Two wins in twelve matches, Milan’s current season seems to be going nowhere despite reaching midway through their campaign. Milan were eager to replace Clarence Seedorf not because he lacked something or he wasn’t able to bring the best out of his players but because the club wanted to move on with a new vision and a strategy. Seedorf couldn’t be held accountable for the bad season Milan had last term as he inherited squad of average players half-way through season. Despite that, the replacement Inzaghi wasn’t able to do wonders with a squad that is slightly better than the one his predecessor had.
Seedorf was removed out of the picture just five months after being appointed, Milan chose to part ways with the Dutch who still had a contract for two extra seasons at Milan. Inzaghi was seen as a very determined man by Berlusconi, he thought he was “hungry for victory and absolutely in line with Milan’s plans”. The owner was tired of Milan’s terrible style seeking a team which wins, plays convincingly and entertains the fans. The management thought that with Inzaghi they can start a new cycle, one that puts them back among Europe’s best, but so far the results show us that the club is still were it was last year if not slightly behind.
Under Seedorf Milan won 11 out of their 19 Serie A matches compared to just six out of Inzaghi’s first 19 games. Of course, no one can hold Inzaghi responsible for Milan’s bad results, the club’s strategy of picking up players for a bargain may be their best option from a financial perspective but it surely isn’t the best from in terms of quality. Despite that, Inzaghi’s winning record is the worst in Milan’s recent history as they have been terrible defensively leaking 22 goals in just 19 matches. Although they have quality names at the back like Adil Rami, Philippe Mexes, Alex, Cristian Zapata and Mattia De Sciglio they do lack consistency because of injuries, suspensions and dips of form. Milan haven’t been able to field regularly the same back four thus giving room for plenty of errors.
What makes matters worse is a midfield lacking understanding. Riccardo Montolivo and Nigel De Jong may be good on paper but they haven’t been able to complement each other on the pitch. Further up front, Keisuke Honda hasn’t been terrible but he’s been called up for the Asian Cup leaving an inconsistent Jeremy Menez with little support. Despite this, new signings Alessio Cerci and Suso offer hope up front for the Rossoneri. Cerci has always been on Milan’s wish list but they were reluctant to throw a big sum to sign him. By waiting half a season, Milan were able to pick up the player on an extended loan deal but it may just be too late, he can’t salvage anything from this season. Even with Cerci, Milan don’t have a natural striker, all of their attacking players like to dribble with the ball, create space and breakdown from the wing, this could be counter-productive.
Returning to Europe’s best is a myth at the moment, but Milan can still hope for a European spot through Coppa Italia or Serie A if they push hard enough but if the management are serious about preserving whatever is left from the club’s image then they should consider taking drastic changes for the better of the squad, not Berlusconi’s pocket.