AC Milan’s Coppa Italia semi-final defeat against Inter showed that there is still a lot of room for improvement in the current squad to reach certain levels.
The 3-0 scoreline at San Siro might have been unfair on the balance of play and Milan are still in the running for the Scudetto, but MilanNews write how Stefano Pioli is performing a sort of miracle given the limited number of players that he has at his disposal and the adversity he has had to battle.
Pioli has led Milan on a very positive journey since he took charge during the 2019-20 season but to turn good things into great things, you need to win trophies. At the moment it feels like he is a chef trying to make a masterpiece of a dish but with some key ingredients missing.
When Matteo Gabbia, Rade Krunic and Marko Lazetic came on during the second half of last night’s loss it became clear that there is a gap in depth between the Rossoneri and their title rivals Inter. Pioli has been without at least 4-5 players per game and last night Simon Kjaer, Alessio Romagnoli, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alessandro Florenzi were all out.
Then the likes of Tiémoué Bakayoko, Ante Rebic, Samuel Castillejo, Daniel Maldini and Fodé Ballo-Touré are all in the squad list but have been virtually useless, which should not be how things are in a squad with trophy ambitions.
Looking at the January market, signing Lazetic (an 18-year-old) to try and help a 35-year-old Giroud and a 40-year-old Ibrahimovic now looks questionable. The immobility on the market by the management weighs on the performance in the finale of this season.
The team are tired, lack the same cohesion and seem to have lost the bite they had. The injuries and big refereeing mistakes against the Rossoneri are having a big impact too, but the season is not over yet and there could yet be something special to show for a gruelling journey.