For a few years now Milan has been in a, "in order to buy we must sell" now I get that, and frankly I am all for a lean useful squad instead of a robust useless one. Who needs 30 players on roster when we barely compete on one front, let alone three! Kidding, but the point is 23-25 is the perfect roster size so how do we trim Milan down. Down below you will find the current roster and truth be told when looking it you can see the lack of direction from the top.
A good team is built on a foundation, with a system in place. AC Milan is built on cheap buys and whatever is available and that doesn't equal results. Milan knew full well from day one with Allegri that he was a 4-3-1-2 guy and what did they do, not buy him a single player to help make that formation work. Instead he shoe horned Milan and continues to shoe horn Milan into derivative formations preserving the 3 man midfield, but bastardizing the attack to whatever warm body feels like playing football on that weekend. Giving the Coach the tools to be successful is a likely as Niang or Matri getting on the score sheet and this needs to change, how do we do that? Simple, but it will hurt a bit at first.
Like all good things, you start with a plan, and for those that don't know if you have the word hope in that plan you are setup to fail. First things first are we serious about youth or not? If you are, then you need to set realistic expectations on silverware and goals. Second thing, STICK WITH IT. Choose your youth core and work around it, is it DeSciglio, Abate, SES and Cristante? Saponara? Balotelli? Whatever it is make the move and move forward, for me it is simple. DeSciglio, Sapanora, Abate and SES are your starting point. Have not seen enough of Cristatne to make that call, but he stays. Step two, sell Balotelli. I said this was going to hurt, but he is your most prized asset and will provide the largest transfer purse. I can sit here and explain why I chose SES over Balotelli, but read their twitter accounts for a few days and you will get all you need. One of them is a footballer, the other is a sideshow.
Once you have your youth core, you sprinkle in veterans to help move the team forward. You choose your veterans based on formation, which is also a key aspect. What formation is it going to be? A three man midfield derivative? Do we need wingers, if so buy them! Then that formation has to be used at every level of the Club, PERIOD, no exceptions. This way each players understand their roles at each and every level.
Finally, you build the spine of the team. That means CB, CM, CAM, & CF. Outside of your youth core this is leadership group, you can have youth players in it by all means, but you need the right mix here to make the team successful. So looking at the roster there is a lot of "fluff" and "deadweight" that can be trimmed but it needs to be done right and built right. Guys like Constant and Urby, who have been good soldiers but inconsistent need to go. Guys who who don't fit your new baseline formation, need to go. Our collection of CB's even fused together like a mutant would not be a shoe in starter in any team, that needs to change.
So I end with my fantasy football AC Milan...a 4-3-1-2...
Perin; Abate, Astori, Hummels, DeSciglio; Poli, DeJong, Muntari; Honda; Pazzo, SES
As you can see, not much is needed here to make this work, but a commitment and some CBs. Cristante can mix in the three man midfield line, Saponara is your vice Honda, Kaka can play in the front line and you have a start. Is it perfect, no, it won't ever be perfect, these things take time and building but you have to start somewhere.
|Mattia De Sciglio||21|
|Nigel de Jong||29|
|Stephan El Shaarawy||21|