AC Milan vs Napoli

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Post by Dante Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:52 pm

Lord Spencer wrote:To be frank, it was delusional to think of the top 3 spots from the start. It was never going to happen, eve if we had the best coach in the worlds rolled into one super coach.

Simply put, Juve, Roma, and Napoli were better teams day one. Inter, Lazio, and Fiorentina are arguably in the same level. Hence ,the best we can get is EL football.


well , top 3 meaning 3rd place , nothing else. Even then , the chances were abysmal , obviously . Just going by our defence it was evident. But i would have liked to believe , maybe others would fail their season for a change Proud

Anyway , i agree of course . At this point and for the team we have , add maybe some reinforcements in January , a europa league place would be right. Most of the season is still ahead of us of course , but it will take quite the change in Milan to make me even consider Milan can do better than 5th-6th . As things stand right now , i doubt we can finish 5th tbh , let alone doing better .

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Post by Kaladin Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:00 pm

I doubt we can even achieve an EL spot tbh, Napoli, Fio, Inter, Juve and Roma have top 5 locked down imo
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Post by Dante Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:05 pm

hmm , doesn't 6th place also lead to EL ? (not straight qualification of course)

anyway , fighting it out for 5th with Fiorentina and Lazio isn't out of this world . It should be something we can do . Don't know if we will manage it , but it's not out of our hands at least . Top 4 secured though , nothing more to say about this one.
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Post by Kaladin Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:11 pm

If a team already secured CL wins the Coppa Italia then yes, 6th does get an EL spot

I'm just thinking of what player wants to come to this team (not former) in Jan considering our current condition Laughing
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Post by Dante Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:37 pm

probably the same bunch we've already been getting every January

Palletas , Bochettis and the like (Mesbahs and Zaccardos before) Laughing

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Post by Cruijf Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:18 pm

Lord Spencer wrote:To be frank, it was delusional to think of the top 3 spots from the start. It was never going to happen, eve if we had the best coach in the worlds rolled into one super coach.

Simply put, Juve, Roma, and Napoli were better teams day one. Inter, Lazio, and Fiorentina are arguably in the same level. Hence ,the best we can get is EL football.


Disagree. A massive amount of our problems are due to coaching. We all complain when we sign generic mid table Serie A players, but its people like Antonelli, Bertolacci, Bonaventura, etc who ran rings around us in their former teams under better coaches.

Our squad may be disappointing by the standards of what this club used to be, but its certainly better than the likes of Genoa's or Empoli's. Why do they dominate us year after year? Coaching.
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Post by Lord Spencer Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:24 am

Cruijf wrote:
Lord Spencer wrote:To be frank, it was delusional to think of the top 3 spots from the start. It was never going to happen, eve if we had the best coach in the worlds rolled into one super coach.

Simply put, Juve, Roma, and Napoli were better teams day one. Inter, Lazio, and Fiorentina are arguably in the same level. Hence ,the best we can get is EL football.


Disagree. A massive amount of our problems are due to coaching. We all complain when we sign generic mid table Serie A players, but its people like Antonelli, Bertolacci, Bonaventura, etc who ran rings around us in their former teams under better coaches.

Our squad may be disappointing by the standards of what this club used to be, but its certainly better than the likes of Genoa's or Empoli's. Why do they dominate us year after year? Coaching.


If those player's ran rings around us, it would be due to our players being poor. Also, I didn't say we were worse than those teams, but worse than Napoli, Juve, Roma, Inter, and maybe Fiorentina.

As for the actual coaching, the fact that we play with higher aspirations and fire our coaches at will will always result in poorer coaching. We cannot have consistency if we continue firing coaches.

Sinsia has proven himself at other clubs before. But he arrives to a squad that was coached by 3 different coaches in 2 years. Not only have the promising youngsters (MDS) stagnated, but everyone is apathetic and confused.
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Post by Lucifer Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:38 am

There should major signings imo mainly in creativity department. Also more time for Balo would also be gud option

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Post by dostoevsky Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:11 pm

I've finally had a chance to watch the game in full. I agree with Cruijf in saying that this game demonstrated the role coaching plays, however I don't say this to denigrate Sinisa. He's not a poor coach by any means, however it was very clear just why I wanted Sarri and what he brings - and in a very short amount of time as well.

If you evaluate the performance of our players against Napoli, no one had an outstandingly poor game, Zapata aside perhaps. They made mistakes, certainly, but for the most part we didn't lose due to individual underperformance. No one was especially good, of course, but this was simply a matter of a group of individuals stepping onto the pitch without a cohesive approach intended to either dominate or frustrate our opponents.

We can point at the squad and say it's poorly built and that we lack talent but I think that's taking the easy way out. The only player in our starting line up who wasn't an international was Ely. We had more players who are full internationals in our line up and on our bench than Napoli and this was while missing players through injury. This isn't simply a case of players not being recognised yet. Rewind two months and Jorginho was on the verge of leaving the club, dismissed as an overhyped youngster, Koulibaly was struggling to make the side as an error prone time bomb and Insigne was a flashy, profligate, inconsistent mini-Cerci who could only cut in and shoot. They've benefitted though from having a coach who teaches players, who improves them, who makes them relax and confident in executing their game plan.

This is not to say that Napoli are treble winners elect. They remain a vulnerable, evolving side who we troubled in the first half. We did not do poorly with the ball in the first half by any means and might well have drawn level had Bertolacci's cross not been slightly behind Adriano. It was obvious to anyone watching however that there was a difference between the sides. Napoli make their game look easy and we make every chance we create look like it was laboured and paid for in blood. Napoli had a clear plan on how they were going to build the play and we looked - as always, might I add - like we had no idea where we were going to pass next. Dani has a saying I like, that football is about putting players into a position where the decisions they make are as simple and easy as possible. When our players get the ball in midfield, they take a touch, then another, then they turn back to our centre backs, dribble laterally with the ball and hope something opens up so they can slide a ball forward or cut it back to a defender to start again.

Compare this with Napoli. Their midfielders are close to each other, they move it quickly, one touch or two touch football. If they're in trouble, there's always an option within 10 yards to release the ball to allowing a quick switch and restart. Players know where they're meant to move. For us though, it never seems particularly obvious what we're about to do. It took until injury time in the first half for De Sciglio to get into the final third and send a cross in. It took 65 minutes for us to actually push Napoli deep behind the ball and manage a few sustained attacks by ensuring that when the attack did break down, Napoli had to rush a clearance and we were pushed up to quickly gather the ball again. That was another telling difference, the ease with which each side regained possession. Sides that are very good on the ball put a lot of work into getting the ball back very soon after its lost. It's one of the features of our midfield play that we've lost. Back when we were a functional, CL level side with Allegri, we were nothing special in attack, but our midfield was hard to pass through for most Serie A sides when we pushed them back and if we couldn't win it back quickly, we at least slowed down the transition to allow us to get back into shape. Against Napoli, there were times when we genuinely tried to harass them and win it back. The way they kept the ball moving anyway was practically contemptuous.

Again, this is not a Napoli side of unparalleled talent. Against Lazio last year, when they actually beat them 1-0, Benitez had them essentially parked in their own half the entire game and breaking on the counter, unable to match Lazio in the middle of the park. Jorginho looked like he couldn't pick a creative pass to save his life and he was defensively lost. Now he's floating around, getting touches and facilitating play, because he is being taught to make it second nature on a daily basis. Allan had scored once in his entire Serie A career a couple of months ago and now he has three goals in six games. I'm not going to throw Sinisa under the bus for not turning us into an Italian Barcelona. He himself has many qualities and does not deserve to be the subject of speculation around his position already. It's ironic though that not only were we outplayed but outworked. Sarri plays beautiful football but he's also an iron fist who works his players hard than anyone else in the league. That's what lets Napoli make their play look effortless. After an hour, when we were looking tired and exhausted, they were still ready to run for a day. It's why they were still looking for goals at 4-0 while we were looking for the final whistle.

Montolivo was decent defensively and had a few nice moments on the ball but for the most part he took too many touches and the less said about his attempts to send scooped passes back into the box when our first set piece play had been cleared the better. He wasn't helped though by the fact that our side is set up to hide from the ball. De Sciglio barely got forward all game, while Antonelli was anonymous in attack until the second half. Zapata's passing would have been better explained had he put on a Napoli shirt and Ely did well for a kid but looked raw and lunged in poorly on Higuain to give away the freekick from which Insigne scored. Kucka and Bertolacci weren't poor on the ball but they were too uninvolved and are frankly too similar in nature if we're to persist with our current style. Bertolacci was also completely at sea when Allan got Napoli's first. With Antonelli attempting to push up there should have been some awareness on his part when we were caught on the transition but no one took responsibility. Bonaventura did well to link the play in the first half an hour in particular but when asked to play a deeper role in the second half with Cerci's introduction he practically hid on the flank. When Montolivo was getting the ball from our centre backs after we went to 4-3-3 the entire Napoli midfield was in between him and our two advanced centre midfielders. Also I must say I was disappointed with the way Jack lashed out and then later risked a second yellow for a needless shirt tug at 4-0. With the game over, the last thing you want is to needlessly suspend yourself and I was frankly shocked he remained on the pitch for what was a stupid, pointless foul. I'm glad he was affected by the result but it was unprofessional.

Our forwards really had nothing to work with. I can't defend such an anonymous showing but neither am I going to attack them for it. Despite the excellent job they've done in helping to construct play in the early part of the season, neither arrived with a reputation for being heavily involved in midfield and I'm not going to crucify them for not being Ibrahimovic. If we give them chances, they'll score. Our problems went far deeper than our front two today however. I could go into more detail about how there was no real tactical response to our troubles from the sidelines and that the substitutions were frankly pointless, but I've no real desire to relive it any longer.

For all this pessimism however, I will say one thing. We should not in any way judge our season or our squad by this game. There is no other team in the league which we will struggle with as much as Napoli. We're a side who rely heavily on maintaining control of the ball, something that Napoli do much better than us. Forced to fight for scraps we were always going to struggle. Without our best defender and without pace or width in the side, we were vulnerable from the beginning and lacked any weapon that would particuarly unsettle Napoli. It's an unacceptable performance and result, but it was on the cards. It does not however reflect on our chances this season.

Plenty of sides are going to get whalloped by Napoli this year. Hell, we did better than Lazio. Laughing The most important thing is how we match up against the competition in general. There is no reason we can't do well against most sides. There are a few more sides who will take the ball away from us, such as Roma and Juventus, but not so completely and neither will they so easily create chances. This game hurt but frankly not as much as the loss against Genoa. That is the type of game we need to win if we're to get back into Europe, the tight ones against mid table sides, the games our direct competition will not drop points in. I don't think we can match Napoli, Roma and Juventus, but the rest, we should be speaking of challenging. Not necessarily uprooting at the end of the day, but if we can keep pace, the lottery of injuries, suspensions and other unpredictable factors may smile upon us. I'd be happy to simply get back into the Europa League, we need to defend our club's European co-efficient. The other sides might have started better than we have, but there's no reason why we can't keep pace. Sure, we have holes in the squad, but do you really think the other squads don't? Even the top sides do, let alone those in the second tier. What they do is play to their strengths and cover their weaknesses with teamwork. It's about time this squad became a team again.

P.S. With regards to some sort of panic button formation, I certainly do not condone the 4-4-2. Antonelli should certainly never be used as an actual winger. Being able to overlap and choose the time to burst forward is crucial to a fullback, when placed with the responsibility of being the advanced player, they almost always fail, there are only a handful of fullbacks who can do it, most of the time because they are wingers who were put back because of their work rate. Bonaventura as well doesn't really have the physical gifts to be a great wide player, nor does he like playing on the right hand side.

If we were to abandon our current plans for the sake of grinding out some results, I would suggest the 3-5-2. I would add that I despite this formation and don't want to play it, however it eliminates the 10 role, which is a major issue for us, and obscures our lack of quality advanced wide players. Floods the centre, gives us numbers at the back, lets us still put two forwards up front and then you simply break down the opposition through sheer bloodymindedness, Conte style.

As I said before though, I don't condone the idea, it's merely a thought.
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Post by Kaladin Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:44 pm

Fantastic summary Dost, i always look forward to hearing your input Thumbs up

What did we expect? When we let players such as Muntari, Essien and co leave the club, it's obvious we'll struggle to replace them

jk

I don't know what to expect from this team anymore. In a couple of games we show some cohesion and improvements in every aspect that makes you hope, just to later have it all crumble to pieces and have one of the worst defeats. Even though its a bit kneejerky to say we won't do good this season after this game, i feel like you're bit optimistic Dost (i like optimism) tbh, you are 100% correct that we whould pick points against the Genoas, Chievos etc. But if you look at Empoli, where LA and Bacca single handedly got us the win and Udinese, where we completely lost the plot in the 2nd half (granted, if Calabria was still on it would've been different) it makes me far more cautious. We face Torino away in 2 weeks, does anyone expect us to comfortably win that? I personally doubt it tbh. Also, i like what you said about the 3-5-3, and i agree, we might as well play the numbers game in midfield since we don't have one, just collapse on teams with the numbers and see how it goes.
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Post by Cruijf Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:36 pm

Agree with everything you said about the match Dost, I don't know about a 3-5-2 though. Keep in mind we're playing with a 4-3-1-2 now, which is similar in that you sacrifice wingers for greater numbers in midfield. The only difference is that we'd swap a trequartista for an extra center back, which is more trouble than it's worth IMO. We've had trouble forming a cohesive partnership with a back 4, I highly doubt our defensive organization (which is already our biggest weakness) would benefit from such a drastic change in shape.
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Post by dostoevsky Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:18 am

I'm certainly not optimistic about facing Torino, in fact they worry me immensely. It's a reflection of our state though that we do fear them. I'm not suggesting they're not a good team but we've lost all sense of striking fear into our opposition. Why can't we beat them though? Quagliarella, Lopez, Belotti and Martinez are decent strikers but they're not the sort we can make excuses about. We've held clean sheets with the likes of Bonera and Antonini against Messi and Neymar, why do we lack the organisation to keep Torino out? Why can we not impose ourselves in midfield against Baselli and Benassi? Results won't always reflect our play but we should be at the very least dominating the majority of our matches. If we look to dominate sides, the results will come.

Also for the record, I don't actually like the 3-5-2 and I don't think we should switch to it, however if we were to try something new, I think there's plenty to be said for it. It's a drastic change though without much time to train.
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Post by dostoevsky Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:19 am

Also did anyone else notice Sulley in the stands against Napoli?

Grit and Steel is returning Proud
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Post by Dante Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:05 pm

Pirloisjesus wrote:There should major signings imo mainly in creativity department. Also more time for Balo would also be gud option


I think the need for this will become all the more evident as the season goes on , really. I've said this during the summer , that Bacca and Adriano wouldn't be an effective pair , just because of certain similarities in their game and mainly because of , how depended they are from fullbacks and midfielders feeding them opportunities to score .

I said that at a time that Ibrahimovic was supposed to come , Ibra-Bacca and with Adriano and Menez to back them up , it made sense to me. Now with just Bacca-Adriano , hmm ... i don't think they can forge a solid partnership , they have certain similarities that mess up any potential cohesive partrnership near the box , more often than not they can't find each other , or they lack in the final pass to feed off each other.. or how sometimes they try to occupy the same area by instinct..

Balotelli could well fil that gap and compliment each of them , if he continues on the same path . Quite frankly , Balotelli brings something very different to them when he's on , mainly his ability to connect far away from the box with teammates , or drive the ball on past defenders , or assist with difficult passes.. Bacca and Adriano can manage that only so often and only to a certain degree of quality .

I certainly agree Balotelli should be playing more , specifically , start games with mainly Bacca , with Luis Adriano to replace Bacca whenever required. Bacca-Adriano doesn't really seem to click , in my opinion at least . They aren't carbon copy of each other of course , but they do share similarities for there to be reason enough not to have them both at the same time as a duo up front . It only makes sense to have Balotelli next to one of them , who has different strengths to each of them .

I would only play Bacca-Adriano in a 4-4-2 , don't think they have what it takes to handle the diamond play .. they do offer some width at least , but the lack of a true quality 10 behind them makes life harder for them , obligating them to try their hand with stuff they aren't trully good at . Balotelli can add to the mix and add another layer of dynamism into our attack .
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Post by Lucifer Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:24 pm

I agree that's the point am making for long now Adriano is workhorse and can connect well with team no doubt. But if I want anyone outside box taking a whack at goal I would definitely want that man to be balo and not Adriano.no disrespect to lad

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