Crisis in Milan

Gino DeBlasio speaks on Milan’s current predicament:

The Italians love the word crisis. Crisi as the natives would say, is an overused word at the best of time. But for this Milan team, time and time again that word has been resplendently usurped by rimmonto (revival). Yes, Milan, last year revived their European hopes, albeit in the most congruous of circumstances.

Take this year, eleven points in twelve games, crisi without rimmonto is looking like an inevitability. You, and I, are left pointing the finger, accusing the club and asking, where did it all go wrong? If you’re looking for a clear definitive answer, I’m sorry, you’re going to be left asking more questions than getting answers.


Allegri has shown his limits as a manager.


As a manger, it is your prerogative to ask for the players you need to strengthen the team as a whole. None of us know what or who he asked for, what we received were two players who in the cold light of day purchased for reasons unknown have failed to meet the real requirements of the team.

If Allegri had identified that he needed defenders, creative midfielders and the board didn’t pursue his targets, or weren’t willing to spend the money, then that’s the board and not Allegri’s fault. If however he felt that the defense was adequate and that money be best spent on a striker, then he obviously sees something that the statistics otherwise suggests.

Substitutions in the 80th minute are puzzling and tactically constrictive, whilst his constant ability to play players out of position are other criticisms which are equally reserved for him. In the face of all the negativity it is hard to find the positives for Max; the players like him… ah, that’s good enough for me.


Dog eat dog prevails in the boardroom.


Lets be clear, Galliani is a good director. He’s not the best, not the worst. His boss is Berlusconi, that should say it all. If things weren’t bad enough, his boss’ daughter is now questioning “where the money has been spent”; it’s not easy being G…

On the big deals, he knows what to do. Balotelli, Ibrahimovic going all the way back to Van Basten, Galliani has the capacity to manage large deals and get his target; and if Milan had €100 million to spend each season, he’d be a fantastic director, not good. But he doesn’t.

But would a change in board level management be any use? Would an inexperienced Paolo Maldini be the right person to run a club. We’re not talking about scouting, but running a club. Yes, it would make us all feel better, but so does aspirin during a headache, it doesn’t need to be omnipresent in all of our cupboards.

Granted, there are problems at the top, but not all are Galliani’s fault. Berlusconi has to shoulder the blame as well as Braida who in all honesty, has yet to pick up a young talent that we can be proud of. There has been a gap in the scouting department since Leonardo left Milan, there has also been a gap in the long term thinking of the club since 2007; our market strategy has reflected it, but Galliani would provide more keys to the solutions than the increasing our problems.


Changing room inquisition


Who is leading that changing room? Put another way, who is the strongest character that is influencing the way we are playing on the pitch? No, to be quite honest, I’m not sure either.

We used to have senators, players that gained the most respect in the changing room and on the pitch. It feels that now, no one is being reprimanded when they need to be; that the dirty laundry is being aired too frequently etc etc. The reality is, there is a weak group dynamic, one of the weakest I’ve ever seen at Milan and that is because there is no one there to take the mantle and the responsibility when things go bad. Remember the Ibra Onyewu incident? Did anything come out from that apart from Ibra later admitting he caught a good beating? No, Seedorf, Nesta, Gattuso etc saw to it that the story was minimal, that the performance on the pitch outweighs the gossip of the locker room.

There needs to be someone that steps up and takes responsibility, that is respected but is slightly feared, Milan was all about class, but now, the worst haircut prevails.


Take what you want but its a systematic problem


I can’t help but feel just one change is not enough. Yes, Allegri has had his time and for me, he needs to go, players aren’t responding no matter what he’s doing and that seems disingenuous from all parties to keep going on like nothing has happened.

The board need a shuffle but getting rid of Galliani for lesser qualified, and underprepared people wont solve anything. Redevelop the scouting network, get assistance on the day to day running, allow Galliani control of transfer budgets and things will be different.

And finally, the players need to take a cold hard look at themselves as well. If they are being constantly protected by the manager but they aren’t stepping up afterwards, then do they deserve to wear the top? Do they deserve our support?



Follow Gino on Twitter @ginodb

About Pete Acquaviva

Pete writes about Milan on this blog. Occasionally other things. You would know which of them it is if you've gotten this far.

One Thought on “Crisis in Milan

  1. RossoneriFido on November 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM said:

    Totally agree with everything.
    Their is no quick fix for we don’t have a minor problem. We have major issues from top to bottom.
    Sacking Allegri or replacing Galliani (not likely) won’t solve many problems.
    I categorize our problems into minor (short term) and major (long term) and while many focus on the short term problems I’m more concerned about the long term ones.
    Take for example Milan status in the following few seasons considering we are far away from UCL. No UCL money => No quality players and sale of our few best players left.
    The continous comments from Barbara and Galliani claiming that Berlusconi is still close to Milan means concludes that he is so far away and he can’t find any suitable buyers to reinvest.
    No stadium of our own thus generating revenue.
    That is what worries me about Milan in addition to what you’ve said.
    Forza Milan.

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