AC Milan vs Udinese

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Post by dostoevsky Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:27 am

We face Udinese in desperate need of three points after having failed to record a win in our past five games, including four stalemates. Our injury concerns continue with Abate, De Sciglio, Alex, De Jong, Muntari and Mastour all unavailable. Montolivo is expected to make his return to the field after six months however it is not expected that he will be risked from the start. Our starting line up then presents quite the problem in the absence of our most trusted central midfielders and fullbacks we will once more see a makeshift line-up. I believe we'll see El Shaarawy come to the fore when we need him, however in the absence of De Sciglio I foresee a hampered performance due to the lack of support from his fullback. When Bonera is employed here he does not make runs ahead of the ball, indeed he rarely advances beyond the half way line, leaving SES isolated. Bonaventura's deployment at LCM will likely aid the Pharoah however as he tends to drift wide to combine and helps to hold the ball in the final third. After Rami's solid performance at right back in the derby I expect him to fill in once more in Abate's absence however against Inter he had no dedicated winger to contend with, merely the advanced runs of Dodo from left back. Against Udinese he may again benefit from a lack of natural width in their formation if they employ a diamond similar to Inter, however given his relative lack of recovery pace he will need to be particularly careful of advancing up the pitch given Udinese's ability on the counter.

AC Milan Squad: Abbiati, Agazzi, Diego Lopez, Albertazzi, Armero, Bonera, Mexes, Rami, Zaccardo, Zapata, Essien, Montolivo, Poli, Saponara, Van Ginkel, Bonaventura, El Shaarawy, Honda, Menez, Niang, Pazzini, Torres.

I expect to see something along the lines of:

Lopez
Rami---Zapata---Mexes---Bonera
Poli---Essien---Bonaventura
Honda---Menez---El Shaarawy

I'd personally like to see Van Ginkel used until Montolivo's introduction however this is clearly a pipe dream under Pippo. Bonera was disastrous at left back against Sampdoria however given the praise he inexplicably received from the coaching staff after his performance he'll likely feature again however I'd rather see Armero fielded. If he doesn't play now, I can't foresee him staying past January.

Save us SES.
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Post by Forza Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:11 am

I hope to see Montolivo on for Essien to save us from our awful selves. Will Bonera need to get red carded again for Inzaghi to realise he is crap? ....

Stats v Udinese:
Bonera RC '1

Inzaghi press conference: "Daniele was best on the field for that 30 seconds."
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Post by Kaladin Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:44 am

I hope Rbami has a beast performance
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Post by dostoevsky Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:02 pm

Less concerned by our right flank than our left to be honest. Even Urby struggled to deal with Widmer's pace last season on the overlap. Absolutely imperative that Armero be given a chance over Bonera.
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Post by Kaladin Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:54 pm

I have a feeling that Bonera is going to have a big game. Despite the lack of support that SES will get on his flank, i think he's going to score today. Isn't Udi SES's bogey team? He scored on his debut, he scored another alongside Maxi Lopez (<3) and he scored a screamer once too iirc
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Post by Forza Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:04 pm

I only remember when Alexis Sanchez and Toto Di Natale tore Bonera up a few seasons ago. That game finished 4-4.
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Post by dostoevsky Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:16 pm

Van Ginkel starts! Not in place of Essien though. Armero at fullback with Bonera replacing Zapata.

Milan: Diego Lopez; Rami, Mexes, Bonera, Armero; Van Ginkel, Essien, Bonaventura; Honda, Menez, El Shaarawy

Milan bench: Abbiati, Agazzi, Albertazzi, Zapata, Zaccardo, Montolivo, Poli, Saponara, Niang, Pazzini, Torres

Udinese: Karnezis; Piris, Heurtaux, Danilo, Domizzi; Badu, Allan, Guilherme; Thereau, Di Natale, Kone

Udinese bench: Brkic, Scuffet, Belmonte, Bubnjic, Pasquale, Wague, Widmer, Fernandes, Hallberg, Pinzi, Evangelista, Geijo, Zapata
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Post by Cruijf Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:02 pm

Only saw the last half hour but overall impressions:

Mexes was surprisingly good. Although obviously moving forward I'd like to see Rami-Alex as our first choice cb pairing Mexes should certainly be ahead of Zapata and Bonera as a backup.

Armero was initially impressive although he gave the ball away poorly twice late on. Nevertheless I hope he gets more chances as he showed he's nowhere near as bad as he'd have to be to have been so neglected by Pippo. Bonaventura and Van Ginkel were fairly good but I blame our lack of control in the latter stages on Essien acting like a b2b player and then being sent off. I have high hopes for a midfield of Bonaventura-De Jong-Montilivo.

Up top Menez was fantastic, Honda was anonymous for the final half hour but I heard he had a good game. SES was good but still not back to his best, I was glad to see him get the full 90 though.

Overall a fairly good performance and although we were lucky on the penalty I'd say this was a much needed and deserved win.
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Post by •MilanDevil• Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:17 pm

Is there anything that Allegri jr can't do?
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Post by Casciavit Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:57 pm

So it seems like our management has a problem with the term false 9.

Galliani: “Enough of this story that Menez is a False Nine. He’s a Nine and that’s it, as even at PSG he played as a centre-forward,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“He is a striker, just like Pazzini and Torres.”

Inzaghi: “Menez is a centre-forward with his own characteristics, just as I was different to Shevchenko,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia to silence the ‘False Nine’ debate.
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Post by Cruijf Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:45 pm

Casciavit wrote:So it seems like our management has a problem with the term false 9.

Galliani: “Enough of this story that Menez is a False Nine. He’s a Nine and that’s it, as even at PSG he played as a centre-forward,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“He is a striker, just like Pazzini and Torres.”

Inzaghi: “Menez is a centre-forward with his own characteristics, just as I was different to Shevchenko,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia to silence the ‘False Nine’ debate.


Weird, since he plays exactly like a false 9...

He's nowhere near a typical center forward he drifts all over the place.
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Post by Dante Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:57 pm

El Shaarawy wrote:I have a feeling that Bonera is going to have a big game


Sestradamus hmm

He did have a surprisingly good game . Obviously not on the left , but anyway. Pleasant turn of events for once.

With a few words , easily our best game in the season so far. First half was really top notch , some of our counter attacks were sublime. Stellar performance by Milan today .

As always , there were insufficiency and as Gianluca noted , we do lack in consentration more often than we should . Nevertheless , our game was most always dominant and i can only say how pleased i am. Nice. Van Ginkel and Bonaventura had a very good game today , hopefully they continue to impress. Best news Essien is out for the game against Genoa. Such a good day after all Proud

Very pleased with Milan , nowhere near perfect or anything of course , but pleased nonetheless.
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Post by Dante Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:25 pm

ACMRox wrote:
Casciavit wrote:So it seems like our management has a problem with the term false 9.

Galliani: “Enough of this story that Menez is a False Nine. He’s a Nine and that’s it, as even at PSG he played as a centre-forward,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“He is a striker, just like Pazzini and Torres.”

Inzaghi: “Menez is a centre-forward with his own characteristics, just as I was different to Shevchenko,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia to silence the ‘False Nine’ debate.


Weird, since he plays exactly like a false 9...

He's nowhere near a typical center forward he drifts all over the place.


I can see where they're coming from though . Menez plays like that to help teammates out most of the time , had we been better so far , he would have played closer to a 9 than anything else. He's just needed deeper as well as in front of the goal .

It's true what you say here , that he drifts all over the place . Of course , that's a common trait amongst 'false9s'..What Inzaghi says there is also true nonetheless. Menez could easily fill Shevchenko's role in Ancelotti's diamond . And Torrez , Inzaghi's . It would work , especially if El Shaarawy could pull through what Kaka used to for his forwards.

Tbh , Menez is simply a versatile player. I agree with Inzaghi tbh , his best role is CF just not your typicall CF , simply because that's where his best come from , at least in Milan.  He's able to operate deeper and take care of the ball , protect it , or distribute it . Other than that , his strength is going for the goal. Maybe , one could call him a poor man's Shevchenko and not be wrong.

And besides , true false 9s work in a different way with teammates , Menez just helps out when in obvious need. It's not really his job though , to drop and play deeper to move the ball ahead. False 9s will play all over the place in combination mostly with the attacking midfielders , and with the fullbacks. They will draw the defence out , they will make space for others e.t.c . Menez does that from time to time , but none of that is trully his thing.

His thing is goals and if he can assist one when he can't score it himself , so be it. Probably why his partnership with Torres is so pathetic so far. Both have other players to rely upon to , they don't work between them in games. If they were the spearhead however.. it would be different. Menez would have to provide as well as finish. If it weren't for one of Honda or El Shaarawy , i am pretty damn certain that's what we would play these days.(not saying we should have had , or that we should in particular , it would just make sense)

Inzaghi obviously doesn't even have to , it's not a case that troubles him i am sure . It's either 4-3-3 , otherwise he will adapt the team accordingly . As for Menez , he would be able to play where Sheva did , more to the left in the 2 of a diamond 4-4-2. It would pretty much be his ideal position imo , but currently that's reserved for Ses . He always does well when he plays on the left , cause he can either dribble his way in , then shoot or assist. He could also drop deeper with less work as well as help out on the wing . Not the same when you have to leave the CF position to drop back , because he simply has to fill that void almost immediately.
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Post by M99 Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:10 pm

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Post by RealGunner Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:14 pm

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Post by Kaladin Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:52 pm

M99 wrote:


When she tells you that she was born as a male
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Post by dostoevsky Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:20 pm

This was our best performance in months however the game was once again marred by concerning lapses in intensity and concentration that threatened to undermine all of our positive work in attack. It was highly satisfying to finally win a game again and to do so comfortably by the end.

We were simply dominant in the first half and were made to suffer from the injustice of an unacknowledged goal however it was a half of frustration as much as delight. Udinese showed little intent to come out of their half and sat too deep, failing to put pressure on our ball carriers out wide and allowing Bonera, Honda, Menez and El Shaarawy to pick out passes in the final third with ease. Honda began very brightly, twice setting up Menez in the first ten minutes having brought the ball down well and distributing the ball quickly into space, whilst Bonera, starting at right back not centre back as stated in the line-up, galloped forward constantly and regularly sent crosses into the right zones. What was most impressive about Bonera's performance however was his involvement in attacks that didn't simply require him to whip in a cross. His measured pass in between the channels for a Menez who held his run perfectly and a run cutting into the box to collect a delicate Essien through ball before finding Honda with a precise low ball were demonstrative of a far more adventurous game in possession than when deployed on the left. He was helped in part by being used on the right flank where he can protect the ball better when driving forward given his dependence on his right foot but also by Udinese's contentment to let him have time and space on the ball. It may have been a calculated decision by Stramaccioni to give one of our lesser lights time on the ball but it backfired drastically. Bonera's influence was almost entirely extinguished after the break however as Udinese pushed higher up the pitch and broke up our rhythm, prompting a more conservative half from Daniele who was also found wanting at times as Udinese broke forward and found space down our right flank. Honda too faded as the game went on, however he continued to contribute and won the decisive penalty but he will be disappointed to have not done better with some excellent opportunities to shoot.

Menez's game was frustrating but ultimately decisive. He combined excellently with El Shaarawy at times but was once more guilty at times of selfish play that saw several fine chances squandered. To his credit though he dispatched the penalty competently before adding a fine second on the counter to secure a much needed three points and he showed a willingness to come deep to collect the ball in the second half when we were looking lethargic and to hold it sensibly after we took our lead.

Our midfield were able to recover possession very easily in the first half as Udinese were forced to go long to clear their lines, allowing us to easily sweep up their attacking forays are restart our attacks. All three were responsible for some beautiful one touch play that saw us carve through Udinese's midfield lines with direct, rapid play and allow our forwards to run at the Udinese defence with space and support. Van Ginkel was highly confident in possession, displaying a delicate and consistent first touch before using the ball swiftly and sensibly, whilst repeatedly showing dedication in defence. Essien had a solid game, with a few lovely forward passes standing out but also gave the ball away with poor first time efforts when in his own half which left us vulnerable on the transition. His first yellow card was well deserved for a poor and unnecessary challenge however his second was exceedingly soft and he was hard done by. Nevertheless, he will not be missed. Jack was his usual self meanwhile but broke down a few attacks with shockingly weighted passes at times into space.

At the back, Mexes was wonderful. He read the game superbly, never looking troubled and providing several excellent interceptions, whilst bailing out Armero late on with a marvellous tackle after some wayward passing left us short at the back. Rami was dependable beside him, some odd positional mishaps aside, while of course being robbed of a legitimate goal by a sleeping linesman. Our fullbacks were lively in attack but suspect at the back when the game came inside off the flank. Lopez meanwhile was untroubled for nearly the entire game, one fortunately off target effort from a set piece aside late on.

It was heart warming moreover to see the return of our beloved captain. Montolivo's entry was rightly met with an enthusiastic cheer and it was a wonderful sight to complete a fantastic game. Our difficult run is not yet over however his return may help to rebuild out confidence as a side in order to start putting together more consistent performances.

Again, this was not a flawless performance but if we play like we did in the first half more often, there is no reason we can't match our rivals for the Champions League positions, particularly with the return of Montolivo, De Jong, Abate and De Sciglio. Our listless beginning to the second half was typical of a side that has too often lost belief before the game has finished. After a positive forty five minutes we somehow stepped back onto the pitch with less confidence than Udinese who might easily have taken the game away from us in such a short time. To navigate this period successfully and go onto win though was a just reward for a fine performance.
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Post by Forza Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:11 pm

This was a good performance against a team that played for a draw. I think our upcoming games will test us a bit more.
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Post by Dante Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:17 pm

Great post Dost , well said . I also agree with Forza , it may have been a good game for Milan but we'll need more than stomping Udineze to safely say anything . It was pleasant in the end and encouraging , but i'll breathe alright.

Against Genoa it will be tricky and it's certain they will threaten us more than Udineze did . Against Napoli and Roma it will be where it's at , actually , i'd be surprised if we took points off of them to be honest. Perhaps Napoli , if we Inzaghi gets it right. Against Roma we have no chance from the get go , they are just better and under any normal conditions , they will win .

Now , if they have to deal with injuries or/and bad form too in the games between, it could be different , otherwise i can't see how are we going to get anything else other than 0 points off of Roma. Napoli on their day can obviously defeat us too , even though the same can be said about us. I am hardly optimistic past Genoa , to say the least.
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