From Giuseppe Viani to Nereo Rocco to Arrigo Sacchi, Milan have always had one thing that they have always managed to do and that’s win. Through primitive early attacking football to Catenaccio and everything in between over the years, the Rossoneri have always changed styles, but they have always managed to end victorious. They are second domestically only to Juventus and on the European stage only behind to Real Madrid in terms of trophies. Under the watchful eye of Vincenzo Montella, they are developing under the most tortuous circumstances. Now they must ask themselves, is it style, success, or both that they hope to achieve?
Montella’s problems have been evident from the start of his tenure, but he knew this was going to happen. As the stylish Coach arrived in Milan he would have been well aware that he was walking in the shadows of the recently departed Pippo Inzaghi and Clarence Seedorf. Both were also young, both had new ideas and both were ex-Milan players. They were everything Silvio Berlusconi had wanted in his Rossoneri Coaches and yet they were soon gone. Now with the club going through a confusing takeover, Montella was tasked with making the best out of a bunch who many viewed as nothing more than a rag-tag tag band of brothers and he had to do it with style.
Milan CEO Adriano Galliani was convincbc平台ed that his man could get them through these difficult times playing attractive football. He insisted that this was the ‘Mi赌盘网lan way’ and they had done this for the last 30 years ever since the days of Arrigo Sacchi. It was true that Montella is able to get his teams to play innovative and attractive football. His possession-based game mirrors that of many younger Coaches in the modern game. His high pressing is also a feature of his coaching and often means that his teams defend from the front. The defensive part of his game is certainly something that he is also extremely disciplined with, making the Rossoneri more in sync with Sacchi’s thought process, rather t365bet线上攻略han adopting a cavalier approach that leaves his team vulnerable. His defensive tendencies to man-mark should help out a team that leaked 50 goals in 2014-15 and 43 in 2015-16.
Montella showed at Fiorentina that he also buys in to the Marcello Lippi way of thinking about tactics. He is adaptable and can play more than one system in a game. This fluidity is born out of a willingness to work on a strategy first and tactics later. Once Montella has decided on the style and capabilities of his team for the forthcoming match, then he will adapt the tactics around a combination of this and the opposition. The fact that Milan are absent from Europe this term has also benefited the Coach’s method. The results are improving and after one win (a lucky 3-2 against Torino) and two defeats in their first three games, they have followed this up with three wins and a draw leaving them sixth in the table.
The products of the Milanese youth system have also borne fruit this term, as the Coach has integrated some of the club’s best up and coming talent, forced upon him in part thanks to the chaotic on-going take-over. In recent weeks the Chinese buyers had offered a Technical Director’s role to Paolo Maldini, who “didn’t think that was the basis for a winning team. I’ve been part of teams which have made football history, and I know that to achieve results there has to be great synergy between all the corporate bodies and major investors, in addition to well-defined roles.” This was a blow to Chinese group Sino-Europe Sports, who have the added insult of watching Inter’s project grow with strength in the same stadium.
Still Montella has looked to his ‘Baby Milan’, and in fairness to them they have shown what it means to be Milan in 2016. Gigio Donnarumma has been exemplary in goal despite his tender years, whilst Alessio Romagnoli has been the bright young defender, and like the custodian is in the national team. Manuel Locatelli’s tears, talent and goal have endeared him to the fans at the age of 18, plus defender Davide Calabria (19) and forward M’Baye Niang have shown that they are capable of dragging this club forward along with the more experienced Carlos Bacca and company.
This young, fresh and energetic Milan can play in the way Montella wants them to and they will improve this season. Are the circumstances around them perfect? Certainly not, however, they may work in his favour. Whilst there is no direction for the club, they are still playing good football at times and are in fifth place. They have a young squad, a young Coach and nobody will be in a hurry to change things. With no Europe and a good wind, if the situation settles and there is a moment to spend, Milan may have stumbled on the beginning of a very different but promising era.