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Coco: An Asset but Not Nessecary
3.9 || Alex


Given the talent as well as the popularity of Francesco Coco, his abrupt departure from the San Siro has shocked his teammates, his fans and, to make matters even worse, has furthered the skepticism around head coach Terim’s abilities on the sideline. There is no doubt that his capacity to dominate on the left flank will be missed and that his absence clearly lessens the depth of the Rossoneri, but once again I had found myself completely in agreement with Fatih’s line-up and Coco’s nonappearance in it leading up to his loan to Barcelona. I’m certainly the first one to admit the discontent I felt when I heard Francesco had moved to the Catalan’s den, but in conjunction with Terim’s dynamics and ideas surrounding his midfield, I wasn’t shaking in my boots the way so many Milan ultra were. The most influential changes the Turk has made thus far have ironically regarded the most fundamental areas when balancing a team. Each player has his own distinct strengths that bind him to his position with specific responsibilities that come with that territory…a simple and crucial concept that has been neglected by our two former bosses. Last year I saw a Milan side which contained many key players borrowing responsibilities from other positions, positions that didn’t exploit their strengths. I saw Maldini pinned to the left-hand corner in a fixed defensive state which didn’t allow him to make his decisive runs up the side. I saw Kaladze take on the role of a power midfielder that denied him the time to pull back and contribute to defense where his true place is. I witnessed a Milan side so poorly constructed that its attack consisted solely of running the ball down the sides, crossing it in and praying Sheva could do something with it. But strangely last year was the year in which Coco blossomed into the exceptional player that he is. It seems that the only player who was correctly positioned on the field during the 2000-2001 seasons was the young Italian. He defined himself last year as a strong, agile winger with a built in defensive instinct and for a while he was just what Milan needed. However, that was yesterday. Today’s Milan has been completely redesigned. The team as a whole is fast, more efficient while creative in attack, and the defense has been greatly reinforced. In Terim’s Milan speed, aggression, and an attacking state of mind are more valuable in a winger than his ability to track back and defend. Taking those attributes to mind, no one can deny that Serginho isn’t the man for the job. The lethally quick Brazilian has proven his worth time and time again where as Coco never quite clicked in the newly formed team throughout preseason and the Brescia match. As much as I hate to say it, Coco was definitely an asset, but not needed, at least not now. His rapid decline with the Rossoneri proves that in the ever changing world of soccer, good players don’t always do good things for particular teams, just take a look at Inter’s history over the past 5 years and you’ll see what I mean.

Written by: Alex Manghisi

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