Milan’s two faces and the great tactical misunderstanding

Yesterday’s derby lost 3-2 against Inter severed as the perfect mirror to reflect AC Milan’s two main tactical dilemmas.

In mid-October it would be premature, and almost risky, surrendering to the excessive negativity, despite the painful defeats. Yet what is happening to Milan must obligatorily be subject of reflection, technical and tactical, especially after a derby lost in that way and a well-played second half thanks to excellent offensive ideas. What’s wrong with this team? Why serious errors keep happening in defense? Why favor the formation rather than the players, the most decisive ones?

THE TWO CONSIDERATIONS OF MONTELLA – After the bitter 3-2 defeat in the 90th minute, Vincenzo Montella responded to the usual questions from the journalists after the game, analyzing also the game system issue and the defense of three, highlighting two very clear considerations. “Of the three defenders, the only one who has played in a defense of three is Bonucci.” – declared L’Aeroplanino for Sky Sport, “We are working, we’ll get better even at this. I changed formation only for Bonucci? No because we have no alternatives for Suso and Bonaventura in the 4-3-3. With Niang’s sale the team was shrank in a way and we have no alternative but Borini.” The first reflection is tied to a defense that still has to find its balance, as shown in the derby, where Icardi enjoyed an unbelievable and unexpected freedom in the middle of the penalty area. The second is tied to the formation, modified not so much because of Bonucci, but because of the group transformation that has led to the impracticability of the gaming system that offered more certainties.

THE GREAT TACTICAL MISUNDERSTANDING – Looking at the recent derby, it is clear and evident the change of gear between first and second half. Certainly Montella must have touched the right keys in the locker room, but it is undeniable that the position change of some players made the difference: we are obviously referring to Bonaventura and Suso. With the start of the second half the Italian-Spanish duo rediscover mechanisms similar to the past, exponentially elevating their offensive contribution, scored two goals and came close to netting others. Despite an economically pharaonic shopping campaign, Jack and Suso remain the most decisive players in Casa Milan, especially in such matches. Sacrificing them for the formation’s sake is it really the wiser choice? Returning to 4-3-3 would be somewhat paradoxical, as it would throw into the sea more than a month of work, but perhaps it would help the team to find certainties. Moreover, as Montella rightly pointed out, maintaining an offensive trio with only three wingers available would be almost impossible, unless they decide to use them only in Europa League, confident of closing the qualification issue as soon as possible.

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