Talking is over as Seedorf’s work begins

Posted by Sumeet Paul

ALBERTO LINGRIA/AFP/Getty ImagesClarence Seedorf makes his Milan managerial debut this weekend versus Hellas Verona.

After a week of upheaval and messages of support from former teammates and coaches, Clarence Seedorf's tenure begins this weekend as Milan host Hellas Verona at San Siro on Sunday. With a clear tactical set-up in mind and the players at his disposal, the Dutchman will be looking to ride the wave of optimism and get off to a winning start.

- Marcotti: Is Seedorf "born ready" to lead Milan?
- Vickery: Opportunity knocks for Seedorf
- Report: Galliani: Seedorf right man for Milan

"I'm back? The truth is I never went away. There is a lot of work to do in order to bring Milan back to the top. I left Milan in May 2012 at the end of an era. My job now will be to open another era."

The likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte and Marco Van Basten have all hailed the Rossoneri's decision this week, as the previously untested Seedorf begins life as a coach. The 37-year-old will be under scrutiny immediately, with critics judging whether or not he is ready for the job, but reassuringly it is understood he has clear intentions.

According to the Italian media, Seedorf will implement a 4-2-3-1 system, with Riccardo Montolivo and Nigel De Jong providing protection in front of the defence, and Keisuke Honda, Robinho and Kaka playing further up the pitch supporting Mario Balotelli.

Aside from the results, one of the biggest criticisms of Massimiliano Allegri had been his defensive-minded tactics. It appears as though Seedorf has recognised that, and perhaps with a gentle nudge from Silvio Berlusconi on his arrival, has decided to play more attacking football.

The system looks strong, but arguably a safe option, as initial results will be key in gaining the support of both the players and supporters. Additionally, the hierarchy will look on nervously to determine whether or not Seedorf has the makings of a successful coach.

However, it is dangerous to assume anything on the face of the first few results, as there will undoubtedly be a reaction from the players following the change in management, or as Adriano Galliani explained this week, Seedorf will "give a jolt" to the players.

As a result, it would be surprising if there wasn't an immediate improvement, but it will also be particularly disappointing if youth is now sacrificed as the Dutch coach may well have a different ideology to the strategy that Milan had been expected to adopt.

With regards to making judgments on the long term success, it will have to wait until next season, although it will be interesting to see what moves Seedorf makes and how he reacts to adversity as he acclimatises to mental battles on the bench rather than on the pitch.

Fabio Capello visited Milanello on Friday, and was a keen spectator as Seedorf took charge of a training session. The Russia coach insisted that experience, character and personality have always been noticeable in his former player, and that he should have no problems in applying the same values in his own team.

Nevertheless, judgment will have to wait until Sunday night to discover whether or not Seedorf is ready for the managerial game. The situation at the club has gradually deteriorated since his departure as a player; now he must instil confidence and serenity as a coach in order to help restore the club to its past glories.

Are you pleased with the reported 4-2-3-1 system? Will Seedorf's desire to see attractive football be helpful or a hindrance?

For all the latest Milan and Serie A news, you can follow me on Twitter @italiafooty


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