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Tactics Thursday: Formations

But He Should Quit!

Claudio Villa

Yesterday I had a short but solid exchange on Twitter with @garrete88. Hopefully he swings by to discuss further, but the gist of the conversation was can a Coach be held responsible for lack of personnel and tactics. We agreed to disagree, but it got me thinking. When I look at Milan's roster, a roster provided by the lack of Berlusconi's generosity, it becomes rather evident that even the simplest and basic formations and deployments are a challenge for this team. So when I see comments from the Allegri bashers that he changes formations to often, doesn't stick with something I scratch my head and ask how could he? So I am going to breakdown my thoughts and ask you to do the same. For the purpose of discussion I have put my opinion here, and ask you to do the same with support. I have also included a poll for entertainment purposes...


The biggest fad in football currently is a non-starter for Milan. While it appears with players like Ants and Abate that we could make it work, how do you play 3 CB's when we don't even have two viable ones!? Let alone this problem of midfield deployment. Do you flatten out the five and play 3 CM's or do you need a CDM and CAM? We have two strikers, at least that much is going for us.


The scudetto winning formation has come under heavy scrutiny of late. When Allegri deployed Boateng as a CAM for his work rate and simplicity it was a stroke of genuis. Now even though we have seen success in the formation (win against Juve), Boateng is not keeping it simple. Coupled with the fact that Zlatan is no longer their to hold the ball up and open space and you have issues. Do we need a CAM? If you are going to deploy this formation then probably, because your attackers aren't giving you the support you need.


Not my favorite as I feel it lacks balance and grit. Not to mention it calls for three very complete and dynamic midfielders who can do it all. When Allegri called for Asamoah, Parolo and Hamsik you could see why, he got none. Not to mention spreading three forwards out front causes a nightmare on the already shaky defense.


Is a great formation, but if you lack two strong CDMs (we don't even have one) and proper wingers you are simply playing a 4-2-1-3 and that is not going to help anyone. El Sharaawy is not winger, neither is Binho, Bojan or Boateng. You can make a case for Urby in one of those high positions but he gets lost faster then Bojan in the middle out wide. It's a problem and a formation that begs for the right balance in personnel more than any other.

The four formations I have chosen were all deployed by Max and Milan at some point his season and all of them have huge gaps/flaws. Allowing me to come to the conclusion that we do need some help, very specific help, in the spine of the team (CM/CB/CDM/CAM) and that Allegri should in fact quit because he wasn't even given a fair chance to succeed. Not to mention any respect for at least being proactive in working with what he has for each and every match. I don't see any other Coach queuing up for this gig, do you? As for Pep, I think the mere fact that Tito is having so much success with Barca is actually support for my theory of it wasn't Pep but the Barca structure and personnel that is truly the foundation of success!