Week 8: Milan – Lecce

Milan has a new coach and his first task after an international break is to play at home versus a promoted team. As easy as it gets, surely? One can never predict how this Milan responds and having nine points out of 21 is at best mediocre.

Plenty has been said and written about Giampaolo and whether he needed more time, in the end the team didn’t show improvement and the coach’s selection and tactics left many disappointed, and crucially this included Milan’s management team. A new hire with more top of the table experience and seemingly a different take on discipline has come in and will try to salvage this season. A season where a top 4 and Champions League place will go a long way in helping the team move ahead.

Elliott and the ownership keep indicating that they are hanging on to the team and forging ahead with the stadium project. It is perhaps odd that a hedge fund is so vested in a football team but they probably feel they have to hang on to the team until they can sell it for a much heftier return than it is currently possible.

For now Pioli seems to have changed some training methods and habits including things like the team spending pre-match nights with family instead of together. On the pitch he seems to have decided to stick with a 4-3-3 after briefly considering a 4-2-3-1. Either formation creates a dilemma. Is off form Piatek a sure starter and if not is Leao the center forward the team needs? Should the latter be on the left wing with Polish striker up front? Suso is seemingly certain to retain his right wing spot. It seems clear that his form will dictate Milan’s season more than any other.

In midfield Biglia seems to have gained a spot at Bennacer’s expense with Paqueta a more sure starter as well. No change is expected at the back but Calabria will miss this week 8 match due to a red card suspension. Conti will get a chance to impress the new coach.

It is also very possible that any line up, which may include Rebic as a starter on left wing, lasts only a week…if Milan don’t get a convincing result vs the southerners from Apulia.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.