Just some quick observations I noted as I watched the match today. I will be back tomorrow with a player breakdown after a second viewing, and I will also discuss the possible Ghanian arrival as I watch the U20 World Cup final between Ghana and Brazil that I was able to get my hands on today after some calls and digging.
-Pirlo’s bread and butter is passing, so if that goes what is really left? Frankly nothing, he continuously found his targets who were under immense pressure who went on to lose the ball more often than not. He also turned into defenders with almost every opportunity on the ball. Is it fatigue, is it lack of interest, I don’t really know but the saga will continue without a real replacement for the man in the middle.
-Parma plays some very nice football. Slick passing, great movement, and tenacious in the midfield! I was so intrigued I found myself googling players like Galloppa and Morrone early in the match. Sadly Morrone is on the wrong side of thirty, but how nice would he look at the RM spot if he was south of 30? Credit Parma’s coach and players for implementing a quality system and making it work against fierce competition up to this point in Serie A, it is nice to see a team getting it right after coming up from Serie B. On a side note, there was a time where loaned and co-owned players didn’t play against their parent club, apparently those times are long gone, at least he didn’t make us pay.
-WTF is going on with Nelson “no hands” Dida? He really has turned back the clock to 03-04 here or is he just seeing a blip in form in the absence of the first choice guys? Either way I will not complain and sadly have even found some confidence in the quick reflexes Brazilian, this of course under the circumstances that he doesn’t have to catch an easy ball or deal with a fan running on the pitch!?
-Ronaldinho’s yellow in the 42nd minute was completely foolish. He threw the second ball on the pitch after Antonini had thrown the ball in. What was worse is that he seemed cognizant of the whole thing, not to mention the referee was watching the entirety of the play!? It is not so much the card that bugged, but his attitude in situations with the referee, if you kept a tally of how many times he is left with his arms aloft waiting for a whistle that will not come, you would easily be in the double digits before the half. He was having a solid game to that point and I can’t help but think his mental state is part of his dip in form.
-The injury to Antonini is extremely frustrating. He was questionable for the match, but passed fitness to start and have an excellent first half. He was strong on defense and seemed to be a bit more unleashed on the attacking front; with great runs into the box and even finding a shot on goal, albeit horribly weak. He is a big piece of the Milan depth chart and if he can come through with success will allow transfers to be used on the midfield, shame really. What is a bit more puzzling is the inclusion of Zambro with Real midweek? Why not use Favalli to assure Zambro full rest??
-Borriello looking game and fiery through most of the match. Put his nose into a lot of good places and even got a shout onto his teammates to move and work forward. Frankly I like it, strikers need to be hungry and aggressive and that works for me. On the flipside Pato looked “checked out” he was marked heavily and rarely received his passes with some space, but he needs to stay focus and learn from challenging games such as this. The near penalty was surely arguable, but it wasn’t called so move on and get on with business.
-Silva is unflappable. He made countless 1 v 1 tackles and if you were a casual fan you may have mistaken his skill and movements for his backline mate Alessandro Nesta. Yes he was guilty of a mistake midweek that led to a goal, but he seems to have no memory of the error and his confidence continues to boom. A great addition, and credit to Leo for making this move a reality and getting his find game time.