Category Archives: Uncategorized

Coppa Italia Preview: AC Milan v. Udinese

Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kickoff: 3:00 PM ET (USA) / 21:00 CET (ITA)

Serie A Position: Milan (11), Udinese (15)

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy

I got a snow day, so you get a Coppa Italia preview!

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Serie A Preview: Internazionale v. AC Milan

Date: Sunday, December 22, 2013

Kickoff: 2:45 PM ET (USA) / 20:45 CET (ITA)

League Position: Milan (10), Inter (5)

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy

It’s the match that needs no introduction. It’s Derby della Madonnina time.

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Champions League Preview: Celtic v. AC Milan

Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kickoff: 2:45 PM ET (USA) / 7:45 PM GMT (UK)

League Positions: Milan (13), Celtic (1)

Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

A win today coupled with a likely Ajax defeat to Barcelona would see the Rossoneri qualify for the Round of 16, quite an accomplishment for a side that have been so woeful for much of this campaign. They are going to need a lot of help in Serie A of course but, remarkably, Milan’s Champions League fate still rests in their own hands.

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Serie A Preview: AC Milan v. Napoli

Date: Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kickoff: 2:45 PM ET (USA) / 20:45 CET (ITA)

League Position: Milan (9), Napoli (1)

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy

Two midweek winners in the Champions League and challengers to Juventus’ Serie A throne square off Sunday at the San Siro in the Rossoneri’s first high-profile domestic match of the season.

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Serie A Preview: AC Milan v. Cagliari

Date: Sunday, September 1, 2013

Kickoff: 2:45 PM ET (USA) / 20:45 CET (ITA)

League Position: Milan (14), Cagliari (5)

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy

Milanisti can all breathe a sigh of relief this weekend as qualification to the Champions League proper has been secured. With some reinforcements hopefully still on the way, the Rossoneri must now improve their domestic form if they are to avoid a start similar to the one that had them playing catch-up for the entirety of last year’s Serie A campaign.

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Serie A Preview: Hellas Verona v. AC Milan

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kickoff: 12:00 PM ET (USA) / 18:00 CET (ITA)

Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi, Verona, Italy

Network: beIN Sport

Serie A is back, and what better way to kick it off than with a Milan match! The Rossoneri open up the 2013-2014 campaign away at newly promoted Hellas, last year’s Serie B runners-up.

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More of the Same? Or a New Direction

This upcoming year will be my third year writing on Milan’s tactics and the surrounding circumstances and effects of these decisions. I’ve covered the same formation in essence (4-3-3 / 4-3-1-2) although admittedly Allegri’s formation doesn’t matter so much as his roles for players does, and that has seen very little variation. While it would be incorrect of me to label this as solely Max’s doing, certainly some of the blame has to fall on his shoulders. But look: this is a football manager who’s job it is to win (and his 1st, 2nd, 3rd finishes reasonably back up his own self-opinion) and not to please writers and armchair tacticians.


So it is my job to figure out a way to make the tactics of one team interesting. Or so it has been until now. This is a crossroads (which may of course lead down the exact same track, in theory). Do you want to read analysis of how the game went? Would you prefer larger contextual information giving rise to trends and patterns of late? Do I need your input at all or are you trusting me to make the decision for you on this matter?


I love reading Michael Cox’s ZonalMarking website, and often find myself learning something from his detailed articles. But part of Cox’s success lies in the fact that he doesn’t just focus on one team, or on one league even – he covers the matches that he decides are relevant either tactically, or more often because they’re big matches in a classical standpoint: derbies, Champions League ties, etc. He never discusses one team to death, inundating the reader with similar recaps. If the manager does the same thing week after week with little variation, how does the recapper make these individual matches seem important or significant? Would you like to see a wider spectrum in things I cover? Should I shut up and stick to what I know best?


I’ve got some questions to consider for this upcoming season, including how seriously I want to take my football watching in general. Writing tactical analysis is by no means easy, and it requires intense attention, timely notes, and a constant awareness of the context in which the match is operating in. How much do I want to enjoy the football I watch? I can tell you that watching Allegri has certainly diminished my love of watching Milan, but in honesty, much of that is because I’m not just watching, I’m scrutinizing his tactics. I’m thinking through his game plan, his choices. I’m weighing the outcomes, and deciding if the anatomized report I create has relevancy. And all this is a long-winded way of saying I’m becoming a bit tired of the same. Am I done with electrolyzed tactical summaries? I don’t know, but I can ensure you, the reader of one thing, that whatever I do decide on doing, I will make sure it is of greater quality than my work in the past.

Have thoughts? Please post them in the comments section, or tweet them to me @PDAcquaviva

Mid Summer Thoughts

  • Kevin-Prince Boateng needs to be kept. It’s not Boateng’s fault that Max Allegri gave him a chance to play in the attacking midfield role. It’s not his fault his position there is emblematic of Allegri’s tactical shortcoming and insistence on breaking down opposition sides in lieu of creating substantive attacks That being said, when given the chance to shirk his less-preferred defensive responsibilities, and get more opportunities to score, Boateng leapt. By and large, the move was unsuccessful. This led to a formation shift, putting Boateng on the wing, despite his interviews claiming his flexibility was actually a detriment. This season, should Allegri deploy Boateng further back in midfield (as Ghana did in the 2010 World Cup – the tournament Milan decided to buy him after watching). Boateng’s pace, aggression and raw pace would be a welcome addition to a midfield most likely compromising of De Jong and Montolivo. Don’t sell Boateng yet. He has a contract until 2015, and should he be deployed correctly, the form of the former #27 may return.

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Guardiola’s Decisions for the Future

Article by Rafael Enzo di Fabregas

Aged 42 years, Josep Guardiola i Sala had lived and breathed FC Barcelona since 1984, when he joined one of the club’s youth squads. He rose up through the ranks and made his first team debut in 1991/92. He would later captain FC Barcelona for many seasons, and was also the central playmaker in the side, wearing the number four shirt and personifying the manner FC Barcelona have always approximated to play the ball around.

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2013 Non-EU Italian Quota System: An Explanation

Deltatre’s Jacopo Piotto offers an explanation on the FIGC’s rule system for transferring in “non-EU” players.

The transfer market has just started, and recently there has been some confusion regarding the rules for Italian teams to buy players who do not possess the European citizenship. The common belief is that Serie A teams can buy two non-European players from abroad every year, and the clubs are pushing to get a third slot in the seasons to come. The rules are actually far more complex, and admittedly not often explained by media (not even in Italy). So I feel that a simpler explanation is in order.

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