5 Reasons Why Milan's Preseason Woes Are a Worrying Sign of Things to Come
Milan have now lost their last three summer friendlies, putting on atrocious displays as they conceded 10 times and only scored once.
The squad has had to endure yet another revolution as Clarence Seedorf was fired after six months and Filippo Inzaghi took his place.
Other than coaching Milan's youth team, the former striker affectionately known as Pippo has never been at the helm of a senior side.
Here are five reasons why Milan's preseason woes are worrying signs of things to come:
The Defense Has Gotten Worse
Ten goals conceded in three matches.
Milan's defensive line for the past two seasons has been the absolute antonym of what Rossoneri fans have been used to through the past few decades.
Long gone are the legendary defenders in the the mold of Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi and Alessandro Nesta.
The center-backs this summer have looked porous and lazy. New-signing Alex was exposed by speed and Adil Rami has been cumbersome.
On the wings, Kevin Constant is still used despite having a hard time playing for most provincial Serie A sides. Mattia De Sciglio also hasn't taken the next step in his career after being unfairly dubbed as the "new Maldini."
Filippo Inzaghi Looks Outmatched
The benefit of the doubt will be given to Inzaghi as he has no experience coaching at the top level and still needs time to instill his ideas in this disorganized squad. He prefers using a 4-3-3 formation, but with Riccardo Montolivo out due to a broken leg, a creative spark will be hard to come by in the center of the park.
On the pitch, Milan has lacked ideas, creativity and the willingness to fight for every ball.
If there's anyone who knows what it means to suit up for Milan, it's Inzaghi. The striker has won everything from domestic titles to Champions League trophies, so hopefully he'll be able to project a winning attitude into this dysfunctional group.
Balotelli Too Inconsistent to Carry Attack
Milan placing their entire hopes on the shoulders of Mario Balotelli is a risky move.
Touted as their only player with true world-class quality, Balotelli also showed a penchant of disappearing when it matters most. His no-show in the Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid last season proved that Balotelli can easily be taken out of a game when the defenders get a little more aggressive.
Balotelli will be 24-years-old when the season starts, so excuses about age and immaturity will become tired and repetitive.
After disappointing in the World Cup with Italy, Balotelli seemingly will not be sold to another team and will lead Milan's front line.
No Clear Direction
The lack of clear direction surrounding Milan is one of the main problems at the moment.
Last season, a Hollywood-esque turn of the page at the top took place, as Vice-President Adriano Galliani nearly left the club as more power was given to Silvio Berlusconi's daughter Barbara.
It's clear that Milan want to expand their brand globally, but without any European action, the club is suffering their worst ever moment since they were relegated to Serie B in the early 1980s.
Other than a valiant social media campaign surrounding the club, there haven't been many things for Rossoneri fans to cheer about in the past few years.
Quiet Transfer Window
At the moment, Jeremy Menez and Alex are the two marquee signings for Milan. Both came from Paris Saint-Germain in search of a new project.
Alex, a defender nearing the twilight of his career, is only a marginal improvement over what Milan have at the back.
On the other hand, Menez is an inconsistent talent capable of remarkable skill which is often outweighed by anonymity and laziness. Remind you of anyone?
The two aren't nearly enough of a reinforcement to make Milan a legitimate threat for the Scudetto, and a top-three spot is not assured either.
In typical Milan fashion, expect a surprise signing to occur on the last week of the transfer season.