Torino 2 Milan 2

Valerio Pennicino

It was supposed to be special, instead it was a sobering reality.

Not even quite sure where to start, do I focus on the horrid display of these players, the injuries or the simple simple simple truth.  This is not a strong team.

I say this because I think as Milan fans we have a level of expectation and understanding of what our team should be capable of.  As Milan fans we have have had to endure little in terms of failure.  For those who have 20 plus years the dark late 90s were our cross.  For those with ten years, it was Istanbul.  For those with 5 years you endured Leo, for those who joined the bandwagon after the scudetto their is still time for a quite exit.  The fact of the matter as while we still hold a belief and expectation for glory if you look at the roster, no matter what we are led to believe this team is not good enough.

The return of Kaka sums it up in a nutshell.  His performance yesterday was the reason he didn't play at Madrid and the reason why it was simple to take the money all those years ago.  The team at times struggled to get the ball at his feet and when he did he lacked the pace to truly make anything happen.  His return did not spark the team as expected, instead it seemed to hinder it as he floundered from left to right flank rendering Robinho a non-existent factor in the first half and Balotelli confused as to what was going to happen next.  The chemistry was not there and as I watched him press on, with his lack of understanding and match fitness it was clear this move was not the right one for this team.

Throw in the fact that Montolivo's inconsistency, and subsequent injury, is a problem.  On top of an awful back line and you have the makings of a crisis, not a run for the top of the table.  It was late in the first half, Milan had won a corner and our swash-buckling CB fixed his pony tail, adjust his shin pads and sauntered into the 18 yard box.  Binho played the corner towards him, he flailed and failed and while he did Torino was off to the races.  Had it not been for DeJong in an exquisite piece of marking rendering two Torino players into one, Mexes would have been exposed.  Now some will oddly blame the Coach here, but for anyone who has ever played football the minute the corner broke up Mexes should have been on his horse running straight to the PK spot to return shape the defense.  This is the glaring problem with AC Milan,and the ultimate nail in the coffin for this squad.

There is no sacrifice, no heart and no passion.  Sure we have Kaka now, so what!  He won't be the guy that digs in and leads the charge.  This team lacks a tenacity that doesn't come from the Coach or the Owner, it comes from within and they don't have it.  Look at Zapata or Urby or Robinho. Their faces don't tell you if the team is winning or losing, or even what stage the match is, they appear simply emotionless.  I find this alarming.  So when I look at the teams sheet and field questions about why Allegri started this person over that person, I no longer wonder about tactics I wonder if Allegri simply checks who has a pulse 15 minutes before game time.

Ample credit should go to Torino, as I said pre-match, I fear teams that play with nothing to lose.  Their intensity was behooved more than a draw, and while the PK was blatant and not much to complain.  A three or four goal was certainly deserved.  They attacked space decisively, the sort of attack that comes from the players awareness and desire to win.  This is no longer the Serie A of my youth where teams understand their role in the echelon of the league, this is a new Serie A where players want to prove their worth and no team is invincible.  Credit to Torino, they were stellar, and shame on Milan for not matching their intensity on the pitch.

I end with a simple reiteration of what said before, at this moment this is not a good team, it can be.  However, It lacks quality in the spine, crucial to the success of any team and it lacks a certain tenacity and desire to win that I mentioned above.  I am not going to abandon ship, never will, never considered it, but this is going to be a challenging season to say the least and these players are doing next to nothing to prove their worth.

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