Clarence Seedorf's reign at AC Milan has started with a few notable ups and downs. The team were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Udinese and have picked up seven points in their first four domestic matches under the new manager.
It will take time for Seedorf's tactics to truly show, as the team still has plenty of parts from the maligned Massimiliano Allegri era.
Here are five reasons why Milan are headed in the right direction under Clarence Seedorf.
Even though Seedorf still has plenty of kinks to work out in his side, he does have a clear idea of what he wants to see and what formation he wants the team to adopt in the long run.
Gone is the 4-3-3 and any other variant of it. The 4-2-3-1 is now the preferred option, as it really takes advantage of the wealth of attacking options Milan have.
However, the coach still needs to figure out which players fit in the scheme the best, as he now has stockpiled slow trequartisti rather than hardworking attacking midfielders that track back to help the defense from getting exposed.
Simply put—things couldn't get much worse under Massimiliano Allegri.
The formation changed nearly every week. The coach clearly had no idea how his side should have been playing.
Milan looked without a clear game plan. The aesthetically pleasing football of the past was replaced by a hardened setup with three defensive midfielders, which resulted in a notable lack of creativity in the middle of the park.
The Rossoneri even flirted with going into the relegation zone. They came within five points of it numerous times this season.
Seedorf is one of the most successful players of the last two decades. The Dutchman is the only individual to have won an astonishing four Champions League trophies with three different clubs.
He is intelligent, a strong personality and a natural leader—all of which provides him with the foundation to become a successful coach.
It's obvious that his inexperience will show and that there will be growing pains, but the former Milan player will look to use his wealth of contacts in the Dutch league to pluck some of Europe's finest young prospects and mold them into future Rossoneri legends.
Ownership has complete trust in Clarence Seedorf despite obvious bumps in his early tenure.
With a strong relationship between Berlusconi and Seedorf in place, expect the Dutchman to have the confidence to calmly work his game plan without the stress that other coaches have about being sacked after a string of poor results.
Milan's hopes really do lie on the shoulders of their one true game-changer.
As with any mercurial talent, Mario Balotelli needs to be tutored and held in check as he goes through the motions of being a rebellious youngster.
Seedorf is the epitome of a professional and can instill some of these qualities in Super Mario as he looks to take the next step in his career.
The coach and Balotelli recently shared a great moment after Super Mario slotted in a goal and looked right away to the sideline where Seedorf was pictured giving a big thumbs up.