Seedorf preserves winning league start

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Enrico Locci/Getty ImagesGiampaolo Pazzini's late goal capped a Milan comeback at Cagliari.

Late goals from Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini ensured it is two wins from two for Clarence Seedorf in Serie A, as they sealed a 2-1 win over Cagliari on Sunday. Ultimately, the result will be remembered for the comeback and will be a boost for confidence, but it shouldn't mask the Rossoneri's deficiencies.

- Report: Cagliari 1-2 Milan

A victory is a victory, no matter the manner in which it arrives. It allows Seedorf and the squad to build momentum and gives them confidence moving forward. However, after another mixed performance, there are several disappointing aspects that need addressing.

Seedorf has spoken over the past fortnight about how he wishes to implement his new style of football, and while it was evident in his opening game, it has been a case of one step forward but two steps back across his first three games.

There has been a notable absence of that initial high pressing, up-tempo play and general control of the game, with Milan being forced into a familiar scenario of having to depend on late heroics to get them out of trouble.

Judging from the faces of some of the players after the full-time whistle, they realise that it may not be acceptable, although another three points is ultimately the most important thing.

Seedorf insisted on his arrival that he would not be able to perform miracles, and so it arguably comes down to personal objectives this season. Do Milan focus on results and climbing the table, and therefore prioritise that over the standard of performances?

There were promising signs in terms of the offensive play of the team, although their wasteful finishing handed Cagliari a reprieve which they gladly accepted and went on to take the lead through another defensive mistake.

Goalkeeper Marco Amelia's wayward clearance coupled with the inept defending that followed resulted in Marco Sau giving the hosts the lead, and Milan can ill-afford to be so porous defensively as it will continue to be their downfall.

The criticism could be extended to questioning some of the selections, particularly Robinho and Daniele Bonera. However, judging from the post-game interviews with the players, they emphasise the sense of calm that Seedorf brings and are willing to follow his advice.

Unfortunately, there is an impression that the players are currently struggling to translate what Seedorf is asking of them on the pitch, but with time that will improve as they become accustomed to the system and individual roles.

As a result, there should perhaps be more frustration with the players as opposed to the ability of the coach, and while it may be unfair to question them after having won the game, it is disappointment rather than criticism that the early changes haven't been as drastic as hoped for.

But the Rossoneri showed the right desire, spirit and belief in Sardinia on Sunday, and those aspects cannot be questioned.

However, perhaps the entertainment may be a little slow in catching up as Seedorf accepts that there is room for improvement as the club continues to go through a transitional phase, and a sense of calm is required both on and off the pitch.

What did you make of the Milan performance against Cagliari?

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


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.