AC Milan are going through their most difficult period but what are the main causes of their unexpected downfall.
The new year has started on the wrong foot for AC Milan. After two consecutive 2-2 draws in the league against Roma and Lecce, the Rossoneri found themselves out of the Coppa Italia against a 10-man Torino and lost the Super Cup final with Inter. This is without a doubt the most difficult moment of Stefano Pioli’s side since their Scudetto triumph. Let’s analyze the causes of AC Milan downfall.
THE OWNERSHIP IS FAR AWAY
The new AC Milan owner, Gerry Cardinale, stays far away from the club just like Paul Singer in the past. However, even in the moment when he had the chance to win his first trophy as the new owner of the club, Cardinale preferred to stay in New Yoek. An inelegant move especially considering that even Gordon Singer was at the stadium in Riyadh. At certain moments like this, closeness is important on a symbolic level as well.
At this point it’s clear that the management moves on the summer window were not the proper ones. AC Milan spent around 40 million euros on the market but neither of the new arrivals is a regular starter. De Ketelaere, Thiaw, Vranckx, Dest, Adli and Origi have failed to live up to expectations. The Belgian striker, the most experienced of all, has been a total disappointment. A regular starter like Franck Kessie left but none from the new arrivals managed to fill the void.
LACK OF INVESTMENTS
The second point is also direct consequence of the lack of investments. Paolo Maldini was clear near the end of last season. AC Milan need three top signings in order to improve the squad and start being competitive in the Champions League as well. Lack of financial backing forced Maldini to focus only on Sven Botman. At the end, when Lille upped their price, Milan backed out of the race for the Dutch centre back shifting their focus on De Ketelaere. History is being repeated in January. When clearly the Rossoneri need new signings, Maldini and Massara are being given no money to spend.
It’s obvious that the Red and Black don’t have the same chemistry they had last year. Milan are no longer attacking, pressing and taking risks knowing that they could cover the 50 meters backwards. That team was seen only one hour against Roma. Milan can’t afford to play with four offensive players leaving only Bennacer and Tonali in the middle. The two are too little and when one is having a difficult moment, the team collapses.
Pioli insists on playing with Leao, Diaz, Messias and Giroud at a time when Milan are regularly conceding two goals per match. Milan won the Scudetto last season when they gave up on an offensive player in order to add another midfielder. The move payed off with the Rossoneri conceding just two goals in eleven games. Pioli had the courage to change tactically when it was obvious that the current play style was not being rewarding. The Italian coach doesn’t have the same approach this season.
The excuse of young players is no longer valid. The young players are young until they have won something. When you win the league you are no longer a young player but a player that has acquired experience, awareness and respect in the eyes of the your opponents. The first trophy is beautiful but it should be just the beginning because the best should be ahead. The squad is no longer growing and Pioli must work harder on the mentality aspect a lot. The players are light-hearted on the pitch and, unlike last season, they are not helping or covering for each-other. Dramatic change is needed and everyone do his part.
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