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Tactics Tuesday: No Striker

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I always admired Allegri because he was his own man. He never tried to play copy-cat tactics or follow the leader, he did his own thing come hell or high water. More often than not that meant the 4-3-1-2, for better or worse. We talked about his choice two weeks ago and why it made sense, yet fans still pined and clamored for a "Plan B." They pined and whined so much, they got their wish this weekend, and hopefully they learned their lesson...

Allegri's decision to play a 4-3-3, deploying Prince as a False 9, was in my opinion catastrophic. The 4-3-3 is a nightmare in balance as it is. It doesn't provide cover in the midfield, which is tactical suicide in and of itself. It also doesn't work when instead of six midfielders, to create balance and deception, you deploy a False 9 with only four! It probably doesn't help that plan was to play Pato as the False 9, but then again any game plan dependant on a player who can't stay healthy is probably a poor choice as it is. The problem I saw with this deployment is that Allegri was better suited to stick to his guns against Sampdoria then create confusion. Granted all the new personnel probably made it a bit more palatable to make changes, but the lack of understanding and cohesion in the midfield, and the undo burden on Robinho made Milan predictable and one dimensional. It also didn't help that KPB was caught to far forward when he needed to be "false" and to far back when he needed to be "real." The moral of the story, Plan B's may be good in theory but can cause problems in practice, an a 1-0 loss is a bit of a problem.

Going forward, I would rather we stick to what works, and use two support strikers in the attack even if they are both similar and a bit redundant. I like the progress made by ElS and the faith shown by Allegri, but going forward Pazzini and Robinho are our best option. As for the 4-3-3, It is great if we need a goal, or have the personnel, but until then it lacks balance and mixing this "False 9" idea only makes it worse. For those that wanted a Plan B, sometimes you get what you ask for, and sometimes it doesn't work.