Pre-Preview Retrospective

Claudio Villa

Six years at this gig, and preview season is still exciting!

As a child the weeks leading up to the Serie A season were synonymous with the weeks leading up to my own football season.  Days are shorter, sun is not as a hot, but playing is just around the corner.  I loved the feeling!  New boots, a new ball if I was lucky and the fitness building.  Being able to write on this blog rekindled that, and while I am on hiatus from playing and Coaching, the excitement of a new season still looms!  Now before we get hot and heavy into previews of the new season, CL playoff's or the Serie A, it will be good to look back and take a retrospective look a few months later of the last season.  The nerves have calmed, the dust has settled, and we can look back as a lessons learned...

This team can score, but defending...

I can't stress enough the importance of defending and in successful seasons it was the defense that Milan fell back on in time of need.  Last season however they looked to the attacked and specifically, Stephen El Sharaawy.  His goals were timely and often turned losses into draws and draws into wins.  This can't be denied, but this can't be the path forward.  Future success means solidifying the defense, and spreading the wealth in attack. Strong spine and less reference points.

DeJong is a new transfer...

He came, he played, he got hurt.  We didn't get the most of out of him, or really see what he can do.  In turn it allowed Monty to flourish in front of defense, and leaves Max with a rather robust line of midfielders now in Poli, DeJong, and Monty.  This will be a big big plus.

Chemistry is everything...

When this team finally clicked in the December time frame, they were on fire.  Best record in Serie A in the second half with only one loss, but still only made it to third place by the skin of their teeth.  The lesson learned, is mostly aimed at our management.  As we sit here, middle of August, and the transfer rumors are still buzzing, chemistry may still be an issue.  Especially at CB.

Youth has it's pitfalls...

Milan played a few crucial matches last year, but two that stick out remind me that youth has it's shortcomings.  The matches were Juve in the Coppa Italia and Barca in the CL.  The team seemed overwhelmed, and at times grossly lacking in confidence.  This is OK, every year this will improve and no team comes out of the gate battle hardened and seasoned without some growing pains along the way.  Expect more, embrace them as learning experiences and take comfort in the fact that each time DeSciglio gets burned for a goal, Poli makes a mistime challenged, or Niang misses a sitter it means a better tomorrow.

Now onto you, what are your lessons learned?

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