Winter Mercato 2014
Hopefully temporary until the one we had is recovered, if not this will be a new one.
We are fine as we are. Musik005
aka xudong
I am obviously not happy about this and things like this do not help the recent drop in site traffic either....not sure what else I can say. I guess the old 'we shall see' applies here too.
what happen??

nvm i just read it.
Mate, not like there is much going this Winter.
i hope there will be 1 thing going on in milan
make it 2
1st is milan firing allegri
2nd is milan hiring p. maldini

merry xmas all
some rumor suggests that nainggolan could be a milan player as early as december 30. i guess we will soon find out if that's bullshit or not. also, i do want hernanes (imo a true wc player) over nainggolan, but would take the latter gladly as he is an improvement to many of our current players.

i also read rumor that d'ambrosio of torino can come to us on an exchange deal. the problem is that torino wants nocerino while we insists on saponara. i am not going to comment on that. Rolleyes
aka xudong
Imagine if we keep players like players like Nocerino and Matri but loan out, sell or exchange Saponara, Niang and ElS. It would be the best youth project ever Dodgy

I want to wish anyone who celebrates a very happy Christmas. Smile

Yesterday, actually just as I found out the threads were missing I came across some articles by Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian which I think are not only relevant to recent ongoing discussions, but actually incredibly good reads.

Before I post links, I just want urge people who don't know this man to read through his articles. He's a fantastic writer and writes about football in depth that no one else seems to do. He's the one who wrote the incredible book the Inverted Pyramid: a history of football tactics and his knowledge of the game never ceases to impress me.

The first article is this about the "role of holding midfielders":

This article particularly struck me as a it well articulates the reasons I was saying I would get Nainggolan in place of De Jong. The modern game demands midfielders be capable of multiple duties on field and to me at least the very idea of having a specialist destroyer like De Jong goes against the very idea of what I think we should be trying to build. Not to say I'd totally remove De Jong from the squad if he can be used off the bench, but this seems unlikely. Jonathan Wilson uses the current Man City midfield (Toure and Fernandinho) as the example of a modern midfield duo.

The reason I go against the idea of specialists is because ultimately the need for specialists in the game is to provide balance in a team that otherwise lacks balance because other specialists in the side aren't compensated for. For me, football utopia is in the concept of universitality, where players with a myriad of skills and abilities are able to do multiple duties on the field. This in turn makes a team more difficult to play against, because ultimately there are no reference points. A simple example is if you have a midfield pair made up of one destroyer and one regista, opponents will instictively know that targeting the regista can reduce the offensive threat of opponents as they will struggle to develop play from the back. However, if the midfield is made up of two universal midfielders, both of which are defensively strong but also strong going forward, then ultimately there's no single reference point to try and target.

In the article, we hear the mention of Parreira's idea of the future of football being a 4-6 formation and it immediately reminded me of Sacchi's quote of the future of football being a team made up of midfielders. Ultimately, the way I understand these ideas is that the more universal a team becomes from back to front, the less reference point the team has for opponents to exploit.

However, this goes further into a post I wrote yesterday venting anger at the decision of letting Cristante go as part of the Nainggolan deal, although the post has now gone and very few if anyone probably saw it. My reason for the anger at the Cristante being given as part of the deal is because the guy to me is a very special talent.

Ultimately, we're talking about a player who potentially could be the almost ideal universal midfielder. His range of passing imo is already on par with Montolivo, if not superior and in my view is comparable to Pirlo (to the point where he's capable of doing the same sort of lob pass usually associated with Pirlo). However, this alone is pointless if he doesn't have the vision to utilise the passing. Thing is, last summer (2012) he showed he could do the usual regista long passes to the wide areas, but what struck me this past summer was his range of passing, where he'd play long and short passes, in the air and on the ground and they would be both vertical and horizontal. The reason this is important is this means he's unpredictable on the passes he'll make, as there's no set way he'll use the ball.

Thing is, his passing is all good and well, but then you look at his size and it's obvious he's not small either. We're talking about a guy who's 188cm and weighs 78kg. Rijkaard was 190cm and 80kg. So once his body is fully developed and his muscles develop to that of a full adults, not only will we have a midfielder with the deft touch of Andrea Pirlo, but with the physique of Frank Rijkaard. My final worry of the boy was his mobility, which I hadn't seen much of prior to this last summer. However, personally I was satisfied with how mobile he actually was and how quick his feet were when doing neat tricks on the ball to get away from opponents. Add to all this that we're talking about a boy whose shown leadership ability by captaining primavera and hasn't shyed away from responsibility at any point so far. Hopefully, this illustrates why I'm seriously fucking pissed off that the management in the club are willing to let any part of him leave Milan. If treated and matured correctly, I feel totally confident Cristante will be invaluable to our side. unfortunately, so far since he's been put in the first team squad, I think we're just as likely now to see his talent be wasted into obscurity. If we don't give him chances, I hope he leaves and finds a team that will develop him, because he's a player I want to see reach his potential desperately.

Getting back to the article, there's an idea in it posing the theory that in the modern game specialist attributes paradoxically lead to universitality. Personally, while I agree this to a point in that it's very much the case, I must say it's a thought process which I still feel leans towards using specialists and therefore the universitality achieved is nothing more than artificial. Ultimately, rather than using specialist players for specific roles in a fixed system, you're substituting them to have specific roles in the team based on the skillsets. However, for me that still offers opponents reference points to target, albeit their approach to tactics would be more abstract than in the past.

The whole idea that attributes are more important than formations is something I've grown to accept more and more in football though, which leads me to another Jonathan Wilson article:

In this article he discusses formations as a fluid concept. We often say 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 or whatever. This, to most of us, gives the basic shape that we want to see our team set out using. Elmago, for example, has for years said he wants to see 4-2-3-1, which is fine because when I see his lineups I instictively know that while that's his basic shape, the players and their attributes mean they will perform duties that mean they won't always be a rigid 4-2-3-1. I would assume that's the case for all of us posting on the forum, as we all regularly watch football to instinctively understand that a formation is more than 3 to 4 numbers usually between 2 and 5. It's also why I rarely write short posts simply stating I want a formation without the reasons why or how it might work.

I think this is massively important to consider when discussing tactics on the whole though. I often say I want us to use Sacchi's concepts and I even go as far as saying I want a 4-4-2 and I'm adamant I want a 3 band (or lines) system rather than a four band one. The reasoning behind my rigidness in this regard is because no other basic shape in my view maintains as tight a unit as this from back to front, while still offering a balanced spread and cover across the width of the pitch, without compromising either the amount of space opponents have to attack or the amount of running the midfielders must do. That said, if I just say I want 4-4-2, that would only paint a small part of the overall picture, as for example when an opposing fullback has the ball, given the way I'd expect us to press the team would essentially become an awkwardly looking lopsided 3-4-3.

In my roundabout way I guess my point is I think this article is a great read because it discusses formations as the fluid structures they are rather than a single rigid structure, as the game's about utilising space on the pitch with the players you have, leading me to this article:

Here, the idea is that whatever system you use there will always be some space for opponents to attack. Going back to Elmago's 4-2-3-1, I've always said in response that defensively we'd need to at least shift to 4-4-1-1 to try and reduce space between fullbacks and wide attackers. Personally, I'd go further and have the striker drop in line with the 1 behind, to give the 4-4-2 I mentioned above because for me, there's only two places where opponents can find space. The first is with their fullbacks getting the ball in deep areas, although if our "wingers" act correctly, they'd press them before they have time to do anything. The second is behind our fullback who'd have to push up a little with our winger stop spaces between them opening up. However, a smart fullback will be careful in their positioning because if they get it right, then opponents aren't likely to have much time to really do damage. Thus my point is that giving up some space is inevitable whatever you do, but minimalising what you give up is key to success.

All this leads me back to Milan and what I want in Milan. One is I've said for a couple of years I want proper defenders as fullbacks. It's no good having a player who's tactically poor (i.e. Constant and Urby) if for all their supposed attacking prowess they constantly leave us exposed.

The other thing I've maintained for a long time now is we need intelligent players. Quite frankly, I think a player needs to be intelligent to play in a complex system or formation, and our current group from what I've seen simply don't seem all that clever (you just need to look at Constant's selfie to realise this).

Sorry for the long post, but I have tried to explain how these articles relate to our current situation and where I want us to go in the future. If nothing else, I urge any football fan to read Jonathan Wilson's work.

(12-25-2013, 05:44 PM)xudong Wrote: some rumor suggests that nainggolan could be a milan player as early as december 30. i guess we will soon find out if that's bullshit or not. also, i do want hernanes (imo a true wc player) over nainggolan, but would take the latter gladly as he is an improvement to many of our current players.

i also read rumor that d'ambrosio of torino can come to us on an exchange deal. the problem is that torino wants nocerino while we insists on saponara. i am not going to comment on that. Rolleyes

After posting what I just did I read the bold part and it makes me wish I hadn't written my post. Undecided
^ Good post Dev, this Wilson guy seems like he knows his stuff but I wish Galliani would give it a readBig Grin. We'll see how things develop from January forward, seeing as our first acquisition could be Nainggolan, if management somehow mess up on closing this deal then I'll pretty much just classify this January like all the other mercatos (chasing a big signing, not getting them b.c we are WAY too cheap, and then signing some shit player).

With all that being said, every time Pastore links show up I wish they'd go away. He was a fantastic player back at Palermo, but between his strong intentions to play for us one day (having come out publicly and making a huge drama at PSG) and our management liking him, as well as having to resist big offers for ELS, I fear that we might sell ELS and replace him with Pastore. I'm not saying this is a horrible deal, maybe it would work for the better, but this soon, as in this January, I wouldn't even think of it. ELS deserves a long string of games (being fit) before we even decide to consider him a sub, let alone a player who should be sold.

In other, more unrelated news.. Verratti came out publicly and said that he is in fact not a Juventus fan, and he doesn't know what media made up the story of him saying he was. He said he doesn't care, because when you're a professional you really only care about the team you're playing for and you remember especially the teams you win with, then that becomes your team once you are done. He also said that Milan tried signing him at 13, but he didn't feel he was ready to leave his family and friends yet(Milannews). Berlusconi certainly never hid his admiration for this player, as of right now it's pure fantasy seeing as there are no real links, nor is his estimated price in our budget, unless of course Berlusconi really likes the guy.. I just thought I'd throw it out there.