Tactical confusion sparks anger at Milan

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Robinho AC MilanPA PhotosIs Robinho really worth a reported €4 million per year?

It all started with a little tinkering. Following the 2-2 draw in Palermo on Tuesday night, Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi was left perplexed by the tactical switches made by Massimiliano Allegri. In what started as a 3-4-3, it gradually morphed into a 3-5-2 before Allegri went for broke in search of goals with a formation some suggested resembled a 4-2-4. Aside from being terribly confusing for both supporters and players, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani was left furious over something else entirely.

- Allegri proud of Milan comeback

"We cleared up two or three things and made peace. President Berlusconi has nothing to do with this, he is perfectly relaxed. I speak to him every day and know his moods well. I know what he thinks. I do not need to be encouraged to get angry, as I can do that myself. I get angry when I see five defensive midfielders," Galliani told reporters on Wednesday.

So who's to blame here? Criticised in the past for his dealings with players and his management choices, is it realistic that Allegri requested so many defensive midfielders? If so, why was nothing ever said about it when the names kept rolling in? Massimo Ambrosini, Mathieu Flamini, Bakaye Traore, Nigel De Jong, Antonio Nocerino and Sulley Muntari make up the collection. Did the club not at any point take a step back and question their transfer strategy and pinpoint the lack of attacking threat and address the issue? What I would give for a Santi Cazorla-esque player donning the famous red and black jersey.

In Thursday's edition of the pink paper, there was talk that a mini 'revolution' will take place in January. Amongst the names likely to be sacrificed are Robinho, Flamini and Traore. Surprisingly, also included in the article was a mention for Kevin-Prince Boateng and De Jong, with suggestions that however unlikely, they are also at risk of being offloaded. Worryingly, there has been a distinct lack of names linked with a move in the opposite direction.

What of Robinho? The Brazilian has two years left on his contract worth a reported €4 million a year, making him the club's highest earner alongside Philippe Mexes and Alexandre Pato. Having failed to consistently deliver during his time at Milan, perhaps it is a wise decision for the club to re-open talks with Santos and offload him. Should the likes of Flamini and Traore be shown the door, it could pave the way for youngsters such as Bryan Cristante to get a look-in. Yet again though, there is no sign of a plan or a strategy to bring players through as ready-made replacements.

Milan host Chievo on Saturday evening, looking to make it three unbeaten in the league. All eyes will be on Allegri's starting line-up and formation, with many still left unimpressed by the switch to a three-man defence. Here's hoping the improvement seen after the return to a back four in the latter stages of the game in Sicily will be enough for Allegri to revert back.

What do you make of Milan's transfer strategy? Would you like to see Robinho leave in January or is he still important?

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