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Old 04-10-2011, 22:29   #1
Fiero
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Default AC Milan Tactics

Title says it all. I think the most interesting discussions that go on here are in one way or another related to tactics, at least to me anyway. And I know the quality posters share this opinion, and eventually these are the ones that matter to me. So basically this is a thread to discuss AC Milan's tactics. Be it by analyzing the current tactics we use or by suggesting different tactical schemes

Lots of potential for quality posts. I know some posters have it in them so please try to focus your posting on something worthwhile instead of getting lost in forum trolling. Here we could try to analyze the way our team currently plays and in turn we'll all learn more about football and the way Milan plays. Also we could attempt suggestions on which tactical changes we think could help the team go forward.

Important Notes:

- Please don't discuss any tactics that include non-Milan players. Only discuss players on our current roster as this isn't a transfer thread.

- Please, don't just suggest a formation. There is a particular thread for that. This thread is for tactics i.e. the strategy our team implements -or you think should implement- in attack and defense. This includes everything from attacking moves to defending set pieces. Posting "We should use 4-4-2" is not related to tactics.

- Please, quality posts only. Don't just say something for the sake of it, try to add quality.


Quality intelligent posters - go nuts.
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Old 04-10-2011, 23:00   #2
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Just posted this elsewhere but-
http://forum.acmilan-online.com/show...postcount=3218

Now I'm not in love with idea of moving Thiago from defense. Far from it. But if Mexes shows he can be the player he was pre-injury, and Nesta isn't hurt, we have to consider this a viable option.

We lack CMs, but we do have 3 high quality CBs and one with capability of playing midfield. Until we solidify midfield with signings why not try it?


-----------Zlatan
----Cassano--Robinho
--MVB--Thiago--Aquilani
Taiwo--Nesta--Mexes--Abate
----------Abbiati-----------

Would be the Formation on paper, but as we attack I see it taking a shape of this. Nesta and Mexes as CBs spreading a bit. Thiago in a libero role like Roma have been using De Rossi. Let MVB stand put in center of pitch, doing his job, while Aquilani has a little more freedom from the right CM role (which he prefers) to spread play. Robinho would line up right, which isn't his preferred but he would roam, and be our forward most linking to defense. The combo playing off the right would take pressure of Abate to create all the width, and would give him more open channels to cross, something he does well when he's not heavily marked. On the left, Taiwo has freedom to attack the flank, especially with MVB. Cassano's interchange play has been good with both Robinho and Zlatan (when we playd all 3 together, the results weren't bad), and what Robinho allows him to do, which isn't happening now is not have to take the ball deep, where Cassano often loses it, and concentrate more around the bo with Zlatan.

Now where is Pato/Nocerino? Nocerino can be used inplace of Cassano allowing it to be more of a pure 3-5-2 when we attack, it'd give us more defensive solidarity, but would take something away. A good option to close out games, we're leading. Pato on the otherhand can change games with his pace or we could use him at lead forward to play it over the top and use Zlatan in Cassano's role.

Like I said, hardly in love with the concept, but with the options at hand it's foolish to not consider it.


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Old 04-10-2011, 23:05   #3
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I'd go with 3 at the back before I'd consider Silva at CM, and actually with Abate and Taiwo it could work.
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Old 04-10-2011, 23:09   #4
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Originally Posted by Kalac#16 View Post
I'd go with 3 at the back before I'd consider Silva at CM, and actually with Abate and Taiwo it could work.
in essence, you'd be able to switch freely between the two ideas. But a big problem Milan's had is retaining possession in midfield and constantly being pushed on it's back leg because of it. Moving Thiago a bit forward when you enter the attacking phase of a game might help that as he's a better passer than MVB, and probably all mids bar seedorf/aquilani, and he might be a better one under pressure cause of his physical abilities to fight off a tackle or simply move faster.

The downside of what I posted above is it buts a lot of pressure on Thiago, and to a degree... robinho/aquilani to link the attack without giving up too much position defensively but at some point...

Milan's gotta think about taking the game to it's opposition as opposed to visa versa. Maybe moving Thiago for time being is the right answer (until proper mids who can do it come).

Another thing I like about this, is it'd give us more legs between Thiago, Abate, Taiwo, Aquilani, Robinho all in positions to press. It might make sense to even drop Cassano for Boateng (who i forgot for some reason to press more. Let Boateng take 'Right AM' role and Robinho to left which he prefers.... Giving Boateng/Abate resonsbility of right flank and pressing there. Robinho/Taiwo/MVB resonsbility of Left flank pressing there, with MVB staying slightly deeper and more central. Thiago infront of defense as a Libero and Aquilani as a higher up CM, pressing there DMs (which he has done decently well) and on attack as the outlet and player who spreads all the play. Now that I think of it, that might be our best lineup.


Time for 10 second diagram ()-



I think it could give us our best combo of work rate + defensive stability with technique. We'd have energy level to actually take the game to an opponent and retain posession.


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Old 05-10-2011, 00:05   #5
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in essence, you'd be able to switch freely between the two ideas. But a big problem Milan's had is retaining possession in midfield and constantly being pushed on it's back leg because of it. Moving Thiago a bit forward when you enter the attacking phase of a game might help that as he's a better passer than MVB, and probably all mids bar seedorf/aquilani, and he might be a better one under pressure cause of his physical abilities to fight off a tackle or simply move faster.

The downside of what I posted above is it buts a lot of pressure on Thiago, and to a degree... robinho/aquilani to link the attack without giving up too much position defensively but at some point...
I'd be worried about Nesta alongside Mexes, he isn't Silva, and I think Silva's pace makes up for what Nesta's beginning to lose, he can still read the game brilliantly obviously, but I think Silva compliments him perfectly and I wouldn't want to break up what is clearly a good CB pairing.
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Another thing I like about this, is it'd give us more legs between Thiago, Abate, Taiwo, Aquilani, Robinho all in positions to press. It might make sense to even drop Cassano for Boateng (who i forgot for some reason to press more. Let Boateng take 'Right AM' role and Robinho to left which he prefers.... Giving Boateng/Abate resonsbility of right flank and pressing there. Robinho/Taiwo/MVB resonsbility of Left flank pressing there, with MVB staying slightly deeper and more central. Thiago infront of defense as a Libero and Aquilani as a higher up CM, pressing there DMs (which he has done decently well) and on attack as the outlet and player who spreads all the play. Now that I think of it, that might be our best lineup.
Wouldn't that just move the problem elsewhere? MVB needs to be the anchor, especially since he's basically immobile now. Put Boateng in CM if Thiago plays DM, Boateng's awful in that advanced position Allegri plays him in. He simply hasn't got the brains or ability to play at the level Milan need.

When Robinho returns from injury, and presuming Cassano can stay in some kind of form I'd like to see what you posted first just with Boateng at CM, and Silva at the back.
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Old 05-10-2011, 00:12   #6
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Originally Posted by Kalac#16 View Post
I'd be worried about Nesta alongside Mexes, he isn't Silva, and I think Silva's pace makes up for what Nesta's beginning to lose, he can still read the game brilliantly obviously, but I think Silva compliments him perfectly and I wouldn't want to break up what is clearly a good CB pairing.
I think this is a) overstated and b) not entirely true.

Was Nesta lost for pace v. Messi or Vucinic? Did Nesta get lost v. Cisse?

The big problem I saw happened v. tottenham when Milan's backline pushed way too high up and predictably, Lennon (who is faster than all of serie A) caught Nesta and Yepes. Yepes is a lot slower than Mexes.

Even v. Lazio, first goal was a case of Klose being alone cause of unmarked crossing and Nesta by himself.

The other problem thats happened isn't Nesta as much as it's the triangle of Nesta/MVB/Thiago infront of defense. Swapping MVB for Mexes is actually a bit more mobile, IF you keep Thiago in a discipline Libero-style role.


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Wouldn't that just move the problem elsewhere? MVB needs to be the anchor, especially since he's basically immobile now. Put Boateng in CM if Thiago plays DM, Boateng's awful in that advanced position Allegri plays him in. He simply hasn't got the brains or ability to play at the level Milan need.
MVB isn't immobile or awful. MVB just has limitations in space. I'd have him as CM most situated back, like Felipe Melo did for Brazil (with Gilberto Silva as pure deeper anchor).

Again most problems IMO this year result to milan's inability to hold posession and MVB, Nesta AND Thiago being stuck in miles of pace on counters. Thiago can recover the best, but at same time he struggles too, no defender is at their best when running full speed to catch someone else's error.

Finally Boateng wasn't woeful in a more advanced role. Actually he played well, when the CMs could hold posession and play it over the top to Robinho or Zlatan and let him run in.

Milan's current problem stems from fact they can't control the ball in midfield and play it over the top (along with Robinho being gone and Zlatan being half-fit)


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When Robinho returns from injury, and presuming Cassano can stay in some kind of form I'd like to see what you posted first just with Boateng at CM, and Silva at the back.
Not a bad idea. Certainly something I'd use more v. a smaller side.

To say Milan should make this a top choice tactic is presumptuous on my part. Just an idea, I'd experiment v. the easier part of schedule.


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Old 05-10-2011, 01:15   #7
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I think this is a) overstated and b) not entirely true.

Was Nesta lost for pace v. Messi or Vucinic? Did Nesta get lost v. Cisse?

The big problem I saw happened v. tottenham when Milan's backline pushed way too high up and predictably, Lennon (who is faster than all of serie A) caught Nesta and Yepes. Yepes is a lot slower than Mexes.

Even v. Lazio, first goal was a case of Klose being alone cause of unmarked crossing and Nesta by himself.

The other problem thats happened isn't Nesta as much as it's the triangle of Nesta/MVB/Thiago infront of defense. Swapping MVB for Mexes is actually a bit more mobile, IF you keep Thiago in a discipline Libero-style role.
I should have said more about the point I was making really, good partnerships don't just happen,and I wouldn't break that up. And Mexes, at least when I used to watch Serie A regularly can be a bit too wreckless, my memories of him seem to be red cards and bad mistakes, along with the good performances. Although Nesta's clearly still good enough, he is physically declining and you can't expect him to be able to cover stuff like that anymore. It's not so much lost for pace either,it's more a case of Nesta is good enough to not let pace become a factor.

I think Silva compliments Nesta perfectly, Mexes might not work quite as well.

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MVB isn't immobile or awful. MVB just has limitations in space. I'd have him as CM most situated back, like Felipe Melo did for Brazil (with Gilberto Silva as pure deeper anchor).

Again most problems IMO this year result to milan's inability to hold posession and MVB, Nesta AND Thiago being stuck in miles of pace on counters. Thiago can recover the best, but at same time he struggles too, no defender is at their best when running full speed to catch someone else's error.

Finally Boateng wasn't woeful in a more advanced role. Actually he played well, when the CMs could hold posession and play it over the top to Robinho or Zlatan and let him run in.

Milan's current problem stems from fact they can't control the ball in midfield and play it over the top (along with Robinho being gone and Zlatan being half-fit)
Well I didn't say MVB was awful, I said he's limited to sitting in front of the defence because he's immobile, which I think he now is. He's still a quality player, because he's never been quick anyway, but I think he's best suited to just sitting in front of the defence, I don't see a need to play him anywhere else just to accomodate playing Silva in midfield. If it's like the Brazil system you suggested, it'd work but I think it'd just be unneccessary against most teams.

Aquilani's yet to be given a real chance anyway, he's not all that Milan need, but I think he can go someway to improving the problems in midfield, just needs a run in the team to show it.

I don't think Boateng's good enough as an AM, he's got the work rate, and he generally makes the right runs but he's too poor technically and tends to make some pretty poor decisions, I think he'd be best as a box to box CM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:24   #8
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We should use decagon.


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Old 05-10-2011, 09:43   #9
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Kalac#16 speaks complete sense. Removing Silva from central defense is folly - because he's our best player there AND because I did not think he was that great in midfield, as the "next-Desailly!!!" commentators made him out to be.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:18   #10
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Thiago silva is wasted as a DM, he does the job but he should only play there when MVB needs rest (assuming ambrosini is injured)


I'd suggest that Milan play aquilani on the right limiting abate from attacking, MVB as the anchor man, seedorf on the left side with taiwo behind him and robinho behind ibra and cassano/pato

I'd play nocerino on the left as well, but that would give taiwo attacking freedom with nocerino playing on his preferred left side and covering him.

Aquilani MVB Seedorf/nocerino

Robinho


problem is, Milan don't have the quality depth to do this unless quality midfielders are signed, so if one of those players gets injured we are stuck with the likes of rino, urby and boateng, all who are technically limited, and urby just simply doesn't fit Milan unless its at LCM with a ball player playing in the staring XI.

playing a midfield of aquilani/mvb/seedorf/robinho would ensure Milan get the movement/work rate/passing ability they need + the midfield wouldn't have problems playing the ball if they are getting pressed.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:28   #11
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The role of the AM in Allegri's Milan.

In attack:



Shape 1 - The whole team pushes forward. Nesta and Silva create a very high line defense and start the attack with short possession, the team maintains its on paper shape, except for the front three. Robinho drifts wide to the left, with Boateng drifting to the right, and Ibra dropping back in the space left by Boateng.

This shape is mainly used when trying to press the opposition and to score. It is usually attempted early on vs minnows to try to kill off the game, or when trying to level the score or score a late winner.



Shape 2 - Milan starts an attack with van Bommel shifting just a little bit to the left as Seedorf advances while Rino drops off almost as a second anchor, Robinho moves wide to the left, while Boateng moves to the right thus creating a 4-3-3 shape for us.

This is a more balanced shape with the defense sitting deeper and thus offering more security. Generally used when trying to control the tempo.

In defense:



Shape 1 - van Bommel drops very deep. With Rino and Seedorf stretching wide to press on the opponents flankers, while Robinho and Boateng move inside to press the opponents defenders or anchors.

That is the normal defensive shape of the team.



Shape 2 - Boateng drops back wide right, thus switching the team's shape to a classic 4-4-2. Rino and van Bommel become anchors with Seedorf and Boateng on either wing. Robinho also drops further back to put pressure on the opponent's anchor or advanced center defender.

This shape is used when trying to shut up shop and keep the score the way it is. Mainly used near the end of big games when Milan are up.

--

By observing these various shapes, it is easy to conclude that the AM in Allegri's system isn't a playmaker nor a creator, he is simply a runner that has a lot of energy and could create space for his team-mates when attacking, and limit space for the opponents when defending.

This explains Allegri's reluctance to use Aquilani or Seedorf in that position, and his insistence on Boateng and Emanuelson who aren't natural creators.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:41   #12
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very nice post.


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Serious calcio
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:23   #13
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The role of the AM in Allegri's Milan.
Yup, that's more or less a complete picture. Good post. And this is why Robinho doesn't fit in there.
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Old 05-10-2011, 14:45   #14
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I agree with the post, but maybe thats what our problem is...

A runner in the CAM position would work if we had creativity in our midfield (Pirlo, Xavi, Nasri, etc.) but since we really dont, maybe we need the extra creativity from Robinho in the CAM spot.

I understand where Allegri is going with Boateng there, but until we have a quality mid, I dont think it is the right choice.
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Old 05-10-2011, 18:52   #15
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Yup, that's more or less a complete picture. Good post. And this is why Robinho doesn't fit in there.
Yes and no.

That's why it doesn't work with Robinho is AM with Pato/Ibra. Cause Pato cannot take that wide position consistently well. Where as Cassano loves to take that position, particularly off the left side, and Robinho (unlike Boateng) can drop deep and collect ball effectively.

But in actuality when we used the Robinho/Cassano/Ibra tri-dent it worked reasonably well (small sample of games). We did actually win all 4 games, combine 9 goals, 1 conceded-

http://www.football-lineups.com/match/91537/
http://www.football-lineups.com/match/83945/
http://www.football-lineups.com/match/83954/
http://www.football-lineups.com/match/83992/

Granted the 3-0 win over Bari was coppa italia and the Chievo game was won with that awesome Pato solo effort....


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Old 05-10-2011, 18:58   #16
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Kalac#16 speaks complete sense. Removing Silva from central defense is folly - because he's our best player there AND because I did not think he was that great in midfield, as the "next-Desailly!!!" commentators made him out to be.
While I do think "next-desailley/rijkaard" was horrendously pre-mature he does have attributes to be it if Milan moved him fulltime. Now personally, I don't think Milan should, unless we unearth another couple defensive gems but thats a different argument. I'm talking today's milan, with no new players.

Again I don't like the idea of moving a proven class CB, but we cannot overlook the fact our midfield is SO devoid of energy and ability to hold possession, that both Thiago and Nesta have looked poor this year for large stretches because of being under constant pressure.

Mexes as a central defender (if he is back to his form, post injury, which is of course... to be determined.... but for arguments sake, lets assume he can get there).... Mexes as a central defender is better than majority of our midfield as midfielders.

I'd think long and hard about Thiago in midfield to accomodate Mexes UNTIL proper midfield replacements come.

We're just being overrun too hard in midfield that the whole nesta-silva partnership is being wasted.


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Well I didn't say MVB was awful, I said he's limited to sitting in front of the defence because he's immobile, which I think he now is. He's still a quality player, because he's never been quick anyway, but I think he's best suited to just sitting in front of the defence, I don't see a need to play him anywhere else just to accomodate playing Silva in midfield. If it's like the Brazil system you suggested, it'd work but I think it'd just be unneccessary against most teams.
Maybe, but I do think the point that Zonal argument made about fluidity of Dunga's tactics could easily be attributed to Milan if Milan moved Thiago to midfield on paper and started Mexes

the whole idea of when Milan attack and an 'ajax style' 3-3-3-1 isn't far fetched...

------------Zlatan------------
Robinho---Aquilani----Boateng
Taiwo-------MVB--------Abate
--Mexes----Nesta---Thiago

and in defense a bit more of a...

---------Zlatan
---Robinho--Boateng
--MVB--Thiago--Aquilani
Taiwo--Nesta--Mexes--Abate

Overlooking the whole "nesta/Silva' partnership... nesta/mexes could easily form a good one and with MVB/Thiago infront they'd get tested a lot less and it'd hold posession better


I just think that's a combo of milans' best 11 players (subbing seedorf for Aquilani on form, and maybe Cassan/Pato mixed in for same reasons) and you gotta find a way to make it work on the field. Stubbornness over a 'fixed formation/tactic' shouldn't be an option for Allegri now. He doesn't have Barca or Madrid squad where he can dictate tactic and pick players who fit it best.


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#RnB

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Old 05-10-2011, 19:04   #17
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Yes and no.

That's why it doesn't work with Robinho is AM with Pato/Ibra. Cause Pato cannot take that wide position consistently well. Where as Cassano loves to take that position, particularly off the left side, and Robinho (unlike Boateng) can drop deep and collect ball effectively.

But in actuality when we used the Robinho/Cassano/Ibra tri-dent it worked reasonably well (small sample of games). We did actually win all 4 games, combine 9 goals, 1 conceded-

Granted the 3-0 win over Bari was coppa italia and the Chievo game was won with that awesome Pato solo effort....
Yup, Robinho and Cassano behind Ibra could well work, agreed. What I meant was that Robinho can't be a CAM behind Ibra and Pato. That won't work the way Allegri wants his top 3 to move.

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While I do think "next-desailley/rijkaard" was horrendously pre-mature he does have attributes to be it.

Again I don't like the idea of moving a proven class CB, but we cannot overlook the fact our midfield is SO devoid of energy and ability to hold possession, that both Thiago and Nesta have looked poor this year for large stretches because of being under constant pressure.

Mexes as a central defender (if he is back to his form, post injury, which is of course... to be determined.... but for arguments sake, lets assume he can get there).... Mexes as a central defender is better than majority of our midfield as midfielders.

I'd think long and hard about Thiago in midfield to accomodate Mexes UNTIL proper midfield replacements come.

We're just being overrun too hard in midfield that the whole nesta-silva partnership is being wasted.
Let us just say that I completely dislike the idea of playing a player who's one of the best in his position, in a different position where he is mediocre. Also, I do not think a Nesta-Mexes CB pairing is particularly better than, say, Silva-Yepes. Mexes is a very hot and cold defender. He has great games, and he makes horrendous mistakes. I dont want him to start for Milan.

So the difference is, I trust our midfielders to suck less than the potential suckiness of Mexes at CB and Silva at CM.

Aquilani, van Bommel and Nocerino can hold fort well once they get used to each other.
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Old 05-10-2011, 19:09   #18
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Let us just say that I completely dislike the idea of playing a player who's one of the best in his position, in a different position where he is mediocre. Also, I do not think a Nesta-Mexes CB pairing is particularly better than, say, Silva-Yepes. Mexes is a very hot and cold defender. He has great games, and he makes horrendous mistakes. I dont want him to start for Milan.

So the difference is, I trust our midfielders to suck less than the potential suckiness of Mexes at CB and Silva at CM.

Aquilani, van Bommel and Nocerino can hold fort well once they get used to each other.
Ok, I think my biggest issue is I don't trut Nocerino at all. He's fine as our 6th mid, closing out a game a la brocchi or occasional start v. a bad team/coppa match. But overall the drop off from Gattuso is huge.

He doesn't provide anything special in either asset of the game.

Our midfield has just been so terrible, it'd worth looking at Thiago there. He can atleast help us hold possession and dictate play better, and that by default will keep the backline under less pressure.

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Originally Posted by necromancer View Post
Yup, Robinho and Cassano behind Ibra could well work, agreed. What I meant was that Robinho can't be a CAM behind Ibra and Pato. That won't work the way Allegri wants his top 3 to move.
The one combo we never used, which i'm annoyed we haven't is cassano/robinho behind Pato.

That might actually provide the service Pato could thrive on.

Of course it means dropping Ibrahimovic, which, well....


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Originally Posted by ACmen View Post
Only Milan can punish it's own fans by qualifying for CL. I'm off to sleep, another year wasted. When will this fucker be fired..
#RnB

Last edited by Senatore_M84; 05-10-2011 at 19:12.
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Old 06-10-2011, 00:29   #19
Sven
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The shape of the team is very lopsided actually. It maybe doesn't look so much cause the midfield in defense, pressing and deep possession look like a very clear diamond shape. The team defend narrow and keep the shape. Our AM is assigned to face the deep central midfielder of the opposition.

But the difference between our CM's when in possession is huge. Seedorf is allowed to go very central or very wide and attacks much more (it was very clear we don't attack as a diamond when Aquilani played LCM against Lazio). Gattuso moves in relation to Van Bommel mostly.

This is why our AM has to move to compensate the shape. It's kinda of what Elano did for Dunga's team, but Boateng does from a more advanced position but with permission to change side and so on. It's also a issue for the fullbacks, cause they have to read the game before move forward.

The positive I see on that is that it maximizes Ibra and also Seedorf. He reborned as a player in this role last season. And I still think Aquilani can do it very well. Boateng drive proved to be very useful and Milan benefited from his physicality.
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Old 06-10-2011, 00:51   #20
Demerio
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The injuries did hit as in the time that is very crucial. Playing with all of the scudetto "contenders" in a row did made some difference and doubts to allegri`s capabilities.
Trying to win the possession with teams like juve that attack fast and fielding wide formation with seedrof left and boateng right was really missout considering that they have no fast fullbacks in bonera and zambrota and no pure AM to balance the wide formation was crucial. MVB was actually AM as i didnt see much passes from him central to cassano. MVB is a destructor, as his place is in nocerinos boot, and MVB`s place is for Aquilani. I think that we will stick more to that "wide" 4-3-1-2 formation for a while.
if thats so i like to see fullback (taiwo behind seedorf and abate behind boateng) runing the flanks and also cant wait to see robinho behind pato and zlatan. For me this is the best we can have till january.


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Last edited by Demerio; 06-10-2011 at 00:54.
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