The current squad- An opinion
4.5 || Rab
Here is an opinion on the current squad, as voiced prior to the final game of the season.
1. Sebastiano Rossi. An aging gangster, or so he seems to think of himself. Too old and disruptive, if his behaviour a couple of seasons ago is anything to go by. Release into retirement/oblivion.
2. Thomas Helveg. I'm just not sure on him. I believe he is little more than a glorified journeyman, the old adage "jack of all trades but a master of none" applies to him. Can anybody say he is a genuine international quality full back? He works hard, which is admirable, but we can surely do better.
3. Paolo Maldini. The legend. One last season before retirement, in my opinion. Otherwise he may embarass himself, as did Baresi. He hasn't looked as sharp since his injury either.
4. Demetrio Albertini. I'm going to get slaughtered for this, but nobody usually pays me any attention so I might get away with it. In my mind Albertini is way past his best. He hasn't particularly sparkled for five years, in my opinion. Too often he is anonymous. I believe his position is almost unsuitable for Milan. At the moment, we have Rui Costa/Pirlo acting as an advance playmaker, while he lies deep. I always reckoned the best way was for a destructive duo of Ambro-Rino. I never saw him as a great anyway, more of a player who cannot defend (witness Chievo's recent goal) and who could produce one decent pass a season.
5. Alessandro Costacurta. Retire into the system. We cannot afford to rely on 36 year olds. He has had his day, and a glorious retirement next week would be ideal.
7. Andriy Shevchenko. Ask him if he really wants to stay. Then, if he wants to go to Real, sell him. We don't need players who don't want to play for the club. Anyway, his performances over the last few games have been pathetic. He looks to have lost a yard of pace, or otherwise he's not fit. I want him to stay, but not at all costs. He seems to have suffered from playing under Ancelotti.
8 Rino Gattuso. Now here's a player who you could rely on in a war. The sort every team needs. In every pub team, there is always a player who is ready for the game, but also the fighting afterwards in the changing rooms. We need someone with toughness. Lets not forget, he played for Rangers, and you have to be bloody tough to win respect from the Shankill RSC. A hard tackler is essential in every midfield. Rui, Pirlo and Serginho make about two tackles a season between them. He is the sort of player opposing teams fear, for the sake of their shins if nothing else. Give him the captaincy after Maldini retires as well.
9. Filippo Inzaghi. When Milan signed him, I cursed the idea. What a waste, I argued. But he has done well since arriving. The petulant whining and diving has lessened, although not the irritant cockiness. But he has won over the fans, and his partnership with Sheva has been reasonably productive. But he still misses far too many chances.
10. Manuel Rui Costa. This is going to be controversial. When we signed him I temporarily rejoiced, as at last we appeared to have a genuinely world class playmaker to replace the aging Boban and Leonardo. But I was also aware that, at 29, he wasn't one for the long term. My fears appear to have been born out. His form has at best been average, he has suffered minor injury after minor injury (strangely enough, he was barely ever injured in seven years with the Viola) and worst of all, he seems to be pining for Fiorentina. A big club just wasn't right for him. If a player starts suffering from niggles at 29 it's a very bad sign. If we do sell him, however, we won't get too much back.
11. Mohammed Aliyu. Injured all season, but showed loads of promise for us three years back against Bologna. Now next season he needs to start delivering. His loan spell last season was a bit of a disaster, as he was sent off a couple of times for a dire Monza team. But he undoubtedly has talent, although he needs to produce it when it really matters. Maybe a loan spell in Serie A would be a good idea.
12. Valerio Fiori. A good reserve, so why bother with a Serie B level keeper when we have him, who played well when he was with Piacenza in Serie A. Why he isn't a regular on the bench I don't know, as he always was underrated.
13. Kakha Kaladze. I'm tired of saying it, but he really is the Baresi of the Caucausus. He should be playing at centre back, in my opinion, as we need someone in the role that Franco used to play. However, he hasn't been the same since his brother's kidnapping, and has also suffered from being shuffled around. He's played almost everywhere since he arrived. But give him a decent run in the side at centre back, and try and sort out the personal issues in his life, and we could be landed. At all costs he must be kept.
14. Jose Mari. I actually like Jose Mari. There, I've said it. I believe that if he is played in his best position, right wing, then he can have anb impact for us. However, he's been here two years and has done frankly bugger all for most of that. At times he has been sensational, others dire. We need to find some consistency in his game. He isn't 19 anymore, and needs to realise what it takes to be a world class player. Nobody denies that he has the talent. Maybe it is in his mind, maybe he lacks confidence on the pitch. Carlo is no use as a motivator, that we know, so maybe a move would be the best thing for his career. However, I would like him to stay at Milanello.
15. Massimo Donati. Retain at all costs. Here we have the perfect replacement for the declining Albertini. But Carlo has absolutely no faith in him whatsoever. Donati indicated that life under Terim was more happy, and maybe he has been blacklisted for his support for the Turk. His form during his time at Atalanta was always good, however, and surely he should be given time to rediscover it. Perhaps a loan move would be ideal, to wherever Terim coaches next season.
16. Jose Antonio Chamot. He will be 33 in the summer, and his best days are definitely behind him. I know that he has done reasonably well this season under Carlo, but surely we need to build for the future. I never really rated him anyway. He always was a bit dirty, and prone to really bad gaffes. He also lacks a bit of pace, and his attempts to be a plausible left back were rather laughable. Maybe Carletto was having a laugh with us there. Seriously, if we can get £1 million for him, we'll be doing well.
18. Christian Abbiati. Milan's goalkeeper for the next twelve years, if we keep him and don't try and pathetically raise funds the way Parma did with Buffon. He has unquestionably been our player of the season, and I must admit my belief that if it wasn't for him we might be fighting relegation. His emergence has been a surprise for me since his debut after Rossi went berserk in 1999. But he should go to the World Cup this summer, as third choice. However, surely he must have a future international career. Rossi kept goal for a decade for Milan without ever being capped. I hope the same thing doesn't happen to Abbiati.
19. Javi Moreno. When he arrived, I believed he could provide genuine competition for Inzaghi alongside Sheva. After all, he had been top scorer in La Liga the previous season, and had made a good impression in his early games for Spain. However, he has probably been the biggest disappointment of the season, alongside Rui. His form has been poor, and whereas he couldn't miss for Alaves, at Milanello he couldn't hit a barn door. Remember the misses against Juve, both in Serie A and the Coppa Italia? He also looks to have lost a bit of pace from his time in Spain. A noticeable fact is that last season we hired Inter's disastrous failure of a fitness trainer, who had failed to get Vieri back to fitness. Now he has been abysmal at Milan. Add to this Moreno's lack of enjoyment of Italian life and you get the distinct feeling both parties would be better off with a parting and subsequent move to Spain. Atletico Madrid, whom we have excellent relations with, beckon for him.
20. Mohammed Sarr. The future of our defence. He made his debut in Europe under Terim, and scored on his first start. He looked very composed for a 17 year old. Ancelotti eventually began listening to me after I barracked him for not giving youngsters a go- Sarr came on for the last few minutes against Roma. And he didn't take long to make his mark, although it was on Cassano's shin. Mind you, we've all wanted to kick Antonio Cassano at one point or another. He has loads of potential, but at the same time doesn't really have the nous required to be a top Serie A defender. Yet. During the Roma game, I noticed him get frequently caught out of position, something which can be punished. A year on loan to a smaller Serie A side, such as Piacenza or Como next season would really be good for him. However, semi-regular games next season could also be good. Either way, he needs games.
21.Andrea Pirlo. Must play. He was signed before Rui Costa, now it appears that he must play before Rui Costa. He is 22 now, and can't afford to fart around as a "star of the future" anymore. What he must get now is regular football at a big club, which in turn will surely lead to a national team call up. Play him instead of Rui Costa, and we will reap the long term rewards. Next season, the man should have the number 10 shirt.
22. Cosmin Contra. A Something of an enigma in a Milan shirt, he has at times been excellent and at other abysmal. He seems to struggle from a disputed identity- he sees himself as an attacking right back, the position throughout his career, while Carlo sees him as a winger. Personally, I've always believed in overlapping full backs, and here I stick to my principles. He must be retained, as quality players like him don't come along too often. However he has shown indications of wanting a move, and Liverpool are hovering with intent. I have a distinct feeling Milan will wave him goodbye this summer, although I don't want to see it.
23. Massimo Ambrosini. Along with Gattuso and Donati, the future of Milan's engine room. Like Gattuso, he is a real fighter, good at winning the ball although with slightly more creativity and the ability to occasionally score spectacular goals. However, Gattuso is better in the tackle and less injury prone. Max seems to have struggled with his knee an awful lot, something which has probably prevented him from becoming an international regular. He needs to get fit and stay fit, because at 25 good fitness is essential. However, you don't let go of committed, talented players like him.
24. Martin Laursen. Here is a player who seems set to leave, probably for the Premiership. At times this season he has been exceptionally good, at others exceptionally bad. Remember the game against Chievo at the San Siro? Personally I think he should stay, as he is a more than useful man marker when deployed against big men such as Corradi. However, at times he has been cruelly exposed. Milan look set to cash in on him as they are in need of funds, and in my opinion England will be a likely destination.
25. Roque Junior. By a distance, probably the most unpopular player at Milanello after Moreno. Yet I like him. He always seems to lack consistency, at times being very good and at times making rash tackles. However, I have repeatedly defended him, as with good coaching I see no reason why he cannot be the next Costacurta. He can head, mark and occasionally tackle well, which is the basis of a quality player. Yet again I have the distinct feeling that the club are looking to cash in on him. Players like him often can haunt you, so I'd give him another season. He can also act as cover in midfield.
26. Vitaly Kutuzov. He arrived from BATE Borisov last autumn, and hasn't been given too much of a chance since. But on his few appearances he has shown a few good touches. With Sheva, Inzaghi and Tomasson now set to be at Milan next season, he will surely struggle from a lack of oppurtunities except off the bench, so perhaps a loan move elsewhere in Serie A would be a good idea.
27. Serginho. Our only genuine winger, and without him we are left with an enormous hole on the left wing. Again, like so many of the squad he has suffered from inconsistency this season, despite his penalty taking abilities being far superior to those of Shevchenko. Rumours continue about a move back to Brazil, as Carlo continues to believe that he cannot play in the same team as Rui/Pirlo. Add to this his age (31 in June) and a suspicion remains that we may wave goodbye to him. The fans have been on his back as well. But everybody here knows only too well what he is capable of. Watch the video of a match which took place almost a year ago, on 11/5/01. He was the only difference between the two Milan clubs in a derby which we won 6-0. I genuinely believe that that performance was one of the best ever given by a winger. Retain him for another season, please, and we won't regret it. The best combination around was Serginho- Sheva. Serginho crossed, Sheva got behind the defence to score. Let's continue that way.
30. Fernando Redondo. Does this man exist? I haven't seen him. We paid Real Madrid, where he had fallen out with the incoming president, £11 million for his services, yet he wrecks his knee in his first training session and never plays. Florentino Perez must have laughed all the way to the bank. Now is surely the time to cut our losses on the Argentine. We have Donati, Ambrosini and Gattuso, all younger, in his position and I genuinely believe he won't ever recover from his injury. Pay up his contract, or claim the insurance, and let the 33 year old retire to a farm on the Pampas. What an absolute disaster.
32. Christian Brocchi. Why exactly was he signed? Here was a player who had been frequently outstanding at Verona, valued at an immense fee, then moved to Inter and made a complete fool of himself. Add to this his denunciation of Milan when he signed for the Nerazzurri and you have the sort of player you know won't fit in. Anyway, he's hardly covered himself in glory this term. The best thing for him to do would be to move to a smaller, provincial, Serie A club and try and rediscover his form, because he has failed at the big clubs. Sell this summer.
33. Ibrahim Ba. Oh, this is going to be fun. What an utter waste of space. Five years ago he signed for Milan as a promising French international winger with a dire hairstyle. Now, he is a fat lump built like a prop forward who wasn't wanted by Marseille, Perugia or any of the other clubs who tried to revive his career. It's a case of simply telling him to clear off in no uncertain terms. His form for Marseille was poor, and he returned to Milan at least four stone overweight. A dire attitude is responsible. Personally, a mutual cancelling of contract would be ideal in my opinion.
34. Umit Davala. A jack of all trades. And a master of none. He is one of those "fill in" players clubs are so fond of, the kind who can play in loads of positions but none of them very well. Milan's Jamie Carragher, if you like. His form has been little more than average, and Carletto doesn't seem to rate him at all. Looks like a return to Turkish football is the best option for both parties. A shame, as he looked a good player in Istanbul.
55. Marco Donadel. He hasn't really had much in the way of oppurtunity since making his debut against Parma on my 18th birthday. Now I'm 19 and he's the same, so the best thing for him would be a loan move to either another Serie A club or a Serie B/ English First Division side. The latter would be ideal, as it would toughen him up something powerful. He has some ability, and should be given a chance in due time.
69. Marco Simone. Possibly the biggest disappointment of the season. He returned in a wave of glory, as everybody here seemed to believe that here was a Milan legend. However, his form has been dire, and he has broken one of the golden rules of football, never go back. Send him back to Monaco as we need a younger squad, not a 33 year old.
83. Catalina Aubameyang. Hasn't had much oppurtunity, but should be given a few chances next season on the right wing. Don't waste him. Perhaps, like so many others, a loan spell would be worthwhile.
Those on Loan/without numbers.
Francesco Coco. Hmmmm. His attitude and cockiness leave a lot to be desired, and he would need to apologise before he returned after his appalling behaviour last September. But he remains a talent good enough to make the Azzurri side, and could be a useful addition. Unsure.
Oliver Bierhoff. Put him out to pasture. He's well and truly finished.
Andrea Rabito. Excellent early in the season for Modena. Poor ever since. Let him stay there on loan in Serie A.
Mattia Graffiedi. Poor at Napoli. Let him go on a free.
Clayton. The successor (hopefully) to Maldini. Keep him as cover.
Fabrizio Coloccini- Bring him back if he really wants to, or if we still can.
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