Serafini addresses ‘deaf’ formation debate as Milan are ‘oiled and sophisticated’

By Isak Möller -

Although the season is still young, we have seen many different shapes and forms for AC Milan. It’s something we shouldn’t get too hung up about, though, as MilanTV pundit Luca Serafini argues. 

Since joining the club, Pioli has mostly used the 4-2-3-1 formation and it has been a very successful recipe. In recent times, however, the manager has experimented a bit with his choices, putting Brahim Diaz as the right-winger for example.

Last season, Franck Kessie was deployed in the No.10 role and that was a lot more than an emergency decision, but rather a tactical one. In his latest MilanNews editorial, Serafini has addressed this matter, urging the media to focus on the end product instead.

“We said at the beginning of the injury crisis, Pioli always works systematically. The debate around him, which seems increasingly deaf and even a little mocking to me, often revolves around those sterile numbers such as 3-4-3, 4-3-3, 3-5-2 etc…

“In three, it’s not possible to have missed that Milan change formation many times during the 90 minutes. They have essentially been deploying a 2-man defence in the attacking phase, with one of the midfielders acting as the third protector, letting the full-backs roam forward. And that is just one example.

“In a game, the movements count: Theo and his bursting runs in the middle, Rebic who tracks back to temp as full-back, Leao who wanders to the right, Giroud or Origi who drop down to receive the ball in midfield, Tonali and Pobega who join the attack.

“In an oiled and sophisticated mechanism, everything works regardless of the protagonists even if, of course, the quality varies. But when you make a virtue of necessity, you are never wrong if you believe in your work,” he wrote.

The pundit does indeed have a point, seeing as Milan’s biggest strength is performing as a collective and not certain formations. And the chosen formation, as he pointed out, is never a constant throughout the game.

Tags AC Milan Luca Serafini Stefano Pioli


  1. The 4-2-3-1 is the best formation in the world. Along with Milan, Bayern and Manchester United is also having success with this formation. During this midweek, Leipzig and Benfica have also defeated Madrid and Juventus respectively using the same formation.

  2. This is the reason Maldini sign many players who can play multiple position. So Pioli can shift the formation easily within game. 4-2-3-1 is only on paper.

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