AC Milan Tactics

Who should be the new Milan captain

  • Alessio Romagnoli

    Votes: 17 89.5%
  • Giacomo Bonaventura

    Votes: 1 5.3%
  • Cristian Zapata

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Gonzalo Higuain

    Votes: 1 5.3%
  • Lucas Biglia

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    19
  • Poll closed .

Fiero

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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.
 

Senatore_M84

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Just posted this elsewhere but-
http://forum.acmilan-online.com/showpost.php?p=1121009&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.
 

Kalac#16

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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.
 

Senatore_M84

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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.

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 :-)D)-
abBlnH3an6.jpg



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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Kalac#16

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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.
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.
 

Senatore_M84

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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.


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)


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.
 

Kalac#16

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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.

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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We should use decagon.
 

necromancer

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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.
 

Sage

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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.
 

Fiero

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The role of the AM in Allegri's Milan.

In attack:

abBlyAeamM.jpg


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.

abBlyq5aeW.jpg


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:

abBlyOpajt.jpg


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.

abBlyHNafu.jpg


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.
 

necromancer

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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.
 

milanpalermo23

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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.
 

Senatore_M84

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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....
 

Senatore_M84

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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.


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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necromancer

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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.

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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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.

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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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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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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Fiero

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As previously mentioned, the most missed players out of the injured bunch are Robinho, Rino, and Boateng (pre-Juventus). They have been replaced by Cassano, Nocerino, and Seedorf/Aquilani/Emanuelson.

Robinho vs Cassano:

Robinho is a vital cog in the system. Going forward, he offers fluid movement, great link up play, and opens up spaces for Seedorf, Ibra, and Zambrotta.

Cassano on the other hand has different characteristics. He is generally more static and thus doesn't offer Robinho's movement nor opens up space for teammates. His link up play is almost non-existent when partnered with Pato, and though the chemistry is a bit better with Ibrahimovic it still doesn't match what Robinho offers.

Defensively, Robinho covers a lot of ground putting pressure on opponents' back line. Cassano offers close to zero effort.

Rino vs Nocerino:

Rino lives to win back the ball. That's what he does best. Almost no one in the world matches him at this job so it's no surprise that Nocerino is a downgrade in this aspect. Nocerino covers a lot ground, -so does Rino- probably much more than anyone in our team. But how much of it is effective? He closes down space very well and so theoretically half of his job is done well. But in terms of winning back the ball, Nocerino is not the man for that role.

In the attacking phase, both offer next to nothing as their technique and creativity is poor. Though it should be noted that Nocerino's crosses are good, even better than Abate's (granted that's not saying much, but still).

Boateng vs Emanuelson:

I already discussed the requirements of a certain type of player in the AM position in Allegri's system, thus only Emanuelson matches the criteria. Emanuelson doesn't offer half of Boateng's movement as he sticks to the center most of the time and looks clueless. The few times he drifts to the right end in us losing possession as his decision making is even worse than Boateng's. Boateng has good dribbling, excellent movement, and an amazing energy. Emanuelson's dribbling might be his best asset but it's still average at best, his movement is amateurish, and he doesn't come near Boateng's energy levels.

Defensively, Boateng is an important factor in pressing the opposition and committing fouls, while Emanuelson just covers some ground without really contributing usefully.

--

Rino's absence caused some weaknesses in the system. As we concluded that Nocerino isn't a natural ball winner, many times van Bommel is forced to push higher up than normal in order to win the ball back, and the many times he fails exposes the team at the back. Allegri and Nesta tried to limit that by playing a higher than usual line of defense. That could explain Silva's below par form.

Robinho's and Boateng's absences robbed the team of vital movement upfront. Instead of the fluid movements, the team is stuck with the static Cassano. In Robinho -not Ibrahimovic-, the team had the attack composer who distributed the ball smartly. Cassano more often than not loses possession, and his static nature harms the team in two ways. The first is that Ibrahimovic doesn't have much space to roam around freely as he usually does, while Robinho and Boateng would have created space with one linking up with Ibra and the other cutting in, Cassano occupies a certain area outside the penalty box that limits Ibra's movement and thus the team is either left without a presence in the box, or with a limited Ibra. The second is that with his lack of movement, the team's passing options are limited. As he doesn't get into useful places, nor does he open up space that a team-mate -mainly Seedorf, Emanuelson, Zambrotta, or Ibra- would advance to.

So these three absences could partly explain the disappointing results. Of course other factors played a part as well, but the importance of these players to the system and the failure of their replacement(s) to play the same roles did harm the team.
 

necromancer

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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.

Yup, at the end of the day, we are trying to tweak a bit too early. Aquilani should start ahead of a tired Seedorf, and I'm reasonably certain we'll get back to form.

Boateng wasn't fully fit against Juve, and it is only fair to give him the benefit of doubt considering how well he did his role last season.
 

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Yup, at the end of the day, we are trying to tweak a bit too early. Aquilani should start ahead of a tired Seedorf, and I'm reasonably certain we'll get back to form.

Boateng wasn't fully fit against Juve, and it is only fair to give him the benefit of doubt considering how well he did his role last season.

MAybe, but the Jube and Napoli games were worrisome, our inability to win back the ball and hold possession is a bigger issue that MVB/Nesta's supposed decline or Thiago's form. If the opponent has the ball nonstop and is driving out you, you'll eventually get exposed.

And honestly, while no Robinho, and no fit Boateng has made Milan incredibly static up-top.... No Gattuso looks sorely missing in midfield. Yes he's by no means a ball player, but he wins back a ridiculous amount fo tackles and covered a lot of ground effectively. Nocerino covers same ground with little impact. I think that's been biggest problem with MVB. Not so much him, but without Gattuso chasing down the ball, it forces MVB to and that leds to gaps and holes.

So are we Gattuso dependent in midfield? Maybe more than initially suggested. No flamini hurts. While overpaid and not the ball-winner Rino is, he's was still more effective than Nocerino at all aspects of the game in 2nd of the year. Winning the ball, pressing effectively, passing.

That's why I question allegri's decision to continually field a mindless energizer bunny in Nocerino, who only has a beard going for him, and neglecting Aquilani. Yes Aquilani is nowhere near the defender/worker nocerino is, but he is probably our best ball player. Him + Clarence at mezzala roles would allow us to control the ball a bit more, which would change the tactic of last year but would get the ball out of our half and off our back 4.
 

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So are we Gattuso dependent in midfield? Maybe more than initially suggested.

Most certainly we were. People under-rate him quite a bit around here. His offensive, yes Offensive, contribution has been quite good over the last couple of seasons (I dont mean goals or assists, but he gains control of areas in the other team's side of the pitch very well. And he is intelligent enough to use the 'positions' that he gains by linking up well with Abate who rushes by on the right, and Ibra/Pato ahead. That positional advantage is lost when Gattuso is absent)... I don't see Nocerino or Flamini or anyone else really matching what Gattuso provides in that position.

But we need to get out of that trap. Gattuso is old and it is very necessary for us to create a starting 4 in the midfield who won't retire or fall injured tomorrow.

Which is why Aquilani and Nocerino need starts - I dont care for transfer rumours, these are the players we have now and their contribution is vital.

I would be more patient on Noce. He did earn us a draw at Camp Nou - the only one left with the energy to push for a corner in the last minute. A bit more tactical awareness and he could contribute well to the campaign.

Patience.

Edit - (I agree with your points on Robinho to a large extent, although I certainly don't think he was as vital as Silva or Ibra. He keeps the team moving and that's important)
 
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Thanks. You should contribute too, you must have learned something about football from all those defeats your team receive. :tongue:

I actually quoted you yesterday (about robinho vs. cassano) and wrote a piece about it. But then my computer froze and everything disappeared.
 

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I actually quoted you yesterday (about robinho vs. cassano) and wrote a piece about it. But then my computer froze and everything disappeared.

That is probably your computer's way of telling you how stupid your writing was. :tongue:
 

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Most certainly we were. People under-rate him quite a bit around here. His offensive, yes Offensive, contribution has been quite good over the last couple of seasons (I dont mean goals or assists, but he gains control of areas in the other team's side of the pitch very well. And he is intelligent enough to use the 'positions' that he gains by linking up well with Abate who rushes by on the right, and Ibra/Pato ahead. That positional advantage is lost when Gattuso is absent)... I don't see Nocerino or Flamini or anyone else really matching what Gattuso provides in that position.

But we need to get out of that trap. Gattuso is old and it is very necessary for us to create a starting 4 in the midfield who won't retire or fall injured tomorrow.

Which is why Aquilani and Nocerino need starts - I dont care for transfer rumours, these are the players we have now and their contribution is vital.

I would be more patient on Noce. He did earn us a draw at Camp Nou - the only one left with the energy to push for a corner in the last minute. A bit more tactical awareness and he could contribute well to the campaign.

Patience.

Your points on Gattuso make me want to kiss you.

I thought he was criminally underrated around this forum last year. Milan would need a complete different style of playing (which the rest of squad at allegri's disposal made impossible) to play consistently without him.

Like I said before on Nocerino. Positive depth player. Reliable in effort and ability. But I've seen enough of him, to think it's unlikely he'll ever improve to first team quality.

Flamini for instance, who I'm not too high on either, is a better option, for all his flaws positionally, and not being on par w/ rino tackling/ball winning, he's smarter in possession. More reliable, while doing enough in other facets.

Moving forward I'd love to scrap concept of pure ball-winner in midfield, put to do so we need to do a few things better, and main one is much higher work rate all around. If I could I'd sell either Nocerino or Flamini, keep on on lower wages, and sign a player like Vidal or Marchisio, endless lungs who does everything pretty well in CM, and is good on ball. I am hoping Boateng can become that player BUT he won't get the chance to show it until we get an AM and move him. I like Nianggolan at Cagliari.

Edit - (I agree with your points on Robinho to a large extent, although I certainly don't think he was as vital as Silva or Ibra. He keeps the team moving and that's important)

I don't think we win a scudetto without Robinho. If we had Borriello stay, I don't think we win. I won't rank him in importance cause I think that gets overstated here. It's a team, it's all interconnected. you could say without Seedorfs form we don;t win either. Without Boateng etc. etc.

But one thing which does concern me....watching Silva/MVB/Nesta play without Rino makes me also wonder how overrated all 3s performances were last year. The 4 of them created an awesome defensive unit in spin of defense.
 
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