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Searching For The Perfect 11: Milan Bags Three Points Against Bologna

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Surely, there are still some negatives that should be fixed.

Claudio Villa

We all know that Milan is more or less down in the dumps when it comes to this specific campaign (excluding the UEFA Champions League), yet why not soak in the hard-fought victory?

Speaking about Milan's victory against Bologna, we must credit the superb Mario Balotelli for scoring what looks to be the goal of the season thus far just minutes ahead of the final whistle at the San Siro on Friday.

Balotelli definitely needed that goal, since his performance against Napoli was poor and he would have continued a goal drought had he not scored the screamer from outside the box that curled into the top left corner.

The goal also woke us up, too.

Milan looked uninspired throughout the whole game, and even though they were attacking for the most part, nothing looked convincing. We must acknowledge that Seedorf is still trying to find what's best for the team, however some decisions are more or less a given.

For example, Ignazio Abate as a midfielder last week was absurd. He needs to work on his crosses, but that doesn't mean he should have been favored above the designated midfielders we had on the bench.

If so, why exactly did the team bring in Andrea Poli? (Ironically, Poli is capable of playing right back, as well).

Sticking with the defense, Christian Zaccardo's eyes must have lit up when he was told he would be getting the start ahead of Cristian Zapata, who injured himself in the pre-game warm up.

Somehow a target for a couple of English clubs, this was Zaccardo's chance to prove that he should still be included in the plans considering the rotation at the back. He did have a few bright moments when brining the ball up the field, however what will shadow his performance in this game was his inability to convert a sitter. Bologna keeper Gianluca Curci had trouble holding onto the ball after a free kick, and Zaccardo couldn't take advantage of the blunder.

Adil Rami had some good moments, but he wasn't spectacular. Still, it seems like he's done enough to solidify his place in the center, and with a bit more experience competing in Italy, he should do well for the club.

Mattia De Sciglio is hands down the brightest Italian prospect when it comes to defense, and with a bit more speed on the flank, he could emulate the style of someone like Gianluca Zambrotta in no time.

He may need to strengthen himself and add a bit more muscle to his game, however we may be looking at a future captain who could be wearing the armband sooner rather than later.

The same problems arise in midfield, but it's getting better. Nigel de Jong is perhaps our best performer in the center of the pitch at the moment, hanging back and delivering precise passes. Riccardo Montolivo definitely showed a lot more passion and improvement to his game, but he's got to become more of a leader.

He just needs to stiffen that upper lip and lead by example in a time where the team desperately needs someone to guide them in the right direction.

As for Sulley Muntari coming on in the second half and kicking the ball out of bounds, don't keep on asking yourself why he still has a job. It's only going to make you feel worse.

After watching the forwards try and do most of the work because the midfield cannot properly supply the strikers, our attack is certainly powerful -- yet they need to start clicking and doing some serious damage. They looked predictable, and somewhat slow to respond to big opportunities.

Kesuke Honda has the ability to become a great playmaker, however what kind of a role does that leave Kaka with?

When Kaka had to play out of position at Real Madrid because Cristiano Ronaldo was the chief, it really showed (hell, let's face it -- that's why he came back to Milan). We know that Kaka is better when moving the ball up the pitch, however Honda showed that he could confuse the opposition; switching from side to side, opening up the field and could be the designated playmaker for the club.

We already touched base earlier with Super Mario, and all there is nothing left to say about his performance after watching that spectacular goal (watch it on repeat for an hour here).

As for Abdel Taarabt, he isn't doing as bad as expected. However, his role in the center is just not going to fly, and he needs to find a way to keep the spark in his game as the match progresses. His role should be utilized later in the game as a substitute, because his speed and size could pose problems for the opposition whet they tire.

He's decent on the ball, but can't create a play if his life depended on it.

Not that we can know for sure since Giampaolo Pazzini always looks like he's about to kill someone, but he didn't look too content to be on the bench. We couldn't help but notice that the moment he came onto the pitch, he instantly made his presence felt. Seeing that Pazzini has trouble playing with Balotelli at times, who should start between the two?

So, with all those points ...when will this squad ditch the rotation and field 11 starters -- no matter what the results are?

There are some players that don't need to be included in this talk.

Obviously, Balotelli will always start. Let's not even think about that.

In other positions, De Sciglio shouldn't lose his place, Honda has the quality to start every game, and let's just say for his sake that Montolivo shouldn't see too much of the bench (however, it's happened before).

Better yet, why don't you guys help us out with that?

Let us know who you would keep on the field at all times in the comments section below ...and don't be shy to tell us who doesn't deserve a starting spot, either.