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New Life For Milan Superstars Under Filippo Inzaghi

It is not just Honda who seen new life under Filippo Inzaghi!

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press

Last year in March even our "best" players looked out of sorts.  Keisuke Honda was useless, Ignazio Abate was benched, Mattia DeSciglio was played wherever, and Stephen El Sharaawy was an afterthought.  Part of this fell squarely on the incompetent shoulders of Clarence Seedorf.  The rebirth though is not squarely on the new Coach! You can argue that Inzaghi has used them in more natural positions and given them longer leashes to make mistakes but more importantly succeed!  Each on of the players in the list above has grabbed the bull by the horns and become indispensable to the new AC Milan:

Honda - not really a winger, his time in the 4-2-3-1 was spent more in confusion then playing football.  But now in the 4-3-3 with the freedom to come inside and closer to goal he has flourished.  Abate has provided the width and Honda has provided the goals, six total, and some of them simply class.  While I still contend the 4-3-1-2 would see him become unstoppable the freedom he has in Pippo's 4-3-3 is giving him plenty of chances to be great.

SES - out of the shadow of Mario Balotelli the Pharaoh is reborn! Dangerous, creative, and industrious his work ethic never faltered but his form did.  Now he is back and while he is not seeing the scoresheet week in and week out he is creating chances and cause opponents all kinds of problems.  In his more natural role close to goal and wide, he is interchanging with Honda and coming inside to prey on the space created by Fernando Torres.  A much better fit when the formation is not a false nine, he has regained his edge that made him special.

Abate - many were calling for his head in the summer, I preached patience.  I even said give him in the armband, I know what he can do, I have seen it.  He has proved me correct and reward Pippo's faith in him.  Defensively he has simplified his game for the better but the real improvement has come in going forward.  More patient and more tactically aware his crossing has been World Class in six matches.  He is challenging defenders and forcing them to retreat to their own goal causing danger for opponents.

DeSciglio - the last Coach marginalized him and Abate, but now in the role he was groomed for alongside his teammate not in place of him; Mattia is the second half of Milan's dynamic fullback partnership! With Abate doing the lion's share of the attack DeSciglio can be more tactically aware, defend first and break only when play calls for it.  His intelligence makes this look easy and his performances have been solid and improving.