For Seedorf, it’s about being realistic than being idealistic (by Ayodaygee)

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FAN ARTICLE by Ayodaygee.

It’s the modern day formation. Juup Heynckes won everything with it. Arsene Wenger has drifted into this often. Mourinho used it while in Madrid. It’s a great formation, yes, and it requires great personnel.

Now it’s a thing of joy watching your new coach hoping to emulate this formation. In his first press conference, he announced that AC Milan will be lining up in the 4-2-3-1 form. Many claimed that for this formation to excel, Milan would need fast wingers. Milan would need excellent double pivot mildfielders.

Udinese-Milan: Probable formations
Udinese-Milan: The Rossoneri squad

Great, but Milan didn’t really possess out and out wingers. Rather we had great attacking forwards. This was apparent in matches with Bologna and Hellas Verona where Seedorf kept clamouring for Honda and Robinho to spread out wide. Naturally they were not wingers. The double pivoters have always been great but they could not initiate attacks well. This was why we frequently saw Kaka drifting back to initiate attacks. All these were summed up when we met Napoli. Napoli is a team built after the 4-4-2 model. In more explicit terms, they play 4-2-2-1-1 with 2 wingers and a support striker. In order to excel, experience has taught Benitez that this formation must be played with frequent long passess. The short passing system would disorganize such a model. This sole reason is why Liverpool crumbled under Benitez when they lost Xabi Alonso. The sole reason most double pivots are edged on a ball winner that sits back and a long ball playmaker. This is why players like Alonso, Pirlo are going to keep on being employed all through their careers.

Against Napoli we were exposed. The 4-2-3-1 also relied on the swift long balls, swift counter attacks and swift play and this we were found deficient in. Because we really wanted to build slowly, there was a gap created between our double pivot and the defence. This led to our regular exposures because Napoli just sat back and played us with the long direct balls. One good quality about Seedorf his that he knows players and knows their characteristics well.

Our best matches have been when Poli supposedly played as the center attacking forward. But who are we kidding, with Poli on the pitch, Milan are not playing a 4-2-3-1 but rather a 4-2-1-2-1. This could also easily become a 4-2-1-3 when attacking. So I don’t get it when Seedorf replaces a injured Poli with a pure attacking center forward in Saponara. We lost a lot of steam after that. Seedorf saw the light when he brought on Poli for the first time against Bologna and suddenly we were on top of everything. The attacking forwards seemed to have more space to run into. Those last few minutes in that match were joyous for any fan.

Seedorf is doing well in my opinion. He seems to me to be very attentive. We all need to recall our experiecnces on our first jobs. He has been trained all his life to be a footballer so being a coach is really a new field to him. If you are not pleased with him, then try getting a new job in an entirely new field. He will do well. How do I know this? It’s because he reads games well. Now this is my sermon, until Seedorf realises that right now with no longball specialist, Milan excels in a 3 man midfield and that our best games have been with the 4-2-1-2-1 and not the 4-2-3-1 ideology.

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ross0n3r1
ross0n3r1
6 years ago

“with no longball specialist”

You don’t consider Montolivo as a longball specialist?
Monty hasn’t been in form this season but I wouldn’t deny his passing skills 😛

btw, anyone know why Mexes hasn’t played almost at all after Seedorf came? Even Zaccardo has played more (must admit Z did well when he played)

sunday_oliseh
sunday_oliseh
6 years ago
Reply to  ross0n3r1

I think because people have finally realised that he really isn’t a very good defender. I never thought I’d say this but I prefer Bonera or Zaccardo at centre back than Mexes.

sulexdinho pato
6 years ago

Nice article …….well said….forza milan

Pasha
Pasha
6 years ago

Good article, I think this summer we will get the players that suit the 4-2-3-1 formation and hopefully get rid of the players who are eating up the wages without much contribution

On a side note I like how seedorf defends Balo from stupid things that the media publish

Cowmagnet
Cowmagnet
6 years ago

Me too, Pasha. The footballing media can chew people up and spit them out. A person like Balo, who really is a ball of emotion, needs a blocker for that kind of stuff, and Seedorf has done well defending him and Honda.

Pirlo
Pirlo
6 years ago

Man if our team had someone like cr7 or ribery or messi then the formation shouldn’t be a problem
when milan won 2007 ucl don carlo used 4-1-4-1 which horrible but just went well because kaka simply at his best
Milan really need to buy star player
Halfheartedly transfer only brought inconsistent players

Eighteen 99
Eighteen 99
6 years ago
Reply to  Pirlo

true! world class players put clubs ahead, remember when we had Gullit, Van B., Geaorge W., these where world footballers and Milan was on top, its the same thing going on now with Ronaldo, Messi and Ribery at their clubs. Just imagine we had the likes of them along with Ibra,bastian schweinsteiger, Alves at the club with other stars, can you imagine how much fire power we would have?

That was how it was the early 2000’s. Things have changed. 🙁

Milanista121
Milanista121
6 years ago

Good article, however, De jong and Montolivo are exactly what you described in a double pivot partnership: De jong, the holding defensive midfielder – and Monto, the one who spreads out play with his variety of passing. I think it’s a shame that even some Milanisti keep on underrating Monto, I know he’s generally very underrated, but it’s a shame to hear it from our own fans at times. He hasn’t been at his best this season, pretty inconsistent but he has been improving game by game recently, and he was a joy to watch against Juve for example. Don’t… Read more »

Rico
Rico
6 years ago

i am very very glad to see somebody on this blog who really understands football…finaly somebody who doesn’t complaint about our transfers…instead you analysed the tacticts & the formations precisely…and yes seedorf can read the game thats the main reason why he will be sucessful

forza milan!

Kunzy
Kunzy
6 years ago

Montolivo is a good long passer of the ball but he seldom plays this way. He covers a lot of ground with his play.

Well, IMO what this article is about is that Seedorf should see Milan in a 4-2-1-3 or 4-2-1-2-1 with the two behind the striker spread out wide. We have excelled in this formation. A 4-2-3-1 makes us loose so much energy and intensity in the midfield.

The Udinese game is an example. Robinho didnt play the Poli role well at all. This was our worst match besides the Napoli match.

Poli pls get wellllllll soon.

Milan4life
Milan4life
6 years ago
Reply to  Kunzy

Robin is useless…