By Charm Xtova (Twitter: @CharmXtova).
1. The team has no character
Right from the blast of the whistle, it was evident that Milan’s confidence was down. The fear of another capitulation was lucid. Coming from the consecutive losses to Inter and Torino, it’s fair to understand but then again fear has two meanings: ‘Forget everything and run’, and ‘Face everything and rise’. Milan on the pitch picked the former and you could see that the players had no character on the ball except Leão and Bennacer. Kessié, Calabria, Hakan and Suso were all passengers in this game. These guys had zero character and Fiorentina exploited this to add salt to Milan’s injury. Only Leão was able to display a character that churned out that beautiful solo goal.
2. The team doesn’t attack spaces
Many times, Milan dominated possession with zero penetration. Prior to the kickoff, we had the lowest ‘shot per game’ ratio in Serie A. This is because most of the players stay outside the box leaving only Piątek in it. Then they pass the ball in front of the box until it’s lost. The box-to-box midfielders hardly run at the defense (Kessié is a huge culprit) and the forwards don’t make any mobile runs in the box. Even with Theo always being the extra man upfront, he is hardly utilized. This makes it very easy for teams to defend against us. We need midfielders who would run at defenses, give splitting passes and forwards who would be very mobile and put themselves in positions to score goals.
3. The team lacks discipline
It’s infuriating to see the amount of cards amassed by the team already. 3 red cards in 6 games and over 10 yellow cards already. Mussachio’s red yesterday made it difficult for Milan to make a comeback.
The coach needs to work on the way the players close down their opponents and the issues of dissent with referees needs to be addressed.
4. The new signings are diamonds in the rough
Milan fans have managed to catch glimpses of all the new signings and we can all collectively agree that these guys are (to an extent) upgrades on our previous team of last season. Theo, Krunić, Bennacer, Leão and Duarte have all shown they can get better with time.
Bennacer needs to work on his defensive positioning as he gave away 2 penalties against Fiorentina, Theo needs to also work on attacking strategically so he can defend effortlessly. Krunić and Duarte were both decent and can get better. Leão is a gem.
With good man management and the right tactics, these players will soon be diamonds in the gallery.
5. Giampaolo needs to stick with what has always worked for him
Giampaolo has talked many times about how he wants to transmit his ideas to the players but him switching his formation after match day 1 hasn’t helped him at all. Same issues Montella and Gattuso faced when they had to switch formations because of defeats to Lazio and Inter respectively in previous seasons.
Giampaolo should stick to the 4-3-1-2 he knows and use the players most suitable for the formation. The 4-3-3 isn’t working as it needs mobile forwards but with Suso hugging the line and Piątek unable to play with the ball at his feet, we are hardly going to get more than one goal per game except we hope to continue relying on the individual brilliance of Leão.
It’s high time Giampaolo borrows a leaf from Lazio who have mobile ball-playing forwards like Immobile and Correa or Atalanta who have Papu Gómez and Duván Zapata. Maybe it’s high time he keeps all the static players like Kessié, Suso and Piątek on the bench and use mobile ball-playing players like Bonaventura, Rebić and Leão upfront.
Conte has always used 3-5-2, Sarri has always used 4-3-3, and Giampaolo had better stick to the 4-3-1-2 which he really knows because his 4-3-3 has mirrored a huge lack of ideas.
With 4 losses from 6 games, Giampaolo needs no soothsayer to tell him his job is hanging by a thread. He needs to deliver in the next game against Genoa and not just get a win but also win convincingly!
The fans will not tolerate less as they are already clamoring for his sack and a top coach.
This is Giampaolo’s last straw.