Three straight preseason victories for a team that clearly "sucks" was probably a lot to ask for and you couldn't expect that winning streak to go on forever. Yes, I am being sarcastic, but I am also not blind to what happened here. Real Madrid is a good team, in fact a great team, and they are home to the greatest player on the Planet, Cristiano Ronaldo as well as the game's most cerebral tactician. So while the first half was competitive and entertaining, the second half showed the clear gulf between the squads and their respective depth charts. When Real could bring in Kaka and leave CRON to run wild, Milan could only hope DeSciglio and Yepes could keep up, and they couldn't. I am not knocking our depth, nor am I all that concerned here, in fact it is a learning a experience, not just for Allegri and the boy's, but for the fans as well. Some key points to ponder:
Hopefully now you understand why and how youth should be deployed. DeSciglio could not keep physically or mentally with CRON, they were clearly on different levels. This sort of shellacking wreaks havoc with a player's psyche, thankfully the new #2 looks tough, and not bothered, but had this been a real game he would have most likely been shell shocked for weeks to come. It takes time to refine one's defensive talents, and he still needs time. A backup to Abate, sure, but a starter, not yet.
For a guy who couldn't score and took a lot of flack last season, he looks in form and dare I say ready to be a leader on the line. He interacted well with Cassano, and while I don't love the idea of playing two support strikers they really troubled the Real Madrid backline when able.
This guy continues to impress me every minute he is on the pitch. We have truly channeled the future Rino Gattuso, and while he couldn't have the impact that Super Rino had on CRON, he did work his tail off in the first half when Milan didn't have possession. His defensive skills need work, but his workrate and efforts are really special and leading the way for this new look Milan, which I will touch on later.
Rust does not begin to describe the form of Flamini, awful is more like it. He looked totally confused yesterday and did his usual headless chicken running. I understand he was once a decent player, but I can no longer support his minutes. I understand the lack of value and why nobody wanted him, and I can appreciate his wage reduction, but at the end of the day Allegri has better players at his disposal.
If Milan can find a way they need to do it, with rumors abound that DDR may be on the transfer block for boat load of cash, signing Diarra before that happens is a must because inflation will surely hit the DM market. With Alex Song only being valued at 15M by Barca, the market for DM's is a bit turbulent at the moment.
I want to end with a point that I have been pondering since Saturday. I like this new Milan, while it isn't star heavy, or even elegant, it is the sort of team I prefer and appreciate. Last year's Milan always looked to Zlatan and Silva to save them, but this year that crutch is gone, and born from it is a new Milan. The sort Milan who is all accountable and truly meritocratic and democratic. Allegri can play the players who are in form and work hardest to assure the best possible outcome. More importantly I like the chip on their shoulder, the scrappiness, this is the sort of Milan who won't get bullied or defeated, and keep fighting. If you bought this Milan's girlfriend a drink at the bar, they wouldn't smile at you, they would punch you and sometimes that's A-OK!
Back on the weekend with a little recounting of a conversation with my Fiancee about the merits of Milan, Zlatan, Messi and CRON...