The season so far..can it get any better?
4.10 || ART
My friends, now is a good time to be a fan of the Rossoneri.
The team is flying in both domestic, and European competition, with maximum points from all their games so far. Milan seem to be unstoppable, and the ONLY Italian team capable of bringing any European gold back to Italy (with the possible exception of Juventus). Our defence has been solid, something that Milan supporters have come to accept from their side over the years. The new recruits have all generally settled in well, with the back four almost picking itself these days. Nesta and Maldini complement each other perfectly, while Kaladze improves with every game. Simic still needs to convince me, but its early days yet (the only change I’d like to see is the permanent return of Abbiati to the side).
On top of that, the inconsistent attack of last season just cannot stop scoring. Inzaghi is the man of the moment and is on course to shatter the Champions’ League records. Rui Costa has been like a different player this season. Seedorf can’t put a foot wrong, as he covers every blade of grass, passes perfectly, sets up vital goals and seems capable of playing in every position on the field. And Rivaldo, is Rivaldo.
All this with the club’s leading scorer for the last three seasons still to come back from injury. Shevchenko finally has competition so this should up his game a little. But can this team get any better? Well, despite playing the best football, I’ve seen from a Milan side for years, I still think they can improve.
Milan, though extremely impressive in their general play and creativity, seem to rely too much on playing through the middle of the park. The majority of forward passes from midfield are being played forward towards the opposition penalty area, and there is not enough width to their play.
Traditionally, Milan have always made use of the whole field, employing wingers to spread the play, and create holes in the opposition’s defence. Great names like Donadoni, Lentini, and Leonardo. Not so great names like Ba, Blomqvist, and Guly. But the point is that those sides had a flexibility to their play, and were able to adapt to sides that defended in numbers, by simply playing a ball wide, and whipping in a cross from the by-line. BANG! 1-0.
The current side does not appear to have any place for an out-and-out wide man. The closest man we have to that is Serginho, and he’s hardly got a game this year. When he came on against Bayern Munich in the Champions’ League this week, he almost raised hell on the Bavarians. His pace, and the way he dragged defenders out wide, was too much for the German giants, and it was one of his crosses that gifted SuperPippo the winner in the closing minutes.
Admittedly, Milan are spoiled for choice in midfield, and probably possess the most dazzling array of talent in Serie A, if not the world (damn Real Madrid :)), but I am of the view that if wingers were employed, and made more use of, it would free up space in the middle of the park for Seedorf, Rivaldo, Rui Costa, Pirlo, etc, to have their way, and make Milan even more devastating than it already is.
Personally, I wouldn’t change things around too much for the time being. The team is on an impressive run of form, and look to be getting in the winning habit. Even, a slight switch can upset the balance. But it is worth considering the use of wingers, when we go up against sides that defend in numbers, and pack the midfield.
Gattuso, and Ambrosini, are doing a good job in midfield and giving Milan the stability and security needed for their other, more creative, teammates to shine. If they were left out, we could struggle in defence, and therefore not have the ball possession that is so crucial to Milan. But, maybe bringing someone like Serginho into games late on to run at tired defenders can reap rewards. Or maybe even try to persuade Rivaldo to move out wide. Good luck, Mr. Ancelotti. :)
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