Analyzing the Rossoneri’s performance in the first half of the 2015/16 season

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

As we look at the Serie A table at the midway point of the 2015/2016 season, the Rossoneri sit in 6th and ne place behind the final Europa League spot.

Overall, not bad for a tumultuous season that has seen coach Sinisa Mihajlovic hang on to his job by whiskers at times. Injuries to some key performers has been a slight factor for Milan but in all fairness, the club should be a few spots higher on the table.

The season started like a roller coaster with a loss at Fiorentina, followed by an unconvincing win at Empoli and an unlucky strike in the Derby della Madonnina. 2 wins followed this stretch up and then a shock defeat at Genoa. This is when Milan began experimenting with formation changes and never really had a solid starting 11. The 4-0 drubbing at home at the hands of Napoli is when Mihajlovic began feeling the heat. Inconsistent performances by his team, tactical changes week in and week out as well as head scratching management of games at times left the fans and the management with many questions about their 3rd head coach in as many years.

After the Napoli embarrassment and the subsequent soul searching that must have happened by every member of the club, the team ripped off a run of 5 straight games with a loss until they were defeated 1-0 away to Juventus. This was followed up with a shredding of Sampdoria 4-1, a game which showed the potential of Milan if all things could click for more than 90 minutes consistently. The next 2 games were back to the head scratching ways as the club drew with two bottom feeding teams and dropped 4 crucial points in the process.

Last game against Frosinone was a summary of how the club has been all season. A shaky start that was punished due to poor defending by the central back duo of Alessio Romagnoli and Alex, followed by 3 straight goals for Milan. Then a soft header inside the penalty area pulled Frosinone to within 1 goal of tying, until the standout player of the season so far, Jack Bonaventura put the away side up for good with a beautiful goal in the dying moments.

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

What do us fans think of the way Milan has performed so far this season? The optimists will tell you that we should be much higher in the table at the moment and they would have a point. The dropped points could be argued to reach at the very least 7 points. That would put us in the Top 3 of the league at the moment and quite frankly, that’s where we should be. The pessimists will tell you that this Milan doesn’t have what it takes to compete for Champions League spots and to be honest, they would be wrong.

It is not a secret that the Serie A is the weakest top European league at the moment. The financial situation and club management by the entire league is the reason why big players do not come anymore. Currently, Milan has a squad that should be able to compete for at least a top 3 finish. Scudetto might be a bit out of reach, unless we can strengthen a few areas in January and rip off some wins to start the 2nd half of the season. Judging by the comments of Adriano Galliani that no big names will come unless big names leave, then we are pretty much out of luck.

The most pressing need is a quality center back to pair with Romagnoli. Alex is doing ok, but his lack of speed is being exposed time and again by the opposition. A truly creative central midfielder would also be very beneficial as the club at the moment has too many box-to-box midfielders who offer almost nothing in attack with the exception of Andrea Bertolacci and to a degree Riccardo Montolivo. When Jeremy Menez returns, he will boost the attacking options along with Mario Balotelli but this is our strongest unit anyway. The emergence of Niang has been a revelation and the fans are hoping that he continues his fine form.

Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The youth project looks to be rejuvenated to a certain extent by Mihajlovic. Gianluigi Donnarumma is now the starter, Mattia De Sciglio is playing more consistently, Jose Mauri has gotten some playing time and shined and M’baye Niang is starting. In addition to that, Davide Calabria has gotten playing time and it is only a matter of time before he dethrones Abate. Livieri as well has been called up.

Overall, the season has not been the disaster that many had anticipated and I think Mihajlovic deserves a lot of credit for the type of routine and discipline he is instilling in the squad. This style will pay dividends towards the end of the season. I would go out on a limb and say that this squad will finish top 5 for sure and top 3 if we can become more consistent. Hopefully the boys have a great holiday season and come back ready to fight from January 6th!

Forza Milan!

Article by Abdelrahman Kurdieh

14 COMMENTS

  1. it has been a good season so far, but we have not been lucky at all, like losing 2 poin with verona carpi and atalanta.
    we lost one poin in both against juventus and inter, matches where milan was the better side and deserved 1 point in each of those to matches at least in jyve we deserve a win we had penalty but we got nothing. that’s 8 poin we have lost because the other team have been lucky.
    beside that it has been very good, and now where menez will be back I am glad and nervous because if his ego gets in the way it will effect all the other players. I hope he will be a team player and not solo.
    and we will have all the players available
    and we will have all those big clubs at home next round and only napoli away.
    but milan has to win against those clubs under the 10 place. so far those mistakes has cost milan the top place in seria A.
    if milan dont lose any poin to those clubs that are at 10 place and after, we have a good chance even winning the serie A

     
  2. same opinion. I don’t get it when people claim milan have to look for europa because the serie A is tougher this season. I was thinking a tough league should be tough for everyone, including your rivals too. let’s not forget that fiorentina aren’t having a super squad, they’r just more organized and confident than most. yes I know milan have poor midfield and so on, however i like to think that other teams as well have their own issues(not necessarily relating to squad quality). I believe napoli and juve could be the only ones beyond our reach while also realizing that 4th or even 6th shouldn’t be considered a crime either. depends as its a well balanced competition imo.

     
  3. Honestly, our goal should be Europa league… reaching Coppa Italia finals… we have Carpi and Alessandria/Spezia to beat, we must get to the finals..

    And then, in the summer, reinforce our squad, bring midfielders, cb and rm/rw, try to win europa league next season and qualify for UCL…

    I think that we could win EL IF we bring reinforcements and if Miha finally sets his starting 11 and game plan…

    Step by step, thats how it is done… Dont get me wrong, I would love to se Milan in UCL next season, but that is hard to reach…

     
    • I also think that Copa should be one of the targets, would be good feeling to have real trophy after so many years. I know that Copa Italia isn’t considered as a big competition, but still, it would feel good.

       
  4. Look at these fans here. We have spent 100 million euros and they we should aim to win coppa italia.

    juve spent 42 million and they reached CL final.

    Thats the difference between the mentality. There is a winning mentality and a losing mentality and its clear what you guys have choosen

     
    • Yes, I said that we should win Copa Italia, I clearly do not have winning mentality.

      Obiviosly I also think that we need to aim for the CL place aswell. I just think that winning a throphy would be good for mentality, both players and fans.

       
    • Yea berlotachi is definitely better than pogba… Money doesn’t always get quality and the Europa league is no joke, very competitive league. The current Milan would be embarrassed in the CL table for sure js

       
    • Yes we spent 100m, they spent 42, but look at our management and theirs.. Look at their squad and ours… You cant be serious..

       
  5. Comment:i think our target is surpose to b high like aiming for CL sport n not dreaming of eauropa while d league is just half way,lets not forget that d reflection of wat u c in urself u wil bcom,i so much bliv dat wit menez n balo back in d team n d right mindset n team wok d sky is our starting point.FORZA MILAN.

     
  6. What an intriguing comment so far, we have been set out aims @ the ZENITH fine it’s Good because if you were to be berlusconi you wouldn’t be happy that you spent such an amount of money and yet the result is not forth coming, we’re all humans, he has been patient enough so I guess it’s high time the Head coach step up his game plan, I love the attitude the coach has instilled in the team FORZA MIHA but please we need results CL would be a dream come through coppa italia is withing our reach by mere analyzing europa wouldn’t be a bad idea buh CL is our goal, pls we need more quality in the mid field because we have Good box to box so we need players that can stretch the ball, if we can get this we can be a good contenders for the scudetto……FORZA MILANO.

     
  7. I agree with much of this article but it’s a bit heavy on the optimism. e.g. when’s the last time Calabria had playing time? Doesn’t look like he’s “dethroning” Abate anytime soon to me.

     
  8. Honestly the season hasn’t been that bad, for the most part teams haven’t had an easy time against us compared to last year.. Also teams fear coming to Milan again. As for boateng return, I think he can do well as a rm. He should never play in the attacker role. But for January we really need 1 creative box to box midfielder and a young very good cb. We get those two for January I believe we can have a great 2nd half to the season

     

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