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Tactics Tuesday: Montolivo On or Off?

Can Montolivo continue in the dual pivot?

Marco Luzzani

Montolivo's injury came with two Milan victories, both were a bit rough around the edges and it wouldn't be a stretch if you called them ugly. There is a common belief that Montolivo isn't the sort of player that can roll up his sleeves and get the job done but the last two matches have proved that theory wrong. The question though is were those results a byproduct of the opponent not pressing his space or that he really has turned a corner?

Last season around this time he picked up his game and did a great job holding in front of the CBs, granted it was easier, as he had two helpers and the scope of his effort was limited to the center channel. Being a CM in a three man mid versus a dual pivot is a much different ball game and the 4-3-3- gave him much more comfort as he had players in all angles checking to the ball. Now his return from injury has shown a resurgence and not hindered NDJ's performances as it appeared to be doing earlier in the season. It certainly helps that the last two matches were a bit less challenging and getting his "footing" is very important. The point is he has been instrumental, orchestrated some attacks and even scored! In fact his shot on Sunday was a thing of beauty and something few in that space would be willing to attempt.

I for one don't view him as the sort of midfielder to work the dual pivot but as the team feels it way towards a future there is no reason why he can't prove me wrong. The point is that he doesn't have the balance to be the type of midfielder in that role but with the right discipline he can make himself useful and that will be his sole purpose in the next few weeks. If he continues to prove an asset in the 4-2-3-1 he will cement his self a place at Milan being Seedorf's or someone else's! He is a good player and one that can play in a variety of roles, but the dual pivot has proved the most difficult for him to be successful in.

For the time being he is stays on, but with these results you can't really argue with any of the started, even Constant!?