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Milan 1 Fiorentina 3

Time to Play the Blame Game

Marco Luzzani

Apart from the fact we ended our mini-unbeaten run, we are now left with everyone's favorite game. The Blame game, and while blaming and complaining have in all my years, never accomplished anything. I to am guilty of partaking. I choose to blame a player(s) because having Coached, I understand that once the players enter the pitch and the match commences you simply are along for the ride. You can make a change in personnel or deployment but within the confines of the pitch, you are at their mercy, specifically the players. Not the referee, the manager, the owner, but the PLAYERS.

On Sunday we had the opportunity to draw level. The spotlight shined directly on a goat, I mean Duck, and in a position where heroes are born and leaders shine, he did neither. Instead, when it mattered most he did what I fully expected, it was not a poor pass, a stupid mistake, it was simply player versus keeper. He FAILEd and instead of a draw, we conceded soon thereafter and his day was done by halftime. Now I realize, by blaming Pato, I left the rest of the squad without blame. How do you blame a Coach for listless players and poor efforts? How do you blame a Coach for lack of pressuring and horrendous tracking? How do you blame a Coach a general poor attitude, while 3 players run, two stand and watch? Personally, I don't.

The real problem is while our opponents gear up, Milan gear down. While some players exhibit effort and attitude others simply walk. Boateng plays not for his teammates but for himself, Pato rarely plays at all, and Robinho's cameo was a shell of the work he once put into this team. Ambro's moves forward to cover opened space for Aquilani on the first goal, did anyone have the presence of mind to pick him and pressure the ball, no!? These are not problems fixed with tactics, these are simply problems of players who should simply be sold, as they have no business wearing this shirt any longer.

Sadly, players are rarely held accountable by management and fans, Coaches shoulder this sort of blame. But to think that a new Coach will make Pato do something he is physically incapable of or Boateng to make better choices is simply blind naive optimism. Few things can save this team now, but a new core, a new group of leaders that lead by example, be it El Sharaawy, Abate, or whomever there is no one standing up and being accountable for this team's poor performances on the pitch.

With that said, take nothing away from Fiorentina. Montella's deployment and his team's efforts deserved these three points. Please understand that this Fiorentina does not have "stars" or players whose salaries and transfer fees were representative of a "powerful" Club. Instead Fiorentina has player's who put the shirt on and work their asses off for it, and back to basics approach that has been lost with Milan.