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Tactics Tuesday

No place for a 4-3-3!?

Valerio Pennicino

I have to be honest, I cringe at the thought of the 4-3-3 against Barcelona, nightmares even. It's not that the 4-3-3 hasn't worked well for Allegri and Milan of late, it's just that the idea of spreading ourselves thin and attacking against Barcelona is a bit of a insanity, is it not? Yes, the match is at home, but if Prandelli's Azzurri against Spain this summer taught us anything you can't attack to win against Spain/Barcelona/Spain-a-Barca/BarcaSpain (whatever you want to call it)! You need to roll up your sleeves, pack the center of the pitch and get down and dirty, you PLAY UGLY.

What is playing ugly, exactly? It is the same all hands on deck football you see played across Serie A, often times against AC Milan. Ten men behind the ball, ball winners in the midfield, and a chip on your shoulder the size of Sergio Busquet's conscience, or lack thereof for all the diving! Max needs not go out for a win as he did against Arsenal just a year ago, instead he needs Boateng, Flamini, Nocerino, and Monty in the midfield. He needs them to hold and track back and make Messi's life absolutely miserable. The 4-3-1-2 is the way to go and it's not a football match, but a trench fight, and one that will only favor Milan if they go to the Camp Nuo at nil-nil. A tall order for a team struggling to keep a clean sheet all season long, but no reason not to dig deep and get it today.

Oddly enough some will cringe at my suggestion to play this way, but I have no shame in such a suggestion. If Milan make it past Barcelona even to lose in the next round, it will be a small victory. Another chink in the armor of the "invincible" Barcelona, another swing of the ax at the redwood built by Pep Guardiola who ran to Bayern, an established strong Club, instead of challenging himself at the likes of rebuilding teams. Fine by me, because Milan is no place for you Mr. Guardiola. But it's not small victories I am after, I want to beat Barcelona and the way to do that is not to out-play them but to out-smart them. Play harder, stronger, and tougher and limit what they can instead of matching what they can do.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I perused old Barca v Milan posts for common threads and themes, this little video stuck out. Like a rally cry and one that reminds us that Milan is a LEGENDARY. Tomorrow you will see the debut of the a new image, a new time, a new rally cry, but in the meantime enjoy the old one!