GdS: From injuries to defensive frailty – five reasons for Milan’s current struggles

By Oliver Fisher -

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding various aspects of AC Milan at the moment, and a collective effort is needed to correct the course.

La Gazzetta dello Sport have picked out five areas in particular which are a cause for concern for Milan at the moment and have contributed to some of the issues that the team are experiencing at present.

Summer signings: The approximately €50m spent on the market in summer 2022 so far has not brought any improvements to the squad and when Milan do well, they do so almost entirely thanks to those who were already there.

Maldini clarified some time ago that he feels he is the guarantor of the project, but as the weeks go on the likes of Charles De Ketelaere, Yacine Adli, Malick Thiaw, Aster Vranckx and Sergino Dest offer few encouraging signs.

Winter mercato: The past market leads to the current one, but Maldini admitted that the window is virtually already shut: “In the winter market we will do practically nothing.”

Of course any new addition make complete sense within the project and that Milan will never buy just for the sake of it, while the accounts must continue to improve, but even without injuries there are obvious areas to improve the squad.

Injuries: The treatment room continues to be nearly full just as it has been for most of the season and this deserves mentioning as a complete Milan squad would almost certainly not find themselves in the current difficult situation.

The team that conceded in extra time against Torino was roughly the starting team, but Pioli has to do without even eight to nine players every game, some of whom enable productive rotations. Playing every three days, it means that the performance of the individuals drops and the risk of new injuries increases.

Coaching: The athletic management is obviously attributable to the coach, but Pioli has recently come under fire for other things too such as substitutions and his management of rotation.

The attacking movements are also questionable when the starters are not out there, as against Torino we saw more than once players calling for a ball in behind but instead the pass was played to feet.

Then, when the main players did come on the performance did not improve. These are things that Pioli will have to work on starting from an objective basis: he is a coach who knows how to squeeze the most out of his team, since he is the greatest architect of the Scudetto and the return to the Champions League.

Defence: It is what stands out most in this moment of confusion, with an alternation between three and four-man defence evidently not so productive. There are drops in attention in individuals – Tomori’s performance for example is below what was shown last season – and in the department such as Roma’s two goals from dead ball situations.

Certain arrangements are dictated by the injuries such as Pierre Kalulu shifting to right-back because of the problems in that role, but there also seems to be lower concentration than a year ago. In six matches – three friendlies and three official – between December and January the Diavolo conceded 14 goals. The team that had clean sheets as a flagship no longer exists and must be fixed.

Tags AC Milan


  1. The biggest issue is the leaking defense. They say “defenses win championships” and it’s true. And since Milan is pretty dreadful in attacking plays they REEEEALLY need to patch up the leaky defense ASAP!

  2. The real 5 reasons:

    1. Formation.. We don’t have sufficient players for 4231 in 5 positions at the moment. ST, CAM, RW, DM, GK. This is literally a half team. And somehow we are still in second position. Gotta credit Pioli for it because its only possible due to our intense pressing gameplay. Pioli unfortunately has no idea about any other formations.

    2. Pioli has zero attacking strategy. It’s one of his massive weakness. We have no attacking gameplan. We don’t have any strategy on how to create space, how to switch play, or how to create chances to score. Our gameplan basically is give the ball to Leao and Godspeed. The rest of the players don’t have even the basic ability to put a semi-decent shot on target. By that I don’t just mean shots on goal, it includes crosses, key passes etc. They ALWAYS miss their mark by a freaking Mile everytime and it’s outright pathetic. Even blind people would put better passes. The ONLY Player who can actually put pinpoint passes are Bennacer and CDK, and of course Leao. You can see it in our gameplay, the players just don’t know what to do when in attacking phase, indecisive, confused, takes hours to make a decision whether to pass or shoot. While in defensive phase they know exactly what to do and where to move to retrieve the ball nearly instantly. That’s literally why we are at 2nd. Otherwise, we would be fighting relegation by now.

    3. Owner. We managed to change our owner at the worst possible time EVER. It effectively F’ed two of our transfer windows COMPLETELY. Why thank you Elliot.

    4. Coaching staff. WHAT THE F is pioli doing to these players? HOW THE F does a goalkeeper pick up a season long Injury? Are they training for the F’ing UFC? Even UFC fighters dont get injured that much. It’s like we are a cripple production machine. Players who have NO Injury history becomes glasscannons here and those who have a history just ends their career like Caldara and Conti.

    5. Transfer Policy. WHY THE F do we have to wait till last year of every F’ing contract? How long does it take for this management to realizing last year of contract makes no sense as it’s just lets the players advertise themselves to their new clubs. If a player enters last year, they go straight to bench. No exceptions. No training either. Sit on your ass. You wanna F the club? well F you too. Say goodbye to a whole year of your career.

    Look at real madrid and how they dealt with Bale, or MU and how they dealt with CR7. Thats what a strong club means. That’s how you deal with Crybabies who think they are bigger than the club. You don’t F with the club that feeds you. No one is bigger than the club.

    My only gripe with Maldini is, Maldini is too soft and trusts players too much. He still thinks players these days have values like old school legends like himself and the players of that era used to have.

    Most of These players are just commercial b1tches you use and then throw away because they will do the same with the club given the opportunity. There is no respect left in football now a days. it’s just business everywhere and we need to start treating it as such.

    We need to Just SELL LEAO Already. Dude hasn’t signed a contract and we have ran out of time last season. Sell that MF And buy Mudryk.

    But I do understand why we are keeping Leao. If we sell Leao, we don’t stay in top 4. That’s clear as daylight. Specially With Pioli at the helm who has no clear attacking plan after 2 years with the same team. .which means it aint happening ever.

    So the choice boils down to .. 1) Stay at top 4 and let leao leave for free.. or 2) 150 mil by selling Leao.. but we don’t play UCL next season. Both are $hit choices but I prefer the first unless we manage to extend Leao soon.

    Forza Milan.

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