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Tactics Tuesday: Analyzing Milan's Lack of Balance

Take nothing away from the win but can Milan sustain this for an entire season?

Valerio Pennicino

A nine goal thriller is great for the casual spectator.  Exciting, lots of goals, and tons of action, but if you watch again more closely you are left with concern on how Milan can fix this.  In attack the team appears cohesive and clinical, moving forward compressing space and utilizing width.  The problem is not when the have ball, it is when they don't.

A mark of a good team is organization and pressure, and while Milan seems to have the organization down the pressure is still lacking, specifically in the midfield.  This is always magnified in a three man midfield and Inzaghi's 4-3-3 is no different.  Even using a false nine, meaning the CF drops a bitt deeper, that player often times Honda, lacks the real bite to pressure the ball.  Not to make excuses, as anyone can and should press the ball, but this team needs to work on that. When you look at a guy like Stephen El Sharaawy bust his hump to press the ball there should be no excuse for anyone.

This effort needs to start everywhere, as soon as the ball changes hands or is turned over.  There should be no excuses and if this 4-3-3 is going to work it needs to have this discipline.  If Barcelona can do this with a team of gnomes then Milan should have absolutely no problem, but it needs to be a change of mentality.  The team has proved capable of working for each other, now it needs to take one more step.  Players like Poli and Muntari really have absolutely no excuse to make that happen and DeJong, when not caught wandering, is just as capable. In short the personnel is in place but the effort is not and Milan will pay for that as the season wears on.