AC Milan is a Team in Need of Rejuvenation

Samuel DieudonneCorrespondent IApril 14, 2009

VERONA, ITALY - APRIL 11: Luca Rigoni of Chievo and Pato of Milan in action during the Serie A match between Chievo Verona and AC Milan at the Stadio Bentegodi on April 11, 2009 in Verona, Italy. (Photo by New Press/Getty Images)

It is no secret that AC Milan over the last two years haven’t been playing the best football, and aren’t the mighty team that most teams in the world feared to play against, whether on a domestic or European stage.

Nowadays Milan continuously blows hot and cold. At times they play to great results, for instance the they enjoyed wins against Bologna & Udinese (3-1, 4-1), but these are all too often coupled with humiliating losses to teams like Palermo and Genoa.

When one watches Milan on display today it is an entirely different side from the one world renowned for its defensive stance and famous offensive spark, and this is sad for a man like Paolo Maldini who once partnered the likes of Baresi, Cafu, and Nesta to now lineup alongside the clumsy Senderos, the ill-coordinated Favalli, and the declining Zambrotta.

In midfield you see Clarence Seedorf, a once first-class player now performing like a kid incapable of completing five consecutive passes on target. You have Andrea Pirlo walking around on the pitch as a ghost through most games as his current form is no longer reminiscent of the midfield maestro he was just two years ago.

It's sad, really, to see what Galliani’s poor transfer policy has turned this team into—one more interested in selling T-shirts rather than satisfying its fans by playing actual football.

Although last year he gave some intentions of rejuvenating the team with the integration of Alexandre Pato into the first team after he sat out 2007, the young stat has come as good as they get as he already has scored almost 30 goals in total appearances for the side since joining, and Thiago Silva, who is incapable of playing until next term, but like Pato is highly tipped for greatness.

Also, his invigorating interest in Marco Borriello was one of great satisfaction. The Genoa hitman, after finishing as the second best goal scorer in Serie A was brought back from his loan, and within his first months at the club showed signs of great promise alongside Pato until he went down injured for the rest of the season.

To continue the intentions of rejuvenation. management trimmed up the Uruguayan's transfer market by signing two of the country’s most promising players.

Matthias Cardaccio and Tabare Vuidez are like most other youngsters, most notably to have previously worn the Milan shirt (Gourcuff), they have been more busy catering to their fellow superstars needs on the bench rather than getting playing time to enhance their soccer skills.

Hey Galliani, you should’ve really focused on trimming down an aging side while focusing on youth in the last two years. Instead he went and signed Ronaldinho, Senderos, Emerson, and David Beckham, all players past their best that have done nothing but turn the legendary club into a laughing stock.

We all know Ronaldinho isn’t the player he once was and quite respectably cannot work for Milan. If Galliani had any senses he would have opted to sign Emmanuel Adebayor when he had the chance.

The need for a good center forward was more monumental than the need for the ex-two time FIFA World Player of the year, who in my opinion is a player on the decline and no longer motivated to succeed as he once was.

Instead, he has installed more trust in 35 year-old+ veterans to win. One would think that comprehensive action would have to be taken if this team will ever return to what they once were; but first lets investigate the causes of the decline and determine which improvements should be made.


Recent Milan Form, By Season

2006-2007—AC Milan were fresh from the Calciopoli scandal as they faced a 15 point league deduction that hampered their Scudetto chances while many felt they shouldn’t have been placed in the Champions League but they were.

And with stars like Kaka, Seedorf, and Pirlo in monstrous form, they won the competition without much difficulty despite a relatively poor Calcio form as the 3-0 demolition of Manchester United in itself just proves how good the team was in Europe.

2007-2008—The Milan of last term was confident after conquering Europe in 2006 as they defeated Boca Juniors & Sevilla to become FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Super Cup Champions, but ever since that they have suffered disappointments left and right. From their round of 16 exit to Arsenal in the Champions league things went downhill as Milan just managed to woefully finished fifth.

That caused them to get relegated into the UEFA Cup (Europa League).

2008-2009—Once they faced their embarrassing and spectacular exit at the hands of Germany's Werder Bremen, who went on to knock them out on away goals by coming back to tie the Lombardian side after being two goals behind, the team now finds itself in third, two points behind Juventus which automatically puts them in contention for the second spot as they still have a game in hand against the Turin side before the end of the season.

Should Milan remain at least third in the table their season will be sort of bittersweet as they would certainly qualify for next years Champions League, which is their goal.

As a Milan fan, when you look at such a form resume, especially the 2008-'09 one you can come to terms with yourself and completely accept that Milan is a side in Crisis. One would tend to blame Carlo Ancelotti for his stubborn tactics and poor management of the team but I beg to differ.

No soccer manager is perfect, but the management must be at least satisfying and it is hard to disagree that Galliani simply did not provide Carlo with the necessary ingredients for future success.

But there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel overall as Galliani has finally been enlightened.

Last week he declared that while there would not be a huge turnaround at Milan, but that instead Carlo’s needs for a center forward, two Defenders and a new Midfielder would be put in perspective. Whilst the Squad will be trimmed down as he plans to lower the average age of the team.

He also announced what every Milan fan wants to hear, finally the side will be investing in youth. Milan has a wealth of talent around Serie A, and a lot of young players to go on the bench.

Take advantage of Milan’s various on loan stars like (Abate), (Di Gennaro) and let go of the no longer capable like Seedorf, Favalli, Emerson, and Co. and they will be more than welcome.

So if these changes are effectively carried out and the side still doesn’t improve than I’ll feel inclined to pin the blame on Carlo. His tactics and selections will be key as I will keep a close eye on him domestically and in the Champions League next season.   


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