahahahah


The riality is to obtaine our own stadium milan is old enough to own 65000 capacity


My heart,body n soul still will stick 2 MILAN nomata wat We go 2ru Weneva. I jst pray n hop dat dose callin us names n criticizing d team will definately eat n swallow der words leta in d season. B n G ar doin der best even if dey ain’t perfect dey avbin doin dis b4 som paper fake fans were born. FORZA MILANO! MILAN 4ETERNITY!! SAN SIRO 4LIFE!!!