Covering up the cracks at Milan

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Miroslav KloseAPMiroslav Klose nets for Lazio against Milan at the Stadio Olimpico

A late fight-back proved insufficient as Milan fell to their fifth defeat of the season at Lazio, leaving them languishing in 11th place ahead of Sunday's fixtures. The Rossoneri were made to pay for their lacklustre opening hour to the game, and at half-time the performance if not the result would have provided some with justification that time was up for Massimiliano Allegri. The late riposte may have saved him for now, but it shouldn't cover up the cracks.

As a long standing supporter of Allegri, my allegiance has still not yet been swayed to favour a change in management. While the current crop of players have failed to play to their potential so far this season, there is enough in this Milan team to be competitive, as demonstrated in the final half hour in Rome. The debacle that was the first half does however make me take issue with Allegri on certain selections.

- Klose piles misery on Milan

Kevin-Prince Boateng and Antonio Nocerino did everything possible to justify their critic's opinions, wasteful on the ball and lethargic off it and neither should start at Malaga in mid-week. It was evident there were issues whether injury related or not as Boateng was hauled off at half-time and Nocerino not long after.

More important, is the selection of Daniele Bonera, and furthermore as captain. It would be particularly interesting to see how many goals he is both directly and indirectly responsible for having witnessed him give Miroslav Klose the freedom of the Olimpico to bag the third goal. While Mario Yepes and Luca Antonini can't be faulted for effort, it is unfathomable as to how they warrant a first team place over either Francesco Acerbi or Philippe Mexes for the former, and Mattia De Sciglio for the latter.

The back-line selected at Lazio is bordering on embarrassing when considering the players that have played in those positions previously over the years. Milan have now conceded ten goals in the first eight games, with only Zeman's Roma and Catania conceding more from the sides in the top ten. Changes must be made and stuck to instead of this constant rotation.

"A coach will always be put under pressure, but it's only normal that we have to get back up the standings. We've got to start picking up points otherwise we will get sucked back into the relegation zone. Recently the team has not been getting the results it has deserved with performances on the field" – said Allegri in his post match interview.

The fact Allegri even mentioned the relegation zone is embarrassing in itself. However, until a viable replacement is put forward it is hard to see the point in axing him. While I stand by him, he must make adjustments to his starting line-up by dropping those who aren't performing, and get his formation and tactics in order. There is a sense that enough is enough might just be around the corner, but at least Alexandre Pato is back...

What did you make of the game? Do you blame Allegri, the players or both?

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