Apologies for the late post, but travel and work have gotten a bit in the way. Better late than never I guess...
I start with this...
Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Nocerino, De Jong, Muntari; Montolivo, Robinho; Matri
Milan bench: Amelia, Gabriel, Zaccardo, Emanuelson, Poli, Mastalli, Niang
This should look familiar, it is the team sheet and line-up from the weekend. When you look at this list it may stir some concern. The bench has no real CB cover, our only striker to step in doesn't have a Serie A goal, and the only real impact player has played nearly 180 minutes in the last five days. Yet somehow we stood tall and almost earned a wild draw.
I am not going to talk about the diving, the referees and all that nonsense. Sadly, I had to read all the "noise" in the comments and on twitter before watching match which oddly puts a damper on it before I even watch it. Referees are part of the game, and sadly so is diving, you live and deal with it. What really stuck was the abysmal performances of players are supposed to rely on.
In the absence of a real #10, Monty our new Captain, was given the reins behind the strikers. He proved one positive, he was MUCH better than Kaka in that role, that's not saying much. Montolivo proved to slow, to wasteful, and almost incapable of reading the game. I know damn well why Max put him there, stick to Pirlo like glue, Monty did everything but. When he had the ball he couldn't do anything with it, when he didn't he often looked unable to execute the simplest off the ball maneuver. Many are clamoring for him to return to the front of the defense but with the lack of balance, his lack of form, and DeJong being a boss how can you justify that claim?
Second is Mexes, he continues to be a bust in every sense of the word in defense. Poor passing, poor tackling, and poor marking. He was coughing the ball up every chance he got and the challenges were reckless. Yes, Juve's players were making a meal out of them, but you can't give them the opportunity by diving in like a lunatic. His Rec Card was costly, and now he cools his heels for weeks in the midst of an injury crisis. He is a real winner...
Despite two lousy individual performances the team held it together and really didn't deserve the result. The reason I pointed out the lineup above was directly related to all the "noise' I read post match. Milan didn't create chances, Milan is toothless going forward...all of this is mildly interesting to me. We had a lead from the first minute, if this team was capable of defending and executing this was three points in the bank. Feel free to blame the Coach all DAY LONG, it's a joke. The players failed to execute on this one.
Intend to watch the game again this evening, frankly need to choose between watching the Jets lose in real time, or watch Milan lose again. At least with Milan I know what I am getting! May come back around for a tactics piece tomorrow.