Udinese v Milan Post-Match Comments

So by now, I have a question for everyone. Why are you reading this? Feel free to leave a response in the comments – I do read them. Are you reading because you want to understand the game better? Maybe because you’re such a fan of Milan, you’d read any drivel put on a page about them? Or perhaps you know me in real life and want to hook me up with a +1 page view?

I ask you why you’re reading, because I’m not sure why I’m writing. I don’t really enjoy it anymore, and Milan are doing their damnedest to make sure I don’t enjoy them. If you’ve been reading for a long time now, you know this is a continued existential crisis with no end in sight.

I feel like I’m not the only one with an existential crisis, in the span of a week or two Milan’s future descended into oblivion. Stadium wasn’t a very good idea, why provide for your future when you can just not. Rent away. Good news is we’re one week away from Bee’s bucks hitting the airwaves and Milan building a golden statue of Michael Jackson outside Bee’s preferred stadium of choice, San Siro. Why market a new stadium when you can market an old one? If it ain’t too broke, just provide small upgrades and think short-term.

Today’s match was actually nice for a few minutes, but then I realized what Milan seemed to realize sometime after Alex came on, but before everyone realized Alex came on, this is bad. The situation was tenuous at best before then, and apparently nobody is ever going to forget a 3-0 halftime lead means Istanbul.

Montolivo in the holding role provides many positives, but also huge drawbacks. Compared to De Jong, he has a better passing range, however his contribution is also more erratic. This season he’s averaging 84% passing, however saw 77% today – chalk it up to a bad day. He had an excellent assist today, which highlights another of the differences between him and NdJ, the Dutchman pulling off a pass like that would be… unlikely. But similarly to what Pirlo playing in the holding role before suffered from, Montolivo doesn’t have the defensive capacity to hold the center of the field, especially with the rest of the Milan midfield. Look at his positioning on the two Udinese goals, unable to track the run to the byline (and looking only to jog in pursuit – even he’s not THAT slow) in the first, and sucked over to the right side on the second.

Clearly, Nigel De Jong isn’t the solution. Nobody could make lemonade out of the lemons in this midfield. The real question is he the better option in the holding role, and based on results so far, no he’s not.

I love Balotelli, what a wonderful player to watch when he’s in form. Sure he has down games, sure he can be disinterested (although yet to see that this season FWIW) but when engaged he’s the best player on the field.

Honda probably shouldn’t start much longer, but Mijalovic doesn’t seem convinced with Suso, and putting Balotelli behind Adriano and Bacca is the kind of solution Inzaghi would come up with. Don’t be like this Inzaghi. Get Direct TV.


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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.

15 Thoughts on “Udinese v Milan Post-Match Comments

  1. juan sánchez on September 22, 2015 at 6:55 PM said:

    hey, pete. i’m juan.

    i live in bogotá and i mainly watch milan because it nourished my love for football, which now has become kind of a pathology. i never got to be in a stadium here in colombia, so i grew up watching everything on tv. i enjoy reading your blog because you’re one of the few people who actually talks about the club with heartbreaking honesty, the kind it needs to avoid shallow fanboyism. i enjoy your posts and feel your sorrow. i would say i suffer as much as you do, but not being italian, not speaking italian or not having any italian heritage whatsoever seems to disqualify me as a “tiffoso” (is it spelled correctly?). i went to the derby on last april, and fulfilled a dream i had since i first watched tino asprilla end the invincibili famous unbeaten run.

    just wanted to share that with you. if you end up not writing anymore, no worries, it is still cool to read your tweets during matches.

    have a good one.

  2. I like the blunt and direct honesty, you are able to see past all the bullshit and pull the truth out. I’ve been following Milan before there was internet, social media, facebook etc and most of the time they weren’t that many Milan fans, (No I’m not lonely) so to find someone with a sensible view who can support their argument is refreshing.

    Not having a stadium to look forward to is disappointing however I kinda expected it since my belief in management is similar to that of Santa Clause, we have been conditioned thru the many many years to not believe until it is completed and there for the world to see.

    I see Monta more like Aquilani 2.0 than anything close to pirlo. Monta doesn’t have the consistency, I expect about 10 good games out of him nothing more, with that in mind, he should have been subbed at the half as we were 3-0 up, push de jong to the center and bring in Poli or Mauri, also Honda should have been subbed and bring in luiz.

    Luiz, Poli/ Mauri would have been energized as they would want to prove their worth.

    So what if Calabria was giving up some height, what he gave in offense and defense was way more than the risk. He provided a better attacking outlet than the LB and his defending was great, so far he seems to be a defender who uses his brain. All Zapata does on the right is kick out the ball which results in corners and alex in the middle takes away what little pace zapata offered, it also disrupted the understanding.

    • Pete Acquaviva on September 22, 2015 at 7:24 PM said:

      Good comparison with Aquilani, but for what it’s worth Montolivo doesn’t have the flexibility that Aquilani has – for example Montolivo can’t really work on the mezzala role. Pirlo drifted deeper as his career went on, and I think Montolivo no longer can lay claim to playing behind the strikers anymore. The style is trending towards Pirlo, but he doesn’t have the capabilities or the mind to match.

  3. Good so hopefully this is Monta last Season at Milan (fingers crossed). Who is out that that is good that we can get for free or on loan?

  4. I’m reading this because I was searching for PDA (personal digital assistant) and somehow I got here.

    My sources show Montolivo’s stats at only 75% pass completion rate today, 83% average in the past 3 games, with fewer passes attempted than De Jong (85% in 3 games, despite playing 1 game out of position.) While Montolivo does slightly better w/long balls, he also makes a lot of errors with those. De Jong is better with the short passes.

    There are lots of other tedious stats where overall De Jong is better, but for me, De Jong has something you can’t put into stats: leadership & motivation. I would rather watch this team with De Jong as captain than the other guy. They simply play better. Bottom line.

    • Pete Acquaviva on September 23, 2015 at 6:57 AM said:

      You’re absolutely right about De Jong’s short-pass oriented philosophy – and that’s another thing that gets to the root of the issue at the base of midfield. Without the cover to have a true creative, what’s the option you want in that role?

    • LOL Not too sure what Milan you’ve been watching when you say “they simply play better” with De Jong instead of Montolivo. One of the silliest things I’ve ever read.

      Nigel “backpass” De Jong is an absolute liability in that regista role, he does not have the skill or passing for it. He is essentially just a 3rd centreback. Watch our first two games with him starting there and recognize how poorly our midfield played.

      • Pete Acquaviva on September 24, 2015 at 3:49 PM said:

        Usually, I don’t respond to people who don’t actually read the article, but here let me make this simpler:

        Clearly, Nigel De Jong isn’t the solution. Nobody could make lemonade out of the lemons in this midfield. The real question is he the better option in the holding role, and based on results so far, no he’s not.

  5. Hi, Pete. I read you because you’re one of the few Milan fans who watch the game from an analytical point of view, and if sometimes I don’t fully agree with you, you always have some well-balanced and thoughtful insights.

    Sorry, but my english is not my native language. Greets from Chile.


    • Pete Acquaviva on September 23, 2015 at 6:58 AM said:

      People who always say “English isn’t my native language” usually write well in English. You’re no exception – appreciate the comment.

  6. Pete,

    I’m reading because I follow you on twitter and you have a respectable voice. In these internet driven days finding a blogger worth reading is hard, and takes time, anyone can spew words, I just happen to like the tone and syntax of yours. Also, as a Juve fan, and long time calcio fan in general I miss the days of a competitive Milan, and keep reading with hopes of seeing some positive analysis. The greatest thing sport gives us as fans is eternal hope, and for 90 minutes once a week tifosi of every team have that. It’s worth sticking around for. Worth noting, I really like what Miha seems to have added to the squad so far, and I only see it improving. Based on what he was able to do with the talent he had at Sampdoria, I can only see better things from this Milan. è il calcio nel cuore. ciao.

    • Pete Acquaviva on September 23, 2015 at 6:59 AM said:

      The eternal hope once a week is something I’m really about right now. Trying to intellectualize that and why it is we do what we do.

      With regards to Milan, Mija clearly has an element missing from previous sides, but I’m not quite ready to chalk it up to his methods and not to the fact he has an objectively better side than his predecessors just yet. Let’s see.

  7. RossoneriFido on September 23, 2015 at 7:23 AM said:

    Hey Pete.

    Good to see you writing again even though you have shifted towards the podcasts without a plan because of the what seems an endless situation at times.

    Well I am reading this as you were one

  8. RossoneriFido on September 23, 2015 at 7:47 AM said:

    Wow my browser froze and submitted my reply before I could’ve finished it.

    Anyways I am reading your comments because when I joined twotter several years ago I told myself I want to see how others analyze the game. Didn’t find what I was looking for until I came to your posts on Matteo Bonetti’s site. I thought I understood the game well but when I read your analysis I found out that wasn’t the case. I said previously here that Milan took away a lit from my passion towards the game. Things are a bit better now. Changes are easily noticed.
    I feel it is better if we played with both NDJ and the Montolivo in a 4-2-3-1 formation. With Balotelli behind Bacca. Kucka and Bomaventura on the sides respectively.

    I do not believe anything Silvio says. I don’t believe the 100 Million mercato budget. I don’t believe anything they say anymore unless I see it happening.

    As for Miha I respect what he is doing. That doesn’t mean I am giving h him a free pass either. I hold him responsible for the loss at the derby when he subbed Bacca. I hold him responsible for what happened last night. On the positive side he is building a team and clearly getting the best out of most players except for Honda.

    Can we get Disquss back?
    That’s all I have to say.
    Take care man and Forza Milan

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