Player breakdowns after a second viewwing...
Dida: spectacular on the tough shots, but still a bit nervy on the catches. Either way he looks more and more like his old self every week, you won’t here many people asking for him to stay on the pitch when the other keepers are healthy but until then this works rather nicely.
Oddo: defensively a plus, but this is only when he decided to defend. Many times he was nowhere to be found on the track back and was bailed out by Rino and Silva on many occasions. Offensively he was dreadful, with acres of room he never made good on his delivery. He had one good cross that Pato nearly nodded in but the rest were forgettable and laughable; expect Abate to get the start vs Madrid if healthy.
Silva: I am willing to argue that Silva is one of the best additions Milan have had in recent memory. He has been a stable and reliable CB all season long and his poise for such a young CB is remarkable. A proud addition to a historic Milan defense, his tackling is top class and his occasional burst forward is a joy to watch. A goal for him today would have been well deserved.
Kaladze: at times I barely knew he was there, a plus for a CB. The less we here about Kaladze the better he has played. Find by me as he filled and for Nesta, really can’t complain about his use as a backup.
Antonini: he frustrates me beyond belief. Excellent movement into the attack, great one two passing, but the injury was disheartening. When he is out of options he forces a pass to Dinho which requires him to defend, he can improve his patience and get the ball working laterally as well. Defensively did well, but Parma prefers to attack down the middle instead of the flanks so the pressure was more on the CBs than the wing backs.
Gattuso: a solid match, tackled when needed and did what is expected. Should start midweek against Madrid.
Pirlo: atrocious and borderline hard to watch. Looks slow and disinterested, and his passing choice was the worse I have seen it in a long time. As I mentioned yesterday this nightmare will continue unless takes on the role of playmaker, until then I hope to see less of this Pirlo and more of this one:
Seedorf: almost as bad as Pirlo, but seemed willing to run a bit more. Also gets caught in traffic on the left flank especially when Dinho and Antonini were both present in that spot. Should shift inside a bit more, and shouldn’t be afraid to interchange with Pirlo as needed. Bottom line he doesn’t seem comfortable so deep, but will have to make due as the system of tactics is yielding results.
Pato: heavily marked, and given little to no breathing room. It is games like these that will define his benefits to Milan or any club he plays for that matter. Parma was clearly preoccupied with him allowing Borriello more room than normal, in that sense Pato can keep his feet moving and create even more room for his strike partner. What bothered me was his loss of interest and aggression following the PK claim, as I tell the boys I coach, this game gives you 90 minutes to make good on a bad call or mistake, get over it, move on and keep working usually your fortunes will turn.
Borriello: an epic two goal effort from Marco. He looked hungry and driven for goal, he made some mistakes but his work rate was high and kept finding room to operate. Linked nicely with Dinho and proved dangerous on the pass as he tried to setup Antonini and Silva. Is a revelation after watching KJH putz around and should be a fixture in the leading attacking line.
Dinho: better, and frankly is improving every match. I made a point to tally the amount of times he had his arms up in protest to the ref in the first half, sadly I counted twelve. That means twelve times he was too busy whining than tracking back or trying to win back possession. Frankly I don’t remember this trait at Barca, but he also rarely made mistakes or hawked for calls. He needs to further simplify and evolve his game to be effective. Milan do not need him to dribble four players and score, they do need him to work passes and create space, which he did well today. Let’s focus on the aspect and build on it, and the rest should progress nicely.
I want to take a minute and talk about the near deal for 20 year old Ghanian striker Dominic Adiyiah. The deal is nearly complete, but knowing what we know about infamous Milan medicals I wouldn’t seal the deal quite yet. I watched the U20 World Cup final against Brazil which ended in a very cagey draw that saw a ten man Ghana forced to defend for the entirety of the match rendering Adiyiah rather unnoticeable. He did show excellent movement and comfort on the ball and as the match wore on seemed to find his legs. Hard to tell what type of striker he will be based on the match, and immediately you want to invoke comparisons to Weah, Eto, and Drogba, but it is far too early. In the end the move is a step in the right direction for Milan and I would expect an official announcement at some point today or tomorrow.
Some highlights from the aforementioned WC: