The Rumour Commode XLIII: A Cardinal Win

Who is your favorite team in the Saudi League?


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brk

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I’d fist fight shirtless anybody who questions Bennacer’s quality…but it’s becoming more and more evident, this will be the story of his career.
3-5 month max (1 month to get up to speed then give us about 10-15 games) … then a 3 weeks stop (minimum).

The reality is, He’s and injury prone player who plays for Pioli, who I think, by now, has earned the title of injury enabler coach.
In addition to whatever training regime they go through, he’d run players to the ground, especially those he likes and value.
Look at Krunic
“The data say they’re fine”
I remember him saying something like that after Giroud and Theo had played all full games during international break and were clearly exhausted.

Maybe a different coach could manage him better to get a bit more out of him…but won’t be much more.
Blasphemy.
 

Hitchens

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I look at our squad sometimes and think to myself "this is complete turds." I dunno if I have to see it to believe it, but goddamn I read a Musah - Adli - Reindeer midfield lineup and have zero confidence. We look out of touch and stupid sometimes, and we blame Pioli, but holy hell I don't know how well other managers would do with this group. Rusty half injured Krunic comes on and looks fucking drunk and now suddenly he's a fodder, despite him playing out of his mind to start the season before his little injury. Should we have started the season relying on Krunic to take 12 steps forward as a DM? For Adli to play football, and play it well, after not playing for an entire year? That Thiaw and Tomori, two hot-headed young defenders aren't going to lose their minds and commit seppuku on the field every now and again?

Getting bonked by Printer was embarrassing, and we played well enough to earn at least a point against the zebras, but I still look at this squad and it instills very little confidence. We're lucky as hell that Reindeer has looked good and Pulisic's clamped down RW, because if they were flops, we'd be in dire straights if you ask me.
Dark thoughts brother.
 

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Jonathan David?
 

Congo Powers

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Buske

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I know I'm late with my responses but how are we dropping off if we are 1pt off first with everything to play for???

Juve on paper isn't an easy 3pts we should get and if we did then we would be 2pts up instead of 1 down. In CL we are in a stronger group and while we have been poor we haven't lost. In past seasons we lost games, some times very badly.

I understand the feeling, I may have it again as I did after our last CL match we wasted but looking at it objectively we are still fine with everything ahead of us so to expect management to be changed now would be very rash. Like it or not, they chose Pioli and so far nothing is lost.
You are not wrong in all still being open but to be honest it is not because we are good. It is because this season everyone is bad, Inter, Juve, Napoli... If any of those teams had a good season like they used to have, we would be below.

However my point was not just position on the table, i expected us to grow as the season progresses, to improve from last season to a bigger extent. Yet, we are struggling to score against anyone, our wins are not convincing, it almost feels like we are regressing.
If we continue like this for a few weeks more, gap will only increase
 

General

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I used to watch the top matches in all the top 4 leagues.. mainly in serie a

These days its only ac milan matches. And the two weeks where there are international breaks i don’t watch any football.
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Samaldinho

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that's exactly what we were saying at the time we won the scudetto

defending every game with such high line (and at that time small CB's) is just suicide
well now we have more size at the back with thiaw, but he doesn't provide the speed to make up for his fuck ups

this approach worked great for a few months when the team was in top, but it was never designed for long term success

good teams expose that routinely as expected
I think there's a few differences between what we're doing now (and last year) and what we did with the Scudetto.

I think teams attacked us more that year, and we dedicated more of our players to defensive roles, and it was not just Kessie, but we would play Krunic at CAM, our midfield rotated between Kessie, Tonali, and Bennacer, while our RW would work tirelessly on defense whether Messias or Sales.

I don't think we really baited teams into attacking us, rather, I think teams attacked us because they thought that's how they could get to us. They tried to fight fire-with-fire and match our press, and teams that sat back, we would exhaust them since our press was relentless, and we wore them down.

Now teams have figured it out that they can't play open against us, they just... wait.

Juve, Inter, they don't press us in our half. Teams with two strikers are the best counters to our press because our counter-press has been figured out, but worse yet, we use Giroud in a way that doesn't suit him (or the opponent) and we expose ourselves to simple long-ball counters, which is what has ruined our games against Inter and Juve.

Last year we beat Juve by letting Pobega Hulk smash their midfield to disrupt them, while we kept battering them, and once we got our set-piece goal, Juve's plan unraveled, and the game was over.

Pioli is being stubborn, he's not being patient, and he's putting out the same plan, no matter what confronts him. Which is killing us.

Any CB today, Thiaw, Ruben Dias, VVD, pick a CB, if you put them in enough 1-on-1 situations with a striker, even a bad one, they're going to make a mistake. Pioli puts our CBs on islands, constantly.

Did Thiaw make a mistake? Yes. Yes he did. But when you play into the hands of an opponent, who wants to dive, who is as protected as Juve or Inter are... what are you doing?

I also think that while Mirante had a good game, I think our CBs (and our style-of-play) is dependent on a very mobile GK. Sportiello is no slouch, but we are a completely different team with Mike in the lineup. The difference between last year and our Scudetto year? The presence of Mike.

Tata last year made errors, but, as you and your partner-in-crime pointed out: Pioli is playing a style that exposes Tata. Pioli did that again with Mirante, he didn't learn from last year. Mirante did his job, but we tried to maintain a suicidal high-line and high press without a keeper who could come out. Mirante is 40, he played great, but having a sweeper keeper changes your calculus and your style-of-play.

Of course, you can still get scored on, it can still lead to errors, like against Inter--but the point is that Pioli does not adapt his tactics, at all.

So, no, I don't think it's about "good teams expose" us, that's not true. The teams we have struggled with are Inter and Juve, who both play like shit, provincial sides with a 352.

But yeah.
 

Samaldinho

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Yes I think this it. I think we saw the game differently.

Like I don’t entirely disagree with the draw, but I genuinely don’t think we were better either. A draw possible, but a win, it didn’t look like it to me. To me Juventus had the most dangerous chance in the first half and overall the better chances.

I know xG doesn’t usually tell the whole story, I’d agree in general but I feel it told me the match on how I saw it today. This was the overall xG



Now not so relevant because of the red card, but this was the xG before the red card.



And according to Flashscore:

This was the xG for the first half too:

View attachment 27149

Even in the first half, Juventus had a higher xG too.

To sum it up:

I think Pioli played into Allegri’s hands today. But I also think our squad is better so we could have still come out with a win/draw with 11 men.

But the red card just made it a lot worse and ended our hopes. For me after the red card, I 99% felt it was game over. That’s how I felt it and I’m a bit surprised most people don’t see it the same way as me. But wells.

I just hope we can play a much better game on Wednesday, we really need that.

Honestly? I think that's a really weird way to look at it.

I think Milan were better than Juve until the red. I don't see the xG as the ultimate proof of that. The fact that Juve didn't look that much better after going up a man, I think underlines the point that we are the better squad.

I agree with you that we have better players than Juve. I think we have better players than Inter. We have a good squad. Pioli doesn't know how to use them, doesn't know how to deploy them, doesn't know how to organize them, and doesn't know how to keep them healthy.

I agree that Pioli played into Allegri's hands, but even then, we were the better team.

I can't begin to count how many big games under great managers, strong managers, start out slow. They don't give away anything. Sure, when we were down 3-2 against Man Utd in the semi-final, I remember being in awe of our team putting Man Utd under pressure from the first minute. Yes, our team was old, but I think they showed that they were still the best team in the world. The 3-0 scoreline flattered Man Utd.

But they needed to win, they needed to prove a point, they were driven. This is a league game.

Pioli has problems, because all he's done with this 433 is that instead of just having the 424, where he commits four players into the attack, he's really committing even more forward than before--it just depends on whether the danger from our non-winger/striker unbalances the opponents enough to shield our defense which is even more exposed than last year, but Tomori and Thiaw (and Theo) are really keeping it together combined with Mike.

I'm pretty annoyed with Pioli. Let's see what he does against PSG.
 

Cloren

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The post you quoted is classic cherry-picking rubbish.

4 big teams we played ... did we not play a Lazio that finished 2nd last year? Did we not beat Roma?

Are they really any worse than Dortmund or Newcastle?

Are you seriously asking this?

Cherry-picking rubbish? Please.

Dortmund literally competed against Bayern Munich till the end for a title race and are annual CL participators. Of course Roma/Lazio are worse than them.

Newcastle made top 4 in the best league in the world, also proven to hold their own against top teams like City/PSG. Of course Roma/Lazio are worse than them. Come on, you called my post rubbish but asking that kind of question is also rubbish.

They’re factually the best 4 teams we played this season. How is it cherry-picking?

and I already explained earlier why I didn’t consider Roma/Lazio as big teams.

Napoli and PSG are next, they would be considered another teams better than Roma/Lazio. Now those are the games we ought to win.
 

Master Smurf

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that's exactly what we were saying at the time we won the scudetto

defending every game with such high line (and at that time small CB's) is just suicide
well now we have more size at the back with thiaw, but he doesn't provide the speed to make up for his fuck ups

this approach worked great for a few months when the team was in top, but it was never designed for long term success

good teams expose that routinely as expected
What I don't understand is why all three cm's and the fullbacks are also all the way up (yes I know it's because we are ineffective offensively but poor excuse)

I would expect at least one fullback and the faster cm to be mindful to run back to cover on loss of possession but we do seem mindless in these situations and easily picked off. There surely can be some middle ground.

I mean there are occasions where CB's press all the way to the opponents box and I'm like for what???

That's all on Pioli and indefensible after countless situations in high profile matches.
 

Cloren

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Carlo must have religiously watched Milan’s matches last season to feel that way.

I hope we don’t reconsider bringing him back, there are reports of him wanting to come back to Milan.

Frankly he’s not at our level, let alone Madrid.
 

Nalim

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Carlo must have religiously watched Milan’s matches last season to feel that way.

I hope we don’t reconsider bringing him back, there are reports of him wanting to come back to Milan.

Frankly he’s not at our level, let alone Madrid.

Either that or the most successful club in the history of the game has scouts who keep track of the club’s players when they’re out on loan.

But yeah, Brahim should go to Sevilla or wherever and stay far away from Milan.
 

MilanBG

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Adli was not good yesterday, he played far to risky and gave the ball to Juve a lot. You cannot play like that as the last man in midfield against a strong team.
He absolutely played to complicated.

Calabria was great yesterday.

Thiaw needs to be able to handle 1v1 if he wants to play in a modern top club. Playing like Juventus is not the norm.
Well... someone has to do it. Our whole 'build-up tactics' is pass sideways until the ball reaches Leao or Pulisic. The only way to surprise the opponent is with vertical passes and Adli and Thiaw are one of the very few who can do it.
 

ACM14061988

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Enzo Raiola said that Donnarumma plan was to go to Juve but not for free, he did not want to fuck up Milan he said, their plan was new contract and then sell him to Juve, they wanted to make Milan earn money :lol:

God i can't wait for Milan PSG in November he is going to cry on the pitch
 

IcyDiavolo

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I'd agree with this if Pioli had a strategy where everything is built upon. We sort of know what he wants to do, both on the ball and off it. It works most of the time, and really well. But what drives me crazy is that a lot of his tactical/micro decisions have absolutely no relation to the macro strategy, especially when there are surprises. For example, he depends on Theo pushing WAY up to press the RB/RWB. That's fine, Theo is a machine. But you expect Florenzi to do this all game? Against one of the fastest players in Serie A? Where's the logic here? This is besides the countless examples of him using GIroud in an insane way that goes against everything that man can do. Not understanding the risk of man on man kamikaze defending against a counterattacking front two.

I get the strategy, it's those micro decisions that Pioli always completely shocks me with incompetence and a lack of learning from his mistakes. When everything is going well, and we're playing against a mid block 433/4231, we can destroy any team in Europe. Change that opposition template a bit and we quickly run into a lot of trouble. I want to see more pragmatism and flexibility, within the framework of our 'philosophy' or dogma. We're not at the level yet like Man City where we can bend teams to our will. We still need to adapt a bit.

I agree with your premise - i.e. Pioli does need to adapt, but only because he is limited in terms of his ability to develop his players or impose specific instructions. Not because his tactical setup gets 'exposed' by certain players' deficiencies. Let me explain.

On your last point, neither are the teams of all the coaches I've mentioned. In fairness, these coaches have also been criticised for not adapting. But they have also shown on numerous occasions that they can assert their game plan and make it work against good opposition. This is why they also get so much praise.

Maybe I'm wrong (correct me if so), but I've never seen the likes of RDZ, Ange, Bielsa, Gasperini etc alter their tactics even with makeshift players coming into the side. I'll give you an example. Brighton lost several key players in the summer window, and added to that they had recently lost two of their main fullbacks in Estupinan and Lamptey, while Veltman and Milner share minutes for that right-back role. So away to City, De Zerbi fields Solly March (who is an attacking mid/winger) at left-back, while a 37 year old Milner plays RB. Versatile player but still old as fuck. He's also played Pascal Gross there too. Brighton still played the same way they always do. Pressing high up the pitch man for man, playing out the back calmly. Brighton lost the game but still ended on a higher xG than City. His system is always in place and it is fascinating how interchangeable his players are, even if there are some glaring differences in their technical/physical skill set.

Where I think the difference lies is coaches like De Zerbi are far more meticulous with their tactical setup and micro-instructions. (Some of his players have actually revealed this is indeed the case). It allows him to develop his players, making guys like Caicedo and Dunk look like world-beaters. This simply allows them to actually execute their plan with more success than say Pioli would, because Pioli doesn't micro-manage anyone. He has some tactical influence, but it is not detailed the same way. I think he gives his team a principled idea of how he wants them to play without properly addressing the key matchups or situations that need attention. This is obvious when you watch our game against Inter. Our players tried to press and show intensity, but the awareness of when to do it was non-existent.
 

brk

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I agree with your premise - i.e. Pioli does need to adapt, but only because he is limited in terms of his ability to develop his players or impose specific instructions. Not because his tactical setup gets 'exposed' by certain players' deficiencies. Let me explain.

On your last point, neither are the teams of all the coaches I've mentioned. In fairness, these coaches have also been criticised for not adapting. But they have also shown on numerous occasions that they can assert their game plan and make it work against good opposition. This is why they also get so much praise.

Maybe I'm wrong (correct me if so), but I've never seen the likes of RDZ, Ange, Bielsa, Gasperini etc alter their tactics even with makeshift players coming into the side. I'll give you an example. Brighton lost several key players in the summer window, and added to that they had recently lost two of their main fullbacks in Estupinan and Lamptey, while Veltman and Milner share minutes for that right-back role. So away to City, De Zerbi fields Solly March (who is an attacking mid/winger) at left-back, while a 37 year old Milner plays RB. Versatile player but still old as fuck. He's also played Pascal Gross there too. Brighton still played the same way they always do. Pressing high up the pitch man for man, playing out the back calmly. Brighton lost the game but still ended on a higher xG than City. His system is always in place and it is fascinating how interchangeable his players are, even if there are some glaring differences in their technical/physical skill set.

Where I think the difference lies is coaches like De Zerbi are far more meticulous with their tactical setup and micro-instructions. (Some of his players have actually revealed this is indeed the case). It allows him to develop his players, making guys like Caicedo and Dunk look like world-beaters. This simply allows them to actually execute their plan with more success than say Pioli would, because Pioli doesn't micro-manage anyone. He has some tactical influence, but it is not detailed the same way. I think he gives his team a principled idea of how he wants them to play without properly addressing the key matchups or situations that need attention. This is obvious when you watch our game against Inter. Our players tried to press and show intensity, but the awareness of when to do it was non-existent.
I agree with this 100%. Either you adapt your strategy to minimize opposition threats/exploit weakness, or you train your players to follow your system in such meticulous detail that they know exactly what to do in every situation.

Pioli does neither, so when we’re placed in uncomfortable situations (low blocks, counterattacks against good players, etc) we just collapse. His system is great against most teams that play a typical sort of 433 variation with a mid block or a high press. Outside that comfort zone we don’t have the tactical framework to adapt on the pitch, and like you said we revert to individualism to break teams down.
 

milanator

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Pioli‘s system is literally built on 1v1, just because Thiaw makes an individual error doesn‘t mean his microtactics or what ever are bad. It isn‘t the 00s zonal defending tactical chess era anymore, current coaches have proven that you can get away with a lot more.

Juventus even struggled against 10 man Milan, but yeah we were soooo badly tuned in.
 
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