5 things we learned from Milan 1-1 Verona

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Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Milan were somewhat embarrassingly held to a 1-1 draw by basement dwellers Hellas Verona on Sunday afternoon.

After a goalless first half, Carlos Bacca opened the scoring with a trademark piece of poaching. Milan couldn’t hold the lead as Nigel de Jong gave away a penalty and got sent off before Luca Toni despatched to make it 1-1.

No disrespect to Verona, but they are a team that the Rossoneri really should be beating if they have any hope of European qualification – especially at home.

So, that being said, what did we learn from another afternoon of disappointment.

GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images
GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

1. Valeri-gate

Result and performance aside, Milan did enough to win this game but for some horrific officiating.

Paolo Valeri certainly didn’t have many supporters from Milan before the game, and he burned even more bridges with an absolutely disgusting display.

Carlos Bacca was twice wrongly flagged offside (which in fairness is the linesman’s fault) which led to two goals, thus making the actual scoreline 3-1.

Add to that a blatant push in the back on Giacomo Bonaventura which was waved away almost before the incident has happened.

For good measure, I have never seen a red card produced so quickly for something which a) was not a clear goalscoring opportunity and b) was not a last-man challenge.

Milan should have won the match despite this, but there is sometimes only so much you can do.


Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

2. Pulling your weight

Unfortunately, it is yet another week where it is obvious who is not playing to their capability in this team.

Riccardo Montolivo was awful. So many misplaced passes – a lot of them where he wasn’t even looking – very little defensive contribution, looking lost for the majority of the game and failing to contribute anything to justify his position.

Ignazio Abate continues to give heart attacks on the right side and adds little to the game going forward, while M’Baye Niang somehow transformed to being a tad lazy as Milan offered little on the right.

Mattia De Sciglio is still struggling to find any kind of form whatsoever, which is obviously due to his confidence being completely shot. This re-affirms the idea that our ideal full-back partnership is Luca Antonelli and Davide Calabria.

Nigel de Jong made a judgement error that cost two points whether his red card was right or not. I wouldn’t expect him to return to the starting line-up any time soon.

I could pick out even more faults but I don’t want to bore everyone. Such a shame though, it really is.


Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

3. Solitary bright sparks

Bonaventura is the best player on this team, without a doubt.

As if the fact was doubted before the recent stretch of games, he has confirmed its truth by putting together a string of very good performances when those around him have failed to do so.

Such a clever player who offers constant threat, runs box-to-box and gives one of the most complete skill sets of any winger in the league.

The step-over then dash to the byline he did in the first half was magical. It’s just sad that most of the time he has little to aim at and his teammates often aren’t on the same page.

Carlos Bacca also bagged another goal to do his confidence good, and Alessio Romagnoli and Alex looked very solid at the back, dealing with all the crosses allowed due to the ineptitude of the full-backs.


GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images
GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

4. Glaring holes 

With January fast approaching, we once again have arrived at the conclusion that the squad is nowhere near good enough for the top three.

If I was Galliani (thankfully I’m not) and had plenty of money at my disposal, I’d be looking at buying three key players.

Firstly, another central midfielder is absolutely crucial. Axel Witsel is the name that is favoured at the moment but I’m not entirely sure he is the answer. The answer lies in a player like Allan, yet of course our network completely passed up that opportunity and he is now dominating at another club.

In addition, a new right-back is needed. Davide Calabria cannot be rushed into a starting spot (I know I said he should start, but that is based on the current situation – ideally we give him more time to develop) and as such we should look for an experienced defender to solidify the back line and stop the silly goals.

Also, I’d be searching for a new right winger. Niang will be useful up front but he struggled on the wing on Sunday, while Alessio Cerci and Suso are seemingly surplus to requirements. Either a player with great pace is needed, or a very technical player who will always keep defenders guessing and give the front two something to go at.

I know there are more players needed ideally, which I may cover nearer the time, though for now I’m talking realistic targets position-wise to get the rebuild going again.


Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

5. Missed opportunities

Heading into the run of games before Christmas, it would not be unreasonable to expect four wins from the Sampdoria, Carpi, Verona and Frosinone games to reignite the European push.

It started so well and yet again the wheels seem to have fallen off. Four dropped points against relegation threatened sides has left the team adrift of the top three.

Wins in the last two games would have put Milan one point behind Juventus and three points off third place. The chance has gone and we are left staring perilously upwards once again.

The optimists (which includes myself from time to time) will look ahead to the next game and the game after that, and how six points would put the Rossoneri back amongst it, but even I am finding it hard to look at it positively.

So, that is what I took from a poor game and another disappointing afternoon.

Milan are back in action on Thursday night when they play Sampdoria away in the Coppa Italia, a game I expect us to lose.

Article by Oliver Fisher

17 COMMENTS

  1. excuses and more excuses… milan is a shame since 2007, and with a good moment in 2011 thanks to Ibra and TS

    hard time to support milan..

    cant see any light at the end of the tunnel..

    sorry for the half empty cup vision.. but its the sad reality…

     
  2. i will say we learned to not play de jong .1
    montolivo is to slow .2

    and suso will be more danger for the opponent than cerci. thats 100 %
    and mauri is the best midfielder ac milan have right now when i see those who gets playtime, he needs confidence from the coach and other players.
    I remember veratti had the same problem with PSG the first 1.1/2 year. untill they let him play and supportet him. now 2 years later he is one of the bedst midfielder in the world.

    the last problem for milan is galliani who never learns from mistakes, he want to bring boateng and ben arfa to milan 2 players that have had it. and clubs smaller than milan want to get rid of them.

    what happend to vazquez ??
    we only need vazquez and gundogan or xhaka.
    they are players who can always challenge and controle the game. and have a standard performance.

    not hope for boateng or ben arfa will hit thair form at milan, their are players who play 2/3 god maches and then 10 or more maches no where to see.

     
    • We only need vazquez and gundogan? no, this is not the quite answer.
      Vazquez maybe yes but i have a feeling he is just not good enough as they preach him;
      what we really need and it is possible to get (gundogan wont come here, he wants european football), we can get Biglia and Candreva. they both would be easily dragged here, if only we manage to get in talks with lazio, I’d say they would sell both for around 60m. then we might get a new CB in case we lose 2 in january and so on. from my point of view:

      -442: antonelli, romagnoli, alex, abate; Bona, Berto, Biglia, Candreva; Bacca, Adriano
      bench: kucka, niang, Balotelli, montolivo, poli, menez, calabria

      -4312: same defence; bona, biglia, berto; Menez; Bacca, Adriano
      bench: kucka, niang, Balo, monto, poli candreva, calabria

      -433: same defence; bona, biglia berto; Menez, Bacca, Candreva
      bench: kucka niang balo monto poli adriano calabria

      with this 2 players bought we could easily switch 3 different lineups, thats my point of view.

       
  3. every one has a price.
    gundogan will come, if you gave him a god offer. think about it montolivo makes 3.5 M a year and de jong had the same untill he got the new contract 2.5 M
    if you get rid with both of them then you have 6 M the higest salary in seria A is rossi with 6.5M i think, and 4/5M offer to gyndogan will mere more than egough, to make him chose milan,
    and milan can still make it in CHL only 7 poin bihind the 3 place, and when you when you considered how seria A have been so far, right now everyone can win it.
    it is jyst how good the coach will be, i belive sari has the strongest mentalety and motivation right now, so even inter is at 1. napoli have more chance to win it.

    belgia and cadrever yes but belgia is 29 he will get 30 and you can not get him for lass than 25M it will be a desperate move, and if milan don´t win anythink thats money out of the window. the same with candreva.
    milan has to invest in high quality players under 27 years old, then you can build a team in 2/3 years who can win everythink they run in to. becouse they have played so much together they know how each of their teammates play and think.
    look at barca, they dont get more thatn 2/3 players in every year. becouse then they their identity, if they leet 5 to 10 leave and buy 5 to 10.

     
  4. Comment:Do you really know how much Gundogan presently earns?? You probably dont, its more than your assumed offer, this is just by the way @Ardi

     
  5. Stopped reading at “Bonaventura is the best player on this team, without a doubt”….ha!…

    Thanks for the chuckle…

    (Mario, Bacca, Menez, Romagnoli, D.Lopez, Donnarumma, Antonelli, maybe Jack, maybe Monti, L.Adriano…All better than Berto… could even debate if a healthy NDJ, an MDS at his best, an Abate when hes focused…not to mention the potential of an Ely, a Calabria, or a Niang is better than Berto)

    When did Berto do what to gain such a lofty title ?

    Better than Bacca…better than Mario, better than Menez…lol…okay…good luck with that…FORZA MILAN !

     
    • Please read your first paragraph again, iThink you mistook Bonaventura for Bertolacci. And Yes! Giacomo Bonaventura is the best player on the roster, for one reason…Consistency! And I dare say he’s improving as every game passes, he’s easily the most complete wide midfielder in the league at the moment. The only dent in his resume are big game performances, which isn’t his fault as he’s being played in a position where he can’t fully utilize his strengths(Playing in CM role against Juve, the team’s inconsistency in general and his early season struggles).

       
  6. Good article. The main reason for inconsistency in our performance is non functional RIGHT WING & RIGHT BACK. Cerci & abate have no chemistry at all. Though cerci works hard defensively, he is not making the difference as he fails to take on defenders. The failure to create chances from flanks is degrading performance of our midfielders. In my view the following wingers suit our profile :
    1.Jese Rodriguez
    2.Patrick Herrmann
    3.Cristian Tello
    4.Brahimi
    5. Mahrez
    7. A. Valencia
    8. Karim Bellarabi

     
  7. How to bring back Milan to Europe:

    1. Replace: medical, fitness, scout staff and Galliani
    2. Bring our stars back to train (position coaches) and manage club: Maldini, Nesta, Staam, Gattuso, Sheva…
    3. Get rid of many players, keep only:
    Lopez, Donnarumma, Abbiati, Calabria, De Sciglio, Romagnoli, Ely, Antonelli, Mauri, Bertolacci, Bonaventura, Menez, Balo, Adriano, Bacca, Niang
    4. Buy QUALITY players and promote good youngsters
    5. Bring world class coach

    This needs to be our project, it cant be done in 1 year, at least 3 years is needed…

    What is problem with current Milan?

    1. Players have no “old Milan spirit”, they need someone who will put that spirit in them, someone like Maldini…

    2. Galliani was a beast, now he simply isnt, he used to buy players for 1/10 of their price, and now he just uses buy out clauses and free transfers – anyone can do that…

    3. We have problem with our medics and fitness squad, anyone can see that, also when was the last time we brought some good new talent to Milan?? We need good scouts, like Porto…

    4. When speaking about our players, we miss right attitude, creativity and idea… Which can be solved by bringing at least two good midfielders, our attack is good, they just miss good balls…

    That is it, i know this is not football manager and that we cant do this in 1 year, but it is something which we must do if we want Milan in trone of europe again!

     
  8. Hopefully for the Coppa match we might see Calabria at RB, and have Berto and Kucka in the middle.

    I think we need to be realistic about transfers in January. After spending 90m in the summer it’s unlikely we’ll see that kind of money being spent again, especially given that Mr. Bee hasn’t bought the shares yet. We should be making smart buys to fill the gaps. Fernando who plays for Sampdoria would be a good buy, he moved from Shakhtar and has been called up to Dunga’s squad, 23, ball winning defensive midfielder with good passing and vision, it would make a change to have a ball playing DMF.

    We know that Galliani likes to do things on the cheap, so looking at the Bosman list for next year might be an idea. Eder Balant’s contract with River Plate will be up, as will Ever Banega with Sevilla,

    And we should seriously think about getting proper cover for Antonelli.

     
  9. Nah, you got it wrong this time regarding Abate. He wasn’t world class but he performed very well against Verona. You don’t expect the full backs to push forward after a red card, so yes he didn’t do much offensively, but was superb defensively, he intercepted so many balls, tackled well and was generally good defensively. He was solid at the back especially when we have a set-piece, Romagnoli and Alex would be in the opponent’s box leaving just De sciglio and Abate at the back, De sciglio didn’t do much as usual, but Abate did very well. I’ve criticised Abate a lot this season, but on Sunday, he shouldn’t be criticised.

    Bona would be a world class player if he was in a team like Madrid or PSG, he has great quality.

    Montolivo was the most awful player on the pitch, but y’all should ease up on him, every player has their off-day, don’t cone up with the whole “he doesn’t deserve to be the captain” iish, even Xavi has his off day, so does the great Zlatan so ease up on Montolivo, and to be honest he acts like a good captain, talks to the referee on behalf of his players, encourages them and all that, I think after so many errors on sunday, his confidence was low and you could see that on his face, he regrets all the lost balls and errors he made. So what he needs is our encouragement, not discouragement and criticism. Its normal fans get angry at their players after a disappointing performance but Milan fans on here are so quick to criticise. I can remember Niang’s first match from injury, he did well and was praised, the following match he was awful and was soooooo heavily criticised like he was worse than a Serie D player, then he performed well in against Sampdoria and against crotone, and again he was praised, if many of you were the coach, you’d kill the confidence of your players with stupid criticisms. I haven’t said much in a while, I just had to say all that, Forza Milan.

     
  10. Miha is soooo bad, we lack off the ball movement, speed of play, and creativity in the attack. Not sure, how these guys call themselves professional when they play high school level football. Broadside of the barn shots, multiple touches before being able to pick their heads up to even look for a pass, straight vertical runs, high press with the forwards (bacca gets himself out of position while playing 4-1 chasing the ball 80 yards from his own net….who does that?)….miha’s milan!

     
  11. if bona play in madrid he goes reserve… we need a coach who can use the player motivate em so they can max out their ability… people said we play good football when switch to 4-4-2? cmon mate it just sampdoria play so bad….see how miha kill poli honda and bacca.. for MDS u can see how well he play for NT but when play for milan he look confused… if wear the milan shirt really weight then the coach motivate em… see donadoni in bologna…or klopp in liverpool… i dont think its the player coz we play good football when SEedorf in charge.. if i become milan owner i will get ride montolivo first he captain but no use always play in fear.. u guys blame pippo but pippo face so many injured player after winter… stop dreaming i stop bet for milan in 2 years…. wasted money better donate it for Mr.Berlusconi

     
  12. Just read a story where Gaillani’s brother in law was found to be stealing hundreds of items from the AC milan kit room, and dressing room. He had worked with the club for 12 years and I wonder how he got the job. He was caught because of the concern from the players losing items.

     

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