Club Focus – Milan – Another draw as the Rossoneri drop to third

Milan have not won in four games since losing to city rivals Inter in the local derby. Earlier in the season the loss to the Nerazzurri triggered a negative period which heaped tremendous pressure on the shoulders of Coach Leonardo and on certain players such as Ronaldinho. The club eventually overcame the early slump in the campaign and emerged as a genuine title contender only to be efficiently dismantled in the 2-0 defeat to Inter. The Nerazzurri were not bothered by their numerical inferiority during the match as Milan struggled to find the back of the net. In the last four matches in all competitions the Rossoneri have only managed to register a meager goal which is unacceptable for a side of Milan’s stature.

The early season failings appear to have resurfaced and the current mini slump has coincided with Alessandro Nesta’s absence but more importantly Ronaldinho’s apparent dip in form. The one notable change to the line-up against Bologna was the inclusion of January signing Amantino Mancini, who is on loan for the remainder of the season. Mancini’s performance was nothing to clamour about but he will need time to blend in with his new team. Certainly playing at the Giuseppe Meazza with Inter will help him feel at home when Milan are hosts in their upcoming fixtures.

Leonardo finally had the opportunity to keep Giuseppe Favalli on the sidelines as he started the returning Daniele Bonera in central defense alongside Thiago Silva. Bonera did not disappoint the Coach and was delighted to mark his first league start in 11 months after spending considerable time on the sidelines. It does appear Leonardo will look to offload Kakha Kaladze once the season is over as he barely relies on the Georgian captain. The Rossoneri will definitely need a centre-back besides having to sign a right-back as Ignazio Abate is not a natural in this role and the injured Gianluca Zambrotta is only getting older.


Off the pitch Milan confirmed signing a lucrative sponsorship deal with Fly Emirates for the next four years ending in June 2014. The deal is reportedly worth around €50m, which will bring much needed funds to Milanello allowing the club to invest in new players. The Rossoneri have been pursuing a number of players to reinforce the squad with the primary candidate being Bosnian Edin Džeko. This deal could help in bringing in Džeko but more interestingly raises the question whether the airline’s chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum will look to invest in the club. Speculation was rife about the agreement including the sale of some of Milan’s shares but this was later denied.

It is a welcome boost for Leonardo during a tough period which must be overcome before the Rossoneri take on Manchester United next week in European competition. Another piece of good news is the expected return of Nesta, who has returned to full training, although Alexandre Pato remains an uncertainty despite some rumoured improvement. Nesta’s return is critical as Milan’s defense will probably be unable to hold off Manchester United’s attack if he were to miss the match. Just like Inter clinically shredded the Rossoneri backline, the Red Devils would be able to do the same in case Nesta is absent. His partnership with Thiago Silva has been one of the bright spots of Milan’s erratic season and the duo can probably cope with the threat of Wayne Rooney. If one of them were to miss then Milan do not have any quality cover and Rooney will likely run circles around a shaky defense.

Another major concern is the current situation with Ronaldinho, who had a great December and started off January well before gradually fading away amid rumours of heavy partying. For the Rossoneri to finish in the top four in Serie A and qualify to the quarter-finals in the Champions League, the Brazilian star must be at his best. The absence of his compatriot Pato has hurt the team despite Marco Borriello going through a purple patch before also pulling a disappearing act which coincided with Ronaldinho’s dip in form. In all reality the lack of goals could be linked with Ronaldinho’s current form as the Rossoneri midfielders are not known for their offensive skills, with Gennaro Gattuso and Massimo Ambrosini unlikely to be on the score sheet after a full 90 minutes. The same can be said of Andrea Pirlo who despite his craft and silky passing cannot seem to find the back of the net this season. Unfortunately for Leonardo the injuries and drop in form have come at the worst time possible.

Milan Club Focus 2009/10


Pre-season expectation
– August 18, 2009

Week 1

Leonardo breathes as Brazilians relieve pressure
– August 25, 2009

Week 2

Kaka returns to the San Siro
– August 27, 2009

How to play 4-3-1-2, a lesson from their rivals
– September 1, 2009

Reshuffle the current squad, regain the winning mentality
– September 4, 2009

International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)

Leonardo’s time to react
– September 7, 2009

Week 3

Livorno springs opportunity to end crisis
– September 11, 2009

Serie A slides down priority list
– September 15, 2009

Leonardo lurches into decision-making territory
– September 18, 2009

Week 4

Off the pitch rumours continue to swirl
– September 22, 2009

Week 5

Old legs cannot win forever, will Berlusconi follow in Della Valle’s footsteps?
– September 25, 2009

Week 6

A powerhouse that no longer strikes fear
– September 29, 2009

Week 7

Time is running out to save il Diavolo’s season
– October 2, 2009

A draw as bitter as a defeat
– October 6, 2009

The club is not for sale
– October 9, 2009

International week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)

In search of strikers and defenders
– October 13, 2009

Week 8

Berlusconi reiterates he will not sell as the Rossoneri prepare for Roma
– October 16, 2009

Brazilian duo see off Roma
– October 20, 2009

Week 9

Rossoneri record famous win in Madrid
– October 23, 2009

Leonardo stumbles upon the 4-2-3-1
– October 27, 2009

Week 10

Two precious points dropped
– October 30, 2009

Week 11

Borriello strikes twice as Milan continue climbing the table
– November 3, 2009

A bitter draw after Pato’s disallowed ‘goal’ as Huntelaar emerges unscathed
– November 6, 2009

Week 12

The Rossoneri challenging Juventus for second place
– November 10, 2009

International week (Italy-Holland, Italy-Sweden)

Week 13

Crucial stretch begins as Dzeko linked again
– November 20, 2009

Rossoneri continue impressive run
– November 24, 2009

Week 14

Missed opportunity to qualify
– November 27, 2009

Huntelaar breaks his duck with a late double to lift Mila to second
– December 1, 2009

Week 15

Season-defining week looms ahead
– December 4, 2009

Sunshine glimmers from the San Siro, but those clouds won’t leave
– December 8, 2009

Qualification secured after a scare
– December 11, 2009

Week 16

Gattuso to help the aged a little longer
– December 14, 2009

Week 17

Staying away from the market
– December 18, 2009

Winter break starts early
– December 22, 2009

Winter break

Beckham lands in town
– December 29, 2009

Giants on the transfer horizon
– January 5, 2010

Week 18

Beckham makes second Milan debut
– January 8, 2010

Week 19

Ronnie puts the breaks on in Turin
– January 12, 2010

Weakened Rossoneri scrape by Novara
– January 15, 2010

Week 20

Ronaldinho is enjoying playing again and soaking in the love
– January 19, 2010

Week 21

Milan derby looms large
– January 22, 2010

Inefficient Rossoneri surrender to Inter’s title assault
– January 26, 2010

Coppa Italia defeat reveals once again the lack of depth
– January 29, 2010

Week 22

Mancini joins from Inter
– February 2, 2010

Week 23

Rossoneri trying to regroup amid rumours about Ronaldinho’s partying
– February 5, 2010

Another draw as the Rossoneri drop to third
– February 9, 2010 Welcome Bonus Offer Betway

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