Time is ticking for Allegri

Posted by Sumeet Paul

As Milan laboured at the San Siro in midweek, just over four-hundred miles away at the Parc des Princes in Paris, two former Rossoneri stars excelled. Both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva were on the score-sheet as PSG ran out comfortable 4-1 winners against Dynamo Kiev. With Milan struggling for goals, is the big Swede proving to be a bigger loss than his Brazilian team-mate?

When the duo departed this summer in a move rumoured to be around €62 million, many believed that losing arguably the world's finest centre-back would prove to have the bigger impact. While it has undoubtedly weakened the Milan back-line, the first three home games of the season suggest that it is Ibra who has been most missed.

However, put into context, the Rossoneri have come up against three teams that have placed greater emphasis on preserving rather than attacking, thus requiring something special to break the deadlock. Moulded in such a way over the years where that 'something special' would be created by a creator-in-chief, Milan no longer have such an individual in their ranks.

Failure to create and take chances has been exacerbated by conceding a sole match-winning goal, resulting in a build-up of pressure which sees Coach Massimiliano Allegri requiring a result on Sunday against Udinese to potentially save his job.

In the forthcoming weeks, intense questions will be asked of the likes of Philippe Mexes, Francesco Acerbi and possibly Cristian Zapata following the injury to Daniele Bonera. Perhaps then we can make a solidified evaluation as to which former star will prove to be the bigger loss as the season progresses. The welcome return of Riccardo Montolivo, Robinho and Alexandre Pato may prove to render the loss of Ibra obsolete, but there is clearly something missing currently.

Will Massimiliano Allegri change anything in Udine? Probably not. Despite denying rumours suggesting this may be a make-or-break weekend for him, it is fair to say he has to turn it around and quickly.

Reports of a training ground bust-up with Pippo Inzaghi will do little to aid his bid to extend his stay in the post, with another poor display potentially proving to be the proverbial 'final nail in the coffin'. However, both men did later appear on Milan Channel to deny the stories, with the press conference ending with the pair shaking hands. Chasing goals, three points and an entertaining performance to silence his critics, the former Cagliari coach could, and perhaps should, be considering a change in tactics as well as personnel.

Mattia De Sciglio has shown in abundance his ability to be a part of the starting line-up, with Ignazio Abate returning to full fitness, why not switch the youngster over to left-back? A preference for fielding defensive midfielders has been a hallmark of Allegri's tenure, so why not compliment them with a forward three of El-Shaarawy-Pazzini-Bojan? Pazzini has struggled to have any impact since his hat-trick in Bologna, with minimal service why not play two dynamic and pacey players either side of him to help create?

There are plenty of questions ahead of the weekend, many of which will be answered as the full-time whistle sounds at the Friuli. Quietly sat in the pro-Allegri camp, three points are a necessity, otherwise come Monday morning the search for a new coach may well have begun.

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