Are AC Milan in Crisis? Pt. 1: Assigning Blame

Samuel DieudonneCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2009

After a disastrous campaign last season that saw them narrowly miss out on Champions League football due to finishing fifth behind Fiorentina, it was clearly evident that Milan had a problem. 

But did we ever think it would become this bad?

The answer hands down should be no.

Yes, the side has been hampered with injuries—and yes, misfortune can be put into account.

But in my opinion Milan's management and coaching staff has only brought this upon themselves. 

Even though they started last season as the defending European and FIFA Club World World Cup Champs, they struggled consistently and managed to have all their objectives and goals changed by wintertime. It was clearly evident that the Milan side needed change.

The team finished up the season trophy-less, and to make it worse, missed out on the Champions League. Now they have dropped points in some of the recent Serie A games and gotten thrashed out of the UEFA Cup, their last hope for silverware. They now seem to have gone down that exact road once again—now finding themselves hanging by a thread on third 12 points behind Inter with Fiorentina, and Genoa once again breathing down their necks for CL spots. 

What is the cause of this? I have certain ideas.

Carlo Ancelotti, the team's coach, shoulders a large portion of the blame. Sure, his tactics stink, as he is awfully reliant on the Christmas tree formation and sometimes his reasoning is questionable. He also is awful at man management and really has he favorites which causes Milan to suffer when they go down injured.

But just how easy is it to work for a guy like Adriano Galliani? A transfer guru who always seems to find a way to make the fans frown when he purchases on the transfer market, even though at times he makes great acquisitions. Bottom line—our transfer policy sucks our squad needs some upgrading and we have a coach that has a natural inability to motivate players.

After such a turbulent campaign last season, the Rossonerri obviously needed change, and in the summer transfer market they tried to install some. Most were good moves and the fans were hopeful that the Milan of Old would be back but just how badly didn't we think of the future consequences.

The team is too old and lacks pace which is mainly why they've crashed out of both Champions League Football and the UEFA Cup two years in a row. Older players are consistently getting contract renewals and more playing time while younger ones warmed the bench or got shipped out on loan.

It was obvious that our key needs were to completely rejuvenate our front line and strengthen our back line, and that's where my blame of Galliani comes in.

Despite bringing back Borriello, who had been sensational last term with Genoa and Matthieu Flamini on a free from Arsenal, he still managed to make unreasonable and unneeded buys—like Shevchenko, who flopped amazingly at Chelsea and is on his way to doing it again here, and Ronaldinho whom despite impressing at an earlier stage of the season really hasn't been the player of the old and has been so far only second choice to Clarence Seedorf.

He also struggles to impress when playing alongside Kaka, which brings the all-important question, "Can the two They Coexist?" Who knows? Ancelotti hasn't even bothered to tweak his tactics and try to find what works.

It has been a horrendous season for Milan when it came down to available players and injury casualties also. Gattusso, Borriello, Nesta, Kaladhze, and now Kaka are just some of the crucial players to have missed a long run of games. I think all these players have some direct relation to just why some of the guys like Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, and even Maldini have been so poor in the respective positions on the pitch this season.

It was good to see some changes made, as players like Cafu, Oddo and Brocchi were shipped out. Most fans like me thought we were taking a step in the right direction.

But it did not take long for us to realise that young talents such as Paloschi, Gourcuff, and Abate were shipped out also and most likely wouldn't return. We shouldn't blame them, as young players in Milan—with the exception of Leonardo discoveries Pato and Kaka—are usually slapped in the face with an extreme lack of playing time.

One example of this, undoubtedly, is Yoann Gourcuff. The young french talent tipped as the new Zidane has been extremely mishandled by Milan. Under the reigns of the stubborn coach Ancelotti, Gourcuff was given very little playing time as Carlo judge repetitively that he lacked the mentality needed to play for Milan. Right, that's exactly why he is playing fantastic football for Bordeaux and the France National team, isn't it?  

So instead of letting the kid prove himself capable of playing for us overtime by building his confidence Ancelotti simply benched him for a season and loaned him out the next. That kind of mentality is exactly why Milan suffers and goes into a crisis. But where do we draw the line and solve this crisis?

It is time for some drastic changes. Is a new coach needed? Should the squad be upgraded? Only time can tell, but please feel free to comment and leave your thoughts.