Milan vs. Hellas Verona: 5 Things We Learned
Clarence Seedorf's debut as the coach of Milan ended on a positive note despite some of the same old problems surfacing in the second half.
Milan collected all three points after a Mario Balotelli penalty gave the Rossoneri a 1-0 win over overachieving Hellas Verona.
Let's take a look at five important things we learned from this pivotal Serie A fixture.
Keisuke Honda Not 100 Percent
Just like his name would suggest, Keisuke really does move like a Honda.
However, this has less to do with his overall ability and more to do with the fact that he just finished an entire Russian season a few months ago and needs time to adapt to Italian football and reach his physical peak.
We saw more promising signs from the Japanese international, who has a great touch around the box and put in a few great chips for streaking teammates.
He will certainly continue getting the nod in Seedorf's new 4-2-3-1 formation, so expect improvements on a weekly basis.
Seedorf Needs Time
Clarence Seedorf has barely been with the team for 72 hours but managed to pick up all three points against Hellas Verona and a very promising clean sheet despite going with a highly offensive approach.
The first 20 minutes of the match were a frenetic preview of what fans can expect from this new-look Milan—suffocating possession, quick passing and plenty of triangles around the opponent's penalty box.
Once he gets more acquainted with his players and has his say in the transfer market, the team will finally take on the mold of Seedorf's master plan.
Juan Iturbe Is a Stud
If you've been following Hellas Verona closely this season you certainly don't need me to remind you about this, but Juan Iturbe is a stud.
Verona have an option to purchase the Argentine winger for €15m at the end of the season, and it could very well be the best piece of business they could do considering the lavish transfer prices around Europe.
Juan Iturbe's control of the ball when running full speed is reminiscent of some of the world's greatest. He has an incredible left foot as well and can score wonder goals from outside the box as well as set pieces.
New Players Getting Time at Milan
As expected under a new regime, different players previously branded as dead weight started receiving playing time.
After Daniele Bonera picked up an injury, Clarence Seedorf put in seldom-used centre-back Matias Silvestre, who was taken on loan from Inter last summer.
It was an interesting move considering the fact that new acquisition Adil Rami and French defender Philippe Mexes were waiting on the bench.
Going forward, there's little doubt that Seedorf will continue to go with his former teammate Daniele Bonera, a player he knows very well and trusts.
Time for a Rebound
It's a long trek for Milan up the Serie A table, but a miraculous comeback could be in the works similar to last calendar year.
Even though a top-three spot is virtually unattainable, the top five is still an area that they could creep into.
Milan now have 25 points after 20 match days, a paltry figure that Seedorf is looking to overturn. That being said, they're only seven points away from a fifth position on the table, so anything is possible.