GdS: Broken defence and less from the wings – Pioli must get his key men firing again

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan have not had the best of starts to 2023 with just one win in three games and a report has tried to highlight the issues that the team are suffering.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews) starts by looking at the ‘broken defence’, remarking that there are at least two players who led the Rossoneri rearguard last season who this year, for absolutely different reasons, are not on the same level.

One is Mike Maignan, a very heavy absence that reminds everyone how fundamental a goalkeeper can be for the economy of an entire department. The Frenchman has been missing since September and will still be missing for some time.

In addition to his reactivity, his saves and his distribution, most of all his leadership is missing, which certainly kept the entire level of the defence higher. Maignan has already missed 10 games, and is set to miss a few more yet.

Then there is Fikayo Tomori, whose purchase had given the entire department make a leap in quality, but this year he seems to be in more difficulty and less consistent in his performance.

The numbers prove it: last year he won 1.42 tackles per game, this year 1.24; last year he intercepted 1.45 balls per game, this year 0.95. The important thing is that Mike finds the field and that Tomori regains confidence.

The paper also believe that there is a problem on the flanks, starting with Theo Hernandez who is not having a bad season, but his numbers are down in the attacking phase even if the French full-back has matured even more in terms of defence.

Theo dribbles less, last year completing 1.73 per game while this year he is at 0.73, and he also crosses even less, 1.91 against 1.73.

Then there is Junior Messias, perhaps not the player that the fans consider the attacking driving force but who in any case showed interesting numbers last season. He has decreased the number of dribbles per 90 minutes (1.15 vs. 0.90) and the number of crosses (1.27 vs. 1) but has increased the number of missed passes per game (5.04 vs. 5.45).

Tags AC Milan


  1. Is there anyone in the squad that has improved their stats? I doubt it. Everyone is worse than last season. And I do mean everyone.

    1. Hmm… Perhaps Saelemaekers & Diaz might be in better form but they’re still far away from getting into the TOP-11 of Serie A 2022-2023.

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