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Season Recap Part I

Time to recap the season, and we start with the bench.

Gabriele Maltinti

Going to start off this Season Recap with Max Allegri. The reason being is because for the many that don't know, I associate with Coaches. While I am currently retired, I spent 8 years on various benches as high up the chain as scouting for a local University and as low as six year old soccer! All of it was amazing, and all of it gave me the first hand experience and knowledge of what it takes to be a Coach, and more importantly what a Coach can manage, control, and instill. It is these three points I want to focus on.

For Year Zero, it was clear with the summer sell off was going to have a dramatic effect on the team. Personnel changes, late signings, and general lack of cohesion meant Milan would have to go under go a dramatic change. For those familiar with Coaching you understanding that often times your preferred formation may not be feasible with the personnel at hand so you tinker, evolve and adapt and Allegri took on that challenge. The players on the other hand struggled to execute and adapt as well and the season started at a crawl. But as time passed, chemistry built we began to see progress. The team stopped leaking goals, the attack started to click, and confidence was found! A win over Juventus, and a solid performance against Barcelona showed Milan at it's finest, while a late season string of average results showed the team's lack of experience and true shortcomings. This season covered all ends of the spectrum, and for those who often criticized Max for the lows seemed unwilling to even recognize the highs and more importantly unwilling to understand what a Coach can truly control.

A Coach does not defend set pieces, a Coach does not control the attack with a Playstation controller, a Coach does not prevent injuries or finish goals. Instead a Coach instills a mentality, be it passing, counter-attacking, pressuring etc and then deploys a formation and seemingly sits back and enjoys the show. If players fail to execute Max was left holding the blame, if players executed Max was not praised? Double standard? Simply put Max was not given the slightest chance to be successful by the Management of this team, yet he was held to a standard far beyond what he was given. To make matters worse players who were to be relied on like Boateng and Mexes got off to lethargically slow starts and others didn't even show up like Pato, Robinho, and Bojo the Clown. For me Max exceeded expectations with this band of misfits and began building a future brick by brick, slowly but surely. He earned his stars this seasons, and earned next season's spot on the bench as well!