May 262016
 

by Juan Carlos Martínez – acmilanrebuilding@gmail.com

Below is a comprehensive piece on the current state of AC Milan. Juan Carlos presents one possible (conservative) scenario on how to move forward with a new strategy that will eventually take Milan back to the top and modernize the team’s football operations. In it he sets a clear scope on how to rejuvenate and rebuild the squad and achieve a self sufficient model.

May 212016
 

Milan’s dreadful season came to an end last week, the lack of cohesion and passion when facing a bigger team like Roma was embarrassing. Now Milan face Juventus in a final, another poor showing will further hurt the image of the team worldwide.

Tim Cup 2016

The week leading up to the final has felt uncertain, everything from mixed signals about the sale of the team to Berlusconi’s own actions and words to Brocchi’s apparent indecision about the lineup and formation.

Milan reached this cup final without having to beat any top teams. Wins against Perugia, Crotone, Sampdoria, Carpi and Alessandria don’t represent a true test. Considering Milan’s form and if Juventus play to their standard this game is a lost cause. The only real hope is that the players show some pride and represent the Milan shirt well.

Tactically most of the talk has centered around a return to a 4-3-3 of sorts, with the returning Bonaventura playing higher with Honda and Bacca starting up the middle. The midfield may feature the Poli, Montolivo and Kucka trio. The defense still without Abate and Antonelli looks to be Calabria, Zapata, Romagnoli and De Sciglio. Donnarumma should start in goal.

Juventus will be without Bonucci and Marchisio, Khedira and Neto may continue to get the start in Buffon’s place as he has throughout the cup matches this season.

A win and Thursday night Europa League matches beckon, a loss and another Europe-less season awaits … with new owners?

The match kicks off at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico at 20:45 local time. Follow the match on the forum.

May 142016
 

Milan Roma

The final week of another disappointing season is here and the news is once again dominated by the possible sale to the Chinese group. The Berlusconi era needs to end this summer if the team is to have any chance of becoming a force again. Berlusconi and Galliani still talk of a glorious Milan but they have surely realized that it is in the past, the same past that they are so insistent on mentioning every chance they get. Without a change in management and a new focus this team will fall even further behind than the 6th or 7th spot of this season.

That supposedly important 6th spot has been almost lost, the laboured week 37 1-0 win at Bologna might mean little not only because the final day opponent is Roma, themselves fighting for 2nd spot but also because Sassuolo perhaps deserve the 6th spot more. The Emilia-Romagna based team play Inter and get the chance to make a little bit of history of their own.

News late in the week was of many lineup changes for this game. The reasons for it are not very clear and the Coppa final is one week away so fatigue should not be a major issue. Normally reliable sources like the Gazzetta claim the defense will feature Romagnoli at left back with Mexes, Zapata and Calabria. The midfield is set to feature Locatelli, Poli and Kucka behind Honda. Bonaventura returns after injury but will remain on the bench. The changes don’t end there as Adriano and Balotelli will start with no place for Bacca. All very surprising changes for an important game versus a tough opponent.

Back in goal Abbiati announced that he has decided to leave Milan and the 38 year old might get a send off by getting a start or getting a few final minutes.

Follow the match on the forum.

 

May 072016
 

Bologna Milan

A so-called come back to tie the game 3-3 (from 1-3 down) versus the 19th placed team was hardly a cause for celebration. Brocchi may have sealed his own fate by the tie versus Frosinone. The team lacked structure and was unable to to hold shape consistently.

The week leading up to 37th game of the Serie A season was again mostly dominated by the team’s sale or lack there of. Contradictory reports had Berlusconi having doubts, preferring a Milan buyer and Fininvest accepting initial terms. The fear, once again, is that Berlusconi will hang on to the team and make some grand declaration while the team sinks further. Not forgetting the damage Galliani himself has bestowed on the team. Every additional window he is in charge postpones any possible revival or renewal. One striking example is the mooted idea of renewing Montolivo for three years, it is as if the team’s management are living in another dimension, not only ignoring form but remaining blind to the team’s shortcomings. If nothing else, fan comments on Berlusconi’s facebook page surely reach the ex-PM’s ears? Or perhaps not.

On the injury front Bonaventura is still out, Antonelli joins him on the sidelines after injuring himself late in the Frosinone game. Late in the week came news that abate has a knock and he too misses week 37. A reworked defense featuring De Sciglio, Romagnoli, Alex and Calabria will line up behind Mauri, Montolivo, Kucka and Honda. Balotelli and Bacca should start up front. The latter needs to be massive if Milan are going to get points in the last two Serie A games.

Follow the match on the forum.

May 012016
 

Milan Frosinone

Week 35 was one of the lowest depths Milan have fallen. The 2-1 loss at Verona was nothing short of a humiliating embarrassment. The defeat marked by poor, indifferent play to a last placed team was even more frustrating as a last second freekick gave the hosts the win. Montolivo, the last man in the freekick wall and the team captain ofcourse, made no attempt to jump to head or divert the ball away from its trajectory towards the back of the net. The goal was somewhat reminiscent of the last second Parolo goal conceded vs Parma in the 2013/14 season. But this time the main offender wasn’t Matri but the supposed team leader.

There is now a facebook page demanding Montolivo leave Milan in the summer

There is now a facebook page demanding Montolivo leave Milan in the summer

The defeat piled pressure on the new coach as well as the team and it seems that Brocchi’s fate is already sealed. However, the bigger news that has taken the spotlight away from the non-existent on pitch performance is the growing likelihood that the team will be sold to a Chinese group. Berlusconi is under enormous pressure from his company, Fininvest, to sell. A €90 million loss for the 2015 fiscal year and a hostile annual shareholders meeting may finally push Berlusconi to let go but then again he might continue gutting the team while somehow satisfying his delusional ego and while he and Galliani continue to stick to past glories.

In the meanwhile another team near or in the relegation zone awaits. Bonaventura will miss his second game in a row due to injury but Balotelli and Alex return after serving a one game suspension. Balotelli will partner Bacca up front and Honda will play in front of Mauri, Montolivo and Kucka. Abate, Romagnoli and De Sciglio will line up alongside Alex in the four man defense.

The 4-3-1-2 formation is arguably a wrong one but any tactical analysis will not answer the deeper questions. The team will continue to fail without a plan, support, leaders and heart. This season’s final three games are near meaningless without these four elements. Follow the match on the forum and keep tabs on the sale saga too.

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