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End of Season Report Card: GKs and Backs

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Radio silence regarding the next coach continues from Milanello while the team is on their US tour with Tassotti in charge. As a person I am big on stability and this is probably the exact opposite of what I would consider proper "team-building." Every day without a coach is another day lost in tactics, game planning, and cohesion, bottom line, GET IT DONE. In the meantime we can do end of season report cards for GK’s and Defenders with midfielders and attackers to follow later in the week.

Dida – Yes he is error prone, but simply put, his errors were not nearly as costly as Abbaiti’s and for some strange reason Leo seems to trust him. Maybe he likes feeling anxious?? Either way Dida made the number one shirt his and with some great saves down the stretch a B is fair.

Abbiati – By all rights should be the team’s number one, but the Parma match proved fatal. Up to that point he looked capable of reclaiming the post but his failure makes the return of Marco Storari a must for AC Milan. The mistake gets him a D easy, his inability to claim the starting job though is an F.

Oddo – If there was a mark lower than F than it would be called an Oddo. Responsible for all three goals in the loss to Palermo while playing out of position and still leaves me wondering how playing an out of form RB out of position is a good idea, behold the mysteries of Leo? F times ten.

Zambro – What happens when a marauding right back with average defensive skills loses his pace? He becomes a static defender with average defensive skills and a player ready to be put out to pasture. Instead however Gianluca, who could barely get a game at Milan, is going to South Africa!! FORZA ITALIA!???!? The fact that he could play the left and right and was a decent option with injuries, but his performances were merely place holders and little else, a C it is.

Abate – Surely an A for effort, the kid is the fastest player on the team and he really worked hard to learn the RB spot, but he has a long road to learn one of the toughest positions in the game. The plus is that he can be deployed anywhere on the right and is versatile enough to contribute in any tactical situation, he is the Italian Eboue! A for effort, C for defending, gets Abate a B average.

Bonera – Injuries and poor performances kept Bonera on the bench, and while I had some strange belief that he could be the RB this season or at least fill the void left by Nesta I was wrong. At this point you have to wonder if he is worth keeping on the team if he can’t contribute, Bonera gets a D.

Nesta – Up until the injury was Milan’s strongest and most consistent defender, but the injury coincided with the team’s decline. Saying Nesta is a injury prone is a understatement and Milan have to move forward with the knowledge that Nesta can play but not be counted for all the matches. His contributions early in the season were A marks, but his inability to get on the pitch later in the season leaves Nesta with a C.

Silva – Become the rock in the back when Nesta went down injured and seemed to improve with every match. I can’t help but think he is going to be a pivotal part of the future of Milan’s defensive and the thought of pairing him with the likes of Astori, Albertazzi, or even Gooch is mouthwatering. Silva is an A all around.

Favalli – The old man has played his last match for Milan and yet again he came up big when Leo needed him most. While he may have blocked first team football for a younger player with a promising future, he contributed with solid strong defending. This may sound bad but I am glad to see him go, but he was a loyal soldier to the cause and for that he gets a B.

Antonini – Has to be the bright spot of the campaign on the defensive flank. Scored in his last match of the season, but got forward, linked well with the attack, and even let a shot go here and there. Rarely got caught out in defense and his opening minutes against Man United before he went off injured would have maybe made the difference against the Red Devils. Antonini should definitely be part of next season’s plans at either LB or RB and he gets an A because of it.