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Tactics Tuesday

This week's game reaffirmed a sneaking suspicion I have had for a while now, we are missing a game changer and no Coach can fix that.

Jasper Juinen

Often times I have to read in the comments about how Milan lacks "talent." This is a funny comment, in fact it sort of reads like a polite way of saying we stink. I personally don't like the statement, I think it is disrespectful and the team does NOT lack talent, but they do lack something, and that something has become evident over the last three matches. I will admit that something is fuzzy, it isn't something you define, some call it leadership, some call it experience, others call it big game players. It also doesn't come from the sidelines, or the stands or the owners, it comes from the pitch and I will make it plain it simple we are missing a Leader!

The problem with what we are missing is that you can't just go buy it. Yes you can search players who have these traits, Mark Van Bommel was a prime example of this being well done. But as we discussed a few days ago with the pitfalls of youth, teams in the state of AC Milan, young and growing, often times struggle with these issues. A two zero lead to a ten-men Fiorentina, a chippy game versus Napoli, and a poor decision versus Juventus all seemed to scream leadership needed on the pitch. The captains for these matches were Montolivo, Abbiati, and Ambro. Ambro was injured and the team seemed to disconnect in the second half. Montolivo, while he is growing to be a leader, is not there yet, and Abbiati has never been the sort of the leader this team truly needs. Which leads me to my next point, you can't buy a Leader, you can't name a Leader, you forge a Leader! It may sound silly, but leaders are made out of difficulty and challenge and it is matches like the last few that will grow Monty, Abate, El Sharaawy and any other player on the pitch with leadership potential.

Milan is an interesting time, a changing of the guard. With that change we lose some of the veterans but we turn to youth. We have also lost the foundation of home grown players and now we turn to new ones. It's a bump in the road and a significant one that won't be resolved with transfers, but with time, and oddly it's the one thing we as fans can give and nobody is willing to offer it.