Kessie (accumulation of yellow cards) and Bakayoko (red card) will both miss the game against Fiorentina. Bonaventura and Biglia are already out with injuries.— TheMilanBible (@TheMilanBible) December 19, 2018
Who do Milan start against Fiorentina? pic.twitter.com/HbQKq9t69g
Midfield Lost Their Heads
Franck Kessie and Tiémoué Bakayoko have been an unlikely partnership over the past month or so, despite their initial success in the role. The pair have done well to guide Milan through a injury plagued period of the season but have fallen short in the creative department with Milan getting too few goals to claim victories. Fiorentina will be a real challenge this weekend as the midfield options have been decimated by a Bakayoko red card and Kessie’s suspension for accumulated yellows. The pair should have been more careful and should not have put the team in this perilous situation. The midfield has to improve if Milan hope to sustain their European dream.
I just look at this one play in the second half. It shows this Milan team is capable of playing good, incisive football. I don't believe the players are inherently bad. I think the way they play is often bad. Not enough of this. pic.twitter.com/RAs23ekpZc— Anthony Lopopolo (@sportscaddy) December 18, 2018
Consistency is Our Biggest Issue
Every single game Milan have played and lost or drawn, we have seen brilliant pieces of play in the build up and good moves on the counter but there is almost always just a single mistake that separates Milan from claiming 3 points week after week. The team is just not consistent in their performances, we can never go out and expect 100% from the players as there is always someone who lets the squad down. There is so much blame tossed on particular players but in all honesty, Milan have a good squad and have gamechangers; they are just not being used well and not motivated to perform at the level required.
4-4-2 is a Bust
When Gennaro Gattuso switched to the 4-4-2 it seemed dynamic and everyone jumped on the bandwagon as it kept both Higuain and Cutrone in the lineup but in hindsight this was a terrible choice. Milan kept their decisive dribblers too far from the ball as Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu have to travel more thus lose more possession. Gattuso lost his super sub in Patrick Cutrone. The forwards lost their dynamism as Gonzalo Higuain and Cutrone play similarly and do not move enough hence defenders easily lock them out. The midfield became a false comfort where Milan hog possession but only pass horizontally. The 4-3-3 is not perfect, but it takes advantage of the strengths of the squad and it might be time to return to it.
0 - AC Milan have drawn nil-nil two consecutive Serie A games for the first time since October 2006. Empty.#BolognaMilan— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 18, 2018
Milan have only scored three goals in December, one of them was a penalty. Milan have played four games in this period, winning one, drawing two and losing one. Milan should have won all four but Higuain and Cutrone have only scored 1 goal in this period. We can point the blame at Suso and Calhanoglu for having poor spells of form however the fundamental issue is that the strikers are not finding the back of the net and missing sitters every week. There have been numerous rumours on Milan not wanting to take Higuain’s option but this does not change the fact that Gattuso has to get his strikers firing again or the team will struggle to go anywhere but down.
Can you remember the optimism we had at the beginning of December? It seems so long ago now and it’s only been 20 days. Gattuso needs to be more adaptable with his tactics and his game-to-game approach. The games this week have demonstrated that the team cannot stand by their tactics and make mistakes despite knowing exactly what is needed. Bologna were always going to sit back and defend but Milan did nothing to challenge this throughout the game. Gattuso’s substitutions were more defensive and reactive than attacking and proactive making it unclear whether Milan went into the game to win or for a draw.
Will Milan Finish the 1st Half of the Season in the Top 4?
This poll is closed
Yes - 4th
No - 5th or 6th
No - 7th or lower