JOHNATHAN CLANCY gives his 3 thoughts on Milan’s draw with Roma.
Milan hosted 2nd placed Roma at the San Siro on Monday and came from behind from goals by Zapata and Muntari to seal a point versus Rudy Garcia’s men.
These are my three thoughts about the game:
Tactics all wrong: I was actually excited about the supposed tactics to be used against Roma. Various reports around the peninsula and Twitter claimed that Allegri had planned to deploy the Christmas tree with our Ricardo’s (Kaka and Saponara) flanking Balotelli. But alas, Allegri, ignoring the Holiday spirit, showed his Scrooge side by fielding the dreaded 4-4-1-1, similar to the Barca match. I was disappointed with this decision for several reasons. First, I hate the 4-4-1-1. Maybe hate is a little harsh, but I do not like watching it or even playing it. It’s a formation of the past with robotic movements, predictable build up, and, in my opinion, should only be deployed if a strategy of defend and counter will be used to the fullest against a superior side. It can be a very effective formation when deployed, but only if you can actually defend, which Milan can’t. This brings a bigger issue of Allegri giving opponents too much respect this season. If his strategy was to defend and counter, my question is why? Roma were without 2 of their catalysts in Totti (for most of the game) and Pjanic. Roma are at a point of identity search. Their hot start has faded and form has seen the peak and dipped ever so slightly. Sitting back and letting them operate gave them more confidence as the game went on. Up until the tactical change to the 4-3-1-2, Roma came to Milan’s house and exerted their will on the Rossoneri. Another reason I did not like this decision is Allegri’s constant refusal to give any of our talent youth a chance (more on that later). Thirdly, it does not suit our players. We all saw how effective Montolivo was after the chance (tactics were not the sole reason for his wake up, but certainly played a major role). He was everywhere. Dictating the game against one of Serie A’s best midfields.
This tactical decision highlighted one of Allegri’s biggest flaws according to his many critics- his provinciale mindset. Constantly giving opponents like Roma and Ajax the respect that European Giants used to give Milan says loads about the questionable approach of our manager and the overall the state of Milan.
M&M’z: No, not the candy. This thought will be anything but sweet and tasty. The letters stand for Muntari, Matri, and Zapata. These are (only a few of the) players that I cannot stand seeing play for Milan. Muntari, despite his occasional predatory instinct, is not the midfield talisman that Milanisti dream of. Thinks he’s doing “good enough”? Compare him to Clarence Seedorf, Frank Rijkaard, and Gianni Rivera then come talk to me. Matri… oh where do I begin? He did nothing today. Absolutely nothing. He can’t even connect a pass. We have given rivals millions for their deadweight and continue to pay him an exorbitant wage. Why is he here? Is he Da Milan? Does he represent anything that Milan stand for? GET RID OF HIM IN JANUARY, PLEASE!! My heart cannot bear much more of this. Now for Zapata who, despite his terrible defending, managed to score one of the least technical, lucky goals I have seen since Paul Scholes at the San Siro in 2010. What happened to Zapata? He’s no Maldini, but words cannot describe how atrocious his defending is this year. He significantly regressed since last season. I’m sick of seeing him play in this form. The problem is we cannot bench him because Zaccardo would replace him (although Zaccardo fits my M&M’z acronym too!)
Allegri and building youth: I am ready to make a shocking, controversial statement. Brace yourselves- Allegri is bad with youth. There I said it. Now that the tremendous burden has been lifted, let’s dig a little deeper. Earlier I talked about how I was excited to finally see Saponara start for Milan. Yet Allegri went with an archaic formation then decided to bring on the prematurely decomposing corpse instead of Saponara. In past weeks, Nocerino has gotten the nod over Cristante. Niang almost seems like a think of the past. No one knows what is going on with Vergara. All these are youngsters are victims of this season alone. These kids aren’t stupid. They see how bad Nocerino, Matri, Birsa and Zaccardo are, and yet all these goons are still ahead of them in the pecking order. What do you think that does to their confidence? How can we expect to build through the youth like we have been promised many, many times by management if the kids are never given a chance? I mean seriously, Petagna scored against Manchester City for crying out loud. Then we waste millions on Matri. I could hear Petagna’s confidence shattering when I heard about the deal. Get rid of the waste. Place confidence in our talented youth. Start this so-called “youth project” that we have heard so much about. But no, we continue to play Matri. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something is wrong.
Overall, one would say that Milan did well to get a point of the undefeated, Scudetto-contending Roma. We came from behind twice and score 2 goals against Serie A’s stingiest defense. Yet I do not feel good about the game. I will not feel good about a Milan result until I see the real Milan again. Until then, I will suffer through these matches waiting for the turning point. Through the thick and thin, Forza Milan.
Agree? Disagree? Have anything to add? Let me know what you think below! You can also follow me on twitter @JohnathanClancy.