I think both of you are very much on point. Obviously the current historical drop of form can't be pinned to just one player, person or transfer. It's a combination of lots of issues that culminated in the past few weeks. We all have our theories and I think we all have fair arguments. But then again, that drop of form? I don't think anyone saw this coming. It's scary really. Maybe even unprecedented.
I mean, let that sink:
From the beginning of this season until the worldcup break we were on a 2,2 points per game rhytm, which would bring you at 83,6 points at the end of the season, which more often than not means Scudetto (or at least a very close 2nd). And oll of that even without an adequate Kessie replacement and while missing Kjaer, Zlatan and Maignan. So the quality of the remaining ones can't be that bad, can it?
In 2023, we're currently on a 0,83 points per game rhytm (yes, with the Salernitana win included), which would bring you at 31,54 points at the end of the season. Two years ago that would have get you relegated. Last season you'd have saved yourself from relegation by one point.
We literally went from Scudetto-rhytm to relegation-rhytm in less than a month!
I absolutely agree that the team has holes and is by no means a finished work of art. No one ever claimed that, not even positivity force. We always all agreed that this team is still a work in progress, we only disagreed on how far we already are in the works. Yet, only until a couple of weeks ago - despite you could already feel that something was off and that some players are desperately missing or haven't been replaced adequately - that team still got results home. Good results. Scudetto-rhytm results. And now we're playing like a relegation side. Not only methaphorically speaking (like when we vent our disappointment after a bad display). But literally. Has a roaster of 30 players suddenly forgotten how to string two or three passes? How to stop a ball? How to aim on target? How to mark his man? How to go in a tackle? How to make the simpliest saves? There's so much off right now it's inexplainable.
The best explanation I can come up with right now - while absolutely agreeing with everyone critisizing the mercato, the budget, the fitness staff and the players who are supposed to be leaders - is that Pioli has lost the team. Or: Maybe the team isn't playing against Pioli. But definitely not for him either. Even when Pioli claimed the opposite in the last pre-match-conference. That's a serious problem.