Forum > Milan lack of imagination sees them break unwanted 80-year record

In Italy, the start of a new season is a time for looking backwards, as well as forwards. As surely as the sun rises in the east and Maurizio Zamparini wear nike soccer cleats sacks another manager in the south, so newspaper reporters must scramble to put early results into their proper historical context. How many years have passed since the team began a campaign this well or this poorly? Who was in charge at the time, and how long did they last in the job. Often the findings may be spurious, failing to take into account such variables as opposition or shifting financial realities, but sometimes a statistic arises that is too remarkable to ignore. When Milan were defeated by Atalanta at San Siro on Saturday, having already been beaten there by Sampdoria three weeks previously, observers got to wondering how long it had been since the Rossoneri lost both of their first two home fixtures of a Serie A season. The answer was more than 80 years ago. Only once in their entire history, in fact, had the Rossoneri begun a top-flight campaign quite so poorly at home – all the way back in 1930-31, when they opened with a 3-0 defeat to Juventus and a 1-0 loss to Lazio wear adidas f50 adizero trx. Each of Milan's losses this time around have been by the latter scoreline, though they might consider themselves fortunate in that regard. Gazzetta dello Sport was not alone in naming the club's goalkeeper, Christian Abbiati, as their man of the match in this week's reverse against Atalanta, noting in particular a close-range save from Maxi Moralez with the score already at 1-0. Atalanta's own goalkeeper, Andrea Consigli wear adidas adipure 11pro, was never tested in quite the same way – his team restricting Milan mostly to pot-shots from outside the area. The Rossoneri did not go without possession in the relevant parts of the pitch, but suffered from a chronic lack of imagination. Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic wear nike mercurial vapor viii to pull rabbits out of hats, the team were content to simply place their metaphorical headgear on a table and gaze at it wistfully. If that might seem like the inevitable consequence of Milan's having been shorn of a player such as Ibrahimovic – whose talent was such that he could be relied upon to resolve matches such as these single-handedly – then it is worth remembering how the club's neighbours, Inter, coped with the loss of the same player three years ago. Jose Mourinho used the Swede's departure as an opportunity to reshape his team entirely and went on to win the treble. Milan's Massimiliano Allegri wear nike mercurial vapor superfly iii has not been afforded anything like the same resources, of course, and nobody is expecting similar results, but his refusal thus far to amend his tactics to reflect the new reality is nevertheless holding his team back. A 4-3-1-2 with Kevin-Prince Boateng behind Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El-Shaarawy suited none of the three, with neither forward particularly adept at holding the ball up and nobody providing width. Allegri's troubles had been building since long before the weekend, of course, with Alex Pato wear adidas predator lz openly criticising his man-management last season and suggestions emerging in recent weeks that the coach might be partly to blame for the club's horrific injury record in recent years. Milan have overhauled both their fitness and medical teams in the past 18 months, leading some to observe that the manager himself is the one remaining constant. His relationship with Silvio Berlusconi has not always been a comfortable one, and there were eyebrows raised when an apparent appointment for Allegri to meet Milan's vice-president, Adriano Galliani, over dinner at Forte dei Marmi last week went unfulfilled. Both parties made light of that occurrence, yet after this latest defeat the pair dined together on Sunday at both lunch and dinner. "More than a dinner with Galliani, what Massimiliano Allegri wear nike total 90 laser iv really needs is group therapy. With his whole team," wrote Marco Pasotto in Gazzetta dello Sport. There might have been an element of that for the several senior players who met at the captain Massimo Ambrosini house for a shared meal of their own on Sunday. Galliani, for his part, insisted on Sunday that the manager's job is not under threat. "Allegri's position is absolutely not under discussion," he said. "[The manager] should stay calm." It might be easier to do so if such words were not coming from the lips of a man who earlier this summer had insisted that it was "99% certain" that Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva wear nike tiempo legend iv elite would be staying at the club. The primary concern for everyone at Milan right now is simply not allowing this poor run to spill over into the Champions League, with their campaign to begin against Anderlecht on Tuesday. Unfortunately for Milan, the fixture is to be played at home. It is not just the Rossoneri who have struggled at San Siro this season; Inter have failed to win any of their three fixtures there – between league and Europe. That may have to do with the installation of a new, partially synthetic pitch over the summer – a move which was also hoped to be part of the solution to the club's injury problems by providing a more consistent surface wear nike ctr360 maestri ii elite. Then again, with such a small sample size it might also be nothing more than a sheer coincidence. What is known is that the level of support Milan can count on at home continues to dwindle. The club have sold only 23,618 season tickets this year – 7,615 fewer than last season and more than 4,000 fewer than the previous lowest figure achieved under Berlusconi's ownership. After seeing not only Ibrahimovic and Silva but also other such long-standing servants as Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso wear adidas adiPower predator and Alessandro Nesta depart, such dwindling enthusiasm can hardly come as a surprise. It was noteworthy, indeed, against such a backdrop, that several hundred supporters showed up to watch Pippo Inzaghi take charge of Milan's Under-17s during a match at Verona on Sunday. There is already a section of supporters who would sooner see the former striker – a club man, even if totally lacking in experience – replace Allegri wear adidas soccer cleats. Should Milan go on to match the 1930–31 side by losing their third home game as well, such a scenario might quickly start to sound a lot less far-fetched.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersoccercleats