GdS: De Ketelaere fades to anonymity again but Pioli’s approach earns scrutiny

By Oliver Fisher -

Charles De Ketelaere got his first league start in over four months against Sassuolo yesterday, but the jury is still out after a game that will be remembered more for the defensive collapse at the other end.

La Gazzetta dello Sport recall how everything looked very promising because when the clock reached two minutes and a handful of seconds, De Ketelaere received the ball in midfield, turned and ran away between Obiang and Laurentié like a skier between the slalom posts.

Many hoped and believed that it could be the start of a game that then became a breakout performance, a whole 16 weeks after his last start in Empoli 1-3 Milan on 1 October, and for a Milan side desperately looking to get out of a quagmire.

However, the Belgian disappeared with the rest of the team and as the goals flew in past Ciprian Tatarusanu he again became the culprit losing the courage to make things happen. He did not support the closest team-mates, showed poor ball protection and he was removed at half-time.

Many fans considered Pioli’s treatment of his No.90 to be excessively severe, but it must also be mentioned that the head coach was completely losing control of a game in which there was an obligation to win, so he observed the inconsistency of the player who should bring imagination and effectiveness in the attacking phase to make changes.

Brahim Diaz – although he remains an inconsistent player – still seems to be meaner and more lively player than CDK. If Pioli really switches to a 4-3-3 formation against Inter, the Spaniard appears more suitable than the Belgian to play on the right wing.

The De Ketelaere mystery therefore remains and drags along to the tune of the €35m spent last summer which so far have translated into 10 appearances out of 24 as a starter and 1,051 minutes without a goal and only one assist on the scoresheet.

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere


  1. From what ive seen on sunday cdk was doing just fine. the def and guys in the pivot were the ones needing replacement at half time…
    4231 or 433 formation doesnt matter. Pioli wont change the playing system that has been obsolete for months now. It was obsolete the second hakan left to be honest. And we shoulve replaced him with equal quality or change the system, none of that happened, now it caught up to us, zero creativity in atk and total collaps of def ‘cuz there is no confidance, ‘cuz they dont score goals

    1. That’s right. Changing formation from 4231 to 433 isn’t going to solve anything. The tactics need to change. Pioli’s style does not work without a box to box beast like Kessie and his refusal to change up to this point has hurt the team. In his defense, Maldini has depleted this team badly and he doesn’t have a lot of options.
      I think against Inter, Milan need to go super defensive , have a deep compact line and try to hit Inter on the counter. That is the only way they can play now without conceding a ton of goals. The pressing is not what it once was. You need to stop Tomori and Kalulu from ball chasing all over the field and just play solid D and try to counter quickly when you get the ball. It’s the only way to save this thing until we can upgrade this squad.

      1. that was another huge blow yup. Kessie was obviously the one holding the midfield keys 😀 and again no direct replacement.. Vranxy has the talent, i think, but needs time to mature to that lvl if he will even reach it. I always say a good coach adapts his play to suit the players, Pioli did that when he came, but he isnt doing it now..

  2. I think sempremilan and the gazzetta are a bit hard on CDK this time. I usually agree that he hasn’t been good. But I think he actually made some really good moves this match and looked more confident when he got the ball. Pioli isn’t helping him getting into the groove by removing him after 45 minutes making it look like it was his fault we were down 1-3. If Pioli could be as hard towards Tata maybe we can get somewhere. We have absolutely nothing to loose by trying Vasques for a game. Tata has probably the worst save percentage in the whole world by now…

    1. Exactly.
      Charles has shown he has talent but he keeps getting replaced when he isnt the one at fault, meanwhile we have a goalkeeper who decided not to run out and clear the ball vs lazio which conceded a penalty which was 100% goalkeepers ball by far and lets easy saves go through his hands.
      Salemakers has been dreadfull in 70% of games he played and especially vs sassuolo he lost possession so many times and instead of replacing him with leao and letting leao play on the wing, piolo replaces charles and makes rebic/leao/salemakers(later messias) play, like if he at least put in diaz as cam or give Adli a chance who btw must have killed Pioli’s dog or something with how much Pioli doesnt let him play, no he rather have players out of position instead not to mention Leao has been hugely disappointing in last 1-2 months.

  3. I spoke to a friend who coaches rugby at professional level and he said that with younger players they normally give them two or three games in a row to establish them and would rarely take a young player off who (even if they are struggling) because it would kill their confidence.

    in Italian football especially this happens all of the time. If a team is losing the young players will always be sacrificed regardless of how poorly more senior players are performing or what it will do to their confidence.

    Generally younger players have to be twice as good as more senior players. Any mistakes are instantly punished and any moments of brilliance are ignored.

    Take Giroud. For a player with his experience he regularly tries flicks instead of holding up the ball, has been prone to giving the ball away in his own third, and has missed sitters. If a youth player did any of this they’d be finished.

    The one thing CDK has going for him is his price tag. Having spent that much on him the club will show more patience with him. If he was a youth player who had cost us nothing he’d be finished.

    1. “Take Giroud. For a player with his experience he regularly tries flicks instead of holding up the ball, has been prone to giving the ball away in his own third, and has missed sitters. If a youth player did any of this they’d be finished.”

      The thing is that old players like Giroud have shown what they are capable. Everyone knows Giroud is a player who can score 2 goals against anyone when needed. Sure, he can have bad days too but everyone knows the talent and the scoring capabilities are (still) there. And his head can take pressure. How about the younger lads then? Unproven. Untested. Questionmarks all around.

  4. Cdk is good but he joined the team when they were collapsing so it is hard to grow, plus our tactic isn’t smart pressing isn’t the style we should have

  5. Taking him off at 45mins was inexcuseable. How’s he at fault when the defenders were sleeping on the job? Give this kid a run ffs. How are we going to see what he’s capable off if we keep stop-starting him like that?

    Even if he played like crap, stick with him for 90mins, build his confidence up, we’re all playing like crap anyway and to my eyes, he did decent.

    1. “Taking him off at 45mins was inexcuseable. How’s he at fault when the defenders were sleeping on the job?”

      CDK was a “collateral damage” here. Pioli HAD TO make changes. Should he have taken off Giroud instead? Nope. Hell no! Rebic? Well, Rebic was playing better than CDK and everyone knows that Milan needed goals and Rebic was far more probable to score than CDK (and did score too BUT…).

  6. Giroud did really well in the match ..He won a considerable duals in the air …He can score goals against any team if he is given the service one better than him inside the 18 yard area ..He has never had great pace ,but he has never needed that ,as the first few yards are in his head ,he has a knack of being in the right place at the right time ,this is a great skill and not luck ..He was unlucky with the first goal ,as it was marginally offside ,but he scored with an excellent header later..So Giroud is not a fault here .
    Lots more goals to come from Olivier I am sure .
    Rafeol leao has been extremely disappointing of late .
    Yes he has terrific ability but his mind seems to be elsewhere at the moment..Another who I was so pleased with was Origi when he came on ,not only did he score a terrific goal but his link up play with Giroud looked good .This is the best I have seen Origi play in a Milan shirt ..He looked so fit fast and strong .If he can stay fit ,then I am sure he can be a good asset for us ..I would like to see him start upfront alongside Oliver Giroud against inter …
    We badly need a win …if that happens then I believe it will install confidence in the team ..

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.