AC Milan: The Struggle Continues

Richard MesquitaContributor ISeptember 24, 2009

UDINE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23:  Antonio Di Natale (R) of Udinese Calcio battle for the ball with Andrea Pirlo of AC Milan  during the serie A match between Udinese Calcio and AC Milan at Stadio Friuli on September 23, 2009 in Udine, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)

After five rounds, Milan continues to struggle to find the beautiful football that was once synonymous with the Rossoneri.

Yesterday, AC Milan fans saw a lack luster team with very little creativity. While they showed a marked improvement in the midfield they were unable to create good chances and when they did create, they were unable to finish.

As a fan, I continue to question Leonardo’s ability to lead this team. He continues to make rookie mistakes. Take for instance the role that he has requested Seedorf to play.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to take anything away from him. He is very fit, he runs the whole time he is on the pitch, and he fights for every ball.

That being said, he has shown time and time again that he does not have the ability to create, to pull the strings as it were, to create good scoring chances. 

Italy’s head coach, Marcello Lippi, had a great idea that I thought for sure Leonardo would utilize in AC Milan: Play Pirlo as an offensive midfielder behind the strikers. What a difference he made playing for Italy’s national team.

Pirlo has a lot more ball control, pass accuracy, a great vision for the game, not to mention his ability to hold on to the ball and slow the game down when needed. When you least expect it, he can release a player with a great pass.

I also believe that Leonardo waits too long to make necessary changes. It was evident that the formation as it stood was not creating a lot of scoring chances. Yet he waited until the 60th minute to start making changes.

He introduced Ronaldinho into the mix. I know what you are saying to yourself as you read this article and I know everyone’s opinion on Ronaldinho and his form and bla, bla, bla. That is a subject for another article.

But whether you are a Ronaldinho fan or not, the impact he had on the game was crystal clear. Immediately taking control and pulling the strings and creating various scoring opportunities in just a few minutes of play. In my humble opinion he pulled the wrong player out. I believe Pato should have stayed in and Seedorf should have been substituted.  

It is hard enough to win games away from home, to let one slip away like that. The game yesterday could have easily been a win for Milan.

After five rounds AC Milan is in 11th place. Is it the end of the world? No. The season is just beginning. There is still a lot of football to be played. But the time to make mistakes has passed.