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Against Cesena,Milan scored a solid yet unspectacular win last night with several pleasing surprises from those who don’t get to play very often.Although not considered the strongest and spending most of their time in the lower ranks of italian football, Cesena is a tough team to play against.Most of the bigger italian teams have realized this hence there are definitely many positives that Milan can take out of the game.
Return of the solid defense line ?
For better or worse Milan’s defensive duties have been resting on Thiago silva and Sandro Nesta’s shoulders.Milan fans sweat bullets when either of them doesn’t play.Allegri for his part has stuck with the utterly useless Bonera as a backup,refusing to show any trust in Yepes or the greek Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Building up from his coppa Italia Performance against Bari, Yepes delivered another Massive performance. Solid throughout the game Yepes showed a lot of the class Nesta has and hopefully Allegri will now see how much better this guy is than Bonera.Yepes could aerially challenge a bird out of the sky if you dared him to.
After his second game for Milan where he faltered magnificently, Sokratis Papastathopoulos has not been given a second chance.the young defender,deep in danger of fading away from Milanello back to where he came from, delivered a solid performance.Sokratis needs to realize that there is nowhere better to learn the art of classy defending than in the hallowed training ground of Milan.If he builds up on this performance yesterday,Milan fans should see their defending woes disappear.Put your head down and work hard son !
Allegri needs to realize that we have solid backups for our CB’s.Nesta’s the team leader,the composed defender,and when he is out, we need Yepes who is in the same mold. Thiago Silva is the beast,a very fast,athletic defender,who has also become defensively smarter and positionally sound in the past year,and if he goes out, Sokratis needs to play since as he possesses similar attributes.Sokratis has the potential in abundance but he just needs to become smarter and that will come with time and experience.
Mad Dog Abate
Abate if he plays his cards right could be Our RB for the better part of this decade. Not all has he improved immensely when it comes to his defending skills, he made several great crosses today. If he keeps improving like this,he could be the best RB around.He’s already close.
Most Milan fans don’t realize but he shut down Cristiano Ronaldo and Samuel Eto’o,the two most in form players in the world at that point in the season,in 2 consecutive games.If he manages to shut down Bale which will be very tough against a player like him in full form, Abate will have taken on the absolute best he can play against.
Abate tends to make good ground passes whilst playing down the line, however, when given time and expectation of placing in a pinpoint cross he struggles.This is probably the most important attacking attribute in his role, his crossing.Abate delivered some good crosses against Cesena, however he needs to put Ibrahimovic’s head on a board and practice crossing to it all afternoon every single day.
What more can you ask of the guy ? He gets in great positions, plays point-man superbly, scores goals when needed, and works tirelessly. Enough people have accused him being a soloist selfish player but coming to Milan works wonders on people and Milan fans are falling in love with this new Ibra, the one who truly plays for the team.
Over 50% of Milan’s goals are scored by Ibrahimovic.Even in Kaka’s best years, or Ronaldinho’s Barcelona years or even Ibrahimovic’s time at Inter, was as productive in terms of sheer consistency of performance.The only problem lies in Allegri’s over reliance on Ibrahimovic.
Robinho has been stellar for the last few games.And against Cesena he was on fire.Dribbling past defenders, linking up effortlessly with Cassano and Ibrahimovic.After a not so awesome start for Milan,Robinho is turning out to be a very organizational player for Milan .His movement, creative displays and most importantly tracking back after losing possession are very handy for the team.
Robinho was all over the pitch trying to win the ball and literally ran non stop for the whole 90 minutes.If he continues on these tracks then he will be as important to the team as perhaps Ibrahimovic.As far as his finishing his concerned, well thats a complete different discussion all together.
Lastly, Abbiati was the unsung hero yet again. He made one brilliant stop in the first half after Malonga’s skillful turn and shot and then backed it up with another huge stop on Schelotto.If the italian national team needs a #1 Abbiati is him.