Previously boasting the likes of Alessandro Nesta, Andrea Pirlo, Kaka and Andriy Shevchenko, AC Milan were once the popular darlings of Italian football.
In today’s ever-changing, fickle world of modern day football however, the Rossoneri currently sit seventh in the Serie A, with the golden eras of the past serving as no more than fleeting memories. We have all seen the demise of Italian clubs before. The Parma side of the 1990’s certainly rings a few bells within this debate, as success with the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Hernan Crespo has done little to appease their modern day struggles.
I Crociati (the Crusaders) are currently languishing at the bottom of the league, but as Juventus have displayed through their most recent come-back from the 2006 Calciopoli betting scandal, a club the size of AC Milan have no excuses for the position they are in.
So just what is the story behind Milan’s current plight? For one thing, the Rossoneri have been determined in their efforts to blood rookie managers in recent seasons, and their subsequent lack of experience has definitely had an impact on the pitch.
Since the ill-fated reign of Massimiliano Allegri at AC Milan, both Clarence Seedorf, and more recently Filippo Inzaghi, have been intrusted with steering the helm at the San Siro. The former Rossoneri striker’s recent rotation policy has been the biggest aspect of Inzaghi’s managerial repertoire that has so far come up for the most criticism. Milan fans are concerned that the players can’t develop any real consistency because their positions are always up for grabs, and good performances don’t necessarily warrant a place in the starting XI next time out.
Clearly Filippo Inzaghi lacks the managerial know-how that guarantees success in the Serie A as Seedorf did before him. But as this is always the case when the new sweeps away the old in football, the players must also take responsibility for what has gone wrong for their team on the pitch.
The centre-back combination of Daniele Bonera, Philippe Mexes and Adil Rami has so far failed to establish any meaningful partnerships at the back this season, whilst signings such as Keisuke Honda, have failed to live up to their initial hype. Stephan El Shaarawy has also proved to be inconsistent, and as for one Fernando Torres, the £50million curse placed on him by the financially care-free Chelsea has certainly not been lifted during the Spanish striker’s time in Serie A.
There have been a few shining lights however, with summer signing Jeremy Menez and young full-back Mattia De Sciglio proving to be in good form. The return of Nigel de Jong and Riccardo Montolivo from their respective long-term injuries will also be a big boost for Inzaghi as he looks to turn around Milan’s season.
Whilst the situation may seem bleak for Rossoneri fans at the moment, AC Milan could certainly be in a worse position than the one they currently find themselves in. It must still come as some slight respite that they are faring a great deal better than arch rivals Inter, who only hold a mere 12th place in the table, and there is still a great deal of the 2014/15 season left to play.
The table always looks harsher than it really is at this time of year, but with the likes of Lazio, Sampdoria and Genoa all sniffing around Serie A’s top spots, competition is still rife for Filippo Inzaghi and AC Milan. Whilst most would consider the Rossoneri to find themselves back in the running for a Champions League spot come the end of the season, this Milan side is undoubtedly nowhere near the Milan side of old.
Inzaghi therefore has a great deal of work on his hands if he is to improve his team’s current plight and restore the status that AC Milan were once renown for across Europe.