JOHNATHAN CLANCY gives his 3 thoughts on Milan’s latest defeat, this time to our hated cousins, Internazionale.
Last night, Milan capped off the first half of the season with a defeat in the Derby Della Madonnina, adding more misery to all Milan fans. At Christmas break last season, Milan had 27 points, beginning the surge to 3rd place after one of the worst starts in Milan history.
This season, the point total stands at 19 as we headed into the winter break. Here are my 3 thoughts/rants.
Highlights: Inter 1-0 Milan
Inter-Milan: Official line-ups
M&M: I will keep Zapata out of the acronym this week, because he had a decent game and wasn’t nearly as bad as Matri and Muntari. So this week, it is just M&M. I don’t think I will ever understand Matri’s purchase. I won’t even go into that. Life is too short to keep talking about this purchase. Sulley Muntari pulled a “Muntari” and got red carded for throwing a random tantrum. He always seems to completely lose it out of nowhere.
Remember his red last season for grabbing the ref and refusing to let go? Throughout that match and yesterday’s match, you would be hard pressed to find signs of frustration from him. Then, all of a sudden, he does something stupid and just kills hope in general. Was Kuzmanovic being a tool and deserve to be booked for delaying the game? Absolutely. In that case, as a player, you go up and attempt grab the ball. If the opposing player still doesn’t give it up, you let the ref handle it. That’s what he is paid for. But instead, Sulley launches himself like an ICBM at Kuzmanovic and gets himself red carded. Now to be honest, did I like seeing it? Of course. But Muntari is a professional. Get your head together.
The FIGC has handed Muntari a 3-match ban, and I couldn’t be happier to see it. Muntari wearing the Rossoneri shirt is a disgrace the past legends who have donned the beautiful kit. The sooner he is gone, the better.
Lumberjack Midfield: Milan’s biggest weakness was clearly evident during the Derby: lack of creativity in the midfield. Before my second rant begins, I want to make one thing clear. I love Nigel De Jong. He has without question been the best player for Milan this season. Covering for other’s defensive mistakes, keeping the ball with remarkable pass accuracy, and providing continuity and quality in a team that is lacking both. I like the way he plays, and this is rant excludes him.
Now the rest of the midfield. First, see above for my opinion on the classless Muntari. As for Poli, until he proves otherwise, he will be nothing but a serviceable backup ala Christian Brocchi. Poli lacks the creativity, touch, vision, and passing ability that Milan’s midfield so desperately needs. What I like about Poli is his heart. He has a never say DAI attitude. Wait, I think I meant never say DIE attitude, my mistake. But is he what Milan needs right now? No. At time we see glimpses of daft skill, but those are too few and far between. Against the top competition, he has put in shy performances. Milan’s midfield was screaming for a creative force, like Montolivo (the good Montolivo, not the one we have seen for most of the year). When Kaka and Saponara, our attacking mids, have to come so deep into midfield to receive the ball to create something, we are left with Balo stranded up top. Milan kept possession well, but it was all safe passes side to side with no penetration of Inter’s defense. Inter were happy to sit back and defend (as any team does to Milan).
Milan must address this midfield problem if they want to go anywhere this season. Radja Nainggolan has been linked with Milan in the last week, and it appears that he could be joining. While this is certainly a welcome addition, I can’t help to think that the answer could be in our squad already: Bryan Cristante. Teams around Europe seem to understand the quality player we have but Milan doesn’t. Allegri refuses to play him and as a result, he rots on the bench. If this season is tanked, why not play the youth instead of wasting money on transfers or playing Muntari/Nocerino?
Ricardo Saponara: I wanted to write a quick player review of our new Ricky. The Milan #8 made his first start for the Rossoneri in the Derby. What a chance for the kid to showcase his talents. I was avoiding twitter because I was watching the game on replay, so when I saw him walking out of the tunnel, I let out of a yell of “FINALLY!!” I was very happy to see Allegri finally play one of our many talented youth.
Saponara introduced himself to the word with a daft piece of skill, victimizing Hugo Campagnaro. Ricky received the ball right at the midline, turns with his first touch and see a gaps and with a marvelous touch, nutmegs the Inter CB and begins a slaloming run at the Inter defense. The end result was a nicely weighted pass to Balo, whose shot deflected out for a corner.
Throughout the game, Saponara showed signs of class. To me, everything about this kid screams class. His demeanor, style of play, and elegance about him remind me so much of a certain Rossonero in our ranks. Isn’t it startling how much Saponara reminds us of Kaka? Let’s hope that Ricky Jr. can replicate Ricky Sr’s career path.
At times, it appeared that Saponara had disappeared in the match. When you watch the game closer and his movements in particular, there were many times that he should have been played the ball when he checked back, but our midfield decided to cycle it around instead of playing a penetrating pass (see above for my Lumberjack Midfield rant). He likes playing 1 and 2 touch, and several instances he demonstrated this by getting out of tough, close quarters with one touch.
I would love to see this kid get more time. He is young, and certainly has things to work on. His work rate in general could be better as well as imposing his will on the game. But these things will come with time. This was his first real game with the Rossoneri, and he will only get better if given the belief and a chance to play. With Honda joining Milan in January, it is safe to assume that Saponara will be thrust further down the pecking order. Keep an eye on this one though. There’s very little to be excited about Milan these days, but this kid is one of them.
Let me know what you think? Disagree with me? Let me know below or Tweet/Follow at me @JohnathanClancy.
great article Saponara seems very talented i dont get how he hasnt played from start before and i am very happy not seing muntari for a while
Saponara gud player. Impressd by that thing on Campangnaro.
Great observation! If only everyone at Milan could see what we all see which is too obvious at this point.
Milan have a bunch of blind men running the club. I’m tired of talking about Milan. When Allegri leaves I’ll have something to talk about until then its much of the same b.s.
next year with pippo on the bench:
If we sell that moron Balotelli and Kaka leaves, Thiago can come back and be our captain
I’d sell these players cheap as no one would buy them if they are a bit pricey:
Out: Robinho 3m, noccerino 2m, Amelia 0.5m, Mexes 0.5m, bonera 1m, Silvestre 0.5m, Zaccardo 0.5m, Muntari 2.5m, constant 1.5m, matri 4m, birsa 3m; Abbiati (retiring) = 19m.
In: Honda, Rami, Joe Hart?, Micah Richards?, Nani?
Ballotelli as he is,crazy in head,he is one of a best strikers in world and without any competition striker with biggest combination of psysical and tehnical abilities,so as time will pass he will mature and the world will see one of the best strikers of all time,for now he don’t have any support,imagine Pazzini in his place…You will see what is Ballotelli under a right coach and in better squad… Forza Milan! Forza Balo!
Ballo gonna be great one time but not in MIlan
That’s something I have wondered for a while. Does management view Balotelli as a long term superstar that we can build around or as a quick bandaid, ala Ibra?
Remember Balo is represented by Mino Raiola.
Great article but the problem isn’t you and I, the mad Max is anti-creativity that’s why Ronaldinho and Pirlo became history.
Good article. But dont be so harsh with Poli. I think poli is the only milan midfielder that has forward thinking drive. He likes to look forward and play the ball forward. I think that if he got more regular time and wasn´t just thrown around as replacement for muntari and montolivo then he would be alot better. Nothing to do with this article but I just noticed that Michelangelo Albertazzi has played 4 times for Hellas Verona. Didn´t he show somthing good in pre season? Rami-Albertazzi defence? 1.90m and 1.87m center defender pair sounds exiting. But ofc that means… Read more »
And check out this footage of Albertazzi at left back way back in 2012!
Albertazzi was decent against Milan in the first match of the season. I’m not sure about his future. He’s another youth player that has been lost in the obsurity of loans and co-ownerships.
We’ll see if his future lies in Rossonero. Don’t hold your breath though.
Only Allegri can leave Crisante rotting on the bench and………….. oh what’s the point? I’m boring myself talking about that waste of space.
btw, what’s a “daft” piece of skill….?
When you see Real and Arsenal play the likes of Modric and Cazorla deeper in midfield there’s no reason for us not to try Saponara there. Is he better than Poli, Birsa and Muntari? Absolutely, so we should find a way to fit our best players in. But our manager doesn’t have the guts to try anything attacking. Good article though mate!
So true! I thought of this as well, I’m thinking of playing Honda in midfield, but perhaps playing Saponara there as well would be something…all teams are playing with one defensive midfielder and the rest are skillfull and talented players, I don’t see why we should be an exception…
have decided to remain mute so far because my heart his broken. this article is good but from my own observation it seems the coach is useless making mutari as must use player imagine mutari was given free of charge, this guy is rigid. poli is a guy that want to put his best and constant is a flop. the medics cause all this cause more injury players, let us change the medical staffs and allegri the players like matri, mutari, barisa, nocrino, robinho, silvestri, constant, zaccardo can go free of charge give this young guys playing time till summer… Read more »
Hahahaha, loved the “never say DAI attitude”-part. I agree with everything, what I’m hoping for however, is that Honda will be played in midfield, doubt that will happen with Allegri, but it would be pretty good. This will still leave space for Saponara as a trequartista. Montolivo-De jong-Honda, sounds very good to me. With the potential addition of Nainggolan, and if we could we should offload Nocerino, Constant and perhaps Birsa as well, maybe in the deal for D’Ambrosio. That would mean that our back-up midfielders would be Nainggolan, Cristante and Muntari. And it will open up space for Ricky… Read more »
Am so sick of this BS,….. I have never wanted Allegri to go before,now I must open up,Allegri and Galliani must give milan space for the serious people to play there part! Maybe Galliani should be gun b4 he could free the club from his hand.he turned Milan to be a personal business. Now,How foolish Allegri his as a coach….you keep using same set of players that are not giving u result and you kept using them…is that not a stupidity.you have the best terlented youngs fooballer that are more technically better than so.. Call your experience player.every club keep… Read more »
Now,is muntari better than Noccerino? No in everything. As a coah if a player drop form your duity is to encourage the player on how to improve his menatlity.cristante is more better than poli in some area, poli lost is confident and looks too light on the field. When you talk about good and big team Muntari is not going to come in.I think Milan is not looking forward to help the national team with the kind of player they are buying.the likes of Matri,Muntari,Zaccardo,Silver,poli,constant,rohinho,coopela and abbiati should please and sacrifice themselves to the club by move out of the… Read more »
Blind men(Galliani and Allegri) are killing Ac Milan,i hope Cristante is loaned and not in co-ownership,Galliani you better use Nocerino or Constant or Birsa and not Cristante to get D Ambrosio.Open your eyes Galliani.
Well, it seems Milan just can’t learn from past mistakes. Now they want Agazzi instead of buying Perin and D’Ambrosio instead of buying Santon or Criscito. More players of Taiwo, Mesbah and Traore level instead of quality players of Pirlo, Kaka and T. Silva level that can actually help the team win and go up the table.
Exactly, the last time we spent < 1m on a non-free agent it was Mesbah. This is SPL level dealing.
ATTENTION: ANY MILANISTA WITH THE ABILITY AND RESOURCE TO GET THIS TO THE MILAN MANAGEMENT SHOULD PLS DO SO FOR THE SAKE OF OUR DEAR CLUB!!! #ForzaMIlan Take It or Leave It..Milan Can still Make it to the Champions league next year.All we need is a Tactical shift and a Sensible January Market Transfer. Firstly, I can’t Believe that Nainggolan’s Transfer to Milan Is still Hanging. I personally Think the 3 steps to be carried out are: ..Buy Nainggolan. ..Take Montolivo to the bench ..Change to a 4-2-1-3 If these 3 guidelines are adopted, Milan will look like this In… Read more »
Problem in AC Milan is definitely the midfield, along with the attitude; I’m not sure Nainggolan could be the solution, I don’t see him far better than Muntar, but costs a fortune. I wonder why we can’t test Cristante, where are we expecting to go this season? Buying Nainggolan and losing a good youth for 2 Champions League games hardly to be won? Didn’t Allegri agree on leaving Ambro to bet on Cristante? He’s been in the team for 2 years, he should have known he was ready…Let’s launch Cristante and Saponara!
Bad article.First,Poli has everything but his hart,second muntari is great player that works hard and he saved us last match.I only agree with saponara review.