AC Milan played their first game of the season last weekend and managed to beat Udinese 4-2. It’s happy days for Stefano Pioli and his men, therefore, but it could also be described as the calm before the storm.
The fact that the World Cup will be played this winter has heavily affected how the clubs (or at least Milan) have approached this season. It has started earlier than usual and there will be a long break during the World Cup.
More so this season than ever before, it will feel like a season of a first half and a second half, in other words. But for the players, this doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of rest during the break – as highlighted by Gazzetta Dello Sport – since many will take part in the World Cup.
Pioli has previously mentioned that ‘two Milan are needed’, referring to the depth of the squad, and that is certainly true. The schedule is packed and the Rossoneri also want to go further in the Champions League this time. That’s why the manager will rely a lot on the reserves as well.
Fortunately, the manager has quite a lot of depth to rely on: Calabria-Florenzi, Kalulu-Kjaer, Leao-Rebic, Giroud-Origi and so on. Many of these are also very versatile, not to mention Yacine Adli and Charles De Ketelaere. The real depth list is longer, of course, but these are just a few examples.