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Tactical Breakdown

As I mentioned in my last post, I am currently taking a United States Soccer Association sponsored coaching class that will leave me with a National Coaching Certificate up to college. One of my assignments for the class is to provide a tactical and technical analysis of a starting eleven as an assistant coach would do for a head coach. Immediately I jumped at the chance to do it for the Rossoneri, and by the looks of it, the performances were not all that good. Remember though despite themselves they still managed to win 3-nil and that has to count for something. Here is my assignment, tell me what you think and remember that the form of the assignment is provided, and I have to follow:

Abbiati: excellent positioning and awareness; extremely slow to distribute the ball and when did he so quickly he was poor.

Bonera: few attacks his way in the first half; did little to incorporate himself in the match offensively; improved defensively as the game wore on.

Senderos: terrible positioning, terrible communication; horrific touch; clearances were akin to a youth player and rarely had the composure to play the ball from the back; weakest link in the Milan defense.

Maldini: long on the ball on a few occasions; miscommunication with Zambrotta and Jankulovski leaving space for Atalanta attackers; uncharacteristical mistakes on distributions.

Zambro: played more defensively with Jankulovski ahead of him; biting forward runs and passes when needed.

Flamini: tireless runner with little to no purpose for his running; poor on the tackle; very little influence on the match; made parallel runs which negates potential passes; was not decisive when first to the ball in the midfield.

Pirlo: forced to be first to the ball when Flamini was not able; won very few of the balls he made it to; provided calming presence to midfield; made himself available as a defensive outlet; forced his way into the attack when necessary but did so to late in the game to effect the match.

Janks: played well in a more offensive role; good flanking runs creating width; good crosses; did not recover as well as expected defensively.

Becks: tireless work rate; provided only offensive creativity early in the match; directly responsible for two of first three goals; joined in defense when needed but could have better shifted and moved with Pirlo into the attack; work rate tailed off excessively as the match wore on; no left footed in front of net; good tempo on counter.

Pato: good tempo and pace; shows inexperience in finishing; makes up for lack of finishing with pace; best player on the ball and most dangerous.

Pippo: three goals were only good plays; excellent sense for the net; consistently out of position and offside on quick counters; no attacking movement to create space for Pato; did little to relieve pressure from Pato; lost defenders effectively.