Big players must step up for AC Milan
At a time English clubs were at their very best in the Champions League between 2005 and 2012, there was a constant fixture in the latter stages of the famous Big-Eared Cup. Step forward, AC Milan. The San Siro outfit reached 2 finals in three years between 2005 and 2007, winning one and losing one to to Liverpool, which has now been termed the ‘Istanbul Final’ for the remarkable circumstances in which the Merseyside outfit came from 3 goals behind to ultimately win. Milan, aside from Real Madrid are the best club in Champions League history with their 7 titles, with their greatest moments coming under Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello in the late 1980s and early 90s.
A few lean years have been evident for the Rossoneri as they have not won the league title in 7 years, as Juventus have dominated Italian football. The last days of the ownership of Silvio Berlusconi were fraught with administrative errors, mediocre players and questionable transfer decisions. In 2015, talks began with Berlusconi from a Chinese consortium who were interested in buying the club from the former Italian prime minister. The Chinese owners have pumped in money in new signings but still yet, the club still find itself mired in mediocrity with a number of players struggling to prove their ability to wear the famous Red and Black stripes of the 18-time Scudetto winners.
Under former manager, Vincenzo Montella, Milan were lost for identity as the former striker struggled to find a system that will integrate the new signings with the ones present at the club. The club signed too many players which affected the balance of the team, and ultimately meant that they didn’t have enough time to gel together. Big names such as Nikola Kalinic, Franck Kessie, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu and Guillermo Rodriguez were all signed to add quality to the team, while the signing of Leonardo Bonucci was meant to be the game changer for the Italian giants. It came as a bit of shock when the centre back left Juve to join the Rossoneri. The-30-year-old defender is perhaps one of the best defenders in world football and for him to join Milan’s new project was a statement of intent by the new owners.
Results on the pitch have not been good and a number of key players must look themselves in the eye. The likes of Andre Silva and Lucas Biglia have not really covered themselves in glory, and must find motivation in them to turn around their fortunes. The situation with Gianluigi Donnarumma has been an unwelcome distraction, with speculation about the future of the 18-year-old wonder-kid still up for debate. AC Milan will still need a top-drawer manager to carefully harness the potential of these players, as Gennaro Gattuso doesn’t quite cut it tactically despite his love for the club and passion on the touchline.
One regarded as the home of the best players in the world, AC Milan must slowly climb the Serie A table as they are currently 11th on the league table, a sad reflection of how far they have fallen. The players must look themselves in the mirror. They are the ambassadors of the club and must represent the club well.