I wrote this review yesterday and it wasn't pretty. I was mad, fuming even, and had Seedorf been sitting here with me I would have apologized and then asked him quite plainly WTF were you thinking!?!?!
I understand it is really very early, and I also understand, from first hand experience, that it takes time to mold and shape a team to what you want. I have been there Clarence, with players far less talented and capable, and I get it. What I don't get though is the complete and utter hypocrisy of a guy who one day says he plans to play the players where they are best and the next putting Abate at RAM, Urby at LB and then dumping Kaka at CAM, Honda on the wing, or Taraabt front and center!??! This is total nonsense. I plan to deep dive into this mess of a 4-2-3-1 on Tuesday but if we focus solely on yesterday for a minute it is easy to see what I have harped on ALL SEASON long. This is NOT a good team.
Playing guys out of position would have gotten the last guy lambasted, but thanks to internet shortened memories Clarance got a free pass on this day despite me and many others in this very blog stating early on that this was a bad choice. Abate at RAM exposed our left flank to the point of no return and left DeSciglio and Abate looking rather quizzically at each other about how and when to overlap. The result, shambles on either flank, against a team who plays wide and enjoys attacking the channel.. Benitez is no genius, but if you say hey Rafa you can torch my wings, he isn't going to say no and Napoli executed perfectly. Having in Taraabt in the in the spine of the team along with Essien and NDJ didn't do the team any favors either, and maybe Kaka and Honda were both gassed and under the weather but this incessant need to stick the 4-2-3-1 when the personnel is simply not there is the definition of insanity.
As if the formation and personnel were not enough, the lack of execution at CB was again painfully evident. I have said it once and I will say it again, Mexes jsut plain sucks. You could probably pair him with Baresi himself and even stick Maldini on the left for good measure and the guy will give you a turd. The Higuain goal would have rendered me into a significant emotional event on the sideline, if I was Clarence! Mexes would have come off to me screaming at him so loud the "frosting" in his hair would have blown off. To make matters worse the rest of the team was executing just as poorly in attack.
As if this game wasn't difficult enough to swallow, the nonsense that occurred following the shot of Balotelli crying was far more embarrassing than the performance on the pitch. I have said in the past he should be sold, I have also said I absolutely love everything he stands for, but between the "fans" and the media and the immediate circus surrounding a player having a personal moment was silly. The finger pointing at racism shows how bad Italy can be, but the fact that nobody for a moment stopped to consider that the he was upset at himself shows how warped this fan base has become. A player in tears for what he didn't do on the pitch is what Milan needs, not what his teammates displayed yesterday. Many had no problem blaming Mario Balotelli for his poor performance yesterday, but a few weeks ago it would have fallen squarely on the Coach. The double standard is as embarrassing as Milan's performance but before you blame Mario take a good look hard at the mess that we have on our hands.