Five Things Learned From Milan's Trip To Genoa

Frank TiganiCorrespondent IMay 11, 2010

GENOA, ITALY - MAY 09:  Ronaldinho of AC Milan in action surrounded by players of Genoa CFC during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and AC Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on May 9, 2010 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Massimo Cebrelli/Getty Images)
Massimo Cebrelli/Getty Images

At the moment, it is hard to find any reason for optimism when talking about Milan.

The team's performances are going from bad to worse, there is uncertainty as to who will be the coach next year, there seems to be little hope that any big signings will be made this summer (which the club badly needs) and lastly, there does not seem to be a plan in place to help Milan climb back to the top again.

The present moment is a hopeless one for the Rossoneri.

Right now, the club just seems directionless and the future seems somewhat uncertain.

Reflecting on Milan's trip to Genoa over the weekend, there are five conclusions that can be drawn about Milan's season.

The first conclusion is that Milan will never win anything with Marco Borriello as the number one striker.

Borriello has enjoyed some good moments this season and has scored some good goals, in addition to accumulating a respectable tally. But he still is not good enough. He lacks quality.

At the highest levels of football, chances are sometimes few and far between. For success to be achieved, you need a striker who can finish off the odd chance. This is the difference between winning and losing.

Against Genoa, Borriello’s guilt-edged miss in the second half proved decisive. The problem is that this is not the first time Borriello has missed such a easy chance. Milan needs a quality striker, end of story. Borriello would be great as a back up or at a smaller club.

The second conclusion is that come this summer, Huntelaar should be sold to the highest bidder. The Dutchman is still wanted by many of Europe's top clubs, including a number of English clubs. Sell him to an English club for some good money and reinvest the funds into the squad.

The reason why Huntelaar should be sold is simple: he has not proven himself at Milan. Although he is a highly talented striker, his lack of playing time over the last two seasons may have had a detrimental effect on him; both in a psychological sense and a footballing sense. Huntelaar really is in danger of not fulfilling his potential and to keep him and hope he does fulfill his potential is a bet Milan cannot afford. 

The third conclusion that can be drawn from Milan’s limp display against Genoa is that Marcello Lippi is on another planet if he thinks Gattuso is still good enough for Italy let alone picking him for the World Cup. On current form, Gattuso would struggle to make the starting lineup at Chievo and probably would not even start for Palermo.

We have not seen the Gattuso of old once this season; perhaps this is a sign that he is finished. The Gattuso we have seen this season has been atrociously poor and it is absolutely baffling how he is most likely still going to South Africa.

Not only must Lippi be on another planet if he thinks Gattuso is good enough for Italy, Leo must be floating around in space somewhere if he thinks Gattuso is still worth starting. He is not, even with Ambrosini unavailable.

Bring in a youth player. At least a youth player will have the legs to run all day and the hunger that is so clearly missing in Gattuso’s game.

Gattuso, the footballer, is no more. He is now a fishmonger.

The fourth conclusion that can be made from this match is that Mathieu Flamini is also not good enough. His tackling is reckless and ill-timed and he is lucky that he has not received more than two red cards this season.

Flamini is a one hit wonder. He had one great season at Arsenal, but we will probably never see that Flamini again.

Considering the serious lack of depth Milan has in midfield, it is debatable whether Milan would be better off without him.

The fifth and final conclusion that can be drawn is that Leo is partly to blame for Milan’s late season collapse. Yes, the Milan squad is lacking in depth and quality and yes, Leo has done a great job with the resources provided. Milan will finish third after all.

However, Leo’s reluctance to integrate youth players into the team has been his one major failing this season.

In recent weeks, Leo should have promoted and given some chances to Milan’s youth players. Given the poor form of many of the older players, along with the numerous injuries and suspensions to other members of the first team, there were countless opportunities for Leo to bring in youth.

Unfortunately, Leo stuck with the old guard and has paid the price. Milan’s form has been abysmal in recent weeks and results have been poor. Third place may still be secured, but a team like Milan should still be doing much better no matter the circumstances.


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