GdS: Milan have two fronts to compete on but don’t have the squad to do so

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli gave another chance to a few of his reserve players last night but they were again unable to get the job done against Cremonese.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport writes how the big screen at San Siro created a certain melancholy as replays of Olivier Giroud’s great goals were played and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was shown sat behind the benches, the area of ​​the stadium that he attended the most this year.

In order not to further discourage the more than 68,000 in the stands the results of the other games were not shown, with Inter strolling in Hellas Verona and Lazio beating Sassuolo, while Juventus and Atalanta won before.

The Curva Sud chanted Charles De Ketelaere’s name even after Carnesecchi stopped him getting his first goal, and while he battled to get himself back into the game he more often passed backwards or to his closest team-mate rather than trying to unlock the game.

Of course the club wants the investment to be protected but it is not with these performances that the Belgian can truly show his qualities. Instead, the hope is that another summer of lessons at Milanello can help, as it did with Rafael Leao and Sandro Tonali.

In truth, they did already pass some exams in their first year, De Ketelaere has not. The club believe that the second season will bring a turnaround, but it is now understood that the first will hardly give satisfaction.

Fodé Ballo-Touré was fielded to give Theo Hernandez a rest and the difference between the starter and the alternative was evident, just as Aster Vranckx was not on the level of Sandro Tonali.

Divock Origi’s contribution remained modest as he was absent in the area because of the tactical instructions received from Pioli to play wide on the left, meaning his tally remains stuck on two useless goals against Monza and Sassuolo.

He doesn’t rely on his qualities, physique and experience at the to. Origi won six titles with Liverpool, with whom he reached the top of the world with a Champions League win, but at Milan it seems he can’t even be a guide for his younger team-mates.

At the interval, the fans waited for the big names, but only Rade Krunic appeared from the dressing room. The others remain seated and then came on to try and resolve a game that was growing increasingly difficult.

Yacine Adli was not used, nor was Ante Rebic. The second lines, instead of advancing, retreat. Milan have two fronts to compete on but don’t have a double squad to support it. The club will only be able to intervene in the summer.

Tags AC Milan


  1. Well geeez

    With Red Bird and Elliott…

    This time next year, we will have less squad to do anything and not 2 fronts..

    1. Blah blah blah Redbird/Elliott. 1 scudetto and a CL semi. In two years that’s more than we did in the 8 years prior. We do have a thin squad, but it’s a work in progress. The choice made to put more effort into the CL this season is the mistake. The club needs to solidify it’s presence in the CL, i.e. finish top 4 at a minimum, every year before it can move to improve the squad and think of CL finals. Putting all of our eggs into reaching the final basket was the wrong choice. I would have had no problem getting eliminated by Napoli in the quarters if it meant a certainty of finishing top 4 in Serie A. It is only our second season in the CL after not having participated for eight years, after all. Thanks to Redbird and Elliott.

      Somehow people like you can’t understand economics. Who are you looking at for comparison? Juventus, the club who has three active investigations into its illegal finances? PSG, the club that is backed by a petrostate and flaunts FFP (and has still not even won the CL anyway)? Barcelona, a club 1bn in debt who mortgaged their media rights away for the next 50 years to stat afloat? City, another petrostate funded club that also flaunts FFP, has still not won the CL, and is also under investigation by the English FA for financial shenanigans? Any of the EPL clubs who play in a league that received 6bn for its distribution rights vs. Serie A’s 700m? You’re completely daft.

    1. But, he plays like he is on the training ground that he doesn’t want to be injured, no charisma and agility to win… Please sell him out 🙏 very clumsy and lazy….. Diaz is not good but the way he plays with his heart made it look like is very good.

    2. Yep. He was absolutely better than Diaz on the night, imo. Wish he would have gotten around the gk to score, but he showed positive signs. Cremonense played with 11 behind the ball the entire game and smothered the attacking four, he hardly had any time or space to move, play in or find a passing lane, so the difficulty is a bit understandable.

    1. Could have gotten Berardi and someone else for that money. Even if Berardi wouldn’t have scored any, Milan wouldn’t have lost to Sassuolo at home and had 2-3 more points. And that alone would have made him a better purchase than CDK was! Yet, Berardi probably would have scored +10 goals too if we’re honest.

  2. The problem was and is fielding CDK. It’s a crucial position to be gambling with and I think Pioli needs to be real with himself about the kid. It seems it’s all for the sake of trust but it’s clear at this point. He’s not good enough at this level and playing him more makes him go further down the dumps

  3. Looks like the management don’t need to “intervene” in summer at all as there will be no euro games next season. Only one or two Coppa Italia matches and Serie. That’s it. You don’t need 30 bakayokos for that.

  4. We could have made a few reasonable purchases in January – but ownership said no. So there u have it. 50M budget per year won’t get it done. We will struggle to be top 4 year in and year out. And when we have a poor transfer window (like this past summer) and ownership who refuse to allow M&M the opportunity to correct it (January) the result is not surprising. As I said in January when ownership refused to spend another penny on a couple of reinforcements – Ownership basically said were fine risking top 4 finish/CL – so we are where we are and this isn’t a surprise to them and not sure they are that concerned because if they were – they would have let M&M buy a few players at that time. This is Redbird/Elliot. Even if we pull a miracle and win CL they still won’t spend more than 50M/year on new players. That is not their business model. Young cheap players w hope they develop. That’s it and we should all get used to it unfortunately

    1. So some summer acquisitions haven’t turned out great, but how can you know how they will turn out until they’re bought and playing for us? Hindsight is 20/20. If you look at some of the games that we dropped points in, it has nothing to do with summer signing or winter signings that didn’t happen. They have to do with execution on the most basic level by some of our best players. In that sense, if this is the problem, we’re talking about changing 10 players, including Leao. Is it on the coach or management if Leao or Diaz can’t get shots on target against Cremonese? Diaz twice received the ball in space and with time in the box and couldn’t execute. Leao in the 82nd or 84th minute receives the ball with time and space just outside the 6 yard box and shoots wide! What can you do about this?! We were the better team against Cremonese, Bologna, Empoli, Salernitana, often playing first teamers, but even with all of our bench players such as against Bologna. We dominated possession in all of those matches (except maybe Bologna). In all of those matches we had clear goal scoring opportunities, by all kinds of players. They all f- up, including the great Leao. This isn’t an ownership problem. It’s a mentality problem. It may be a coaching problem. and yet, despite that, we have won a league title and are in the CL semis. There are so many variables at play and it’s too easy to just point the finger at one person, or one element of the club and say “it’s their fault”.

      1. “In all of those matches we had clear goal scoring opportunities, by all kinds of players. They all f- up, including the great Leao. This isn’t an ownership problem. It’s a mentality problem. It may be a coaching problem.”

        100% accurate! Sure, Haaland probably would have scored in all of the matches but if anyone thinks we have THAT kind of money available…

    2. And the only reason Cremonese even scored was because our two CBs decided to do an impression of the Keystone Cops. How unlucky is that? Remember the Spezia game last season? Same thing. It’s like the worst outcome with the lowest probability happens. And sometimes it happens to the very best. See Milan v. Liverpool, CL Final, Istanbul, 2005.

    1. I guess you didn’t really watch the game, since CDK (1x), Diaz (2x) and Leao (1x) all had goalscoring opportunities.

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