The first three plays that stood out to me before even asking the question were the following:
- The ten minute hat-trick against Lecce.
- The wonderful volley in the Champions League first leg against Arsenal.
Care to venture a guess about what the third option might be?
Perfection was how Kevin-Prince Boateng described it—his goal against Barcelona last season in the Champions League. Here's the full video of the Google+ Hangout interview:
Despite all of these wonderful memories, not much has been cause for celebration this season with the Ghanaian international. He has dipped from the form that saw him become one of the most recognizable midfielders worldwide last season with a slew of superstar performances on a global stage.
Statistically speaking, Boateng's goal totals have dropped from his career best of nine last season to just three this past one.
However a basic eye-test will show that his form has plummeted. It seems that nowadays the player is dipping his hair more often in peroxide than curling shots into the back of the net.
Not only has Boateng been erratic, but he has been used in about five different positions by coach Massimiliano Allegri. Boateng's the only player to wear a No. 10 on his back who rarely actually plays as a trequartista.
Boateng has been deployed on the right wing, as a false No. 9, and as a holding midfielder. Without the smallest glimmer of tactical continuity on the starting XI, can we really fault Kevin that much for his lackluster performances?
It all comes down to the coach. Simply put, Allegri's experiment to use Boateng last year behind the strikers seemed to be a stroke of genius. His forward-destroyer style became highly popular with the fans, as he mixed flamboyance up front with frenetic work-rate and energy.
With the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic last summer to Paris St. Germain, Boateng was thrust in a brand new formation which lacked any semblance of chemistry. The first half of the season was nightmarish for both him and Milan.
Hopefully with the right amount of continuity he can find his true role on the team. Milan has adopted the 4-3-3 formation, so a classic No. 10 position is rendered extinct in this tactical scheme.
On the field, however, it's time for Boateng to carve out a new niche with Milan, and give their faithful a perfect deja vu.