Following Saturday's double against Chievo the media was out in full force to applaud the "Return of Ricky Kaka." While I am all for players finding their form and returning to a level of greatness, I am not quite yet sold that we are witnessing the return of Kaka.
For those who have been around here long enough you know I don't like hype. A good player doesn't need any hype, his performances should speak for itself; and if you find a media trail telling you how good someone is you start to see the signs that he may not be all that great! We have had our fair share of hyped-out failures in Pato, Gourcuff, KJH as well as hyped players who never even made it to Milan like Ganso. This recent Kaka media frenzy has me thinking more hype than substance, but not for the reasons you would think. Yes, I admit that Kaka has never been my favorite and it's not his fault. I have always gravitated more towards players like Maldini and when he ran his course it was Ambrosini and Rino Gattuso and now at 30 I no longer associate with players as "heroes." In fact the most attacking player I have every really admired was David Beckham.
Now I don't want to belittle what Kaka has done since his return, nor do I want to say his "rebirth" is not a reality. The point is a good game against Chievo isn't reason to bronze him a second time around, he has plenty of other moments to reap that reward. The truth of the matter, for me, is under Seedorf he has absolutely worked his tail off and while the consistent offensive yield has not come, he has tried oh so very hard on defense. But like a child with a toy hammer helping his dad build a deck, he can hammer and hammer and hammer away but that deck won't get built. This is the problem with Kaka at CAM, and it simply isn't allowing him to flourish. On Sunday he had the benefit of a weak opponent and a bit of freedom to roam in the areas where historically he was the most dangerous. Two classic Kaka goals, and a great match gave us all glimmer of hope, but my fear is that while many want to announce the return, this was merely a fleeting moment.
Seedorf needs to use him in a position to thrive. A position that allows him to be useful for what he is and what he can do instead of trying so very hard to be something he is not. So while the 4-2-3-1 is a good formation for a player like him, who is not truly a midfielder and not truly a forward, there are in between spaces for him. Specifically out wide where he can flourish. The question is will the match be a one time thing or will Seedorf come to grips with the fact that his best CAM is play wide and his best wide danger man is playing the middle! If he can acknowledge this we will see a rebirth of Kaka that can be one we hang our hats on and claim victory! Not the kind that the media reports after a single good game to fill pages, but the consistent performances that made him the player we remember.