When AC Milan needed a response following the wins that Inter and Napoli secured, their attack fired a blank in a frustrating 0-0 draw against Bologna.
Calciomercato.com have produced an analysis of that performance and begin by remarking how the team are built with what is meant to be a well-balanced mix of talents ready to explode and experienced profiles to help mentor.
The main thing is having a clear style of play for these players to develop in but Stefano Pioli instead now seems to be more focused on making his team more unpredictable. For example, he has stopped using Krunic and Saelemaekers in the attacking trident and has tried Kessie as an attacking midfielder, but Brahim Diaz and Messias were picked on Monday to create numerical superiority between the lines.
However, that plan was hinged on whether those players could discover some form and get out of a difficult moment, which they could not. The demand to play with a high intensity in every area of the pitch, to immediately recover the ball after losing it and the ability to remain compact are more suited to some players than others.
It is only useful to have such a specific style of play if the players in the final third are able to turn advantages into chances and opportunities into goals. Maldini and Massara are fully aware that for the coming seasons it will be a categorical imperative to raise the average quality of the squad, but for now Pioli must perhaps be aware of the limitations of the squad, and the Scudetto is more of a dream than an expectation.