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AC Milan’s struggle for form this season has been very well-documented, not least because they are fresh from a summer of significant investment which was supposed to catapult them back to the summit of Italian football.
Clearly, this has failed to materialise in the way the club’s new Chinese ownership had hoped. There are a variety of reasons for this, not least Vincenzo Montella’s stubbornness with regard to team selection and tactics. After all, that was what ultimately cost the man his job.
The Rossoneri’s poor defensive organisation – due in no small part to the continued struggles of marquee signing Leonardo Bonucci – has grabbed most of the headlines so far. However, let us not forget that they have failed to score in each of their last four home matches in Serie A.
To put this in context, the history books show that they have only endured such a terrible run twice since their foundation in 1899.
Newly-appointed boss Gennaro Gattuso must find a way of ending his side’s barren run in front of goal on Sunday night at home to Bologna. Should he fail to do so, fans will inevitably be calling for his head already, regardless of how passionately he talks about Milan’s DNA.
The first thing Rino ought to do is drop ex-Fiorentina striker Nikola Kalinić, who looks to be completely shorn of confidence with just three goals to his name thus far. The 29-year-old has looked a shadow of his former self since switching Tuscany for Lombardy.
With André Silva waiting in the wings, having performed well in the Europa League with eight goals in nine matches, it makes absolutely no sense for the Croat to keep his place in the starting XI.
The young Portuguese international, who arrived from FC Porto for €40 million, deserves a chance to prove he can be a success in Serie A. The same can be said of youth product Patrick Cutrone, who has also been very productive in UEFA’s secondary competition.
As they currently sit 13 points behind Roma, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot with a game in hand, what do they have to lose by unleashing a player who is set to partner Cristiano Ronaldo in attack at next summer’s World Cup in Russia?
Silva is setting a blistering pace with Portugal so far, with the nation already pinning their future hopes on him. The Rossoneri’s new coach would be well-advised to do likewise.
Just as Milanisti thought they were set to emerge from the so-called ‘banter era,’ it is clear their team still has a long way to go before it can harbour realistic ambitions of repeating the renowned successes of yesteryear.
While there is new ownership off the pitch, Milan continue breaking records for all the wrong reasons on it. That said, with the right team selection, scoring goals shouldn’t be a problem for this team as there is plenty of firepower at the top end of the pitch.
Hopefully, for the good of AC Milan, Silva is due to be given a chance to prove exactly that.
Written by Jordan Russell
Follow Jordan on Twitter @JordRuss96
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