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Week six’s loss to Sampdoria is already threatening to unravel a season with high expectations. The 2-0 away loss increased the pressure on the team to the point of putting Montella’s job in question. This game vs Roma and the next vs Inter after the international break are to be crucial for the team and perhaps the coach’s position. Why has it reached to this point this early in the season?
The back three looked and has looked mistake prone in most games this season. Starting Zapata vs Sampdoria was also adding to the likelihood of disaster and so it came to be as his poor header or clearance gave the ball away for Sampdoria’s first. The midfield hasn’t looked great and the forwards are somewhat under-performing. Montella’s rotation of attacking players is not allowing for continuity either. Suso has struggled and has seen on and off action in place of pure strikers like Kalinic and Andre Silva. The 3-5-1-1 has not helped and should not be used. Suso should arguably be a starter every week but not in that formation behind a sole striker.
The midweek game vs a supposedly weak HNK Rijeka team has added to the air of crisis. That game which some hoped would provide a retrieve from the slump was only rescued by a last kick Cutrone goal after Milan had thrown away a 2-0 lead courtesy of Bonucci and Romagnoli mistakes.
Roma have their injury worries with but have more than enough to provide a tougher test of course and the likes of Edin Dzeko and El Shaarawy can very easily take advantage of mistakes at the back. The 3-5-2 persists for now as the options and time are too short for any possible change. Kalinic and Andre Siva could start together up front and the midfield is probably the best it can be with Rodriguez, Bonaventura, Biglia, Kessie and Abate in front of the back three. The back three must include Musacchio as the team can surely not afford another Zapata trademark costly mistake. Bonucci and Romagnoli must be at their best and perhaps this is the time to draw back the high defensive line a bit. Neither of the three have shown the ability to keep up with an attacker that beats the offside line and runs by them.