I hate hype, I always have, and I should have stuck to my guns about the hype surrounding AC Milan. Instead I was duped into believing that maybe, just maybe, this team was turning the corner with a flashy new attack, good young coach, and up-tempo play style that would yield results. No such luck, in fact I am even more frustrated now because the two positions that actually needed reinforcements who could step in and make big difference were not addressed and were seemingly the ones that cost us the match. But hey, we got some new strikers!
I will cover Cesena’s well drilled and superb tactical game plan with a tactics piece tomorrow, but in the meantime it is safe to say the fault was with Milan. Looking at available players for Allegri, his midfield options were in fact limited, and the fact that Cesena was more than happy to let Rino join the attack and then counter directly into the space vacated by his foray’s forward exposed both Rino’s lack of pace as well as Bonera’s ability to cover. When Cesena was tired of exposing our right flank, they shredded the left make Ambro and Antonini look just as inept. To make matter worse Milan tried to compact the field as they did against Lecce but both Silva and Sokratis couldn’t make a tackle or mark a man to save their lives and it was an absolute disaster.
The attack was certainly not any better. A far cry from last week’s pace and high pressure, instead it was disjointed, forced, and lacking any real flow around goal. In fact had it not been for Pato we would most likely have had zero chances of any value following Ronaldinho volley early in the first half. Zlatan struggled mightily to find time and space, but at times he was attempting the spectacular when a simple combination would have made all the more sense. Was trying hard to make sure he didn’t spoil his debut without a goal, yes it would appear so, but that fault rests solely with him as he had his chance and missed a PK. Robinho was brought in for an ill-tempered sluggish Ronaldinho but even he struggled to make any sort of difference in the attack. In fact when your most dangerous impact player off the bench was an ancient striker named Pippo, making me wonder what all the hype was about in the first place!?
I am not going to a beat a dead horse here or am I throwing away all the hope of silverware on one game. But when the team needed defensive cover today or a midfielders to add a bit pace and steel we had neither nor. Sokratis was plain awful, and to blame on both goals and with Zambro rested for the CL match Bonera was all Allegri had at RB. Rino and Ambro were out of gas by the 60th minute and clearly Allegri didn’t trust KPB and with Flamini and Seedorf injured he had nowhere to turn. Sure you can “slap” him for his choices, but what other options did he have? To put it plainly I hate dropping points to newly promoted teams because it forces you to get points from teams that maybe will pose more of a challenge later in the season. Winning every game is never easy, but getting points when you should is the mark of a contender, and with this lose that title is not as solid as it was two weeks ago.