In the next week leading up to the first match I would like to do a five part season preview, covering all aspects of the team and its potential for the upcoming season. No better place to start then with our new coach, which will be followed by the positions in succession:
Season Preview Part I: Max Who?
Season Preview Part II: Two Real GKs?!
Season Preview Part III: Oddo’s Revenge
Season Preview Part IV: Midfield Changing of the Guard
Season Preview Part V: The Pato-Borri Show
The title was meant to bring a bit of a laugh, but the more I think about the more I feel like the Oddo’s situation will come back to bite us in the ass. Right now if you consider the state of our outside backs we have Antonini on the left and Zambro on the right, with the backups being to players who have taken nothing but grief all summer long about leaving, Oddo and Janks. One has to imagine at some point they will play but the question then becomes will they even give a crap when that time comes?!!
At CB Tiago Silva has made his mark and will be a fixture, the question becomes can Nesta do the same or will Yepes, Sokratis, and Onyewu have to used early and often. Sokratis has proved to be a smart versatile signing with his ability to play RB as well, and Yepes should provide the same type of stability and gamesmanship that Favalli provided the past two seasons. I can’t help but feel that Yepes playing takes a chance away from someone like Astori who proved more than capable last season at Cagliari and the sooner he gets alongside Silva the better off Milan will be, but Astori is still in Cagliari and it doesn’t look much will change with the defensive depth chart.
Back to the outside backs for a moment. Antonini had a stellar year last season and one needs to look no further than the first game against ManU and the difference when he left the pitch. He has the makings of a strong season on tap, and I am not shy to say that he could and should wear the Captain’s armband in the near future, nothing wrong with a new Coach and new Captain. Plus bringing the Captains band back to its home at LB is never a bad idea!
It is looking more likely that Zambro starts at RB, and while Sokratis can play there as well he has not shown the confidence needed to play such a demanding position quite yet. So it is up to Allegri to decide if Abate can continue to grow into a RB, or if the plan is scrapped entirely and Oddo is used when Zambro’s aging legs require a rest. It is easily our weakest position on the pitch and will continue to be until a definitive move is made. Turn the role over to Abate for better or worse, but a new RB, or start a Primavera either way something may happen during the course of the season to solve this problem.