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Friendly Fire

While I don’t put enough stock in preseason friendlies to do a full blown preview or even an in depth review, they are a great opportunity to take some observations about Allegri’s choices and how the players responded.

For those who didn’t see the game Allegri’s starting eleven was a 4-3-1-2 with Abbiati, Zambro, Nesta, Silva, Ants, Rino, Seedorf, Flamini, Merkel, Borri, Oduamadi.

-Oduamdi reminds me of a miniature version of Adebayor, I always loved the Togolese striker and maybe Oduamadi can make a claim for a starting spot.

-Allegri went with Seedorf as the deep CM as discussed this week, probably more of necessity than anything else.

-Antonini looks silky smooth and very dangerous, bombing up the wing and getting onto passes, looks jacked up from his call up.

-20th minute Merkel digs out a tackle at the top of the eighteen, imagine that a CAM back tackling? Terrible pass though after a great take. Looks more comfortable tackling than he does passing, but have to admire his effort.

-Anyone else surprised that Silvio and Fester haven’t sold the space below the numbers to some ridiculous Sponsor?

-Flamini looks like a man with a point to prove and seems poised to repay Allegri’s confidence.

-I am going to reserve the right to take back my previous praise for Flamini, it is infuriating to see him receive the ball and immediately put his head down so close to goal!! Release Mathieu, RELEASE!

-29th minute super sloppy defending on a set piece by Zambrotta, defense is playing well but organized poorly on set pieces.

-31st minute great combo play Borri to Merkel, who could have shot, but lays off to Oduamadi who is closed down, very nice.

-Seedorf 0 for 3 on set pieces and passes over 10 meters are way off, not good.

-35 minutes and Allegri has yet to sit down, I like it.

-Rino tries a bicycle kick in the 41st minute, on goal, but weak, have to applaud the effort.

-That is the half, not bad in terms of possession but the defensive line looks bad. Flamini and Rino not filling to hold up the ball and Cisse is able to find space in front of the CB’s which is a problem, hopefully Allegri can address this issue sooner rather than later

-Two changes to start the second half, Bonera in for Silva and Amelia for Abbiati.

-Nesta gets burned early, he needs to find his legs because that won’t work in the season.

-Milan get burned for pace in the back, Amelia makes a huge save, ball appears to go in but goal is not given. Shambolic defending…should be a goal.

-Milan look OK in possession but the CB’s look very susceptible to the break, they actually look stuck in the mud.

-Sokratis for Nesta and Strasser for Seedorf

-I thought Flamini would slide central but Strasser is holding the space.

-Borri looks very strong good touches and passes but you can see a big gap in chemistry and understanding with Oduamadi and Merkel.

-67th minute Strasser almost connects with a Merkel FK, he looks devastated by the missed chance.

-When you watch Amelia you can see why folks in Italy were so high on him, his fundamentals and form are excellent, reminds me of Peruzzi.

-Borri off for Beretta with Abate for Rino to follow, both Borri and Rino looked strong and fit tonight.

-Anybody wonder how on Earth Cisse can still be so fast with both his legs broken? Unless of course our defense is slow it makes Cisse look lightning fast…

-Merkel off Novinic on, Zambro, Antonini and Flamini are still on the pitch. Have to give credit to Merkel early in the match he was sharp and very dangerous but he faded as the match wore on and no longer asserted himself, but he has a nice skill set to build on. Check that Oddo on for Zambro.

-Curious to see Novinic, under 21 Slovenian, supposedly great on the ball.

-Oddo embarrassed on his first tackle by Leto who has been on the pitch all 80 minutes, nice work Massimo!

-Thought I mentioned it earlier but can anyone tell me what the shamrock symbolizes for Panathiniakos?

-A fan has invaded the pitch, it is safe to say that I have grown tired of such shennanigans.

- Great ball from Antonini and Beretta gets the head on it but not solid enough, either way it was a solid combo. Good to see the youngster stick his nose into the play.

-Great run by Strasser, you can see the cohesion with the Primavera players working the ball forward and moving as a unit.

-Novinic has yet to get his feet on the ball, Strasser is the polar opposite, he is like a missile b-lining for the ball.

-Milan win on penalties, FSC messes up the broadcast and they don't show the kicks!

Well the match is over, Milan remain undefeated in the preseason a far cry from last year, but still not exactly a finished product. Has to be said the youth are doing their best to impress, but the question still needs to be answered, who are they trying to impress?? Milan or some suitor on loan? It would probably be prudent to start to integrate them into the squad so that in the upcoming seasons they are ready to contribute with the same intensity they play these matches.