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Tactics Tuesday: Plan B

If you have been following the comments lately you would think it was the day after the Senior Prom with all this talk about Plan B. The old adage in football has always been in order to have a Plan B, you need a Plan A, and only then to execute Plan B you need the players. We have come a long away from the days of Leo, where Plan A was to address all problems by throwing attackers at it. We now have a very firm and successful, Plan A, and for those that have forgotten that Plan A won us a title, restored balance, and made this team a force domestically last season. The true issue here is that I don't believe we could have a Plan B with this roster.

Sure on paper it looks like we have depth, but do we really? Our depth is fictitious, can we count Bonera, Zambro, and Pippo? How about the fact that our hardest working group, the three man midfield, has few subs to maintain the balance and rhythm needed to be successful. Injuries haven't helped that, but Urby and Ambro's poor play and the lack of a real CDM is causing its own problems. Even our striker force, which is the most crowded position lacks cohesion despite the depth and their injuries are presenting a real problem. I am not making excuses but simply wonder how a Coach can have Plan B when he often lacks the players to execute Plan A?

Another rather odd suggestion from fans, one that isn't well thought out, is the belief or notion that you can change formations on a game by game basis!? This is a common suggestion of fans who don't understand the amount of work and effort required to first learn a new formation, and then execute it. The suggestions to play a 4-2-3-1 using Robinho and El Shaarawi as wingers, is simply suicide. The formation would degenerate into a 4-2-4 in mere minutes and the defense would be shredded week in and week out. Worse is the lack of recognition in the fact Milan doesn't even have true wingers on the team outside of the fullbacks, and even they are not actually wingers in the truest sense. It is different, and in fact easier, for a team like Barca to morph from a 4-3-3 in to a 3-4-3 when you have players like Alves who can bomb forward, and Busquets and Mascherano to drop back. But this is the exception not the norm, few teams deviate from their main tactical plan, Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho work exclusively in the 4-2-3-1, can he change players to make the formation more attacking or defense, yes, but Allegri doesn't have that luxury. Can he play a more attack minded CDM, LM, or RM, not when he doesn't have one!

End of the day I do not believe Milan have the players to make this happen or in fact deploy any other formation outside of a 4-3-2-1 which is the only logical choice considering how this team was previously built and the players on hand. Fundamentally the formation would remain the same except you can deploy Seedorf and El Shaarawi behind a striker, but that is the only way it could even be considered, let alone be successful. So as we take the field against Juventus tomorrow, our third match in six days, you have to wonder if we can even manage to execute Plan A without keeling over from exhaustion, let alone consider a Plan B?